The Bealach is the UK’s biggest road climb at 2053ft (626m) from sea level in just 6 miles (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 croen of natural wonders.
The idea of a sportive ride belongs to local cycling legend Clifford Davidson. We are naturally grateful to Clifford for his initial idea and advice.
Read this great sportive blog – Bealach no Mor – by Lorna Johnston on the British Cycling Website about her participation in our recent Bealach Mor sportive
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.
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 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 challenge with plenty of drink on your bike.
When in Kinlochewe
Please treat the village of Kinlochewe with respect. It’s normal population is only 150! This event could not take place without the support of local people and they have been extremely helpful. Don’t abuse their generous hospitality.
We are providing significant additional toilet facilities which you must use.
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 2 miles of the start/registration zone.
Open between – 18.00 – 19.45 on Friday
07.30 – 08.45 on Saturday
Registration will take place at the village hall . You will then get your number for attachment to your bike and an electronic dibber for timing which you put on your wrist.
Starts are between 09.00 and 09.30. Just dib and go. However, when deciding what time to start you need to note the following:
You must be at the Tornapress junction onto the Bealach-na-ba road between 11.00 and 12.00. There is no access onto the road over the Bealach-na-ba from Tornapress for riders before 11.00 (this is to ensure that the road is clear of cars before cyclists start up the climb). It is 58km/36m from Kinlochewe to Tornapress.
On the Course
There is an un-gated level crossing between Achnasheen and Lochcarron at about 24 miles. Unfortunately a train travelling west is due there at about 10.30. There will be a marshal on duty but you must look out for the flashing lights. You must stop if the lights are on or you are instructed by the marshal.
DO NOT TAKE ANY RISKS – YOU WILL BE DISQUALIFIED IF STILL ALIVE!
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 TELL A MARSHAL AND RETURN YOUR DIBBER.
Food & Drink
There will be three stations for food & drink at Lochcarron, Applecross & Sheildaig. They will provide bananas, tray bakes and water.
There are two drinks only stations at the top of the Bealach and at Torridon.
YOU MUST ALSO ENSURE THAT YOU START WITH SUFFICIENT DRINKS ON BOARD AND SOME FOOD IN YOUR BACK POCKET!
Be careful when entering and exiting these stops. Look out for those behind you.
You must ‘dib’ at the finish. You must give up your dibber. You will then immediately receive a print out of your time and a certificate.
There will be hot food, cake tea/coffee free at the finish.
Professional sports massage will be available for donations to charity.
Have a great event and a safe journey home!
9,600 ft of ascent
The route will take you east from Kinlochewe near beautiful Loch Maree to the wide canvass of Achnasheen and its surrounding hills. From there you head south on a fine new road down through Glen Carron to the sea at picturesque Lochcarron. 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 pass the charming village of Sheildaig nestling in the shelter of its loch and the final section begins. Weary legs will be revived through rugged Glen Torridon overshadowed by the massive craggy bulk of Liatach and its sisters on the famous ridge. Finally, relief is at hand with a gentle descent back to the finish at Kinlochewe.
See OS Landranger Maps 19,24 & 25