Day 18 - Tuesday 28th August – Newtonmore to Inverness
Daily Distance = 56 miles (expected = 55)
Total Distance = 988 miles (expected = 913.5)
Weather: Wet and windy and cold with a W wind.
Contour: Long slow climbs up and gentle downhills all day.
Boiled egg for breakfast and off we go, by 8am. We cycled through to Aviemore, where we stopped for hot chocolate. Then continued on our journey, up Slochd pass. At the top we stopped for a quick breather, opposite a ski and mountain bike centre. The owner came out while we sat there and asked if we’d broken down. ‘With OUR bikes’ we replied. He drove off and then John realised he’d got a flat front tyre. To make it worse the beading in the tyre had split quite badly and he wouldn’t be able to cycle it any further.
We went to the mountain bike centre, but it was closed. Luckily there was an old racing tyre which would fit John’s wheel by the side of the house. We took it, put it on the bike and left the owner £10 and a note of where we were staying that night. A police car drove back and forth on the road above us, wondering what we were doing.
We eventually got going again, very carefully on John’s borrowed tyre, and stopped for lunch just 30 minutes down the road in the Tomatin Inn. One rustic cheese and ham ploughmans later, and off we go. The afternoon was very hard going, John was finding it quite hard and complained about his headache (after yesterdays fall) the weather, his tyres, his bottom, his waterproof jacket and the route markers.
After cycling through the forest to Inverness John thought his borrowed tyre was going down. It survived until we got to the B&B, and then John replaced both tyres with the new ones purchased in Inverness. I checked the inner tube, which seemed fine. We arrived in Inverness, after passing through a pine forest (which is not the best thing for bike tyres), and tried to find a bike shop. Eventually John got 2 new armadillo tyres and I carried them on my shoulder to the B&B. The B&B, Park Guest House, are not very friendly and look like they can’t be bothered. John changed his tyres in the pouring rain, then we put the bikes in the bike shed. The rooms are singles, with shared bathroom, television and tea/coffee facilities. £17.50 per person.
Inverness is like another Glasgow, it is much bigger and busier than I was expecting, and a bit of a disappointment really. We wandered towards the city centre and went to an Italian restaurant for dinner, having tagliatelle and garlic bread.
1 puncture and 1 broken tyre wall, plus 2 new tyres. No other breakdowns, apart from John’s spirits. .