February 27, 2023
Back to Best Motorcycle Routes
The North Coast 500 - NC500
The NC500 is a 516 mile route that was set up by the Tourism Project Board of the North Highland Initiative in 2015. It's original aim was to bring increased traffic and tourism to businesses in the Northern Highlands of Scotland - this aim has been largely successful, though not all locals are happy with the increase in traffic it has brought. Controversies aside, it remains one of the most scenic and enjoyable motorcycle routes in the northern hemisphere and continues to see popularity with motorists of all types.
We are lucky enough to live on the route of the NC500 and as a result we have ridden parts of the route many times. However, one thing that has eluded us is the mighty feat of completing the entire 500 mile route over the course of one day. It's a journey that takes you across the breadth of the Scottish Highlands through many of the most beautiful and windswept areas the UK has to offer.
Earlier this year our R&D director Steven decided to finally make it happen as part of a charity ride for Cash for Kids with our local riding group Weekend Warriors. To spice it up, most members of the group decided to dress up and create an interesting spectacle for the tourist hordes along the way.
Luck with the weather wasn't on the groups side for the start of the day, with a lot of moisture on the way to Inverness. The downside of planning a large group ride in Scotland is that it limits the freedom you have to move the date if it happens to be overcast! There was some hope however as the forecast for later in the day looked better, and with 14 hours of riding ahead the hope of some sunshine was much needed.
John O' Groats itself was characteristically busy and a bit of waiting was required to get a photo opportunity at the sign. The sign is the closest to a tourist hotspot you get that far north and the rest of the roads are fairly quiet along the north coast. With our tourist pilgrimage done it was time to start heading back down South. Progress down the A9 was rapid other than a small blip with a competitive BMW driver with a roof box. Many thanks to Willie Cowie at the Miekle Ferry Inn for staying open and providing some much needed coffee as we came by. A great spot and very conveniently located at the Dornoch bridge roundabout.
The day began to drag a bit as we headed south, with riding pains and tiredness setting in. It's definitely recommended to do this long of a day with a group of like minded riders as its much easier to keep motivated and keep your spirits high as a group when the miles start to pile on. It helps that the scenery is also a constant companion travelling through Scotland, and there is never a lack of views to keep you excited about what is over the next hump.
Tired, physically broken and glad to be finished - but proud and happy to have achieved the goal
Sticking to the official route means heading down through Dingwall and back through Beauly before the final stretch back over to Inverness. Massive thanks to Helen and Ernie for waiting for us at the MFR station to give us a very warm welcome at the finish line and a much earned break. Despite the length and the inevitable wear and tear it was an unforgettable experience of a journey. The total number racked up to 610 miles in 14 hours when heading back and from home were taken into consideration.
Overall the NC500 remains a route that is well worth experiencing, though perhaps you will get the most of it by allowing yourself the time to stop and smell and roses. Thanks again to every rider that came out and for all who donated to the campaign, every donation was appreciated. We will now have to think of a way to one up ourselves. Anyone have any recommendations?
Comments will be approved before showing up.
February 27, 2023
February 27, 2023 1 Comment
February 27, 2023