Have you cycled up Bealach-na-ba?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Mick F
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Bealach na Ba - Applecross

Postby Mick F » 29 Sep 2007, 6:11am

Climbing the Tourmalet looks wonderful! Not that steep, just a bit long. Take your time, and enjoy the view.

Do we have a UK hill to compare? I'm doing "The Pass of the Cattle" next year.

{Split from the Pyrenean Crossing topic }
Mick F. Cornwall

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Postby PW » 29 Sep 2007, 8:26pm

The Bealach only goes to 2053ft Mick. :( The view's bloody marvellous though! :D - Good pub in Applecross when you've whizzed down t'other side. :wink:
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Postby Mick F » 30 Sep 2007, 7:11am

I wonder if that pub in Applecross does accommodation?

I was thinking of staying overnight at Lochcarron, doing the Pass without luggage, doing round the top, past Loch Torridon and back to Lochcarron.

However, I MAY consider doing the Pass fully loaded. More of a challenge, eh?
Mick F. Cornwall

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Postby Graham » 30 Sep 2007, 10:30am

Mick F wrote:I wonder if that pub in Applecross does accommodation?

There is plenty of accomodation on the western side of the peninsula.
I quite fancy staying in one of the wooden "wigwams" on the campsite at Applecross.
http://www.wigwamholidays.com/Applecross_Wigwams

Mick F wrote:I was thinking of staying overnight at Lochcarron, doing the Pass without luggage, doing round the top, past Loch Torridon and back to Lochcarron.

Yep, that's a good one. The Lochcarron - Applecross penninsula - directly back to Lochcarron makes a for good few hours of energetic cycling.
Beware of the northern coast of the Applecross peninsula. It is one tough S.o.a.B. Relentless ( and seemingly endless ) sharp climbs and drops with little level ground.

If you want to go really beserk you could try the BIG loop.
http://strathpuffer.co.uk/Bealach-na-Ba/Event_route.htm

. . . which is the route of the the new cyclosportif event . . 90 miles of . . er, fun?
http://strathpuffer.co.uk/Bealach-na-Ba/event_BNB.htm
Accounts of the survivors . . . .
http://strathpuffer.co.uk/Bealach-na-Ba ... s_pics.htm

Or you can do a slight variation by cutting cross-country between Glen Torridon & Glen Carron using the Coulin Pass between Loch Clair & Achashellach.
Too rough to ride one of your lightweight steeds though. It makes a nice walk just pushing the bike. No good for a trailer.

Mick F wrote:However, I MAY consider doing the Pass fully loaded. More of a challenge, eh?

Yep, entirely possible with a low enough gears. You might make it up without walking.
It was the descents ( in both directions ) that frightened me !!

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 30 Sep 2007, 12:50pm

Thanks Graham!

Good info, I'll read at leisure later ...

"I must get out all my maps and get planning." Write this out 100 times!
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Postby PW » 30 Sep 2007, 3:35pm

The coast road is a bit of a pig. Proper roller coaster in fact. The Applecross Inn has a website IIRC. Try a Google.
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Postby Gearoidmuar » 1 Oct 2007, 9:25pm

Did Bealach na Ba a few years ago into a gale. Hardest climb I've ever done (because of wind maybe). I've done Tourmalet and all those. Applecross Inn was super. Coast road very lumpy.

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Postby AndyB » 1 Oct 2007, 10:08pm

Mmmm.. sitting in the sun in the beer garden of the Applecross Inn with a plate of scallops for lunch. Wonderful!

And at least you will have been forewarned about the coast road - I wasn't expecing it!

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Postby nobby » 7 Oct 2007, 9:10pm

I did the Pass of the Cattle 18 years ago in a '73 VW camper with the wife, four kids, a large dog and a trailer. It was hell, but halfway up we crammed in a knackered German fraulein and her bike.
She was a big, strapping girl - think Tamara Press for those old enough to remember - and I was much gratified to find that she was a PE teacher. It cured me of a long standing hatred of PE teachers to discover that a wet Pass of the Cattle renders them mortal. Nowadays, many years on, I just dislike them :)

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Postby Mick F » 7 Oct 2007, 9:22pm

I drove it with the family + two dogs in the early 80s. We rented a cottage for a week near Kyle of Lochalsh and did a bit of touring. A wonderful drive over the Pass and down to Applecross. I remember us and the kids and dogs paddling in the sea, it was warm and clear and shallow - we went out for miles!

We drove on north, then around the shore of Loch Torridon.

I WILL Cycle it!
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Postby MLJ » 11 Oct 2007, 5:16pm

A few years ago I rode the pass from Lochcarron doing the round trip in a day - using a Brompton 5 speed. Should be quite easily managed with a multi-geared bike!

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Postby Mick F » 11 Oct 2007, 7:16pm

Good on yer!

I've (only) got 27sp, but I'll have 30 soon. I should fly over!
Mick F. Cornwall

treejamie

Postby treejamie » 23 Oct 2007, 6:19pm

I did Belach Na Ba in the clouds with the rain and a howling gale. not a nice experience. oh and i saw nothing at the top.

here is my picture of my bike.

Image


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Postby PW » 24 Oct 2007, 12:34am

I remember that pillar, the plate on top includes an arrow to McLeod's Tables on Skye, distance quoted as 27 miles..and yes they are visible on a good day!
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Postby Ron » 24 Oct 2007, 9:04am

treejamie wrote: oh and i saw nothing at the top.


You always know it's not too bad a day when you don't have to lash your bike to the cairn. :wink: :D