Scotland Tour 2012 – Day 6 / Summary

Trip Statistics / Costs:

Duration: 6 Days

Mileage: 2112 miles (Door to Door)

Fuel Consumption (UK IMP Litres): 70MPG Mixed Motorway – A/B Roads

Fuel Cost: £193.89

Food: £54.10 (Look What We Found Pouches + Other small bits)

Accommodation: £36.00

TOTAL COST: Circa £283.99 (Incl Camping Equipment: £578.98)

**      **      **

Well, time has come to end such a fantastic trip, one that has already fueled my planning for the next adventure, solo or with a companion.

On Thursday, my 6th day of touring Scotland I headed for home. I left Uig on the Isle of Skye for a 570 mile ride back down to my home town. This took me 12 hour in all to complete, I never stopped once other than or fuel or to adjust my ear plugs.

The NC700X was so impressive, I never doubted the bike once before the trip but wondered how well it would really cope with such a long blast as it was actually designed for such riding but it coped admirably. Will I taking it on a another trip, yes I will! I think the NC has so much to offer, it’s a bike Honda still need to work on, but until then, it’s my No. 1 choice.


[Above: Start ODO mileage]


[Above: End ODO Mileage]

Scotland Tour 2012 – Day 5

After a blissfully warm night at Applecross despite the temperatures outside plummeting my Mountain Equipment bag kept me perfectly snug and comfortable. It’s a truly fantastic bag!

I packed up once more and headed for my now final destination, Uig, Isle of Skye where I would be spending my final night in a wigwam. It’s only a short ride today of about 90 miles so I have decided to venture down the A87 to Fort William before fueling up and turning around to shoot straight back up the A87 and other small roads back to the Wigwam.


[Above: Leaving Applecross]


[Above: Leaving Applecross]

It was a particularly wet day leaving Applecross, it had started raining around 0700 when I was packing up to leave, it soon got heavier as I entered into Applecross pass and through the mountains, the rain continued all the way down to Fort William, my Rukka gear held up well, if slightly heavier but held the rain out, I was warm and comfortable.

After heading down to Fort William, turning around and heading back I soon started to come into better weather as I approached the Isle of Skye and managed to snap a few shots for once!


[Above: Uig]


[Above: Ferry from the Outer Hebrides coming into Uig Harbour]


[Above: VIew from the windows of my Wigwam]


[Above: White Wave Wigwams / £15PPPN]

Scotland Tour 2012 – Day 4

After consuming my incredibly tasty sandwich from the NR cafe yesterday I soon proceeded for the Storma View Campsite near John O’Groats however the site really wasn’t up to expectations and looked so deserted I thought I’d keep my £8.00 that it would cost me to camp there and continue on my travels, after all this is supposed to be an adventure so I thought I’d get back on the road and see where I’d end up.

I soon came across a fantastic site called Halladale Inn Chalet and Caravan park where I pitch my tent for the night, views of the sea from my tent, sheep in the field munching on the grass next door, life was at its basic state, simple and relaxing. The pitch was at a cost of £5.00 which was very well priced for the cleanliness of the place, it was very well looked after.


[Above: Camp at Halladale Campsite]


[Above: Sunrise from my tent at Halladale Campsite]


[Above: Me! Hello!]

After getting the camping kit packed up and loaded into the bike, off I went, I headed along every road that was closest to the coast, this was my tactic for the ride along the top, I had some fantastic roads, I had ridden for about 10 hours this day from Thurso to Applecross and 8 of those hours must have been single track roads, passing a car every couple of hours and stunning scenery every second, an experience I’ll remember for a very long time.

Once I started to hit the remote Villages / Hamlets of the North fuel prices really started to rise in price…

The above photo’s were the last 8 hours of riding, most spectacular but unfortunately the really good picture moments were at places it was just not suitable for me to stop, below are some of the pass to Applecross know as the Bealach na Bà and what a fantastic road it is!

after I had blasted through the pass to Applecross, which, for the record, is a fantastic road, I only road it in the wet, coming back the roads were more so like rivers, but the experience was astronomical, so fun, I’d ride there now just to go and do it again!

I soon stumbled across Applecross campsite where my pitch looked a little like the last…

Scotland Tour 2012 – Day 3

Today started very rough, I woke up at 05:30 with terrible stomach pains, thinking it would ease I was soon enough heading to the bathroom.. times passed… I was feeling tender, perhaps it was that beef sandwich I’d had at the Green Welly stop on Sunday or the KFC on Saturday night? I have no idea… 08:30… I wake again with terrible stomach pains, feeling tender I thought my riding planned for today was over. As time progressed I started to feel better, my mood picked up and I went on a short jolly of about 30 miles from Grantown-on-spey to Tomintoul on the A939 which was a fantastic road, loads of switch backs and sharp but flowing bends.


