/ Possibly the finest bike ride in Britain

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Tim Chappell - on 13 Aug 2012
Drumbeg--Lochinver--Inverkirkaig--junction with the Achiltibuie road--Drumrunie--Elphin--Inchnadamph--Kylesku road as far as the Drumbeg junction--return to starting point.

I did this today because the weather didn't look that great for climbing Cul Mor or Beinn Mor Coigach, my original plan, and it was superlative.

The map suggests it's 66 miles or thereabouts. It took me 8 hours. Do it yourself and you'll see why. From the Drumbeg turn off the A894 to Lochinver is 23 miles; from Lochinver to the Achiltibue/ Drumrunie junction is another 10. In those 33 miles you will change gear more times than a Cambridgeshire cyclist changes gear in a year.

In any case, what's the hurry? The panini man is at work on Lochinver front, there's excellent chocolate cake at the Elphin tea rooms, and there's always the 3-mile side-trip to Achmelvich beach (which I took).

Assynt = paradise :-)
Solar - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
You missed a good tearoom in Drumbeg too, and Clachtoll has a pretty beach aswell. Absolutely love it up there too. Mustn't let too many people know how gorgeous it is or it'll get crowded ;-)
Dauphin - on 14 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Got to agree - I walked a large section from Lochinver to Achiltibue one evening last June after turning down a lift in Lochinver. I've driven it a few times and always loved it, but the walk was pure ephiphany.

Read 'the Green Corrie' after your recommendation. Bliss. Assynt has been my favourite slice of planet since I was 12.

D
Tim Chappell - on 14 Aug 2012
In reply to Solar:

Yes. We'll keep this thread quiet. Shh :-)
Tim Chappell - on 14 Aug 2012
In reply to Dauphin:

Glad you liked Loch of the Green Corrie. I was looking at A'Ghlas Bheinn from the high point on the road yesterday, and wondering about nipping up and over to make my own pilgrimage there. The hill looked great-- it was doing one of those brilliant wispy-cloud-veil things and looked all mysterious and alluring. So was Beinn Mor Coigach. But I decided not to because I was a bit whacked and a bit short of time, and I think that trip deserves my full attention.
lynda - on 14 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: truley is. We are back up there in Sept. Can't wait :-)
JohnnyW - on 14 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Assynt in good weather = paradise.

Midges and rain.....hmmm
Tim Chappell - on 14 Aug 2012
In reply to JohnnyW:


There was some rain, or at any rate water flying in the wind (it was pretty windy). And there was cloud on the mountain tops until evening yesterday.

I didn't see a single midge the whole time. Unlike the rest of the country, it's been very, very dry north of Inverness. Loch Glascarnoch is virtually empty.
Flinticus - on 14 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
Panini at Lochinver? Did you not try the local pies? You can get a panini most anywhere.
Tim Chappell - on 14 Aug 2012
In reply to Flinticus:
> You can get a panini most anywhere.


Not in Assynt you can't :-)

BelleVedere on 15 Aug 2012
In reply to Solar:
> Mustn't let too many people know how gorgeous it is or it'll get crowded ;-)

doubt it; 60 miles - 2000m of climbing, never gets above 135m. I actually cried at one point.

The following days were pretty awesome too - scourie to Durness, and Durness to Thurso.

Next time I'll eat before attempting it!
Tim Chappell - on 15 Aug 2012
In reply to BelleVedere:
> (In reply to Solar)
> [...]
>
> doubt it; 60 miles - 2000m of climbing, never gets above 135m. I actually cried at one point.


2000m! Bloody hell. No wonder it was a workout. Is that from a profile?

I didn't cry, but I did eat my way through 2 packs of shortcake and one pack of Hobnobs, and I drank about 3l, and I ate a full meal before I started, and I stopped for tea + cake twice. Without that I might well have been reduced to a blubbering hypoglycaemic heap.

