North Coast Cycle Day 4: Strathy to Thurso

Posted by on Aug 5, 2010 in Bike, Northwest Highlands | 2 Comments

One question has been burining in my mind since finishing the tour. Does the act of cycling itself induce flatulence, or is it simply that gas is generated in direct proportion to calorie intake, three times the calories generating three times the wind? Perhaps the liberal consumption of foaming pints of Radler plays a part. Or the fact that a vegan cycling partner meant that Beanfeast featured heavily on the menu.

I hadn’t particularly been relishing the last stage of this journey, leaving behind the peaks of the Northwest for the agricultural lands of Caithness, but the 20 or so miles into Thurso to pick up the train south was the most enjoyable part of the tour – perfect cycling terrain of gentle rises and long sweeping descents. The sun on our faces and the speedo reading over 20 mph. This is what cycle touring is all about. What a contrast to the coast road between Coigach and Kylesku, alternating between 40 mph downhills and grinding, thigh-busting 4 mph uphills.

I’ve not done any long rides this year so my ass was ruined and I was quite glad to dismount after 170 miles in the saddle. A great trip, a true journey, with highs and lows. I loved the long downhills, but would happily have accepted a lift if one had been offered during the wet climb after Loch Eribol. All the unpleasantness has now been forgotten, and if I do this tour again, which I surely will, but in settled high pressure next time, I would blast up the main road to Durness in a day, nab a hill or two, then scoot all the way to Wick.


  1. Dominic
    August 6, 2010

    Sounds like a fine trip – I did it myself last year, but powered by diesel 😉
    Not as satisfying I’m sure….but could walk afterwards.

  2. Gavin Macfie
    August 6, 2010

    Just re-read that post and suspect that I may have pinched that ‘ass is ruined’ line from Borat. He managed to ruin his without going anywhere near a bike.


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