RadTour: The Seven Castles of West Lothian Reliability Trial

The club's season opener, our spring reliability trial or Rad Tour, was held Sunday 6 March 2016. 

Ever noticed how many castles you pass on the County's best back roads? Well, starting from Linlithgow, the Tour will join the dots, passing seven of them.

Heading south first via Bathgate, taking in Cairns Castle, on (we think...) the highest stretch of road in West Lothian, the route will then swing north featuring such Forth Valley favourites as Duntarvie & Ochiltree with a final swooping descent back to the start point.

What is a Reliability Trial?

A Reliability trail is a non competitive event, effectively a formal club run, open to all comers and can provide an excellent introduction to cycling. No Reliability Ride shall be promoted which requires the participants to maintain an average riding speed of more than 18 m.p.h. 'Average riding speed' means the average speed when actually riding.

When was it?

Sunday 6 March 2016

What time did it start?

Sign on is between 8.45am and 9.15am, first group is 9.30am

Where did it start?

Linlithgow Sports Club 

What's the format?

Riders will be grouped according to their expected average pace. There are 3 pace categories so you need to decide which one you want to join:

 12mph: expected time 6hrs 10 mins (includes 45 mins for breaks). Start time: 9:30am. Target finish time: 3:40pm

15mph: expected time 5hrs 05 mins (includes 45 mins for breaks). Start time: 9:35am. Target finish time: 2:40pm

18mph: expected time 4hrs 25 mins (includes 45 mins for breaks). Start time: 9:40am. Target finish time: 2:05pm

The route

Click to see the route

There may be changes after the Risk Assessment, make sure you check on the day with the organiser

How do I enter?

The cost is £5 or send your entry to:
Graeme Horne
14 Polmont Road
07837 230011
Cheques for £5 payable to "West Lothian Clarion"

 You can download a PDF entry form from here Click pdf link

Where to stay

If you are travelling far, Linlithgow is a great place to stay. There is a wide variety of accommodation from pubs, hotels, B&Bs, camp sites and caravan parks

Click for list of where to stay


Groups/categories will be set off together, though they may be broken into subgroups if necessary for the management of the event.

This is not a race. The aim of the event is to complete the route at a steady pace and as close to the chosen target time as possible; times will not be published. However, you should not take risks to 'make a time'.

It is not expected that the all groups that set off will stay together and there are certainly no 'group leaders'. We would, however, encourage groups to stay together for support and we would encourage all riders, especially the stronger ones within each time class, to work to encourage the cohesion of their groups where possible. Please be patient when getting through the slightly stop/start section at Hopetoun - your 45 mins of breaks include some consideration for this section so please wait for your group to get back together. Many thanks!


Feed Stop

The feed stop is a little past half-way in the Church of Scotland Hall at Kirknewton  Small donations to club funds can be made for the catering provided, on a purely voluntary basis.


You should aim to be self-sufficient. You should certainly be carrying enough food, some money and have the tools to repair punctures and minor breakages.

The route passes close to several train stations that would allow (via Haymarket) a return to the starting point. There are also lots of shops and cafes on or near to the route.

If all else fails call the organiser (number to be given out on the day). He will have a car available and can arrange recovery, though this should be seen as a last resort.

If you 'bail' but do not need recovery please let the organiser know, as he will be handling registration on the day.


Congratulations! Register with the timekeeper back at the Vennel car park and that's you done.

The 'finish' will open at 1:50 pm and close at 4:15pm.


The route is fairly long (over 100km) and tackles some high and exposed roads. You take responsibility for assessing your own fitness to take part and that of your bike, and you should aim to be self-reliant.

You must obey road traffic law and the Highway Code throughout the event.

You must read the risk assessment prepared for the event.

The route sheet highlights only a small number of exceptional hazards. You obviously need to pay attention to all general hazards, instructions on road signage and markings. Pay particular attention to road surfaces; another hard winter has had a damaging effect on a lot of these.

Show consideration for others on the route especially on the off-road sections where pedestrians are likely to be encountered eg: at Hopetoun Estate.

There is one short off-road section within Hopetoun Estate.

If the conditions on the day are judged unacceptably hazardous (notably heavy ice or snow) the event may be cancelled. Full refunds would be given.