north coast 500 cycle route strava

Similar to Scandinavia, you have the right to wild camp in Scotland as long as you do so responsibly by respecting people’s privacy, safety and livelihoods, and Scotland’s environment. "Spare a thought for me," said Alex with a smile, as we reached the Kinlochewe T-junction in the now pouring rain. It is worth looking ahead and booking accommodation along the route, especially during peak holiday season, as there are some big gaps by bike if you turn up somewhere and there are no vacancies! The North Coast 500 route has been ‘created’ and marketed in the hope it too becomes a pilgrimage. You might think that America’s Route 66 has existed for generations. Your plan may have to change to fit in with available accomodation if you don’t book early — we ended up having to do hours of extra miles on the bike some days just to reach a place that had an open bed. The sea is rarely out of sight on this long leg south to Inverness. I had never attempted 500 miles non-stop. The ever-changing landscape will take your breath away, leaving you eager to get back in the saddle wanting more every day. Anything less than five days by bike is a feat of endurance, considering the amount of climbing. 500 miles ~ 6 days ~ 10,000m climbing. Sutherland has 2.2 people per km2, making the Lake District look like a hive of activity with 18.4 and London looking unfathomably packed with over 1,500 people per km2. Reaching Durness, Scotland’s northwest corner, was a huge and long-awaited relief. The power of social media, and word of mouth out in Britain’s least populated corner, had turned this solo exploit into something brilliantly sociable. Starting your NC500 adventure: Rather than take the main NC500 driving route – you may wish to take the head to Contin via the Sustrans National Cycle Route (more info here) We met a group of three riders in Locharron who planned to skip the entire east coast altogether and return to Inverness down through the middle via Lairg. Never-ending back roads, wide meandering country tracks and beautiful bends through some of Scotland's finest coastal scenery are just a few things you can expect along the North Coast 500.Strap yourself in for the road trip of a lifetime. However, in the spring, the area usually experiences northerly or easterly winds so use the weather forecasts to help you choose the direction of your trip. The North Scotland 500 is a cycle friendly route that closely follows Scotland's famous North Coast 500, starting from Inverness. The North East 250 explores everything for which Scotland is famous in a unique Scottish road trip taking you through the whisky distilleries of Speyside, the spectacular mountain passes of the Cairngorms National Park, the famous castles of Royal Deeside, the Granite City of Aberdeen, the rugged North Sea coastline to the east, and the picturesque seaside villages of the Moray Firth Coast. Strava Cycling Route NC500 Strava Routes. The trip itself was very different too. Distance: 516 miles. Cycling UK is a trading name of Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC) a company limited by guarantee, The entire coastal route around Sutherland and Caithness is scattered with evidence of yesteryear, now mainly vast Highland estates. This was a long way from my unsupported rides down Africa, the Americas and around the world. The Auchmuty High School Strava Club are inviting you to take on the challenge of trying to get as far round the North Coast 500 Route as you can in the rest of January. North Coast 500 Cycle Route Strava Routes. Travel our North Coast 500 cycling holiday to experience a satisfying active journey – swap four wheels for two! Cycling 500 miles around the Scottish coastline in 7 days is a tough ride but the spectacular scenery that you will cycle past is worth every pedal stroke. Alongside Lochcarron, the first of the sea lochs, a roadie sped towards me, swung around and fell alongside. Moreover, their conversations were a very welcome break from my own thoughts. Cycling this journey does not require the most extensive experience for those that enjoy cycle tourer, you will, however, need to bear a few things in mind. The Highway 92 descent can have a lot of traffic, but a skilled rider can usually keep up. The NC500 has ever-changing scenery, and whilst the road down the east coast is bigger and relatively busier, it has its own beauty. I’m not just saying that to give my record a chance of surviving, as I am sure it won’t take long before someone else has a crack! Staring at the road under my front wheel, hurting deeply, I was unable to think about the 200 miles that still remained. 10 unique experiences to try along the NC500 in 2020 Whilst driving the North Coast 500 route is an adventure in itself, there’s so Read More. Check out the North Coast 500 website for tons of information on the route, what to see and do, as well as accommodation. 