I left Wick at 09:30 after a good breakfast and climbed steadily for several miles. It was a glorious day, blue skies and a cooling breeze. The first big test of the ride came at Berridale (which I had been warned about), which was preceded by a pleasant ride down into the valley. From this point onwards, the hill hits you like a brick wall and I took my time and cycled a few hundred yards at a time before resting. Eventually I reached the summit having not been beaten by the hill although it did take several more miles to fully recover and the average daily speed had taken a significant hit. There followed a long and pleasant ride down into Helmsdale where I lunched on a pasty and several bottles of Lucozade which made me feel a lot better. After lunch the road flattened out and I made good progress. I stopped for an ice lolly and my first bottle of Iron Bru at Brora and rested for a few minutes in the cool shade.
I continued to head south and on a long straight stretch of road just north of Tain came across ‘T’ at the side of the road resting. He had left an hour before me this morning so I was quite pleased with my progress. We cycled together as far as Tain where he decided to get B & B for the night. My plan was to get as far as Tore and eventually reached there quite late in the evening. Unfortunatley, all the B & B’s in Tore were fully booked but I was recommended to take the small lane towards Inverness where I should come across one or two more B & B’s. I eventually came across Redfield Farm and got a small room for the night with Elma and Hector who made me feel very welcome. My plan was to return to Tore and the local pub for a meal but after a nice bath decided to stay in for the evening. Elma provided homemade shortbread which was really nice. Retired to bed quite early and slept well.
Daily mileage: 100.48 miles
Average Speed: 10.20 mph
Cycling Time: 9h 45m
Cumulative Mileage: 117.91 miles