The Highlands, Glens and Western Isles Audax on TV

A still from 'Sore in the Saddle'

The Highlands, Glens and Western Isles Audax on TV

A documentary about the Highlands, Glens and Western Isles Audax will be broadcast on Tuesday 9 December on BBC 2 Scotland at 7pm. It features CTC members and volunteers who ride the tough route every year.

Thousands of CTC members have ridden in and organised Audax rides across the UK, but many newer cyclists have never heard of them. Audax is a growing sport with most rides of 100km or 200km in a relaxed non-competitive environment.The documentary 'Sore in the Saddle', which is part of the Adventure Programme series, follows different cyclists as they attempt the ultra-audax The Highlander, which is officially known as the 'Highlands, Glens and Western Isles Audax' - although it doesn't actually visit the Western Isles! 

It is a tough route that includes 18000m of climbing. Most cyclists attempt to ride it in four-and-a-half days, but a few do it in an extraordinary four days - with very little sleep!. It takes place in July every year.

CTC member and local campaigner Mark Hagger appears in the film. He signed up for the ride as the route is really amazing. He said: "I love the west coast and the Highlands, the best cycling country in the UK, maybe in the world? So the opportunity to revisit these places in a different format was too good to miss."

Mark completed the Audax back in July and told CTC there were many places where the scenery was inspirational. He says: "I especially loved the views of Arran, Goatfell and Beinn Bhreac, which changed slowly as we cycled south to Campbeltown in the afternoon sun. The Aird of Coigach, which I cycled through after a wee post-prandial snooze in a ditch, is memorable for me as it is the name of a favourite Scottish Country Dance; here, we cycled up a single track road with mountains, lochs and sea all about. Coming round a corner there was a small lochan covered in water lilies white with flower. After watching the sun set before us as we cycled through the evening toward Durness, we turned east and pedalled on through the night. The horizon in front of us started to glow, and eventually we realised that the round blobs, below the emerging skyline and surrounded by a ring of mist, were the Orkney Islands."

"After watching the sun set before us as we cycled through the evening toward Durness, we turned east and pedalled on through the night. The horizon in front of us started to glow, and eventually we realised that the round blobs, below the emerging skyline and surrounded by a ring of mist, were the Orkney Islands."

Mark Hagger, CTC Member

The documentary shows the route and meets some of the riders. It is expected many more cyclists will sign up for next year's ride as when the Snow Roads Audax was shown on TV, the following year it was overwhelmed with people wanting a place.  
 
The Adventure Programme is on BBC2 Scotland on Tuesday 9 Dec 2014 at 1900, it is also available on iPlayer. Watch this preview for a taste of the treat in store for viewers.

Sore in the Saddle Preview from Triple Echo Productions on Vimeo.

 

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