92.35 miles - 4196 ft - 4120 cal. In 1988, The Proclaimers penned Scotland’s alternative national anthem: I’m Gonna Be (500 miles). But as the magnificent, steep-terraced sides of the Torridon Hills came into view, bare sandstone crowned with white quartzite, the skies darkened and a light drizzle started. Yet while the route from Chicago to California is indeed old, it only became ‘Historic Route 66’ after it was removed from the US Highway System in 1985. In every village, and in spite of the weather, locals and tourists alike lined the roadside, cheering me through. This more bike-friendly course takes in smaller roads on the West Coast, that motorhomes and caravans can't go on and away from the busy A9 on the East Coast, as well as including the beautiful Black Isle. £1145 per person. charity no: SC042541. They're community curated and backed by Strava activity data to help you choose the right roads and paths. 6am, Monday 10 August, Inverness Castle: I chatted nervously to the local press, who had fallen out of bed early to witness the start of this madness. However, by the village of Tongue, dawn had at least brought a break in the weather. Plus I find it easier to get in a rhythm on a long climb whereas continuous punchy rollers sap my energy quickly. I was going clockwise, motivated to get the fiercely hilly west coast out of the way during the daylight and whilst I was fresh. The NC500 website recommends riding in a clockwise direction from Inverness. It took a few sleeps to feel recovered, and even longer before I could look at my bike again! I’m glad I had: A GPS tracker so people could see my progress on social media and come out to join me for sections. Its name, meaning Southern Land, is a tad confusing. Eager to free myself from them, I rushed the repair and sped on triumphantly. Our Community About Strava Community Standards Careers Pros on Strava Follow Blog Facebook Instagram After 37 hours 58 minutes, I climbed for the final time to Inverness Castle, with a police escort, to a welcome by the Lord Provost and a good crowd. Despite the notoriously temperamental weather, I have always been enamored with Scotland — images of warring clans, vast wild landscapes, warm people, and ancient ruins come to mind. Up there, we were removed from all the tourists of Edinburgh (though tourism is growing fast) and golfers headed to St Andrews. No doubt stunning by day, at 4am in the pouring rain this was the toughest section yet. North Coast 500 from North Coast 500 on Vimeo. What a reception, not just at the finale, but also throughout. Then I stared at the ceiling until 1am, terrified. Had a great time touring around the Scottish highlands, tough conditions but worth it! View route map, streetviews, images, slideshows, videos and more for this cycling route to the top of Quimby Road, CA, USA. And if you opt to camp, you can easily refrain from carrying days worth of food or even a stove unless you want it for coffee and tea in the morning. Cycling the NC500 _____ There are several superb routes throughout the main NC500 route to explore and discover.. The north and east coast are relatively flatter than the west coast, though you still have plenty of hills. A tiny shard of glass was hidden in the tyre and I needed a knife to lever it out. I stopped and chatted to the first few well-wishers, but soon realised this level of sociability could seriously slow progress. The North Coast 500 or NC500 was created in 2015 by North Highland Initiative in an effort to develop sustainable economic growth across the North Highlands. Coronavirus: Advice and guidance for Cycling UK member and affiliate groups, How and why to put on bike rides aimed at women, How to organise a charity bike ride or sportive, Registration Office's/Membership Secretary's Toolkit, Design and create kit for your cycling club or group, Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education, Cycling UK member Mark Beaumont breaks the world record in 79 days, Mark Beaumont gears up for 132-year-old penny farthing record, Mark Beaumont’s 'Round the World in 80 Days' bike (which could be yours! Back in the daylight and dry, with the tough stretch behind me, I drifted into the mental doldrums. 