Bealach Beag

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Bealach Beag

Postby Tamsin » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:44 pm

Hello, a first posting from me here, so bear with me if it all comes out weird (weirder than I normally am, I mean!).
Whilst suffering from cabin fever here in snowy Tarves, I've been idly surfing the web and was debating entering the Bealach Beag event - up over the big hill at Applecross. Any one else done it? How was it? Am I being hopelessly unrealistic (because these things always seem perfectly do-able when you're sitting on the sofa and not quite so simple when you actually get there)?

Any thoughts gratefully received.....
Thanks, Tamsin
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Re: Bealach Beag

Postby Andy D » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:55 pm

I say go for it - if it isn't already fully subscribed?!

If this is the shorter - 40 odd mile version it is very do-able. I have always found the biggest problem with the events up there is the weather. The last and I mean the LAST time I did the event, the 90 odd miler it was pishing with rain and a hurricane - nae fun. That was no real problem on the flat but there isn't much flat. The mountain was treacherous in teh heavy rain and wind and the descent was horrendous. If you get a nicer day though it is a braw day out.

The big climb itself isn't actually that bad. About 35 to 55 minutes of climbing depending on your ability. It is very steep at the top and the descent is quite hairy, if the weather is poor, which it has been the previous times I have been on that mountain.

I actually think the hardest part is the terrain between Applecross and the finish. It is just constant up and down over varying degrees of hills, with some long drags and short steep lumps.

Would still recommend it though as a personal challenge for any keen cyclist. Always well organised and a nice vibe about these events.
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Re: Bealach Beag

Postby snail » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:42 pm

Kay and I did this in 2009. Would agree with Andy, the weather decides how much "pleasure" you get from the event. It was very wet, and cold the day we did it, and there was word of cancellation due to the snow at the top of the Pass! However, it went ahead - it was the wettest I have ever been on a bike. Because I took so long to go up the hill, the sun had come out and dried out the road somewhat, meaning the ascent was great fun. It continued to be sunny affording amazing views of Rona, Raasay and Skye - before delivering a final deluge just before the finish (wasn't caring by then). You would love it! (Was also enhanced by a couple of nights in the Torridon Inn, a real treat!)
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Re: Bealach Beag

Postby Colin A » Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:24 pm


I agree with above. It's a good ride and the short one takes in all the good parts of the long run. After this one the Cairngorm is a cracking one to do.

May I remind you of that scene
with your arms aloft in Aberdeen
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Re: Bealach Beag

Postby JimBo » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:08 pm

Was the 2009 event the one that was featured on the TV earlier this year on a BBC Adventure Show, looked pretty grim.

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Re: Bealach Beag

Postby Tamsin » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:36 pm

Don't say that Jim! I've entered now. And Sofa Boy has decided to enter as well - despite only having a mountain bike. So, better go and find myself a hill to practice on.....oh alright then, I'll just have one more mince pie, then I'll start. No, really I will.
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Re: Bealach Beag

Postby John Dougan » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:09 am

Agree with Andy as well. I'll probably do again this year. For some reason the shorter one doesn't seem much less hard than the long one, think because earlier in season and your straight into the big climb after just getting warmed up. Think you always try to go 'faster' over the short distance too. Whatever the weather is at the start you'll have all sorts over this spectacular course, must be one of best anywhere and the views help distract you from the 'sharks tooth' road profile at the end. Plus a great pint of Guinness at the Sheildaig Inn when you finish! Accommodation will fill up quick though. For the short one I don't stay over but enjoy the 4am drive up on empty roads although a 2 night stay makes a great weekend - a warm following morning ride to Plockton one year for coffee and scoons at the Inn was very memorable.
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