Frequently Asked Questions
Getting to the Sportive
When is the sportive?
The Oban Sportive is on May 12th, 2019, the Ben Cruachan Inn Hill Climb is on Saturday May 11th, 2019.
Where does the ride start and finish?
Both routes start and finish at Oban Distillery. The address is Oban Distillery, Stafford Street, Oban, Argyll, Scotland PA34 5NH
Where can I park at at the start/finish?
The Sportive starts and finished at the Oban Distillery. Free parking is available at Mossfield - Blaes pitch corner of Glen Cruitten Road and Mossfield Avenue. Also at Oban High School, Soroba Road, Oban PA34 4JB. Both are five minutes by bike from the distillery.
Where is the nearest Railway Station?
Oban has a train station, approximately 0.5 miles from the start/finish at the Oban Distillery.
Hill Climb entrant: the nearest train station to the Hill Climb start is Loch Awe station.
Where is the nearest Airport?
For most flights, Glasgow Airport is the nearest airport – approximately 2 hours away by car.
What about local accommodation?
Oban has been welcoming visitors for quite some time! There are lots of options to choose from and we recommend starting with the Oban Tourism website’s accommodation page
I'm coming from the islands - where is the ferry terminal?
Welcome! We’re looking forward to seeing you! The Oban ferry terminal is approximately 0.5 miles from the start and finish of the sportive. You can find more information, including fares and a timetable, here
About the Routes and Entry
Which route should I choose?
All routes present a rewarding challenge, but they are all equally ‘possible’ for well-prepared cyclists. If you are unsure, then we recommend the shorter Sportive – this offers plenty of climbs, and plenty of friendly well-stocked food-stops as well as breath-taking views and wonderfully quiet roads. If you enjoy off-road cycling, then we highly recommend the Gravel Route, which has its own challenges while being perfectly suitable for the prepared cyclist.
How hard is the Short Route?
The short route offers a rewarding challenge for an averagely fit cyclist. Please remember that the new date of the Oban Sportive means that it is near the beginning of the season, so you will need to have maintained your fitness through the Winter and be well prepared through the Spring. We advise watching the weather in the area in the run-up to the event and you should be well-prepared on the day, in terms of clothing, food and hydration. There are plenty of stops, but we encourage riders to be responsible for themselves.The Short Route – 56 miles [ map | profile ]
How hard is the Long Route?
The longer route is a real challenge, that we recommend for experienced cyclists only. The length of the ride and the amount of climbing ensure it is a great test of your fitness at the beginning of the season and every finisher will feel a great sense of achievement. It is a beautiful course that rewards your effort through the day. Again, we advise watching the weather in the area in the run-up to the event and you should be well-prepared on the day, in terms of clothing, food and hydration. There are plenty of stops, but we encourage riders to be responsible for themselves.The Long Route – 87 miles [ map | profile ]
How hard is the Gravel Route?
Details to follow.The Gravel Route – 37 miles [ map ]
How good is the food en-route?
In a word – legendary! We are blessed with fantastic volunteers who provide a wide range of home-made snacks to cater for all tastes – served with a real Highland welcome. The stops also have water, electrolyte drinks, fruit and energy snacks.
How much does it cost?
Individual places are £35. If you are entering with a group, then your 5th entry is free (5 ride for the price of 4). All fees go to charities and good causes.
Can I enter a team?
Yes! Teams of 5 pay for just 4 places on teh Sportive. For larger groups please contact us for a discount code so individual team members can enter themselves for discount rate of £28
How do I enter?
Oban Sportive Rules
1. The Oban Sportive is a timed cycling event – it is not and should not be treated as a race in any manner. You must register on one of the dates and times specified prior to riding.
2. You accept that participation in the Oban Sportive is entirely at your own risk. You accept that the organisers cannot be held liable for injury loss or damage as a result of participation.
3. The minimum age for participants is 16. Entrants under the age of 18 will require signed consent from a parent or legal guardian.
4. Both route options are physically demanding and take place over roads which have sections of steep climbing and descending. In places the road surface is poor. Entrants must be physically fit and capable of riding their chosen distance. Entrants who have any health issues should seek medical advice and approval for their participation.
5. It is a condition of entry that all riders must wear an approved cycling helmet. Participants must ensure that the bike they ride is roadworthy, and that clothing and equipment is of a suitable standard. A road bike with reasonably robust wheels and tyres is the most suitable type of bike. No type of triathlon, aero or clip-on handlebars are permitted. The routes are not suitable for fixed wheel bikes. Each route has 2 feed stations, however, you are advised to carry food and drink suitable for the distance covered. Entrants are advised to carry spares for puncture repairs.
6. Riders will be started between the advertised earliest and latest start times. All riders must be ready at the start at the earliest time scheduled for their route
7. All participants will be given route cards with emergency contact numbers, however, mobile phone reception cannot be relied upon. The route will be marked at junctions, with marshals present at potential danger points.
8. The rules of the Highway Code must be obeyed at all times. In particular, do not ride more than 2 abreast. Please respect other road users. On single track sections of the road please make use of passing places to allow motor vehicles to pass. You agree to follow instructions given by event marshals. Event marshals have no authority to stop traffic and are present to improve safety.
9. “Caution” notices will be posted to warn of particular hazards on the routes. It remains the individual rider’s responsibility to proceed with care at all times.
10. Support vehicles are not permitted.
11. Do not drop litter.
12. Toilets are available at the event headquarters and at feed stations. Please use these facilities and respect the local area.
13. All participants must agree to the organisers using photographs and / or video of their participation in the Oban Sportive.
14. A minimum average speed of 10 mph must be maintained. A sweep vehicle, returning to Oban, will be available for riders falling behind this minimum or abandoning the event for other reasons.
15. The Oban Sportive will take place regardless of weather and will only be cancelled, altered or stopped on safety grounds. All entry fees are non-refundable.
16. The organisers may disqualify any participant who fails to follow the above regulations.