The first Kilberry Loop Cycle Sportive takes off

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Cycling enthusiasts are gearing up for the first cycling sportive based in Mid Argyll.

There is just one month to go until the start of the inaugural Kilberry Loop Cycle, which will take place on August 11.

Organiser of the non-competative event, the Mid Argyll Tri & Cycle Club, is an all inclusive club for athletes and sporting enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.

A spokesperson for the club told the Argyllshire Advertiser this week: ‘We wish to promote fun, fellowship and friendship with a dash of competition.

‘The Kilberry Loop is a favourite route of the members. It is widely recognised as one of the most complete cycles in Argyll and we wish to introduce this gem to the wider cycling community and remind the people of Kintyre that this wondrous route is within their midst.’

Registration for the event will open at 7.30am, with the cycle starting from the Isthmus, Tarbert. Entrants will then head east towards the village and then north on the A83 before turning left at the junction with the B8024 on to a single track road.

This is where the fun begins, with a steady climb for about 2kms before the fast descent into Achahoish and the beginning of wonderful scenery as the loop continues along the shores of Loch Caolisport.

The breathtaking views to Jura, Islay and Gigha demand a quick stop for a photograph. There will be a feed station at approximately the half way mark.

The route continues through Kilberry, heading east, with some short sharp climbs and sweeping descents, before following the coast of West Loch Tarbert north, passed the Tarbert Golf Club, before a left turn at the junction with the A83 and back to Tarbert and the finish.

The loop is suitable for road bikes  the road surface is variable but generally reasonable, and there are a few steep descents, so some caution is required.

The club spokesperson continued: ‘We are hopeful we’ll get more than 50 entrants on the start line, so please sign up. There’s almost enough time to start putting in some training.

The minimum age for our entrants is 16 years old on the day of the event, with a parent or guardian who will accompany them during the cycle.

So come along and take up the challenge, have some fun and improve your fitness.’