[Above: Morning Rise from Grantown-on-spey]

I left CairngormsHighlands from Campingmygarden.com at 11:15 for Inverness, Tain, Helmsdale, Wick and then Arriving in John O’Groats. The ride was successful, I left a little tender on some bumps but now I’m at the NR Cafe in John O’Groats I’m feeling good, the Chef was happy enough to make me a Cheese and Red onion Sandwich,just tucking into it as I write this.

I’ve ridden up here on the A9, a good road in places, I can see why so many accidents have happened on it though, more towards the North East the roads become very nice and hairy, wide and open so you can really apply the throttle. I then picked up the A99 for Wick which became a little boring and slow, open, straight roads and no fast corners…

I’m now heading for Storma View Campsite, I’ll be staying here for the night before heading towards Applecross with an unknown stop location as yet, All the trip photo’s are below, there wasn’t really much interesting on this ride, tomorrow should start to see more interesting landmarks and scenery!

[Above: 10,000 Miles in 3 and a bit months!]


[Above: Storma Island]


[Above: I’ve Arrived]


[Above: John O’Groats Harbour]


[Above: My Lunch from NR Cafe}

Scotland Tour 2012 – Day 2

I left Glasgow this morning at around 10:15 picking up the A82 out of Loch Lomond towards Fort William however, unfortunately the A82 was closed North of Tarbet which meant I had to reroute on the A83 and several roads after that but it was no disappointment to me, I loved it. I’ll just ensure I manage to finish the bit of the A82 that was closed on my return. I have no idea why it was closed. I must have ridden for about an hour or so before I really started to see spectacular Lochs and mountains. I was so blown away… literally but that’s for later.


[Above: Loch Lomond]

I picked the A83 up from Tarbet until Inveraray where I joined the A819 for Loch Hawe where I then proceeded for Tyndrum for the Green Welly Stop where I had a cracking beef sandwich, costly at £6.15 but worth every penny after I’d divulged it!

From Tyndrum I left on the A82 heading for Fort William where I passed through Glencoe, by this point I was speechless, it may have been so windy I regularly touched the white line as I battled to keep the bike on my side of the road, it doesn’t help that I am just skin and bones, but after wrestling with the bike the wind and rain, thankfully dies off but the Rukka kit has really impressed me! I thought at one point water had seeped through the crotch and bum, but after stopping to check it was nothing but a bit of biking sweat…So as it goes, through Fort William, towards Spean Bridge where I then picked up on the A86, fantastic bit of road. I really enjoyed it and next to no cars so it was very peaceful, I just cruised and cruised, without a care or concern in the world.

[Above: Fort William]

[Above: Love this pic but not sure where it is!]

I eventually arrived in Newtonmore where I avoided the A9 by picking up some back roads towards Grantown-on-spey. The road I took was the B970, again a fantastic road, I think most of Scotland will be like this! I eventually came off the B970 and came to Grantown-on-spey where I’m staying at CairngormsHighlands from campinmygarden.com. My Hosts are Chris and Brigitte, they are a fantastic couple, so much so, I hope to return here early next year if I get the chance.

So that’s today, 7 hours of riding to cover 220 miles with plenty of photo stops when the rain had eased. Tomorrow is a run from Grantown-on-spey to a campsite at Caithness John O’Groats which is about 140 miles on the A9 from here, however I’m going to try a different route and hopefully miss the A9 altogether!

Tonight I was offered a Static Caravan for the night instead of camping, I snapped at the chance so my tent is nice and dry for the wet weather tomorrow and the wild camping to come!

I’m not sure if I’ll have WIFI tomorrow night so I might get a tad behind but the picture as I proceed north westerly should only get more spectacular I hope!

Scotland Tour 2012 – Day 1

So, I’ve started my first RR, this is only a small trip compared to the rest in this forum but the start of something new for me. My thirst for this was fed from several RR’s on here and a pure lust for travel, new experiences and meeting new people and the stories they all have to tell. I guess this trip symbolizes the next few years for travel, freedom and adventure. The start of much more to come.

This is the RR for my week long ride from Wiltshire to Scotland. Solo Rider. 7 days. oh and the worst weather in September for… 30 years and I’m off camping in it! Lush!


[Above: Leaving Swindon]


[Above: Start Mileage]

I left Swindon last night around 18:15 after packing the bike up and getting into my gear, I recently purchased the Rukka Athos jacket and Focus trousers and Rukka Atlas gloves so I’m looking forward to testing to see how good the kit really is and how comfortable it keeps me on the next 2,000 miles.

