Author Topic: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019  (Read 1598 times)

Bianchi Boy

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Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« on: February 23, 2019, 01:11:35 pm »
I have entered this event and just arranged all the travel and accommodation. You have to be committed to go this far for a ride!

I am travelling up on the Thursday night sleeper and could not book a cycle place on the Invernes so am going to Aberdeen. The train from Aberdeen to Inverness has been advertised as having a section with bus replacement and will have to cycle to Inverurie where the train starts again. Catch the train to Inverness and then ride to Dingwall. There is a train that I can catch if the weather is against me.

Accommodation booked for Dingwall and should get some sleep before the anti-social 5am start. I understand that there will be sleeping in Ullapool before the final leg to Dingwall.

For the return I am on the 9:40am from Inverness direct to London.

£120 in rail fares (Inverurie to Inverness will be extra) and £40 accommodation in Dingwall.

I have cycled quire a lot in Scotland in the last few years and am slightly addicted to the long isolated roads. Expensive but should be worth it.  :thumbsup:

Anybody else making the trip?

BB
Set a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2019, 09:31:13 am »
Yes, one heck of a trip,

I'll be travelling all the way from.....................Inverness!!

Nice to have some rides on local roads. Why can't you get your bike on the sleeper. Last time I came home on the sleeper they advised that if they couldn't get your bike on (i.e. fully booked), it would be taken up in a van or something & would arrive round about the same time. No extra charge apparently. Don't know if they still offer this service but I see the price for a 'seat only' from INV-LON is now only £50 and they offer free wifi.
Finished with my woman 'cause she couldn't help me with my mind

Bianchi Boy

  • Cycling is my doctor
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Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2019, 08:39:45 pm »
The van service is no longer in use. So the few places on the train is all there is. I really enjoy riding in Sutherland and Caithness it is the only place in the UK where you get a bit isolated. Fantastic place.

I think some people will be caught out by how hard the coast  roads are. Never high and never flat.

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Set a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2019, 10:03:20 am »
Really wanted to do this ride and break out from the south east during my first year of audax, but limited holiday put this on the back burner for next year.

As fate would have it, my work is on an annual trip to the Cairngorms the week after ending Friday.  So a couple of us are taking the train up to then ride to Glasgow afterwards over the weekend.  Would appreciate any route recommendations from locals perusing this thread (sorry to hijack).  Basic route plan, starting from Braemar, was going anti-clockwise around the national park, past Loch Rannoch and then Loch Lomond.  Alternatively was considering a more westerly, coastal route out and back—but that could be pushing it in the time frame.

Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2019, 10:13:17 am »
That'd be a horrible route (unless you're offroading it). Go Aberfeldy-Loch Tay - Callander and over Dukes Pass.

I am tempted by this ride (trains from here are easy, though bike reservations are less so). I've already entered Andy's 600.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2019, 12:48:12 pm »
Really wanted to do this ride and break out from the south east during my first year of audax, but limited holiday put this on the back burner for next year.

As fate would have it, my work is on an annual trip to the Cairngorms the week after ending Friday.  So a couple of us are taking the train up to then ride to Glasgow afterwards over the weekend.  Would appreciate any route recommendations from locals perusing this thread (sorry to hijack).  Basic route plan, starting from Braemar, was going anti-clockwise around the national park, past Loch Rannoch and then Loch Lomond.  Alternatively was considering a more westerly, coastal route out and back—but that could be pushing it in the time frame.

Something like Braemar -> Over the BHs -> Over the Lecht from Cockbridge -> Tomintoul -> Bridge of Brown -> Nethy Bridge -> Coylumbridge -> Feshie -> Drumochter Pass cycle track (presumably) -> Killiecrankie -> Tummel and Rannoch -> Scheihallion Road -> Glen Ogle (Road route is hit or miss, the old railway is apparently pretty good) -> Callander -> Dukes Pass -> Aberfoyle -> Drymen -> NCN route (unless the A81 is quiet which it has been both times I've gone that far west) to Alexandria/Balloch and then a twiddly route into Glasgow I don't know.

I'm tired just typing that.


Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2019, 10:06:37 am »
Really wanted to do this ride and break out from the south east during my first year of audax, but limited holiday put this on the back burner for next year.

As fate would have it, my work is on an annual trip to the Cairngorms the week after ending Friday.  So a couple of us are taking the train up to then ride to Glasgow afterwards over the weekend.  Would appreciate any route recommendations from locals perusing this thread (sorry to hijack).  Basic route plan, starting from Braemar, was going anti-clockwise around the national park, past Loch Rannoch and then Loch Lomond.  Alternatively was considering a more westerly, coastal route out and back—but that could be pushing it in the time frame.

Something like Braemar -> Over the BHs -> Over the Lecht from Cockbridge -> Tomintoul -> Bridge of Brown -> Nethy Bridge -> Coylumbridge -> Feshie -> Drumochter Pass cycle track (presumably) -> Killiecrankie -> Tummel and Rannoch -> Scheihallion Road -> Glen Ogle (Road route is hit or miss, the old railway is apparently pretty good) -> Callander -> Dukes Pass -> Aberfoyle -> Drymen -> NCN route (unless the A81 is quiet which it has been both times I've gone that far west) to Alexandria/Balloch and then a twiddly route into Glasgow I don't know.

