Bealach Beag - 43 Miles - Saturday 6th May 2017

Challenge yourself - Bealach Beag - 43 Miles

Challenge yourself - Bealach Beag - 43 Miles

Bealach is the UK’s biggest road climb at 2053ft (626m) from sea level in just 6mls (10k). It is set in a fabulous unspoilt landscape with outstanding views of the sea and the hills.
The Applecross Peninsula is renowned as a gem in Scotland’s crown of natural wonders. The idea of a sportive ride belongs to local cycling legend Clifford Davidson.

The friendliest Cycle Sportive you'll take part in

The friendliest Cycle Sportive you'll take part in

We are naturally grateful to Clifford for his initial idea and advice. The event was first run in the summer of 2006 and it was immediately obvious that had captured the imagination of cyclists of all standards.
The demand for places in the event was overwhelming.
We are now celebrating the 12th Anniversary of the event this year so make sure you are part of it.
Parking capacity is severely limited in the small villages used as a base, so we decided to have two events. The Bealach Mor retains the original route of 90 miles and the Bealach Beag introduced a shorter distance of 43 miles.

Bealach Beag rules and entry

  • Event Rules and Entry

    Event Regulations

    You must read these rules before entering on-line from the link at the bottom of the page.

    Entries for the Bealach Beag and Bealach Mor are Non refundable.


    * Refunds of entry fees for all other cycling events will only be paid if withdrawal is notified at least twenty eight days prior to the event. Any such refund will be subject to a £5 deduction for administration. No transfer of entries is allowed.

    * If the event is cancelled due to circumstances out of the organisers control then no refunds will be offered. This includes situations such as adverse weather conditions or major incidents.

    * You must be 16 years of age on the day of the ride to participate

    * Participants will be responsible for the roadworthiness of their own cycle.

    * All participants are covered by third party insurance for the duration of the event. If you wish cover for personal injury you must make your own arrangements. The organisation is covered for civil liability.

    * No bicycle, tandem or other machine, conventional or otherwise, is permitted to have unconventional handlebars including triathlon bars, aero bars, clip-ons, prayer bars, and cow bars. Neither are Spinachi type bars permitted. However, ATB bar ends are permitted on mountain bikes.

    * The start may be organised in such a way as to minimise ‘bunch racing’.

    * You must obey all Highway Code Rules. You are requested to ride in single file where appropriate and no more than 2 abreast at any time unless this is on a road closed to normal traffic. Please be aware of your fellow cyclists and other traffic. Please indicate your intention to stop or change direction.

    * You may not deviate from the official route. From start to finish there will be signage marking the route. Direction will be indicated by signs and/or by arrows painted on the road. Signs will also indicate when you are approaching a refreshment stop. There will be marshals (wearing fluorescent vests) located on the route. All volunteers and staff involved in the event will be clearly identifiable. The marshals do not have the authority to stop motorists; they are there for your safety and other road users. It is the responsibility of each participant to take the correct course

    * All participants must wear a safety-approved cycling helmet complying with ANSI Z90/4 or SNELL standards. Cycling shoes, shorts and jerseys are also recommended. All riders are recommended to carry 2 drink bottles, an energy bar or similar snack, tools 2 replacement inner tubes. We also advise that riders carry I/D and a small amount of money. In the event of bad weather, you must take a waterproof jacket. You will be issued with an instruction before the start and not be permitted to start without it.

    * You may not use your mobile phone while riding. You must stop at the side of the road if you need to make or receive a call.

    * Rider’s number, issued at registration, must be displayed on the front of the bike for identification.

    * The organisers reserve the right to terminate an individual’s ride on health and safety grounds. The ride will take place regardless of bad weather and will only be cancelled, re-routed or stopped for reasons of safety. Entry fees, however, are not refundable.

    * Organisers will endeavour to provide fluid and some form of food at designated “feed zones” however we cannot guarantee supplies will be available at all times and urge riders to only take what they need and be mindful of the needs of those following behind.

    * No participant (other than those on tandems) may take food or drink from anyone whilst on the move. If you need food or drink, you must stop to receive it.

    * Mobile support vehicles in the form of cars or motorbikes are strictly forbidden and will lead to disqualification. You may however receive outside support from a stationary vehicle any such vehicle must not interfere with the progress of the riders.

    * You must complete the course within a prescribed time to be classified as a finisher. This will depend on conditions on the day but will normally represent an average speed of 10mph. There may be a specified control point on the course. Entrants who fail to reach this point within a stated time will be withdrawn from the event. These requirements will be notified on the day of the event.

