Highland Perthshire had its first full time dedicated cycle shop
in 'Escape Route' in
Pitlochry in 1997. There have been a number of
businesses that rented out cycles as in most areas of Scotland.
The big change to cycling in Highland Perthshire was the
introduction of Etape Caledonia, Britain's only closed road event
for cyclists. The first Etape Caledonia event was held on Sunday
24th June 2007 amidst quite some considerable opposition. The
opposition was against road closures and some of the opponents had
grievances with P&K Council over various issues. From a
personal perspective I felt the communications about the event had
been poor and this is what got many people's backs up.
The 81 mile Etape Caledonia route starts in
Pitlochry, but runs through the communities of Tummel,
Rannoch, Fortingall, Dull and Weem near
Aberfeldy and back to Pitlochry.
The event has grown year on year, with the 2011 Etape
Caledonia selling out six months early with 5,250 entrants up 750
on the 2010 level. There is no doubt the event attracts many people
to Highland Perthshire that would not have otherwise have come
here. The stunning scenery along the route leaves many first timers
to the area really impressed.
One of the outcomes from the event is that a group of
businesses and individuals worked to maximise the event for
Highland Perthshire. Initially the objective was to ensure as many
Highland Perthshire businesses were involved from marshalling, to
therapists, catering and of course accommodation. Also to make sure
businesses along the closed road route were involved where ever
This has led to the formation of the Highland Perthshire
Cycling Group who now employ someone one day a week all year round
to drive cycling in Highland Perthshire, in the schools, to clubs
and events and importantly now coordi