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There are plenty of cafes, restaurants, and shops along the route to restock or even eat all your meals out — just takes a bit of planning. Copyright ©2019, TheGearCaster. Isn’t It Swell In 2019, Melvich Hotel teamed up with North Coast Watersports to create an new a Read More. Conditions: Be prepared for all weather conditions and four seasons in a day. Cycling Quimby Road, Santa Clara County. By Henry M. Created on February 9, 2015. All downhill now, right? Our goal was to complete the North Coast 500 route that starts and ends over 500 miles later in Inverness, taking in some of the most stunning coastal scenery in the process. My every thought was on the road ahead, counting down the miles to Inverness. I really enjoyed the north coast to John O’Groats but once we turned down the east coast, it was heavy motorway traffic and industrial farmland most of the way — not my favorite section. And yet Inverness is the gateway to some of the best roads, beaches and scenery in Britain. I had kept my focus very short through the night, not looking beyond the next few hours at a time. This route has been recently branded the “North Coast 500” and has been a … North of Lochinver, the road tapered once again to a narrow track and I faced some extraordinary terrain. I’m happy to answer any further questions you might have in the comments below. Always one for a challenge, but unwilling to walk 500 miles, I set about trying to cycle the route non-stop, laying down a time-to-beat on Scotland’s answer to Route 66. But I reminded him straight away that today was not for any Strava KOMs, as I would still be on my bike the following evening. The North Coast 500 is a 516-mile scenic route along Scotland’s northern coast that begins and ends in the city of Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands. Also, you always have the coast on your left instead of across the road (you ride on the left side in Scotland, obviously). A tractor there created a five-vehicle rush-hour queue as I stopped briefly to stock up for the night shift. The mixture of Celtic and Viking heritage is evident in the mountains that I pedalled past, with names like Ben Loyal, Ben Hope, Stac Pollaidh and Suilven. All the info (difficulty, distance, altitude gained, elevation, average grade) you'll need to climb Quimby Road by bike. Very quiet roads for most of the route, with some steep climbs on the west coast. The drone wouldn’t fly for long as the weather started rolling in from the Atlantic. For a shorter route, descend via Page Mill Road or Kings Mountain Road instead. The Caledonian Sleeper gives an overnight connection from London King’s Cross. I stopped for 15 minutes, my longest stop yet. We opted to complete the ride in eight days (many people do less with the record of 31 hours set by James McCallum) but looking back, I wish we would have given ourselves nine or even 10 days. All Rights Reserved, Our site uses cookies. It was then marketed to tourists. Fellow cyclists often started cautiously, suggesting that they didn’t want to hold me back and distract. Unless, like adventurer, broadcaster and Cycling UK member Mark Beaumont, you do it in 38 hours. I had gone to bed at 8pm, needing every ounce of rest. Covering close to 530 miles according to our GPS, the route naturally follows the main roads along the coastal edges of the North Highlands of Scotland, taking in the regions of Wester Ross, Sutherland, Caithness, Easter Ross, the … They're community curated and backed by Strava activity data to help you choose the right roads and paths. The vast open landscape, also known as the flow country, is rich in archaeological remnants of a bygone age. Most Scots and visitors alike are guilty of exploring only as far north as Inverness, if they escape the bright lights of Edinburgh and Glasgow at all. The Applecross Peninsula remains constantly undulating, often steep and twisting, and for a few hours we were spoilt with sunshine and views around to the sleepy village of Shieldaig. You can also skip much of the A9 south of Tain and take the backroads into Inverness instead. Seeing my heart rate soaring to 160bpm after 34 hours in the saddle was unwelcome. I turned left, alone again, and climbed steadily up and over to Gairloch. What is behaviour change and how does it apply to cycling? This 500-mile loop around the North Highland coast is perfect cycling country. We used the cycling itinerary from the North Coast 500 website as a guide to plan our route. There are ruined castles amidst the rolling farmland, waves crash ashore, and oil-fields dot the seascape. My entourage included three cars and a motorbike, mainly for the film team. Our Community About Strava Community Standards Careers Once you have a rough idea of how many days you would like to take, I highly recommend previewing your daily routes on Strava or Komoot to see the elevation gain as well as estimated ride time — again, keep in mind you will most likely be riding much slower than you do on a normal training ride at home. You can go in real style, for example £400 a night at the Torridon Hotel, or go a budget and camp. Video from bikepacking the North Coast 500 in Scotland last week. It was a totally ‘on a whim’ decision. Explore opulent castles, sample a dram of whisky or take an exhilarating wildlife safari, enjoy a truly unique touring experience. registered in England no: 25185. Another monster blog post, so make yourselves a nice cup of tea and strap yourselves in.. That being said, the wind seemed to change on us