I'm tired just typing that.

Haha, very much appreciate the effort.  That was more or less what I had in mind!

Quote
That'd be a horrible route (unless you're offroading it). Go Aberfeldy-Loch Tay - Callander and over Dukes Pass.

Confused.  What's horrible about the above?  Or did you think I meant northern Aberdeenshire?

Does anyone have experience of what the Drumochter Pass cycle track surface is like for road tyres?

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2019, 11:25:50 am »
Does anyone have experience of what the Drumochter Pass cycle track surface is like for road tyres?

It's all sealed...
the problem is with no heavy traffic or road sweepers cleaning it it's generally a bit messy.
Also the bits on closed old road haven't been resurfaced since the resurfacing before the late 70s/early 80s upgrade  so well over 50 years old.

There's a few meters of utter s#!t at the summit as heading south you're on a narrow path with fast oncoming traffic on your left, not particularly great in the wind conditions normally found up there, and just to be more annoying the old road is clearly visible down the bank a bit.


Preferrable to taking to the road, speeds are down since the Kincraig->Dallrady and Newton more extension Dualings were done, but that just means the speeds on the dual carriageway section heading south are sub 100mph... It used to be a shambles as the first real overtaking opporchancity for about 30 miles.

Don't think the upgrade works will be affecting that far north yet for another couple of years.

Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2019, 01:20:25 pm »
Im away that weekend so no cycling

but Im in for the North Coast 600 in June. 

Bianchi Boy

  • Cycling is my doctor
  • Is it possible for a ride to be too long?
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Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2019, 11:00:42 am »
Thought I would knock this up the list. Plan to ride this, but the weather forecast is very variable and one is even showing snow in Ullapool overnight on Saturday. After freezing my nuts off doing the BC I have my PBP qualification and will DNF if the forecast is too bleak. It would be a shame as it took quite an effort to plan the trains and the whole trip, but I do not want to ride in cold and rain for 24 hours. Am I going soft?

Hope to see you all there and looking forward (with one eye on the weather).

BB
Set a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2019, 12:39:28 pm »
Current forecast appears to be for 0.3cm of Snow every 3 hours all Saturday, and then clear into the sma' hours.

IIRC 1cm of snow is equivalent to 1mm of rain, so that's basically the snowy equivalent of drizzle.
Perpretrator appears to be a low pressure area coming in off the atlantic crossing the south of england and then heading northwards up the north sea while a high pressure forms off iceland putting the far north directly on the front.

However it's only monday, and plenty could change in that by 5am saturday.


FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2019, 01:41:54 pm »
It's Wendesday:
Snow no longer in the forecast I look at.

Bianchi Boy

  • Cycling is my doctor
  • Is it possible for a ride to be too long?
    • Reading Cycling Club
Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2019, 08:36:38 pm »
I am just packing for this event and the forecast has settled down and is quite good. Cold, but not too cold at night and the wind mainly from the north but not too strong.

I have been looking at the stops and the options for food. Like usual I will eat something at every stop and I have eaten in Tongue, Durness and Sourie. I plan to eat lunch at the Tongue Inn, second lunch (high tea?) at Smoo Cave and will have what is offered at Scourie. The last time I was in Tongue neither of the hotels opened before midday and given my current speed I should be there t about midday.

Must say I am now looking forward to this and will be in Dingwall on Friday night. Does anyone have a recommendation for dinner? I can travel a few miles as I will have my bike.

BB
Set a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

Bianchi Boy

  • Cycling is my doctor
  • Is it possible for a ride to be too long?
    • Reading Cycling Club
Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2019, 08:51:05 pm »
Looking at the route in detail I have ridden most of the roads before and the section I think will be hardest is the section from Scourie to Ullapool. I have ridden it a few times in the last few years and the hills are many and there is always at least one more than you think there will be. To be frank after the climb out of Durness the constant hills start half way to Scourie from Durness.

All that said I am really looking forward and will be on the sleeper tomorrow. Have all the tracks and Garmins sorted and looks like I can pack just what I had for the BC last weekend.

See you all there - are there others who are ridding. Time for a roll call.

Steve
Set a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2019, 09:40:10 pm »
I'm catching a train up to Inverness on Friday. Was going to ride up but I'd have to leave now and I need to catch up on sleep.
I've looked on GoogleMaps and there's chip shop, Co-Op, Tescos superstore and some Chinese+Indian restaurants. I'll probably go for fish and chips. I'll do the North Coast 500 setting off at midnight a few days afterwards.

Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2019, 09:52:57 pm »
I’m in. Catching the train up tomorrow. According to Google Maps there’s a Wimpy in the high street. Now, there’s a blast from the past! I may have to indulge!  :P

Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2019, 10:13:21 pm »
Yes, I saw the Wimpy. I thought they died decades ago until I saw one in Essex a few years ago.

Bianchi Boy

  • Cycling is my doctor
  • Is it possible for a ride to be too long?
    • Reading Cycling Club
Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2019, 10:33:32 pm »
Just seen a review of the National Hotel. Portions so big some of the reviewers could not finish. Now there is a challenge an audax Er cannot turn down.

