Dores and back

The Highland Cross theme continued today with a 20-mile cycle, during which I was blissfully unaware that a vast plume of volcanic ash was coming our way from Iceland.

I laboured to Dores, but then felt comfortable on the two-mile climb from the eastern shore of Loch Ness to an altitude of 250 metres. The high road back to Inverness, following a course over Ashie Moor and past Loch Ashie, is always a joy to cycle, with the prevailing wind almost always at the cyclist’s back.

I roared back into Inverness on a beautifully resurfaced road, finishing with an average speed of 16.4mph. I’ll need to be far closer to 20mph to break four hours in the Highland Cross – and that’s after 20 miles of running – but at least the road to Beauly doesn’t contain a two-mile climb. Small mercies.

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