Tour of The Highlands – Part 1


wee burl

It’s 5am on a Saturday at the end of May and we find ourselves in a Wig-Wam in the Trossachs.

My phone is playing a piano arpeggio. It’s cheesy but better than those needle to the eyeball beeps of the default alarm.

I bolt upright, Frankenstein like.

It’s here, day one of the Tour of the Highlands.

My hand pads the bed to find my phone.   I thumb the home button and stop the alarm.
It’s been a shit night’s sleep; tossing and turning all night long in this Wig-Wam/sauna. I am half-baked with excitement, half seared by the heat. I remember being fully compes mentis since four am. At least that is when the cockerel started cocka-doodle-f*****g-doing. Continue reading “Tour of The Highlands – Part 1”

My top 3 for 2018

It’s the first of January as I write.  My kid Max is monging it on the couch next to me watching cartoons.  I let him stay up for the bells for the first time last night.  He repayed this experience by wakening me at 7:30 this morning.  High five wee fella!! Defo not part of the deal that was struck by a firm handshake, when put to bed at 1am .
Albeit rudely awoken,  the summit of mind is fairly clear of cloud cover due to the self imposed alcoholic restrictions of being on ‘Daddy Day Care duty’. My thoughts turn to cycling goals for 2018.   Yeah I know, totally living for the moment, but lets not buckle my wheel down that pot hole.
So with some swift (not zwift) consideration here’s my big three for 2018.  I’ll avoid the obvious and generic  BS of; Ride more miles, get out with friends more blah de blah.  These are a given.  So exploring a bit deeper.  Here’s my top 3 for 2018
  1. Do a +200k ride
  2. Ride Bealach Na ba
  3. Multi day cycle
1:+200K ride
The +200k ride is looping my mind post last years Tour of The Highlands. Currently in my cross hairs is the notion of a point to point 200k.  I travel to Aviemore alot and have fantasised about cycling back from it i.e.  Aviemore to Maddiston in one ride.  Albeit on a route devoid of the miserable and very busy A9. I have conjured up a few options thus far. All slight deviations on distance dependant on decided route around the Aberfeldy/Gleneagles neck of the woods. Yet all routes +200k   I’m sure with a bit fitness and some planning this is most definitely doable this year. This will be further explored and an opportunity ..designed.
2: Bealach Na Ba
Next is the Bealach na ba in the West Highlands.  Scotlands Ventoux.  Boasting off the greatest ascent of any road in the UK.  Some go higher but this baby starts at sea level. The holy grail for riding in the UK. The closest we’ll get to an alpine climb in length and ascent on these lofty shores.  I have driven it, but never cycled.  Two Sportives currently tackle it each year.  SO decisions, decisions to be made whether its done en masse with other sweaty grinding cyclists or with just a few of us on a day away.
3: Multi day event
Without argument the best way to explore and discover is on two wheels. My appetite for a bit of cyclo tourism was most definately whetted at last years Tour of The Highlands and I’m starving for some more.  A multi day sportive would be my first choice however with some planning a clever amalgamation of goals 2 and 3, this could be a sensible approach.
Watch this space