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Set a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2019, 11:35:12 pm »
I am just packing for this event and the forecast has settled down and is quite good. Cold, but not too cold at night and the wind mainly from the north but not too strong.

I have been looking at the stops and the options for food. Like usual I will eat something at every stop and I have eaten in Tongue, Durness and Sourie. I plan to eat lunch at the Tongue Inn, second lunch (high tea?) at Smoo Cave and will have what is offered at Scourie. The last time I was in Tongue neither of the hotels opened before midday and given my current speed I should be there t about midday.

Must say I am now looking forward to this and will be in Dingwall on Friday night. Does anyone have a recommendation for dinner? I can travel a few miles as I will have my bike.

BB
Lunch... Dinner...

You mean dinner and tea, you need to avoid being telt that you've had your tea.

You may also spot the wonder of "all day food" up in the far north, that normally means 11am to around 8pm, though it took some effort to get that info out of the woman behind the bar at Scourie campsite.

The only place to eat in Dingwall is Wimpy.

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Bianchi Boy

  • Cycling is my doctor
  • Is it possible for a ride to be too long?
    • Reading Cycling Club
Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2019, 06:41:20 am »
I am just packing for this event and the forecast has settled down and is quite good. Cold, but not too cold at night and the wind mainly from the north but not too strong.

I have been looking at the stops and the options for food. Like usual I will eat something at every stop and I have eaten in Tongue, Durness and Sourie. I plan to eat lunch at the Tongue Inn, second lunch (high tea?) at Smoo Cave and will have what is offered at Scourie. The last time I was in Tongue neither of the hotels opened before midday and given my current speed I should be there t about midday.

Must say I am now looking forward to this and will be in Dingwall on Friday night. Does anyone have a recommendation for dinner? I can travel a few miles as I will have my bike.

BB
Lunch... Dinner...

You mean dinner and tea, you need to avoid being telt that you've had your tea.

You may also spot the wonder of "all day food" up in the far north, that normally means 11am to around 8pm, though it took some effort to get that info out of the woman behind the bar at Scourie campsite.

The only place to eat in Dingwall is Wimpy.

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The Scourie Campsite, does that mean the Anchorage? I was there once and there was a ting and chips been served as well as soup and bread and another time only pies and cakes. Mind you the soup was home made and very good.

My wife is Scottish and the "High Tea" comes from her. It is a meal of either cakes and sandwiches or fish and chips eaten at about 4pm. This is the time I think I might get to Durness.

BB
Set a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2019, 08:20:18 am »
Can't remember the name of the place at the campsite. I don't know how recent the all day food phenomena has taken hold up there, whether its seasonal or only the days they can be bothered to put the board out . This was in 2015.

Last time I had a High Tea was at the chippy in Edzell.
Iirc it is a Fish supper served with tea and a roll, followed by cake or scone.
You can also skip the fish supper and just go for the cakes.

It's not a universal offering unfortunately.

I'm starting to wish I'd entered, Tbh.
But I need the rest weekend...

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FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2019, 12:49:24 pm »
Just checked yeah that's the Anchorage, seems Meal times are dictated by irregular Facebook posts.

Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2019, 01:15:54 pm »
The train from Aberdeen to Inverness has been advertised as having a section with bus replacement and will have to cycle to Inverurie where the train starts again. Catch the train to Inverness and then ride to Dingwall. There is a train that I can catch if the weather is against me.

Which train will you be taking? I'm Aberdeen based so am also planning on cycling to Inverurie. I'm booked on the 18.44 from Inverurie.

If you're on the same one did you want to cycle up together?

Bianchi Boy

  • Cycling is my doctor
  • Is it possible for a ride to be too long?
    • Reading Cycling Club
Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2019, 05:40:04 pm »
The train from Aberdeen to Inverness has been advertised as having a section with bus replacement and will have to cycle to Inverurie where the train starts again. Catch the train to Inverness and then ride to Dingwall. There is a train that I can catch if the weather is against me.

Which train will you be taking? I'm Aberdeen based so am also planning on cycling to Inverurie. I'm booked on the 18.44 from Inverurie.

If you're on the same one did you want to cycle up together?
I am catching the sleeper tonight and will be riding tomorrow morning. I plan to have quite a restful dat tomorrow.
Thinking of having an evening meal in the National Hotel tomorrow night.

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Set a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

Bianchi Boy

  • Cycling is my doctor
  • Is it possible for a ride to be too long?
    • Reading Cycling Club
Re: Hellfire Corner 11th May 2019
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2019, 03:41:46 pm »
Well that was challenging. Partially me and partially the route and rest the weather. Head wind for most of the way until Durness then some help. Temperature went below freezing at night and this made layering almost impossible. Long climbs heated me up and I started sweating and then a fast descent meant you zipped right up and got cold because of the mousture.
I do not normally have trouble staying awake for a single night but I could not stay awake. Slept at the side of the road. Many off bike sits for a few minutes and when I got to the overnight stop just went off like a baby.
Made it round, just.

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Set a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.