Re-grouping at the top of a climb on the way to Strontian
The main group opted for the 40 mile route that saw them back track a mile or so to take the Lochaline road along the south side of Loch Sunart. Here they began a testing ascent that saw them climb from sea level to 270m over about 3k. Once at the top they turned away from Lochaline and headed east where, apart from a few undulations, the trend was downhill for the next 6 miles until soon after Glengalmadale where they reached sea level once more. The next stage took them along the side of Loch Linnhe for a while before they turned inland then up past the lochans before joining the main road again to retrace the road back along to and over the Coran Ferry. To view the route, follow this link.
The smaller group of 5 enjoyed a bit of climbing also as they tackled the grueling hill from Strontian up through Scotstown then around the edge of Ben Resipol and up to the summit. This started off as a deceptively easy climb but, as the legs started to tire, the gradients just became steeper and everyone was glad to eventually re-group at the top and catch their breath.
|Keith Gus Norman and Lee at the top of the Strontian Climb|
It had been misty near the top but once they started on the hair raising descent, the stunning views of Loch Doilet and Loch Shiel opened up before them in the sunshine.
|View of Loch Doilet on the steep descent|
They continued to plummet down through the hairpins to Polloch to join the Forestry Commission road alongside Loch Shiel. This 15 mile stage was probably the hardest part of the route as the track had become soft and muddy in places due to the heavy rains and the timber moving trucks churning it up. However we all managed to stay upright and arrived at Glen Finnan in the early afternoon in time for a cuppie at the visitor centre while we sheltered from a short shower and shared the fine view up the Loch with Bonnie Prince Charlie.
From there it was a few miles along the main road before we turned off on the back roads along the South Side of Loch Eil by Duisky and Camusnagal where, after a pleasant run in the sunshine, we found ourselves pedaling into a strengthening headwind for the last 12 miles back to the ferry. Having just missed the ferry, they popped into the inn to enjoy a pint of beer while waiting for the ferry to return.
Click here to view the 60 mile route.
After a quick shower they were again gratefully enjoying a hot meal in the fine company of the others.
After the meal Ron Harrow thanked all for coming and conveyed the appreciation of all the cyclists who had enjoyed the weekend to the ladies who had done all the catering.
The run on Wednesday Evening will be to Glamis
The next Sunday run is to Fettercairn