Monday, 11 May 2009

Bealach Beag Report

The Clarion colours were worn by 6 riders at the Bealach Beag last Saturday, while the local weather tried it's best to make it one of the harshest days of the season. Well done to Mark, Dave, Malcolm, Jim, Peter and Lesley, plus Malcolm's better half, Jackie and Peter's wife Sandra who rode the event too.

Dave said "My first event in 12 years, that means I can wait until I am 46 until I enter another, I should have recovered by then! Managed to get round in 3hrs 16 minutes in sleet, and very heavy rain on the run up the Bealach. We also had a healthy portion of hail bouncing off our noggins. I was at my limit on the Bealach, at one point I was going so slow I almost keeled over but thankfully I managed to keep my balance and get up the hill without incident."

Malcolm said "That was some day in the saddle. David might have said hail and sleet at the top of the Bealach but I'm claiming snow! Despite my bike giving out on me 4 times during the course I managed a best ever position of 133rd but the time of 3:08 was 6 minutes slower than last year.
My wife Jackie, completed in less than 5 hours; She had to switch into survival mode whilst being blown backwards on the climb. Highlights of her day were a herd of deer crossing, just in front of her, on the climb and an all too brief period when the sun was out and the wind was on her back. She came in at the same time as a man with one pedal but ahead of several others (plus a large number of DNFs including a certin David Blane (encased in ice, upside down, or on top of a pole: fine. West coast of Scotland in the springtime: not so hot.)"

Mark said "What a great day... My overall time was not the best after having some serious steering wobbles descending the Bealach. I think it took me longer to go down than the 51.39 to climb it! I Got to Applecross and I was frozen, but the sun came out for the run back to Shieldaig. This made the scenery beautiful on the very lumpy run back.
Hats off to all the locals that embrace this event by cheering weary riders at various points."

Jim said "This was my first ever sportive. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. The craic was great, although there wasn't much talking going up the Bealach. The locals were supportive and it seemed the entire population of Applecross was out to watch. What an amazing route, although if there was an award for being able to fit the most hills into a 20 mile stretch of road, then the one from Cuaig to Sheildaig wins hands down!
I finished in 3:30, and got up the Bealach in just under an hour, in probably the worst possible conditions. I agree that there was definitely snow mixed in there. I was just happy to manage the course, as I didn't feel well prepared at all. I would have settled for 4 hours so I'm well chuffed!"

No comments: