Glenalmond Parent to Cycle 175k on Penny Farthing

A Glenalmond parent and member of our Council is in training to complete 175 kilometres in one day (Sunday, May 9) on a Penny Farthing in support of our #Challenge175 to raise funding for life-changing bursaries.

Penny Farthing

Glenalmond is gearing up to celebrate its 175th anniversary next year and is currently undertaking a challenge to raise funds to support places for children who would not otherwise be able to attend the school. 

David Fox-Pitt MBE, a parent of two pupils at the Perthshire school and also a member of the school’s Council, is set to attempt to complete 175 kilometres (equivalent to 108 miles) perched aboard his precarious mount on May 9th.

Starting from Glenalmond College at 6am, Mr Fox-Pitt is aiming to complete “The Highland Route” totalling 108 miles travelling over a period of 13 hours. 

After an early morning send-off from pupils and staff at Glenalmond, he will head to Crieff, Braco and Comrie before continuing to Lochearnhead, Killin, Kenmore, Aberfeldy and Ballinluig, then down to Bankfoot and back to Glenalmond.

Mr Fox-Pitt said he was delighted to be getting behind Glenalmond’s #Challenge175 in this unusual way. He said he chose the route because it passes through the sites of five Roman forts which are a personal interest of his. 

“This really is an outstanding school where young people are offered incredible opportunities including wonderful sports and activities as well as academic education giving them an amazing life experience,” said Mr Fox-Pitt.

“Being able to provide bursaries for young people to attend is vitally important and, for those who are able to attend with this support, it will make a massive difference to their lives.”

The most challenging aspect of his Penny Farthing endurance test, apart from those posed by wearing the kilt, will be the steeper hills which he said are tough both going up and coming down as a Penny Farthing has no gears, no suspension and no brakes to speak of.

“A Penny Farthing takes longer to react than an ordinary bicycle and so there is also need for extra care when cycling through towns and villages - even deer and sheep on rural roads can pose a challenge if they emerge suddenly!” said Mr Fox-Pitt.

The kilt plays a big part in Glenalmond’s heritage and pupils at the school, both boys and girls, proudly wear their kilt on Sunday mornings and on special occasions so Mr Fox-Pitt decided it was appropriate to wear one as he heads off during his 175km Penny Farthing challenge.

“The kilt and sporran will certainly add an extra challenge or two - the technique for mounting is tricky to master at the best of times and the kilt certainly adds an extra complication to that! But in fact it is very comfortable to wear once you are safely on board and provides good circulation of air!”

Dr Michael Alderson, Head of Glenalmond College, said he was delighted with the support from Mr Fox-Pitt via this unusual way of completing the Challenge.

“In just a few weeks we have already raised almost £60,000 for bursaries thanks to the efforts of pupils and staff, current and former, and their families. We are also very grateful for the generous support of a great many others with links to Glenalmond and our thanks go to our #Challenge175 sponsors Johnston Carmichael Wealth,” said Dr Alderson.

“The provision of more bursary-funded places will allow us to offer a fantastic education to young people who could not otherwise come to a school like Glenalmond and the difference that can make is truly life-changing. 

“All of our pupils know how fortunate they are to be able to attend Glenalmond, with the outstanding teaching staff and facilities it offers, and we are looking forward to being able to open our doors to even more pupils through bursary-funded places.”

For more information and to support Glenalmond’s #Challenge175 please visit,

Video interview with David. 

Approx timings based on completing the mission in 12 hours:

**Sunday May 9th - WEATHER PROVIDING***
7am - Kick off from Front Arch - Glenalmond College
7.30am - Fendoch Roman Camp - Entrance to Sma' Glen
8.00am - Crieff - High Street and head south to Muthill
9.00am - Blackhill Camp before Braco at Comrie road Junction
10.30am Comrie - Dalginross Camp
11.30am  Lochearnhead Village- Will take the cycle route up Glen Ogle to 9th legion Ambush site
12.30am - Ambush Site of 9th Legion at top of pass of Glen Ogle by Lochan
1pm - Killin by Town Hall
2.30pm - Roman Cap at Fortingall and Birth Place of Pontius Pilot by Yew Tree
3.30pm - Strathtay following Northside of River Tay
4.45pm - Dunkeld High Street turning East towards Caputh
5.45pm - Caputh by Inchtuthill Camp
6.15 - Luncarty A9 crossing by Bertha Camp
7pm - Proposed arrival time back at Glenalmond College.
These timings may vary depending on unforeseen circumstances/weather etc.