Cycling Bealach Maim
Ride 2 miles gaining 1,000’ at 9.3% average grade.
“A good way to sum up this climb would be to say the eastern face is Cinderella and the western face, documented here, is one, if not both, of the ugly sisters. It’s rough and relentless, the surface is broken and overgrown with grass, the corners are brutal and it’s a full-on arduous struggle from base to summit.” Simon Warren, Another 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, A Road Cyclist’s Guide to Britains Hills, p. 113.
This is the 6th most difficult bike climb in Scotland (Scotland’s Top Bike Climbs)
Approach to the start and bridge over River Ruel.
Although only a couple hours west of the bustling city center of Glasgow, the Bealach Maim climb feels very remote. You’ll begin the climb just past an old stone bridge and pass one large farm on your right side. Beyond the farm, the road gets very steep and (of course) extremely narrow. Traffic will be mild, but when cars are coming, you’ll likely need to dismount for them to pass, - It’s that narrow! Near the summit the treeline gives way to epic views of the valley below. There is a dirt road to the left at our summit point, which I climbed for a few extra credit miles, but it doesn’t climb up much farther than the paved road does.
Hairpin at ½ mile.
House at the beginning of the steepest quarter mile (17%) 300 yards from start.
In the logged field near the finish.
That’s a wrap!!