Day 2 from the fingers of a now mentally very tired Alan Myles. 

The aim for today was Inverness, starting at Fort William, visiting Kilchuimen Academy in Fort Augustus and Glen Urquhart High in Drumnadrochit along the way. Gladly the job was completed too. Today Colin and I were joined by two colleagues, Gordon Roy (North Team Leader) and Dave Page (Support Development Officer). 

High’s and low’s in cycling tend to generate the opposite feeling to what is being described – the highest point of the ride being when you feel the worst and the lowest point has normally brought a large smile to your face due to the fantastic speed that has just been attained. Today was different as the highest point was the Commando Monument just outside Spean Bridge, where we first marvelled at the treats box available today, smiled with glee that 20% of the ride was complete and basked in the relative sunlight. The lowest point came just before Dochgarroch on Loch Ness, bringing the first puncture of the journey (the first in around 1000 miles of SU sponsored riding in recent years) but this was certainly an easier day.

Whilst Dave would be the first to admit that long distance cycling has not yet captured his imagination we provided a fanfare at 66 kilometres – the furthest distance Dave had ever ridden by this point. We also watched with glee later in the day as he walked into Inverness city centre apparently mounted on an invisible horse.

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The second thing that this ride has highlighted to me is what a fantastic and varied staff team (be prepared for some volunteer musings tomorrow) lies behind every piece of work. Dave and others have been there setting up websites and email addresses, writing press releases, setting timetables, providing feedback and giving inspiration to every part of the planned ride. Dave commented that he felt he slowed the pace but that is where Gordon and I had the chance to support him instead (Gordon doing a better job than me) and without all the work that had gone before we wouldn’t have been riding together today.

Before finishing with today’s thoughts, I want to give a huge thank you to Adrian and Margaret Varwell as well as the rest of the good people in Drumnadrochit who gave generously, with food, good company, grace (we were quite late) and a large donation. Thank you again. 

The Stats

  • 107km/66 miles distance today
  • 267km/162 miles total distance (two miles over half way it would seem)
  • Average temperature 1 degree – brrrrr
  • Height climbed 1,159 metres (which if it was a mountain would be in the top 20 highest in the UK)
  • Total height climbed 3316 metres (Everest basecamp to the summit!)
  • Fastest speed – 46.8km/h
  • Average speed – 22.3km/h
  • Time on bike so far – 11 hours 20 minutes

Alan Myles

Alan is Regional Worker for Moray, South Islands & Highlands as well as being Schools Programme Coordinator at Alltnacriche.