seamab - was too wet for photos BUT that durness route is absolutely excellent. Its not to be underestimated on the climbing front - on a map its about 1/4 that of the snow roads BUT its still hard work - like you say wind is a big factor esp between durness and tongue - was very glad of my tri bars there !
it was just coming up to durness a young glasgow lad i was riding with tells me he had only just done his first century the week before. Oops.
The rain came on just as we left tongue (we had a slight shower just as we hit durness but nowt too bad) but as we left tongue it was like someone had just turned on the taps to full , was stinging any exposed skin. By the time we got to the crask after many false crests of hills with "it might be there " being chanted at the bottom of each. We eventually got sat infront of the first to dry out slightly.
its about here im going to extoll the virtues of both merino wool (socks and base layer) and waterproof mountain bikers shorts. They are the bomb for comfort ! - wet bum = unhappy me !
the last section to portmahomack is evil - you see inver first and think there it is , but no you have another 4 miles to go and a few lumps to kick you when your down !
one thing tho - where were the other 24 guys supposed to be doign the 200 on sunday ? in only me and a woman did the full 500
with only 4 starters for the sunday ride ! - i will admit to bringing a second pair of shoes though - would not have fancied putting on damp shoes to go out on sunday after seeing how wet was still in the hall on sunday morning