Day 12: Glencoe to Inverness – 83 Miles
Today’s LEJOG was a day of punctures, punctures and more punctures – little did we know what was to arise as we set off from Glencoe YHA.
Yet another first class brief was performed by LEJOG veteran Nick, who informed us of what the day had to offer in terms of the many panoramic views and also that we would be encountering the hill of all hills – General Wade – It was enough to make a grown man cry – but enough for now…
We followed the A82 out of Glencoe and through some fantastic woodland, heading for Fort William which was to be our first stop and the stop which was to prove decisive for a number of the group as we were offered two options:
Road bike route – A faster alternative where you remain on the A82 which leads through to Spean bridge and to the summit of a hill where we planned to meet the support vehicle for a brew at the Commando Memorial
Hybrid & touring Bike route – Summed up as “Spectacular but slower route following the A380 and through stunning Scottish landscapes”
As I was on my trusty racing bike I decided to keep on the busy A82 and also, I was quickly learning that Scottish landscapes meant one thing…hills! so myself, Peter and Jim remained on the A82 but the majority took the scenic route and suffered punctures galore!….I had also learnt that if the Scottish A roads were to offer us cyclists a surface of loose chippings, broken glass and potholes, it was not going to be a good option to go via a “hybrid & touring bike” route.
So the three of us set off and met up with Steve at the Commando Memorial for a quick brew
The Memorial is dedicated to the soldiers of the Commando forces that trained within the area of Spean Bridge during World War II.
We continued along the A82 and into Fort Augustus where we stopped for lunch and met up with the Peak Tours van and Steve, which, is where we received the final brief on what was to come directly after lunch….General Wade’s Military road –
We did though have two choices, either the tackle the Military road or venture on the A82, however the A82 does attract very fast moving traffic as well as haulage lorries – looking back, I would have happily gone head to head with a Volvo or Scania lorry rather than General Wade’s hill…but it was too late.
So the 3 of us decided that it was the scenic LEJOG cycle route courtesy of General Wade and so we began the climb, cycling out of Fort Augustus, to quote Nick from our route guide: “You will have a very steep climb out of Fort Augustus as the road ascends 33 metres above sea level to 393 metres….however the speactular scenery and lack of heavy traffic makes this a hugely rewarding climb”…..Ummmmmm
Half way up and Peter and I stopped for a (heavy) breather and took advantage of a photo opportunity whilst Jim pushed on by himself looking to put in some type of Tour De France time!
We continued and climbed to the top where we caught up with Jim, who had already radio’d in his time back to the Peak Tours van.
What goes up must come down, and we were rewarded with a fantastic descent through the villages of Whitebridge, Errogie and Torness as we joined General Wade’s military hill once again. It was here the weather changed for the worse and we began to cycle into the wind and rain and it was here a barrage of expletives began to fill the Scottish air – apologies to General Wade.
And then we were finally into the city of Inverness, a full 9 hours after we left Glencoe. Scotland was proving to be hard cycling and we were all pleased to be in sight of our accomodation for the evening.
Darkness began to fall as the last of our group arrived at the B&B’s we were stating at and we all met up for the evening to treat ourselves to big portions of pie and chips washed down with a few beers. It was then an early night
I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my LEJOG Blog. I hope you’ve found it interesting and feel free to post your thoughts and comments. Once again, thank you for visiting Simon’s LEJOG blog