on a daily basis and as you constantly wind in and out of the coast, you never remain in a single direction for long. Men and women who embark on this epic journey will encounter towering redwood trees, quiet roads, switchback climbs, the tranquil coast, and the opportunity to stop at excellent coffee shops and eateries along the way. This detailed day-by-day 1 week North Coast 500 road trip itinerary covers all the basic details (mileage, general route) and sightseeing highlights along the approximately 500 mile route. We will be following the official NC500 route as far as Melvich but for a number of safety reasons have chosen not to continue with the official route past this point as it takes us on the very busy A9 dual carriageway. Long Skyline Loop (64 miles, 5200 feet of climbing) - take the (in)famous Redwood Gulch route up to Skyline, then head north along the ridge for great views of the bay and ocean. After 13 hours of rain, I started to dry out. This will be a challenging 500+ mile supported ride over 7 Days, stopping at campsites along the route. John o’ Groats was where I set off on my first serious cycle ride – to Land’s End. But the endless rollercoaster of egregiously steep hills that follow — thousands upon thousands of feet worth. I … ), Inspiring cyclists: Cycling the North Coast 500 with Parkinson’s. This slightly alternative North Coast 500 was made in collaboration with the people behind the official driving route, to make an official NC500 Cycle Route. Pockets of crofting – small-scale farming – remain, such as on the Assynt peninsula around the spectacular Summer Isles. Ullapool was the biggest town on day one. Stopping in the evening rain, I was immediately tortured by swarming midges. One of the benefits of riding clockwise, however, is that you get the major climbing over with during the first few days when your legs are relatively fresh. Scotland’s west coast is anything but steady terrain; my average speed was falling as quickly as my sense of humour. I cycled on, glancing into windows of roadside cottages looking snug and warm. And I was soon feeling optimistic – the first 50 miles passed quickly as I started through relatively flat farmland and then alongside the first lochs and forests as I reached the rugged west coast. Alas, just as a marathon is a lot more than twice as hard as a half marathon, riding 500 miles non-stop is many times tougher than ten 50-mile rides! Distance. Make the most of your run or ride with Strava Routes. During a couple of big mileage days, we were so anxious about making it to the next hotel by dinner time that we didn’t stop as much as we would have liked. It was a lovely moment to return 17 years later. Why did you decide to tackle Scotland's NC500 cycle route? It’s the third highest road in Scotland, with a stunning Alpine-style switchback section, accentuated by the singletrack road. ... Day 5 Strava route part 1 and part 2. We’ve put together this comprehensive North Coast 500 guide to help you plan the perfect North Coast 500 road trip in Scotland. At one point it’s a 20% gradient, but it isn’t as fierce as its reputation; taken steadily, it is a joy to ride. I appreciated every bit of enthusiasm, however; it really helped to keep me going. Getting to Inverness with a bike is easiest by train. Registered as a charity in England and Wales charity no: 1147607 and in Scotland Day 6: Tongue to Inverness. We will also ask you to submit your total distance by the end of the day on the 31st of January via forms to see how many laps of the NC500 Auchmuty can do. This 500-mile loop around the North Highland coast is perfect cycling country. Hong Kong Cycling Routes ... From Strava: Head over the infamous 'Beast' pass for a roller coaster ride of constant ascending and descending, visiting a giant buddha, a stilted fishing village stuck in time, and the odd water buffalo or two! We ran into one gentleman who was doing just that — he would ride as far as he felt like it for the day and then camp. No mosquitoes, or midges as they call them in Scotland. The North Coast 500 (The NC500) is an official route created by the North Highland Initiative to “bring together the best of the north Highlands of Scotland in one iconic tour”. A road, trekking or touring bike would be fine. Learn more about our use of cookies: Cookie Policy, Tips For Cycling The North Coast 500 in Scotland. Learn more. In 1988, The Proclaimers penned Scotland’s alternative national anthem: I’m Gonna Be (500 miles). British Airways flies into Inverness Airport. Not ideal. ITINERARY Day 1 - 64miles (2450ft elevation gain) Day 2 - 69miles (7230ft elevation gain) Day 3 - 80miles (4552ft elevation gain) Day 4 - 81miles (4428ft elevation gain) The final hours were brilliantly sociable, as local roadies took it upon themselves to give me an unbroken chain of support riding. 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