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Online philmcglass

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August Trip
« on: August 30, 2019, 06:06:06 PM »
Monday 26th Edinburgh to Strontian via Ardnamurchan Lighthouse (furthest west point on UK mainland)

211 miles.
M9 to Stirling then A84 to Lochearnhead. A85 to Tyndrum. (Fuel stop at Lix Toll garage near junction with A827). A82 through Glencoe to Corran.

Scenery over Rannoch Moor

Buachaille Etive Mhor, the one Munro I have claimed

Last one the Corran ferry (3) no waiting. 5 minutes to cross to Ardgour.
A861 to Salen then B8007 to the lighthouse and a coffee.

Lighthouse Road

Zumo Screenshot
35 miles single track from Strontian to lighthouse (and back). Hard work even with occasional two track stretches. Only other bike was Honda Crosstourer but thinking about a Tiger.
And I had to return to Strontian Hotel to stay the night. Knackered.
5 hours to get from home to lighthouse and 1.5 to get back to hotel.
Very welcome couple of pints of Hop House Lager. Decent food. Gave me the apartment with loch views. Kitchen, lounge, bedroom, bathroom.

Tuesday 27th. Strontian to John O'Groats via Dunnet Head 221 miles.
I did plan to go via Durness but had enough of single tracks and not sure I'd have survived 300 miles.
Back to Corran ferry. Again last on and depart right away. Up A82 to Fort William for gas and all the way up the great glen to Drumnadrochit.

Ben Nevis

Just south of Fort Augustus a 4 engine millitary transport flew over heading south. No idea what it was.
A833/A862 over the hills to Beauly. Stopped in Muir-of-Ord  at Bad Girls Bakery for a coffee. Decided to fit the Airhawk from my top box due to severe numb bum. I had tried it earlier in the year but seemed to make the pain worse. Thankfully this time it helped a lot. Headed for Dingwall (passed the Ord Arms where we had our wedding reception 1987).
Had to decide at Cromarty bridge to turn right (home) or left (north coast). I turned left. Followed A9 to Thurso.  A couple of road works on the way at Helmsdale and Berriedale. Convoy system through the hairpins.
Had to pass three distilleries Dalmore, Glenmoragie at Tain and Clynelish at Brora.  More gas at Thurso then on to Dunnet Head.

Harley Road King in the car park. Heading for Ardnamurchan the next day. Slight change in the weather. Cold front moving in so onward to Seaview Hotel. Decent value and fair scran. I was on my way for a wander down to the harbour but started to rain so went for another pint instead.

Wednesday 28th John O'Groats to Edinburgh 289 miles.
Rain had stopped before breakfast and looking like a decent morning. Not too much options for homeward trip. A99 for 33 miles to join A9 south. Aiming for Inversnekkie for gas via Black Isle Brewery.

Missed the turning off the A9 but found my way via Munlochy. I was treated to a solo tour and a few micro samples. Blonde (lagerish), Yellowhammer (IPA), Red Kite (malty Scottish Export) and Porter (sweeter than stout).
Crossed the Kessock bridge just as the rain started so found Esso station to fill the tank. Rain had stopped by the time I got to Dalwhinnie and changed gloves. Left my wallet in jacket pocket so it was soaked by then.
Wasnt sure if I'd see any more rain but thankfully it was dry all the way home. Stopped at Bruar for a coffee.
Crap car park surface - pebbles. Took the old road through Blair Atholl then back on to A9. 
When I was a teenager I did a cycle tour with my brother.  4 days up to Aviemore staying in youth hostels. Then 2 days barrelling down A9 to Strathtummel then home. We must have used the old road which is a bit scary with HGVs on it.  I guess that in the 70s there was less traffic but still not a very safe cycle route for boys.
No real drama from Bruar to home. Queing on the A9 roundabout to join M90 I was beside a police Range Rover. He put on his blues and created a path,  so I had to follow. Had to remind one Audi driver I was there.

Queue at Hermiston wasnt too bad so no need to filter. Wasnt sure how I'd manage filter being a bit wider (panniers) and a bit knackered. Decided to stay in lane on the Edinburgh Bypass the last 6 miles.

I guess 721 miles in three days is reasonable. Definitely not saddle hardened and right arm was aching after the ride to the lighthouse.
It was worth persevering with Airhawk.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 06:08:56 PM by philmcglass »
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Offline Flyfifer

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Re: August Trip
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2019, 07:25:34 PM »
 :189: the road out to (and back from!) Ardnamurchan lighthouse is without question a tiring run. It's completely different to most single track roads; the forward visibility is nil, the road is unreadable, and the direction/elevation changes are "interesting".
It sounds like you had a great little trip.
Strontian hotel bar is xlnt.!

I guess you didn't encounter any of these chaps !

Offline Flyfifer

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Re: August Trip
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2019, 07:28:17 PM »
P.S. the heavy rain today caused Corran and Lochaline ferry cancellations today due to flooded roads.

Offline Dandy

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Re: August Trip
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2019, 09:33:46 PM »
Looks like a great trip, thanks for sharing.

Done most it myself over the years, remember the Ardnamurchan road being hard work.

Offline Lopez

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Re: August Trip
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2019, 07:24:48 AM »
Good trip, thanks for sharing.

Offline Paulhere

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Re: August Trip
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2019, 07:27:06 AM »
Brilliant trip & ride report, I enjoyed reading that. Never been down to Ardnamurchan, looks a scary road. Wouldn't want to meet a late local on it.

The Corran ferry has been 3 for 30 years. Good to read the Lochaline/Fishnish ferry is still running, that used to be 5 back in early 90's when I went. That was my route onto Mull, Oban/Mull was too expensive.
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Offline kempy

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Re: August Trip
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2019, 12:26:42 PM »
Sounds great! thanks for sharing. I'm currently trying to convince the small-footed one to do the NW500 next year, I have spoiled her with this years Lake Garda trip!
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