My first stop was a mere 60 miles away from Swindon, in a city called Worcester where a friend put me up for the night, more so it was just a head start for me, one less hour to travel today. I left Worcester at 07:15 heading for the Peak District with initial intentions to travel on every road but the motorways to Glasgow with plans to Camp at Skelmorlie, but after meeting a great guy called Dave from another travel sight and getting the insight on riding in Scotland I then went to meet some family just outside of Glasgow. I’m spending the night here now, I hadn’t expected to get up here so early but after heavy traffic on the back roads to Glasgow I ended up hitting the M6 for the rest of the journey as I didn’t want to sit in traffic. I arrived in Glasgow at 14:30, still as fresh as when I left Worcester. I think so far I have done circa 400 miles since leaving home, hoping to add another 200 – 300 tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will Leave Glasgow on the A82 up the Western edge of Loch Lomond for Glencoe / Fort William where from there I will effectively turn back on myself for Cairngorms National Park and my stop for the night in Grantown-on-spey, from here hopefully things will pick up and get more interesting followed with plenty of pictures!

7 Weeks, 50 Days & 5,000 Miles

Trip Statistics / Costs:

Duration: 2 days

Mileage: 386.7 Miles

Fuel Consumption (UK IMP Litres): 23.06L

Fuel Cost: £31.01

Food: 2 x English Breakfast £7.70 Ea.
– Bag of Sweets £4.44
– Drinks £2.04
– Tesco Food £6.78

Accommodation: N/A

TOTAL COST: £59.67

**      **      **

Here we go

It’s just clicked 05:10, my phone mysteriously sets of it’s alarm, my lousy arm attempts to reach over to try and grasp what feels like a phone, no wait, that’s the TV remote, wait, yes got it, raising up out of bed like a zombie endlessly trying to figure out how this alarm works on my new phone. Peeling my eyes open after 5 hours sleep, peering at the curtains trying to get a feel for what the weather is like outside.

Jumping out of bed, full of adrenaline the other half asks “can we wait until 0700?” I laughed, said no, especially after I’d seen the crystal blue dawn skies out of the window seconds before, I knew this would be a little adventure that wouldn’t be forgotten easily. Jumping, quite literally into our textiles, hearing zips firing off all over, eyes still waking up and stomach rumbling with hunger for excitement, we headed out, breathing in the fresh, crisp country air as we opened the back door looking over the hills to the rear.

Peeling the cover off the bike, it’s damp, but underneath was the NCX ready and waiting to get unleashed. Throwing the cover onto the floor (like I had time to pack it away) we were chasing the sunrise, Leaving at 05:24 the sky had already become brighter, the sun coming ever closer to raising into full view, we were off!!

legs over-hands gripped-ignition on-starter pressed-clutch in-gear down-clunk as it plops into first and we are off, the bike gives out an almighty whine as we make way down the driveway. It’s responsive, almost perfectly designed and agile, these are only a fraction of the words I could use to describe this frill seeker. Ever since rolling off the dealers forecourt and off down the water logged road, I can do nothing but praise the NCX.

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Country roads are always fun around Dorchester, hilly, blind corners and various debris scattered over the roads. We left the house, with 20 miles ahead of us, it was 05:24 when we left and 05:46 when we arrived, I call that ultrasonic space travel. The bike felt planted, didn’t wobble once, even two up and we got there in one piece. The rear position for the pillion is top notch, me and May have done several long hauls on this bike now and neither of us complain!

Lulworth at 5am

After we reached Lulworth for the sunrise we decided to head home around 06:30 by now, well that’s what May thought anyway, but I decided to go for Breakfast at either Poole or Swanage. Once the roundabout was fast approaching we decided on Swanage, a familiar spot for us. Shooting down the A351, we caught a glimpse of Corfe Castle, on through the village, back on to the twisty’s, over taking the car in front as I see two bikes approach my rear, the petrol gauge now hitting reserve. Slotting the indicator over to the left as I approach a petrol I didn’t even knew existed and I’m familiar to this road to! I hear the down shift shortly after climbing off the bike only to find two older, experienced motorcyclist on a BMW K1300 and a Suzuki GSXR 750 follow us in, them giving the ‘nod’ of approval.

Filling my tank to the brim… a whole £12.00 later after 160 miles…this bike has economical written all over it! We mount the bike and chase after the other bikes who left moments in front. Coming up over the brow of the hill in Swanage we get an ever enlarging glimpse of the sea… calm, blue and reflecting the sun’s rays just shimmering off the surface.  Heading down the nothing but deserted Swanage high street we see the same bikers parking up, must be a good place for breakfast! We ended up parking up and following them in. The cafe was called: La Trattoria, it was good, over priced slightly I think but it wouldn’t stop me from going back as it was clean, well presented and the staff were very quick to get everything organised. Just the service I expect.

