The Routes

There are five provisional routes. These route files have overview maps, profiles and GPS files in various formats for download from ridewithgps.com. The route track itself is colour-coded for the quality of the riding surface. Tested sections are marked blue, red or black (see below) and un-tested sections are marked yellow. Each year after the annual rally , the fully tested route file will be posted here. Here are the links to the route files:

Here is my descriptive grading system:

Colour Code Surface Description Ideal Bike & Tyre Volume Examples
Tarmac road
any surfaced road
Touring or Gravel any tyre

Mostly small single track roads

Grade A track
even surface most of width of track, well compacted
Gravel or Touring 28mm+ tyre

Windfarm tracks
Surfaced cycle route paths

Grade B track
fairly even surface on carriageways, small gravel, stable surface
Gravel or Mountain 35mm+ tyre

Forestry tracks
Good estate tracks

Grade C track
generally uneven track, with larger rocks or loose gravel/sand surface or lots surface water
Mountain or Gravel 40mm+

Drove roads
Rough estate tracks

Grade D track
generally rough uneven surface, larger rocks, narrow, fully grassy or very muddy track or path
Mountain 40mm+

Foot paths
Single track

The Sea
Water
Any bike
On a ferry (hopefully)

The general recipe for the routes is around 100km & 1300m of climbing per day. Route files will include suggested road detours and a few additional files for added extra loops, usually of the rough and steep variety. So you can plan your own route to suit you and take as few or as many days as you like.

Explorers wanted! Some of us are happy exploring, getting stuck in a bog or at an impassable stream. Maybe you have some local knowledge around one of the routes? If that’s you, help us refine the routes. If you fill in and send us a route tester form – your reward will be a guaranteed place on the next rally!”

Roam Scotland Rally

Route notes

Detailed route notes are available to all rally riders and anyone who wants to ride the route independently, in return for a donation to our charity partner. The route notes include:

  • day-by-day descriptions of the route and short-cut options
  • information about places to stay and eat along the route
  • tips and advice about travel, access rights, kit, food supplies etc.

Anyone looking for other Scottish routes, check out Markus Stitz’s offerings on Bikepacking Scotland

Digital Brevet

A bit of fun, if you like this sort of thing and you fancy a cyclists patch as a wee reward for your efforts. All you need to do is:

  • read the trip notes to identify the brevet control points 
  • take x 5 control-point selfies – the more creative the better!
  • post your control-point selfies on Instagram with #roamscotlandrally … and email roamscotland@gmail.com with your postal address and I’ll send out your RSR patch as soon as I can.