Wild Camping Ride Out Notes.
The Following Highland Rider Motorbike Tours Group Members were in attendance and completed this Epic Adventure.
Shuggie Hoskins, Andrew Purves, Shane Clow, Dougie McArthur, Graham Peart, Allan Lowery, George Anderson, Scotty Mc Ivor, Christopher Ball, Scott Whitaker, Tony Mather, Mark Whitaker, Christopher Flynn, Jake Markidis, Ian Peck, Ken Davidson & Robin Strom.
So what was the plan and the purpose of this Trip ??????
It was to collectively get riders together and ride the west coast of Scotland. Taking them out of their comfort zones and experience the breath-taking sights that there is to offer in this Country.
Thursday 17th September 2020
Riders from the Midlands, Nottinghamshire, Northumberland, Aberdeenshire, Morayshire, Inverness shire all made their way to designated meeting points 7 arrived in Fife, 7 arrived in Stirling, 2 arrived in Fort William and 1 made his way towards Loch Ness. The lads in Stirling got a visit from Group members Scottie Armstrong & Lucie Elizabeth just to reunited themselves after making friends at Cookstown the week before.
The riders who arrived in Fife were shown to their accommodation and had Homemade Chicken Curry to contend with as a reward.
One thing is for sure Highland Rider does form bonds of friendships that last forever.
Friday 18th September 2020
At 0700hrs all riders in Fife met up for Breakfast at Shuggie’s House prior to departure, with all riders fed and watered we headed over the A91 towards Stirling Services. We arrived there after refuelling and met up with the other 7 riders, we had the customary introductions and briefing done then we were heading on the A84 towards Doune Castle.
At Doune Castle where the filmed the Movie “Life of Brian” we had a quick stop then headed again on the A84 towards Loch Lubnaig and stopped for some refreshments and enjoy the spectacular views that this place offers.
The roads are good in this area of the A84 heading towards the Green Wellie Stop on the A82, we continued our journey at a reasonable pace (that’s all I am saying) and we stopped for fuel at the Green Wellie before continuing over Glen Coe on the A82 where we again stopped at the View Point and were met by the Piper who played a couple of tunes. This is a lovely area the roads are open and flowing but you are restricted by average speed cameras and the dreaded campervans, however the scenery is spectacular, and all riders were enjoying the route so far.
We eventually arrived in Fort William where we met Ken Davidson at Morrisons, there we had a lunch & fuel stop after which we then continued up the A82 towards Eilean Donan Castle, turning onto the A87 towards Skye. We passed by the Ben Nevis Distillery and the 45 Royal Marine Commando Memorial on this part of the Journey before we arrived at the Castle, plus on this part we met up with our final tourer and friend Robin Strom who joined our Epic Adventure.
After another break at the Castle we headed towards Auchtertyre and turned onto the Sigle Track A890 towards Strathcarron, then we took the A896 up towards Bealach na Ba Viewpoint. We stopped to enjoy the magnificent views which this beautiful weather offered us, the road up was not for the faint hearted and all riders done extremely well with the tight twisty corners and oncoming vehicles that we encountered.
We got ourselves sorted out and then continued onto Applecross to complete out first days riding and find ourselves a wild camping area that was close to the local amenities. This was achieved with ease and we set up our campsite got some refreshments and food and sat chatting until around midnight in the moonlight before retiring to our tents for some much-needed rest.
Saturday 19th September 2020
We got up at around 7am and got ourselves organised to depart at around 0830hrs, as we packed the mist started rolling in from sea which was an amazing site and one which was going to push the riders outside of their comfort zones. Once we were ready to go, I briefed the riders about the next part of our route and that it was my intention to ride through the thick mist at the National Speed Limit where it was safe to do so.
We headed out on the single-track coastal road which was going to last for 32 miles riding through this thick dense mist, it proved tricky, but it was indeed interesting, and we achieved what I set to achieve.
We eventually made it to Gairloch and stopped for some refreshments at the Golf Club Café, from here we were heading on the A892 and the A835 towards Ullapool. We stopped at various locations during this part of the Adventure especially the Waterfalls at Loch Broom.
This stretch of road really offered the riders a chance to twist the throttle and the group were well spread out by the time we reached the Waterfalls, but no one was left behind or got lost due to using the postcodes that were supplied before our adventure began.
Once we arrived in Ullapool we had a long break and got supplies from the Local Tesco and once again there was a fuel station, all riders were enjoying the adventure and the weather was once again terrific.
The next part of the journey was going to be towards Lairg on the A835 then onto the A837 / A839, this was a single-track road that lasted 27 miles and which we had all to ourselves. “Miles of Smiles” were in abundance and before we knew it, we were in Lairg.
The group decided we would push on for a further 10 miles on the A836 to Bonar Bridge which had a purpose-built Wild Camping Site which had a Spar Shop a Pub and a Chinese takeaway within 200 metres of our place we called home for the night.
We ordered our food; we got our beers and we sat and chatted about what we had completed over the last 2 days. It was truly turning out to be the Epic Adventure that had been listed prior to this taking place.
Sunday 20th September 2020
We got up at around 0700hrs again and got packed up after we had decided we would today ride over the Cairngorms. At around 0900hrs we departed for a 48-mile ride to Inverness, we stopped for a late breakfast at the Café they call V8, very nice place to relax and enjoy a lovely bit of food and brew. We got the group together and laid out the plan for the next part of the adventure which was to ride over the Cairngorms up to Tomintoul using the A9, A938 & A939.
Some of the Group said their goodbye’s as they lived up in the Highlands so with our cheerio’s done, we set of to complete the final mountain range of the Highlands Ride Out. We again had fun in the sun as we rode our bikes on these gorgeous routes and encountered a lot of other riders who were out enjoying themselves as well. once at Tomintoul.
We were met by Bryan Peck and his Son who had ridden over from Fraserburgh to meet up with Ian Peck and accompany him home.
We had a good stop before saying goodbye to Ian & Bryan then continued up over the Lecht and down to Royal Deeside then onto Braemar where we refuelled and had a leg stretch after riding what was another great section of road.
We then continued up to Glenshea Ski Slope and then onto Blairgowrie. We again stopped and as all the riders were heading further south then I (Shuggie) said my farewells and wished all my fellow bikers as safe and onwards journey. I then headed home back to St Andrews and arrived home safely after 676 miles of smiles.
This was one of those extra special adventures that has cemented new bonds of friendships that would never had happened unless this took place. It also reunited a few of the Highland Riders who had the pleasure and privilege of completing the very first Scotland Tour back in 2012.
We rode the roads like we owned them, we made shapes that we thought weren’t possible and we saw sights that only can be described as magical. This is what Highland Rider Motorbike Tours is all about.
"There are No Strangers on Tour,
Only Friends you have yet to Meet"
“Driving is a Journey,
Riding is an Adventure”
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The 2021 International North West 200 race week festival will take place on the 9th - 16th May with the main race day taking place on Saturday 15th.
This years tours are still being organised and no dates have been confirmed as of yet. Please keep checking back for updates.
Highland Rider Scotland Motorbike Tour
22nd – 29th June 2013.
One Vision, 11 Bikers, 1585 Miles