Bealach Beag 2009

@dazzaontheroad is, as I type, cycling the Bealach Beag 2009. This cycling event takes riders around the Applecross Peninsula after a climb up Bealach-na-Ba or Bealach nam Bo (Pass of the Cattle). This is the UK’s biggest road climb at 2053ft (626m) from sea level in just 6mls (10k).

He was not happy with the weather today, with a forecast of showers that so far north west tend to the torrential on occasion.

A break in the clouds just in time for the start seems to pick up the spirits and away he went to the lilting sounds of a Cycling Piper.

@dazzaontheroad preparing for the Bealach Beag 2009 on Twitpic

The rain before the ride. Bealach Beag 2009. @dazzaontheroad ... on Twitpic

@dazzaontheroad happy that the sun has come out! Bealach Beag... on Twitpic

The Cycling Piper accompanying the start of the Bealach Beag ... on Twitpic

And who knows – maybe I’ll do this myself next year!

Pedal for Scotland 2008 – The Pictures!

Pedal for Scotland 2008
Pedal for Scotland 2008
Pedal for Scotland 2008

I’m thinking that I look like a large yellow helium ballon in the first two of these images. Catriona thought I looked a little cold but I think it was more fear as we had only just crossed the start line and were heading into the center of Glasgow.
By the time we had passed the first rest stop I was more in my stride and could even manage a smile for the camera!

Not so Comfortable in the End

Ok, so the 14th September has come and gone and as expected it wasn’t that comfortable. My challenge was to complete Pedal for Scotland and I was all set to do so. I may have been able to squeeze in more training; getting out more and maintaining a healthier diet. But I had the legs (sort of) and I had the motivation.

What I didn’t have was well organised transport. I’m not going to harp on (even though I may want to) but delays in loading the coaches at Edinburgh lead to a much delayed start; almost 3 hours after the event began. Thinking about it I’m pretty sure some of the riders would already be in Edinburgh by the time we pedalled over the start line. No mass start for us, with music blaring and supportive cheers; our start was a quite ride past a lovely lady in a florescent jacket wishing us well.

I have to say that it was this type of support that kept me going, especially nearing the end of the day. The marshals did a wonderful job of lifting the spirits with offers of bananas and energy drinks, all presented with a friendly smile and words of encouragement.

As we pedalled away from the last feed station my motivation, slightly waning on the way in, picked up. “Only 12 miles to go” they said and that meant 39 miles gone, and that can’t be bad. Even the light drizzle that began at that point didn’t put us off.

What finished us off was the support team driving up behind us letting us know that we wouldn’t make the finish before the close. There was an offer for a lift on to Edinburgh and after about 41 miles and 6 hours of riding I took this up.

I don’t feel down that I didn’t complete the event. I took part and I cycled 41 miles across Scotland. We reached the Forth Road Bridge, a fitting end to a very long day. Next year I’ll arrange my own transport and I’ll see you at the finish line.

Comfortably Numb

I’m on a (slow) journey to fitness, to be healthy of mind, body and spirit.

On the physical side I have learnt that I must change my daily routine and challenge myself.

The challenge for September is to cycle the 50 miles from Glasgow to Edinburgh with Pedal for Scotland. Eeeek!

I’m raising money for SAMH (www.samh.org.uk) and a group of us have set up a donations page at Justgiving if you would like to offer support.

Moral support is also welcome!