    * A Broom Wagon will follow the event. All cyclists over taken by this vehicle, and who are unable to fall within the time limit will be asked to either get in the van, or to go on without a race number and return their transponder.

  • On The Day Details

    On The Day Details

    Travelling to the event

    Please share cars with other riders and supporters to minimise traffic and parking problems. The roads north of Inverness are generally very good but there is a slower section heading to and around Garve.

    Please help us by bringing your drinks bottles topped up and ready to go. There will undoubtedly be queues for any water near the start. You must begin the race with plenty of drink on your bike.

    When in Shieldaig please treat the village with respect. This event could not take place without the support of local people and they have been extremely helpful. Don’t abuse their generous hospitality. Please use the toilets provided as going to the toilet alfresco is a no go and will not be tolerated. Anyone caught doing so will be disqualified!

    Parking space will be sufficient but is spread around the village. Marshals will direct you. Please obey their instructions promptly and precisely. Offenders who block roads or driveways will be swiftly dealt with. Police will be present. All parking will be within 1 mile of the start/registration zone.


    Registration will take place at the Village Hall in Shieldaig near the centre of the village. You will then get your number for attachment to your bike and an electronic dibber for timing.

    Open between – 18.00 – 20.00 on Friday 6th May

    08.00 – 10.00 on Saturday 7th May

    Shieldaig primary school are hoping to run the ‘lucky cyclist’ draw in the village hall while competitors are registering on the Friday evening and Saturday morning. It would be great if you could bring some change into the hall when you are registering and help support the local community that do so much to support the event. It’s £1 a go and you can enter your race no. as many times as you wish. The lucky no. will be picked out once the race starts and the lucky cyclist will get £100.

    The Start

    Starts are between 10.30 and 11.00. Just dib and go. However, when deciding what time to start you need to note the following: you cannot start the climb past the junction at Tornapress before 11.00 and will not be allowed to start the climb after 12.00 noon.

    On the Course

    The only section of the course that is closed to traffic is from the junction at Tornapress to Applecross Campsite. The road will be closed to cars from 10.30 – 13.30.

    There will be a timing station at the bottom of the Bealach and another at the top. If you want your time on the climb recorded you must stop and ‘dib’ at both.

    It goes without saying that you must exercise extreme caution on the descent from the Bealach. The road is steep, the corners are tight and there are rocks and drops off the roadside. If you retire from the event you must report to a marshal and return your dibber. Riders must also take extreme caution on the single track roads throughout the course and ensure that they allow cars to pass in both directions promptly and safely.

    For several months now there has been work going on widening the road above the bridge over the Shieldaig river – just down from the Applecross coastroad junction with the A896. Please be aware as you approach this, but don’t worry there will be marshals there to ensure that people can pass safely and with as little disruption as possible.

    For the route profile on Garmin Connect please click the following link –

    Food & Drink

    There will be a station for food & drink at Applecross. They will provide bananas, tray bakes and water. There is a drinks only station at the top of the Bealach.


    Be careful when entering and exiting these stops. Look out for those behind you.

    Also, Nanny’s will be open from 8.30am on Saturday 7th, selling porridge, bacon rolls, coffee, cakes and lots more!

    For more info see –

    The Finish

    You must ‘dib’ at the finish. You must give up your dibber. You will then immediately receive a print out of your time.

    There will be hot food, cake tea/coffee free at the finish. Professional sports massage will be available for a donation to charity.

    Winding Down (or up!)

    The local hotel is available for great food and drink but please respect the village when it gets late.

    Have a great event and a safe journey!

  • Bealach Beag – Route and Profile

    6441ft of ascentThe route will take you south east from the picturesque village of Shieldaig down through Glen Shieldaig to Tornapress.

    Things get tough now as the road swings sharply upward for the main climb to Bealach-na-Ba.The reward is great as a massive vista over the west coast and the Isle of Skye opens before you as you plunge down to sea level again at Applecross.
    The hard work is not over as the next section around the north of the peninsula has hardly any flat as it clings to the coast, past rocky cliffs and sandy coves.

    This is country rarely visited by the tour buses. Finally you return to charming Sheildaig nestling in the shelter of its loch. There the enthusiastic locals will assure you a warm highland welcome (and some good grub!)

    See OS Landranger Maps 19,24 & 25





 2014 Results

 2012 Photographs

Please read the Bealach Beag ‘Event Rules and Entry’ page before entering online below –