John and I travelled up to Kinlochewe to do the Bealach Mor sportive on Saturday. I can’t say we were that up for it as we rolled out towards Achnasheen in torrential rain. Though thankfully it was a warm day and after 20 miles the skies cleared. We had a lot of fun working hard in groups and quickly reached Loch Carron where we grabbed a few flapjacks before the sharp wee climb out of village.
It was great to get a cheer from Gibby and Sheila at the top of the climb and I enjoyed the quick chin-wag (i.e. rest) before dropping down the other side to start psyching myself up for the big climb ahead. I attacked the Bealach-na-Ba and was happy to be streaming past people all the way up. This year, however, I think the descent was more challenging than the climb – with zero viability and wet tarmac it was scary stuff so I was glad to emerge from the cloud in one piece.
After some more flapjacks we tackled the never-ending undulating coast road round to Shieldaig. Although tiredness was creeping into the legs we were helped by a slight tailwind and enjoyed the stunning views of Skye and Raasay.
We dug deep and powered on as the rain started again. As we entered Torridon village a small group had tagged onto our wheels but no-one seemed keen to take on the work at the front. So John made the decision to rack up the pace and the tag-alongs soon dropped off the back. This left the 2 of us to time-trial the last 10 miles through Torridon.
We finished absolutely spent but exhilarated – exactly why you take on these things on mucky days like that. It probably would not have been so much fun had it been in Sunday’s warm sunshine!!