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Featured Touring My Scotland Trip Part One

Discussion in 'Rideouts, Trackdays, Touring & Spotted' started by Rich Bryce, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Rich Bryce

    Rich Bryce Dead Eye Dick
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    #1 Rich Bryce, Sep 12, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
    Just back from doing much of the Scottish coast, but had to bale out (literally) the last couple of days, or risk drowning seeing as I'm not a strong swimmer. 2225 miles in total round trip from Bedford 1-8 September. Rough Guides have it right that Scotland is the world's most scenic. All the NC500 publicity has filled the roads with caravanette/RVs that aren't designed for mountainous technical single tracks. Skye has been rammed and the Council are now considering banning RVs from wild camping. I took a few videos, but too much rain and/or wind to get off and take many photos. Looks like I've lost a 128gb and a 32gb micro sd card, including Glencoe west to east when the rain wasn't too bad.

    Every day someone, usually two or three, stopped to admire the scramblerised Street Twin, even if other bikes, inc T120 and Thruxton 900s, were parked near by. Twice car drivers pulled up alongside, wound down the window and said 'love the bike mate'. Lads at three stop overs insisted I go outside and start up the bike so they could hear the V&H. 'Blimey, it's only the bottom of the range Street Twin' I'd say, coyly'. ;)

    Visit Scotland? No, stay away! ,,, don't you dare clutter the best roads in the UK!

    Day 1, Thurs. Late morning start. Mostly A1 then over the A68 across the border to Edinburgh, where the heavens opened with rain bouncing off the pavement. Took shelter for over an hour in Asda but too late to save a thorough drenching. Filtered through massive queue over the new Queens Ferry Crossing, then heavy rain and flooded roads all the way to Perth on the M90/A9, to Jessie Mac's bunkhouse in Dunkeld where I was greeted with, "Och, you shudduv phoned ahead and warned us. We'd've warmed up the drying room. Too late to turn it on now, we're just aff tae tha' pub". Otherwise a nice place to stay.

    Day 2, Fri. Delayed half an hour departing by an 89-yr old boy admiring the Street Twin and reminiscing about his old bikes, and other stuff. Up to Pitlochry to see the famous dam and fish ladder. Chatted to some HD riders on the way home from Thunder, who wanted to know all about the STwin. Found and hooliganed a cracking single track high forestry road to Foss alongside Loch Tummel and down to Tummel Bridge (by mistake). Then over to the coastal A92 for Stonehaven and Dunnattor Castle (seems Dougie was there too) via the cracking A924 to Coupar Angus. Missed the turning for Forfar so ended up via Dundee (no biggie). The A92 so beats the faster wind-swept A90 dual carriageway. After Stonehaven went through Aberdeen for old times sake, then picked up the fabulous Coastal Trail at Rashieveire/Newburgh. I've done this many a time by car, but first time on two wheels. Wowzer! Fast, twisty, scenic, little traffic, through ports of Peterhead and Faserburgh, then westward to Pitlochry via Rosehearty, Protsonhill, Macduff and Banff, stopping along the way for a pee against a hedge on Sprinter's Grandpaw's farm.

    Overnight at the large modern Portsoy bunkhouse where I had sole occupancy. I love pretty little Portsoy. Doesn't seem to have changed much since last here in the 80's. Woken at 1.27am by the steam from my drying handwash setting off the over-sensitive fire alarm. No mobile signal, but found a house phone and woke the warden to come over at 2.30am to turn it off.

    Day 3, Sat. Woken at 6.00am by the fire alarm again, so porage and stroll to the shore. Second breakfast at 9.00 with Sprinter, then scenic tour along the Moray Coastal trail through various pretty little harbours, with numerous tight uphill corners (thanks mate), through Buckie to Lossiemouth where Sprinter fecked off for his day's shift on the buses.



    I raced a couple of sports bikes (and kept pace) over the twisty B roads to Findhorn (busy as usual) for a quick bite, then still on the coastal road to Inverness thru' Forres and Nairn. Then down the east side of Loch Ness on the scenic mainly single track to Fort Augustus, before heading north on the busy A82 where I peeled off at Drumnadrochit to pick up the A833 and A862 thru' Beauly and Muir of Ord to Dingwall where I joined the A9 NC500 anti-clockwise, but soon peeled off at Drummond to go inland on the more scenic and quiet B817/9176 to Bonar Bridge and then the equally grand A836 down to Lairg on the B864 via the Falls of Shin.

    From Lairg I took the fast and furious A839 down to Rogart Station for three overnights at Pittentrail railway carriage Sleeperzzz bunkhouse. Let's say it's cosy. A good base to explore the North Highlands.

    Day 4, Sun.
    Down to the nearby A9 NC500 coast road heading north, speed somewhat limited all the way to Wick following a Police car with broken indicators (or maybe a one-armed polis driver who couldn't use the indicator stick). It's still a lovely fast curvey road though, with some tight up and downhill corners and stunning coastal views. Quite busy, so sometimes held back by cautious drivers. Stopped for a quick bite at John O Groats, the UK's most northerly car park, chatted to some bikers, then headed west towards Durness on the A836 which is mainly fast A road. The single track after Tongue is good fun but for too many caravanettes/RVs clogging the way. Turned round, did the single track back to Tongue again then ragged it inland from Bettyhill on the virtually empty B871 and A836 to Lairg and down to Rogart.

