Day Two – Sunday 29th April
Before the trip day 2 was always Bealach na Ba day ! This pass is well known amongst cyclists as it attains the greatest ascent (626m) of any road in the UK. We were spoilt with perfect weather (as can be seen from the photos below), and so the climb , whilst not easy, was certainly not as challenging as it could have been with more typical Scottish West Coast weather.
I managed to clean the climb with my bottom 34 x 32 gearing, just !. There is one particular section that goes straight up , a couple of km from the top, that was particularly hard, and only weaving across the road, allowed me to keep moving without putting a foot down.
The drivers on this road, (and generally throughout our trip) were fabulously considerate, pulling into passing places when they could see us pootling towards them.
The descent from the top was equally memorable, and a good test for my recently installed hydraulic brakes (SRAM Guide RE)
Prior to the trip I was concerned about stopping power , given the luggage I was carrying and some long technical descents we would ride. I fitted the brakes with sintered disc pads to help with longevity, and withstand any heat build up on long descents. The brakes performed impeccably throughout the trip. I did suffer from occasional brake squeal (which can be a problem with sintered pads) but this was not a problem.
Once we reached Applecross, and fuelled up, we turned right and began our journey north, to the top of the UK .
The coastal road passed Lonbain, upto Fearnmore was jaw droppingly stunning. A memorable site was tens of deer running across the road, to a deserted beach on our left.
We lunched in Shieldag, before heading East few a few miles, and then turinging left to head north to Gairloch.
Another day with a tailwind, amazingly the wind had become southerly , following the Easterly we had on Saturday !
Ready for the Bealach na Ba pass.
Top of Bealach na Ba , looking across to Skye.