Leaving full with a good ‘ol’ English inside us, we headed off for a ride of Swanage down to Studland, popping into the National Trust shop on the beach and taking in some more sea air, feeling tired just thinking about it. It’s now 11am, we’ve been on the road for 6 hours, with a final one hour leg from Swanage the scenic way back to our starting point making the whole morning a 7 hour action packed adventure, one I’m sure, I’ll remember forever.

NCX at 5,000 in 50 Days

The BMW & Suzuki I was talking about!

From the rear-right

My personal bug collection… not too bad.

The Coastal Road…

Trip Statistics / Costs:

Duration: 2 single days (Saturday & Sunday)

Mileage: 438.00 miles (Door to Door)

Fuel Consumption (UK IMP Litres): unknown

Fuel Cost: unknown

Food: £0.00

Accommodation: £0.00

TOTAL COST: Circa £40.00

**      **      **

FRIDAY 20th July 2012.

Leaving Swindon for Dorchester on Friday  for another long Coastal weekend. Prepping the bike the night before, the ritual goes something like this.

Getting out the old red Jerry can full of Paraffin, so old and rusty every part of it you touch the paint flakes away the the palm of your hand, the hardened plastic cap so distorted and experienced it get’s stuck every 1/4 turn in any direction and the pouring spout, dented and bashed you never know where or how far the Paraffin will pour. Tipping the can up, rag at the ready to absorb it as it pours in a bidirectional flow, I already have the bike upon the paddock stand and apply the cloth directly onto the chain at the sprocket and slow but surely work around until the near side of the links are looking as new, then do the same to the offside, dousing the rag once more I work the rag around the sprockets and bolts until a perfectly shiny metal surface appears.

Washing the bike down with a hose on low pressure, clearing the remainder of the loose dirt from the chain and sprockets I start the quick process of washing the small amount of fairings and body work on this epic machine. 10-15 minutes of working on the bike and it looks almost like new considering I’ve put over 4,000 miles on it in the last month since I picked it up from the dealership.

After cleaning the bike down and drying it off (reminds me I must look to buy a rear hugger) I switch on the engine and listen to it roar up and hum away, clunking it into first and letting the excess water spin off the chain and warm up before shaking the can of Wurth Dry Chain Lube for minutes on end before conking out the engine to a stop and spinning the wheel by hand to apply this stuff. Sticking and drying in minutes the bike it now good for a few hundred miles, or a weekend away in my case.

The last and perhaps most important thing is to check the tyre pressure, something I’m particularly OCD about for some reason or another. 36PSI front and 42 back, perfect, I’ve found the pressure barely changes in these BT023R’s!

Leaving the petrol station from Cirencester, heading to Dorchester is probably one of the worst rides I do, it’s a mix of dual carriageway, A roads and B roads. however, Friday afternoon around 17:00 the world comes out in their cars and lorries with minimal places to overtake and a line of traffic, overtaking gets you know where fast. 2 hours of riding down following a Robert Wiseman milk lorry that has to break what feels like 1,000,000 miles before the turn in the road does nothing but frustrate me. It’s a modest ride, 80-85 miles at the most, but just seems so much longer after sitting behind traffic the entire way. I eventually arrived at the house around 19:15 that evening.

SATURDAY 21st July 2012

NCX at the New Forest

 

Setting the alarm for 07:15 this morning the other half wasn’t so happy especially as I hadn’t told her but the weather looked good for today after looking the night before so thought I’d take the risk, setting the alarm early and getting up to enjoy the day!

We started with some good old English sausages, fried of course! Then got ourselves 4 hours later finally onto the bike and heading off east towards Honda Of Bournemouth for the other half to try some new bikes for size and style, coming away quite happily set on the Honda PCX for her first ride, most probably what she’ll go for! It look a nice bike, small, perky and finally you can get many accessories for it to kit her out for longer rides.

So,

Moving on after heading back into Dorchester for some lunch, thankfully filling both our tanks we headed out at 15:30 expecting to be gone for an hour or two but we finally returned 5 1/2 hours later… but man it was an adventure!

We left Dorchester heading for the New Forest, Lyndhurst in particular then down to Milford on Sea  along the coastal road to Barton on Sea then coming back on ourselves towards Beaulieu, Lyndhurst, Christchurch, Bournemouth, Poole and then home, all of which took an awful lot of time including some stops, walks, 10 minutes to capture the essence of the places before jumping back on and moving on! It was fantastic and not one ounce of a sore bum!

There are some picture below for your enjoyment!

A map of my route:

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