Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

CRM's bike ride to support Teenage Cancer Trust: Day One – John O'Groats to Brora

Ready for the off!

20th August 2013 #crm4esme
Today is the moment of truth! Not only is this the first day of Carole's ride but it is also the longest and quite possibly the toughest of the five stages. CRM will ride best part of 80 miles from John O'Groats to Brora. It will be an early start!

To avoid the relatively busy A9 down the east coast, the cycle route heads west through Thurso for around 35 miles almost to Melvich where she will turn southwards down the quiet single track A897, which heads through the centre of the largely unpopulated Sutherland towards Helmsdale on the North Sea Coast. From the forecast it looks as though there will be 15 mile headwind for this section.

The A897 rises gently but steadily up to Forsinard where the road meets the Inverness to Wick-Thurso railway line and the watershed. From there it will be largely a long downhill to the village of Kildonan, where CRM opts to take the kick in the tail of the stage by turning right past Kildonan station and up over the hills towards Brora rather than continuing towards Helmsdale. This avoids longer stretch along the A9 and is a shorter distance, although not necessarily in time as there is a steady climb up a narrow road and then a long descent to the junction with the A9 but if it is fine there will be some fine views. 

The last few miles into Brora on the A9 may be a bit gutty! Carole will certainly be looking forward to getting to the B&B at Number 11 Academy Street.

Carole (CRM) is riding to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust in memory of her niece, Esme Morris Macintyre, who died on 7th July 2013 aged 18 after a very courageous and inspirational nearly seven-year battle against the disease. You can donate here. More details here 

Follow Carole's progress on twitter with #crm4esme

Many thanks for your support.  

The Sutherland Inn in the centre of Brora
Sadly the inn has yet to embrace the notion of all day food 
that is increasingly common on the West Coast. 
The kitchen is firmly shut at 2pm even for a plate of soup.        


Luc Charlier said...

Used to be a regular customer at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society – can’t afford it any more – and once had a splendid bottle of Brora’s local production: one more reason for your cycling partner to push hard on the pedals! A lot of courage to her.

Jim Budd said...

Many thanks Luc. We arrived in Brora just after 17.00 having left John O'Groats just after 7.30.