August bank holiday 2018 gave the opportunity to ride the Scottish North Coast 500 route.
Aberdeen Lambretta Club have put this riding event on a few times in the past, the last time being August bank holiday 2016. Although wanting to take part in 2016 I was unable to due to competing in that years LCGB best supporting member championship, this meant I had to attend the Isle of white national rally instead.
The idea of spending three days riding in spectacular scenery on challenging roads appeals to me much more than spending a weekend at a destination that has far out lived its appeal.
The track below is the actual route taken over the weekend. It starts in Inverness to Ullapool via the Applecross Pass on day one, then Ullapool to Thurso on day two and Thurso back to Inverness on day three.
We actually covered 530 miles on the route in all and the experience far outlived the expectation. Most of the roads are single track roads with many well thought out passing places. There are also many miles of flowing twisty undulating well surfaced two-way roads.
Fuel stops were not a problem because Craig from Aberdeen Lambretta Club had prepared a file to download which had the route listed town by town showing mileage between each town and whether fuel was available in each town or not.
The North Coast 500 Guide Book 2017 (Charles Tait Guide Books) by Tait, Charles, 9781909036604 | eBay
Around 50 scooters took part this year which were mostly Lambrettas. The event is a geared scooter event which meant any make of scooter is welcome as long as it’s geared.
Although this years event was the last time Aberdeen Lambretta Club plan to put the event on I would encourage anyone on two wheels who likes a challenge to make the effort to ride this route before hanging up there riding gear.
I have ridden the Alps and Pyrenees twice each along with many other spectacular bike routes over the years but nothing quite has what the North coast 500 route has, especially ridden on a scooter. The roads are perfect for scooters because you can, if you wish, ride hard on them and not be even close to pushing the speed limitations of scooters, in the videos below you can see that big bikes can’t travel any faster than a well set up scooter on most of the route.
Having said that though, the route is dangerous in many places so you need to be competent and on the ball the whole time, for me though, that is what I enjoyed.
Of the 50 that took part this year most had a tail or two each night of near misses and quite a few did crash to one degree or another, from just running off the road with over enthusiasm to sadly one person being knocked off by a car on the last day and being seriously injured. We all wish the rider a speedy recovery. Names omitted by request.
North Coast 500 Route Map | eBay
Videos play list of the trip.