Ullapool to Durness (90.3 miles)
The third day of any tow is always one of the hardest, as the cumulative effects of 2 days hard riding start to take their toll on energy reserves and tired muscles. All of which meant that today’s stage, from Ullapool to Durness, across some of the wildest and most mountainous terrain in the UK, would be doubly difficult. 90 miles is hard enough on a bike, but throw in nearly 9,000 feet of climbing and you have a truly momentous day’s riding.
It started off well enough, but after a few miles Derek’s right knee was painful enough to require some first aid, a bit of rugby league style strapping attached and he was off again.
Soon the scenery was spectacular again with a great run down a loch-filled valley with jagged peaks on either side. Today had an added incentive – a stop off after 30 gruelling miles at the world-famous Lochinver Larder to pick up a bulk order of their fabulous pies, which would keep the boys going for the rest of the day.
The pie and coffee stop was followed by a really tough section of short, brutally steep hills on narrow roads with passing places. Hard enough to cope with at the best of times, but along with the midges this part of Scotland is plagued by swarms of motorhomes and campervans, mostly driven by people who’ve rented them and have no idea how wide they are, and can’t reverse!
The boys battled on and eventually crossed the iconic Kylesku Bridge to start the final grind north to Burness and Cape Wrath.
Epic countryside, the sound of stags bellowing in the glens, and nice weather (for the Highlands, at least) saw the boys roll into Durness at 6.45pm after a monstrous day in the saddle.
Well done lads, keep it up!
The team are completing 500 miles in 5 days to raise much-needed funds for Candlelighters and Cancer Research UK, all donations are greatly appreciated. https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/HighlandCyclingChallenge