Berridale braes

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
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ferrit worrier
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Berridale braes

Postby ferrit worrier » 5 Aug 2013, 5:02pm

I wonder what they will do with this one ? The last hard slog before JoG

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-h ... s-23574784

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Re: Berridale braes

Postby robgul » 5 Aug 2013, 5:16pm

Having ridden it both ways - it IS hard ... and in between my two rides they closed the cafe that was at the bottom :(

Whether it's feasible to create a "bypass" on the high ground (which would by the look of the contours require two bridges) I don't know. Further south at Helmsdale there's a bit where they have diverted road to take out the massive drop to a narrow bridge and climb back up so it may be possible. ... but given the relatively light (compared with elsewhere in the country) traffic it wouldn't seem to be VFM

When I was last there in 2010 (riding LEJOG) a coach had ripped the side out of the hairpin and there were traffic lights controlling the flow of traffic ... that might be a permanent solution to solve the lorry problem on the tight turn?

Rob

jayd
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Re: Berridale braes

Postby jayd » 5 Aug 2013, 5:25pm

Inverness- Lairg - Crask Inn - Strathnaver - Bettyhill - turn right, along the top - JOG. Best part of the trip to me, and no A9!

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Re: Berridale braes

Postby ferrit worrier » 5 Aug 2013, 5:42pm

I've done it twice up and once down. last time June 2011 not much different from the press pic

Berridale braes June 2011w.JPG


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Mick F
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Re: Berridale braes

Postby Mick F » 5 Aug 2013, 8:01pm

I've done it a few times .................... and a bit of history for you to read ............................

The road from Perth to JOG was the A9 all the way there and Latheron to Thurso used to be the A895. They re-assigned the A9 from Perth to Thurso, and Latheron to JOG as the A99.

The A9 up through Helmsdale was tortuous to say the least. If you look at Berridale, the old bridge is way down below the present road. This new bit was in place by the late 1980s, but before that, you had to go right down over the little bridge. Next time you're up that way, tarry a while at the "new" bottom and look down.

If you go into Helmsdale, you'll see the new bypass, as before that you had to go through the centre of the town and over the old bridge.

Beyond Helmsdale, the road wound up through Navidale. This bit was tortuous too and it wove in and out of the hillsides. This too was sorted out in the 1980s - perhaps later? - and now it's modified again and it rises out of Helmsdale via a new roundabout and bypasses most of the in-and-out-bits of the old contours. Next time you're up there, have a look at the old bits.

Next comes Dunbeath. There, the road wound its way down a zigzag towards the coast, then way way way way down to the bottom, then climbed a long long long way up the other side. Next time you're up that way, have a shufti at the BOTTOM of Dunbeath and be grateful for the easy ride on the new bypass road.

I know these things because was I was up there quite a bit in the 80's and did my first JOGLE in 1994. By that time I was very grateful that some of the roads had been sorted out, but Navidale and Dunbeath was absolute devils! Good job Berridale Braes had been modernised by then.
Mick F. Cornwall

Ron
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Re: Berridale braes

Postby Ron » 6 Aug 2013, 12:10am

It was a little more challenging in the 50s when road haulage was a spectator sport.
Berriedale%201-1.jpg

Commercial Motor pic.
Interestingly the area was just known as Berriedale then, goodness knows where this Berriedale Braes came from
Last edited by Ron on 6 Aug 2013, 3:37pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mick F
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Re: Berridale braes

Postby Mick F » 6 Aug 2013, 6:19am

Great!
How the heck did they get that down the bottom and over the bridge in the first place! :shock:
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Re: Berridale braes

Postby nickodemia » 6 Aug 2013, 1:33pm

jayd is correct, the route mentioned is just fantastic especially if you take in The Falls of Shin just before Lairg. Have done the Berriedale route twice and it is hard but by the time you get there (going north) you can do anything :)

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Re: Berridale braes

Postby end2ender » 7 Aug 2013, 9:19am

That brings back memories of my day 1 JOGLE from JOG to Invergordon. I remember thinking they should build a bridge, but now its done a bridge would spoil it.:lol:

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Re: Berridale braes

Postby ferrit worrier » 7 Aug 2013, 6:07pm

end2ender wrote:That brings back memories of my day 1 JOGLE from JOG to Invergordon. I remember thinking they should build a bridge, but now its done a bridge would spoil it.:lol:


To be honest I think your quite right. While I was preparing for my first LeJoG in 2009 The chairman of the company I work for said to me Beware the Berridale braes, he himself was an end to ender (twice) I think that once you get there and get them behind you which ever way your traveling there is a good feeling of satisfaction. If your heading north you know that you've now got a good ride in front of you, heading south it'll be either Glen Co up to Rannoch Moor or Slochd and then Drumochter for the next big climb :)
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Re: Berridale braes

Postby Mick F » 7 Aug 2013, 7:23pm

Mick F wrote:Next comes Dunbeath. There, the road wound its way down a zigzag towards the coast, then way way way way down to the bottom, then climbed a long long long way up the other side. Next time you're up that way, have a shufti at the BOTTOM of Dunbeath and be grateful for the easy ride on the new bypass road.
Just looked at some maps .............

First shot is Dunbeath as it is now, and second shot as is it used to be as I remember it originally.
Screen shot 2013-08-07 at 14.21.11.png
Screen shot 2013-08-07 at 14.22.03.png
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Berridale braes

Postby kennycr » 7 Aug 2013, 11:55pm

I've done it both ways. North to south in 1985 when it seemed pretty tough, but I wasn't as fit in those days. Did LEJoG in 2011 and I reckon Berridale was the toughest single hill on the route, although there were longer ones, especially in the West of England. Shap and the Devil's Beeftub seemed like a bit of a slog too.

I was dreading Dunbeath on the LEJoG, having been there 26 years earlier, but I agree that the new road makes it a lot easier now.

None of them are easy!

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Mick F
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Re: Berridale braes

Postby Mick F » 8 Aug 2013, 7:56am

Lived in Dunbeath eh?
Nice place, and I suppose the bypass is a boon to travelers, but I wonder what life was like before the coming of the new roads. I also wonder if the old road is still in one piece and if you can still cycle it rather than use the new road.

When I set off on my first JOGLE in '94, I'd no real idea how hard it was going to be. I have two abiding memories of the ride through Scotland. (apart from the constant rain and drizzle on the afternoon of the second day)

One was Dunbeath. Wonderful ride up that hill! Scenic and lovely, and my first big hill of the ride.
Second was Berridale. One heck of a long - and boring - climb up heading south.

Berridale is a bit schizophrenic. Interesting and dramatic on the north side, and long and boring on the south side.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Berridale braes

Postby ferrit worrier » 10 Oct 2013, 4:30pm

Percussive maintainance, if it don't fit, hit it with the hammer.

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Re: Berridale braes

Postby The Mechanic » 29 Oct 2013, 12:03pm

jayd wrote:Inverness- Lairg - Crask Inn - Strathnaver - Bettyhill - turn right, along the top - JOG. Best part of the trip to me, and no A9!


+1 ^ I have no idea why people go up the A9 this way. It seems to me a no brainer to go via Lairg. How can you miss the opportunity to sample the delights of the Crask Inn :D
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