My personal blue plaque to cycling hypoglycaemia is at the road-bends sign just by Invercauld Bridge. One day, having just come over the Lechd from the Cairngorm carpark with nowhere near enough fuel on board, I lay down behind that and actually passed out. It took me two days to recover. I've never let it happen again.
BelleVedere on 18 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Might not be exactly same route, we cycled Ullapool to the bridge, but yeah from the profile. Still the hardest bit of cycling I have ever done. Had to push at one point, will go back someday (soon) to do it properly.
papashango - on 18 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Did part of this on LEJOG ride I just got back from, it is lovely.
Baron Weasel - on 20 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
"I did eat my way through 2 packs of shortcake and one pack of Hobnobs, and I drank about 3l, and I ate a full meal before I started, and I stopped for tea + cake twice. Without that I might well have been reduced to a blubbering hypoglycaemic heap."

A friend of mine once told me that you are your own guinea pig and that there is nothing wrong with experimenting with yourself and noting the results.

Anyway - I used to suffer really badly with low blood sugar - I mean it used to make me ill, although the doctors tested me and said I was just outside the range they would diagnose diabetes (no dietary advice - obviously!).

Deep down (all addicts know what ills them) I knew that sugar was the problem and decided to cut all refined sugars from my diet as an experiment. I then spent 2 weeks climbing the walls like I had quit a junk habit - but after this started to feel really well. This was nearly 2 years ago and now I avoid 'the white plague' at all costs. I now almost never go hypo and if I do it's from too much dried fruit.

Also, several people I have known for a long time commented on how well I started to look (nicer skin, less body odour in very little time).

Why not try something like Nairns rough oatcakes instead of hob knobs and nuts instead of shortbread?

Further reading can be found in 'Sugar Blues' by William Dufty and 'Pure, White and Deadly' by John Yudkin.

1 in 7 people in the UK will develop type 2 diabetes, which is a modern disease directly related to consumption of sugar.

Don't become a statistic Tim! Sounds like your pancreas is already having trouble controlling your insulin (1 teaspoon of sugar will require insulin to regulate your natural balance and the pancreas is a candle that will burn out if over used).

Call me a heretic if you want, but hopefully I have said enough to plant a seed!
gingerdave13 - on 20 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: Did a 2hr Mountain bike ride at the weekend (about 4pm and it was still 28+ deg!). Didnít take on any food during and tried to drink lots Ė but possibly not sufficient. Had a terrible time when I got back to the campsite, took about 2 hrs to feel normal again. With food, drink and shade being on top priorities. Just had to lie down and try to feel like I was back in the room (well campsite).
In reply to Tim Chappell: Ah, but what is Budgie65's personal best for it?
Tim Chappell - on 20 Aug 2012
In reply to Baron Weasel:

It's certainly a thought.
Timmd on 20 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

I think you passing out might have been you 'bonking' or 'hitting the wall', and may not have much at all to do with how much sugar you eat or how your pancreas is coming.

That said, at times it's a big pain in the neck being a type 1 diabetic, so any change you can make which stacks the odds in your favour a bit more is only a good thing
Timmd on 20 Aug 2012
In reply to Timmd: coping, not coming.
Nutkey on 20 Aug 2012
In reply to Baron Weasel:
> 1 in 7 people in the UK will develop type 2 diabetes, which is a modern disease directly related to consumption of sugar.

My understanding was that sugar was related to being overweight, and being overweight was related to getting type 2 diabetes. Which is not the same thing - I eat a ton of sugar, but am not overweight... So am I at greater risk of diabetes due to the sugar consumption or not?
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Timmd on 20 Aug 2012
In reply to Nutkey:

As far as I know, I think the answer is 'probably not', in that your pancreas does have to produce ainsulin to cope with the sugar, which can leave you feeling flat or low afterwards, but that doesn't mean you will go onto develop type 2 diabetes.

You'd probably feel better overall if you cut down on your sugar, and it wouldn't do any harm to your health and might help lessen the risk of type 2, but it's my understanding as well that you have to be overweight and not exercise and eat a load of rubbish to get type 2 diabetes.


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