Day 9: Caputh - Fort William

Fort William Travel Blog

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View from the bike path

The Day It Rained For The First Time

Distance: 96.3 miles
Ride Time: 7h 6m 19s
Ave Speed: 13.5mph

I had a whole loaf of freshly baked bread waiting for me when I woke up.  I sat eating what I could of it chatting to a couple who were using the hostel as a base to do some cycling from.  I couldn't finish the whole loaf and the woman offered to make me sandwiches with the rest of it.  I couldn't believe how kind she was and the sandwiches were great to have along the way.

I set off at 9:45 into yet another headwind, although not as strong as the previous day.  I followed a cycle path from near Caputh which at first had a tarmac surface.  This soon turned to a stony surface and at one point it was just sand.

View across the highlands
  It's impossible to ride a road bike on deep, dry sand and I toppled straight over.  Of course it didn't hurt (and no one was looking so my pride was also left unhurt) but it was hardly the ideal way for a cycle path to go.  I was getting fed up with the quality of the cycle path so I did the last few miles to Pitlochy on the busy A9 road.

It started to rain fairly soon after I left the hostel for the first time since I started this trip.  I would get heavy showers throughout the rest of the day.

I found NCN 7 after Pitlochy which was again a very poor surface that was totally unsuitable for a road bike.  I stayed on it for the best part of 15 miles thinking that the A9 would be very busy.  However the surface got so bad that I was sure to puncture and I decided to use the A9, which turned out to not be too bad.

The final 20 miles or so into Fort William seemed to take forever and I felt that I had no power in my legs at all.  Luckily large sections of this road were downhill, although I still had to pedal thanks to the wind.

I had a B&B booked for tonight and it was on the top of the steepest hill of the whole trip!  I arrived at 18:45, much earlier than I had expected to.  I had the biggest meal of the whole trip in Fort William - Cod, chips and steak pie (not small portions either).

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View from the bike path
View from the bike path
View across the highlands
View across the highlands
Drumochter Summet
Drumochter Summet
Entering the Highlands
Entering the Highlands
Loch Laggan
Loch Laggan
Loch Linnhe
Loch Linnhe
Fort William
photo by: genetravelling