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Offline kimbo8

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NC500 a victim of its own success. Don't believe the hype.
« on: 08 October, 2020, 10:09:01 PM »
Just back, after completing the full NC500, 2105 miles, clockwise.

To be honest, its good but not great, the views on the West coast are fantastic, but the traffic and the lack of facilities (due to the volume of tourist and rubbish and human waste left everywhere) really spoilt it for me.

There are some great roads A835, A837, A894, lovely surface, nice curves, but you will need to get up early to get a clear road, otherwise get use to seeing lots of motorhomes / campervans.

On the single tracks there are no chances of overtaking, so you rely on the vehicle in front to pull into the passing places, but some of the slower car and van drivers have not read the rules and will just make everyone follow them causing traffic jam when two line of oncoming vans meet in a tiny passing place.

On part of the single track a van got stuck as 2 wheel were off the tarmac and in the bog, that caused a jam with 10 vehicles behind and 8 in front, i just scrapped through peddling past on the grass.

For the mileage, given the choice I would of ridden, Vosage Mountains or Black Forest or Alps or Dolomites as they either give better clearer roads, better views, more technical roads and more of it.

Go but don't be believe all the hype.


« Last Edit: 08 October, 2020, 10:41:03 PM by kimbo8 »

Offline Shed

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Re: NC500 a victim of its own success. Don't believe the hype.
« Reply #1 on: 08 October, 2020, 11:51:11 PM »
I was up there 4 years ago, and we did it anticlockwise. Didn't experience much of what you say here (thankfully), but maybe currently every idiot under the sun is going there at the minute as some sort of covid escape trek. 

We had a few clowns in caravan or camper-vans, who clearly don't understand the rules of the road, or what 'passing place' actually means, but other than that, no real issues at all.

Highlight for us was definitely from the top at Durness down the West coast, calling onto Skye on the way past. Absolutely brilliant. Personally, I think the A9 road on the East coast is just like any other 'A' road in the UK and very little of interest over there. I'll definitely be up on the NC500 again but will concentrate on exploring over on the West, won't even bother with the East side next time.

And I have to plug Smoo Cave at Durness, what a little gem that was. 

http://www.smoocavetours.com


Offline kimbo8

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Re: NC500 a victim of its own success. Don't believe the hype.
« Reply #2 on: 10 October, 2020, 08:49:29 PM »
I think you are right about the COVID break away, as I would not be riding the NC500 had it not been COVID scuppering my planned tour this year in Nepal.

I did the west coast 2015 as part of LEJog, there were hardly a soul around and I had virtually most of the roads to myself, it was bliss  :152:

 The A9 going up to Inverness is the most frustrating road I have ever ridden on, 100 miles of average speed cameras, with lorries allowed to do 50mph, while cars and bike are allowed to go 60 mph.  The road itself is in really good condition and perfect for bikes, shame it is covered by average speed cameras  :172:

Now I have done the NC500, I don't think I will be up again, as the distance is high and for the same mileage I could be riding the Dolomites with Italian food and good weather  :046: :001:


Offline Shed

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Re: NC500 a victim of its own success. Don't believe the hype.
« Reply #3 on: 10 October, 2020, 09:56:13 PM »
*Originally Posted by kimbo8 [+]
The A9 going up to Inverness is the most frustrating road I have ever ridden on, 100 miles of average speed cameras, with lorries allowed to do 50mph, while cars and bike are allowed to go 60 mph.  The road itself is in really good condition and perfect for bikes, shame it is covered by average speed cameras.


Yeah, absolutely right. I feel your pain! It's like an old video game where you are just sitting still on the bike and the endless road just keeps coming at you for ever, and ever, and ever...

 :087:

Offline Art

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Re: NC500 a victim of its own success. Don't believe the hype.
« Reply #4 on: 11 October, 2020, 10:07:34 AM »
From Perth to Inverness bypass the A9 in favour of the Cairngorms National Park. Take the A93 Perth to Ballater, A939 Ballater to Nairn and A96 Nairn to Inverness. That's 130 miles vs 115 mile on the A9

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Offline WileyCoyote

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Re: NC500 a victim of its own success. Don't believe the hype.
« Reply #5 on: 11 October, 2020, 11:47:43 AM »
That's the way to do it !
Coming south it seems a different road to northbound.  Great either way.
Coffee and fodder at The Lecht,  Perfick.

 


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