    Part Two to follow. In the meantime here's a link to me going over the Applecross Pass a couple of days later. It's the highest road in the UK don't you know. One or two hairy bends.



    20170901_094851.jpg 20170903_130246_007.jpg 20170902_172720.jpg 20170905_095325.jpg 20170906_095911.jpg
     
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  2. GaryM

    GaryM It's him, you know who. Him from you know ....
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    Looks like a shameless plug for a motorcycle emporium there on that helmet. Hope they've given you a rise ;)
    Looks great Rich, at least you have had some dry weather going by those photos :)
     
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  3. crispey

    crispey crispey creme de la creme
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    Nice write up rich, that link takes me to my YouTube account tho'
     
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  4. Rich Bryce

    Rich Bryce Dead Eye Dick
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    Oops! I think I've just fixed it. Should work now. For the high point and trickiest part of Applecross fast forward to about nine minutes in or 17.47 on the video time, for about five minutes.
     
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  5. crispey

    crispey crispey creme de la creme
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    You really had shit weather for that, I was there earlier in the year and although there was snow around the roads were clear and dry and skies blue. I think I'd like to do it the other way round on a bike tho. The views coming down to applecross are stunning aswell
     
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  6. Dougie D

    Dougie D Elite Member

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    i thought the weather looked ok:confused:,at least it wasn't raining and there was no mist,roads looked a little damp but not too bad..then again I'm Scottish so if it's not pelting down that's a good day to me;)
     
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  7. Wessa

    Wessa Senior Member
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    Nice going, good trip and pictures.
    Wessa
     
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  8. Wessa

    Wessa Senior Member
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    Nice going, good trip and pictures.
    Wessa
     
  9. Wessa

    Wessa Senior Member
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    Nice going, good trip and pictures.
    Wessa
     
  10. Rich Bryce

    Rich Bryce Dead Eye Dick
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    It had been raining earlier and the road was a bit slippy on the back brake where the road surface was down to bare tarmac, so I was a bit cautious especially being Billy-no-mates with no-one to pull me back up if I slipped over a corner. I'd love to have a go in the dry without a load on the back. Maybe next year.

    Going through Glencoe on the Thursday was rotten wet.
     
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  11. BonnieCat

    BonnieCat Senior Member

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    What an epic road. Thanks for posting. I would've been really scared to have done that on my Trophy
     
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  12. Dougie D

    Dougie D Elite Member

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    i didn't realize you were passing through Blair on your way to the A92, i could have shown you a crackin route to Montrose from Blair where you could have picked up the A92..next time;)
     
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  13. dilligaf

    dilligaf Loudest member
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    Just watched your applecross ride :eek:
    Been up that way many times but never been tempted to ride that particular road
    I don't like them gravely rutted single track things
    Supposed to be going next may so might give it a try just so I can say I've done it :)
    But I know I won't enjoy it :(
     
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  14. Sprinter

    Sprinter Noble Member

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    :):):):):)Cheers Rich, it was great to see you if only for a short visit. I loved my tour this year too.
    I left you at Mosstodloch,to get home. Sorry the last couple of days was so poor." Does my 4rse look big on this "
    Great report thank you for posting.:):):):)
     
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  15. Rich Bryce

    Rich Bryce Dead Eye Dick
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    I'll take you upon that mate.
     
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  16. Tiglet

    Tiglet Vintage Member
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    Nice report Rich, keep em coming :cool:

    But I have to ask,,, what is it with you and Scotland,,,,wet,wet,wet :eek: are you the jinx ;):)
     
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  17. Rich Bryce

    Rich Bryce Dead Eye Dick
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    I'm going to put together a compilation video with some dubbed commentary, or at least that's the plan, but I'm working full time atm so a bit short of time. I'll try and get to it this weekend. I do recommend every biker put North Highlands on their bucket list, and def do the inland roads as well as the NC500 coast.
     
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  18. Bikerman

    Bikerman First Class Member

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    Wow that Applecross pass is something else. Looked stunning even if the weather didn't play ball. I've got to do this one day.
     
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  19. GaryM

    GaryM It's him, you know who. Him from you know ....
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    Thought the weather was great, loads of sunny spells when he was coming down :)
    Just realised I've been over it before. Was with my grandad years ago in his lorry.
    He used to drive all over the place delivering for one of the supermarkets ( we called his lorry weeta as it had a great big advert for weeta bix on it, I know not very original but then I was only about 8/9 years old :) )
     
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  20. Rich Bryce

    Rich Bryce Dead Eye Dick
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    As you'll know Gary, in this part of the world you can go from sunny to p1$$1ng rain and back again in minutes. The weather is what it is, but the damp on the road made me somewhat over cautious on the tight bends where I'd have loved to try to scrape the pegs. Mick who runs ByTheWay in Tyndrum showed me pics of him going up in glorious sun and parked up at the top same day in snow.

    Love your story about Granddad and Weeta.
     
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