Beacon Tour of The Hebrides and Highlands 2015?

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Philip Whiteman
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Beacon Tour of The Hebrides and Highlands 2015?

Post by Philip Whiteman » 01 Jul 2014 16:15

I am speculatively considering a plan for a Beacon members light-weight tour of the Eileen Siar and North West Coast of the Highlands on 2015. I have been meaning to organise this for years but have now decided get of my backside after a recent scout of the route.

Would be provisionally interested? I am will limit the group to between 5-8 members. If there is sufficient interest, I will work out costings, route stage details and possible dates.

The Outline Route (provisional)

80-110 miles per-day.And here is an outline map (ignore the overall distances which include ferry components) http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/459897754 (distances on file include ferry crossings)

Ferry to the Western Isles from Oban (a day long sailing):
- South and North Uist;

Ferry across the Harris Straights
- Harris using the legendary and unbelievably tough Golden Road, followed by the rocky and wild mountain pass over 'The Clisham' and into Lewis
- Visit to Callinish Stones and thence Stornoway

Ferry back across The Minches to Ullapool
- Either a rest day or non-pack tour upto the wilds of Sutherland
- The Destitution Road leading to the drama of Torridon;
- Optional passage via Applescross and Bealach na ba. Before heading off to Skye and eventually Mallaig;

Ferry to Mallaig
- Down to Ardnanmurchan
Ferry to Mull, a quick passage down the island before taking the last ferry crossing to Oban.

Overall, the route does purposefully follow stupidly hilly routes except the optional Bealach na ba, but the route is located in a hilly part of the country. So a good degree of fitness is required. The weather can be very demanding if unlucky. Overall, road conditions are good and most roads are very quiet with the exception of the section over the Skye Bridge and 10 miles beyond.

Accommodation

YHAs, B&Bs, hotels.

What I will arrange

Accommodation
Potential feedstops
Ferries

What you will need to arrange

Transport to Oban (drive, plane/drive or train)
Fares for ferries and cost of your own food. Food is not provided.

Bike stuff

You will need a bike with lugs to hold a rack and at least a single pannier. You need to be able to bring personal essentials, a change of clothing and a share of spare emergency parts.

Cake, Hot Smoked Salmon & Good Coffee

Benbecula, Cladesh Community Centre, Berneray Post Office, Skoon Art Gallery, Callinish Stones, Drumbeg, Poolewe Gardens, Torridon Post Office, Lochcarron, Hector's Bothy, Glenborrowdale, Kilchoan Community Centre, Salen (Mull)
Last edited by Philip Whiteman on 29 Apr 2015 18:05, edited 1 time in total.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 08 Jul 2014 14:42

I have had a handful of enquiries from interested parties. Please let me know if you are tentatively interested too.

Here are some questions that I can share:

When exactly?

I have two thoughts but I am will to be directed by fellow members:

1. Second half of August, after the end of the Scottish School Holidays
2. June, when the weather is generally drier. However, this the time I prefer to be away for our family holiday.

Is it going to be another Whiteman hilly ride?

No, but this is Scotland so you can expect climbing wherever you go. I only have one road hidden up my sleeve.

Nutters can opt to go via the Bealach Na Ba. As for me, I will be taking the shorter route.

What sort of accommodation?

I propose a mix of good bunkhouses, b&bs and hotels. Prices will vary but it is not proposed to target expensive venues. I may have to spread riders across several local B&Bs where required. Here are some ideas:

-Oban YHA (£14ppn)
-Lochboisdale Hotel or B&Bs (£35-45ppn)
-Tarbert Hotel (£40ppn) or Drinishader Bunkhouse http://tinyurl.com/nfg7ue9
-Ullapool YHA or nearby cheap hotel
-Lochcarron, Rockvilla Guest House (£35ppn)
-Acharacle B&Bs. tbc
-Oban YHA

All are subject to confirmation.

Transport fares

You will be responsible for arranging your own transit to Oban. I guess that people may wish to team up. There are various options available.

Ferry prices around Scotland are very cheap and bicycles go for free. Eg. £15 from Oban to Lochboisdale, a six hour sailing.

Here is a taster of one famous section

http://www.virtualheb.co.uk/golden-road ... isles.html

Image
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

laurence_cooley
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Post by laurence_cooley » 08 Jul 2014 15:24

Sounds great. I'd be interested if it's in August.

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Neil Compton
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Post by Neil Compton » 08 Jul 2014 17:12

tentatively interested at this stage.

Philmondo
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Post by Philmondo » 08 Jul 2014 20:10

I'd be interested, with a preference for August.
I can gather all the news I need on the weather report.

Alistair Hey
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Post by Alistair Hey » 09 Jul 2014 07:11

provided 'im in the UK in 2015 im interested

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Kermit
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Post by Kermit » 09 Jul 2014 17:32

Yep, I'm interested too. Not too fussed when but I'd like to try and avoid the dreaded midges

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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 09 Jul 2014 19:58

Kermit wrote:Yep, I'm interested too. Not too fussed when but I'd like to try and avoid the dreaded midges
Providing you are cycling faster than 5mph, midges are not a problem. The thing to worry about is 'The Clegg', commonly known as the Horsefly in Sassanach.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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StuartWhite
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Post by StuartWhite » 13 Jul 2014 22:18

This look brilliant.
I had intended on doing something very similar with a friend of mine next year so depending on whether I go with him or not, I would like to either be there for the duration or if it is OK with everybody involved perhaps tag along for a couple of days during the tour.
It never gets easier, you just go faster.
Strava - http://www.strava.com/athletes/white_stuart

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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 14 Jul 2014 10:10

Thanks for your responses. Given the numbers expressed on this message board and on our Facebook Group, it looks as though this ride will be viable.

Clearly, 2015 is a long time off and I will not be pinning down current interested parties on their expressions of interest. Further expressions of interest are still welcomed.

So here is the plan:

- the tour will take place in the latter half of August 2015;
- I will start soliciting firm commitments towards the New Year.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 29 Nov 2014 12:43

I hope to produce a full prospectus for the trip in the New Year.

I will be seeking commitments by the end of January, after which I will start booking venues in March.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19. www.beaconrcc.org.uk/

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