Scotland's Other 'Alpine' Road Bike Climb

The Bealach na Ba in Applecross, which we rode in October, is often described as 'Scotland's Alpine road bike climb'.

Well, here's another one.

OK it's nowhere near as long as the Galibier or Mont Ventoux, both of which I rode last year.

But within just eight and a half miles, there and back, it packs two thousand feet of ascent.

This is the road from Strontian to Polloch. (The maps starts outside our gate, because I don't ride down to the village first).

Mountain bikers tackle it one-way as part of a superb circuit, up the side of Loch Shiel and around Loch Eil and Loch Linnhe. You'll find that route in several MTB guidebooks.

However, as my training ride I do it twice. I climb it from the Strontian side, whizz down to the wheelie bins in Glen Hurich, then turn around and immediately climb back up and over again.

If you want to make it longer, park free at the Corran Ferry, which is also free to bikes and foot passengers, and ride here to tackle the climb.

Short, sharp and steep.

There's a cafe in Strontian, although I recommend the Cozy Knits cafe in the Ariundle, just before you get into the village. Home baking, nice coffee and excellent food, plus a bunkhouse if you fancy staying to tackle another of the great rides around here.

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