NC500 info

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
FerociousDog
Posts: 73
Joined: 28 Sep 2020, 5:56pm

NC500 info

Postby FerociousDog » 30 Sep 2020, 6:18pm

Hi
A couple of friends and I are planning to ride the NC500 next year. We’re in the initial planning stage but as of yet can’t agree on logistics.Two of us want to camp and there other one use B&Bs.We’re planning on 6-7 days using a luggage carrier as opposed to carrying everything.So we'll be on road bikes treating every day as a club run as opposed to real “Touring’.
Are their any members with actual experience of:-
1.The route.Clockwise or anti-clockwise?
2.Campsites or B&Bs
3.Luggage/courier services.
4.POIs
Any other advice appreciated.

Hello by the way,looking forward to getting to know everyone!

FerociousDog
Posts: 73
Joined: 28 Sep 2020, 5:56pm

Re: NC500 info

Postby FerociousDog » 3 Oct 2020, 2:15pm

Having done a bit more research it looks like clockwise is the traditional route so that’s decided.
Luggage carriers is a different matter ie there doesn’t seem to be any!We have a couple of options.
1.Join a guided tour
2.Have a support vehicle.
Option 2 looks like the best idea.A friend with a van to carry all the gear.This also takes care of travel to and from Inverness.
Does anyone know of the Midge situation that high up?We obviously want to ride when there’s at least a chance of mild/dry weather so have pencilled in late June.

rotavator
Posts: 516
Joined: 6 Jun 2016, 9:50pm
Location: North Wales

Re: NC500 info

Postby rotavator » 3 Oct 2020, 3:47pm

If you want to avoid midges, then the usual advice is to avoid going there between mid May and mid September. However, they are unlikely to be much trouble unless you are camping and the weather is warm, humid and calm.

Anecdotally, I have heard that B&Bs and hotels are booked up months in advance because of the popularity of this route with motorists and that the formerly quiet roads are now busy with cars and campervans but I haven't been up there for a few years so I don't know how bad this has become for cyclists.

simonhill
Posts: 3185
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: NC500 info

Postby simonhill » 3 Oct 2020, 5:35pm

Have you searched this forum for NC500? I remember a few posts mentioning and discussing it. Just put NC500 in the little search box too right and you'll find something like 129 matches. You'll then need to wade through them, but probably something useful lies within.

FerociousDog
Posts: 73
Joined: 28 Sep 2020, 5:56pm

Re: NC500 info

Postby FerociousDog » 3 Oct 2020, 6:21pm

simonhill wrote:Have you searched this forum for NC500? I remember a few posts mentioning and discussing it. Just put NC500 in the little search box too right and you'll find something like 129 matches. You'll then need to wade through them, but probably something useful lies within.

I’ll look into that thank you!

rotavator wrote:If you want to avoid midges, then the usual advice is to avoid going there between mid May and mid September. However, they are unlikely to be much trouble unless you are camping and the weather is warm, humid and calm.

Anecdotally, I have heard that B&Bs and hotels are booked up months in advance because of the popularity of this route with motorists and that the formerly quiet roads are now busy with cars and campervans but I haven't been up there for a few years so I don't know how bad this has become for cyclists.

A work mate and his wife have just done it in their camper and said it was quiet but the weather was poor.They roughed it and parked up wherever.
Might rethink June and possibly do mid-September.

gloomyandy
Posts: 1088
Joined: 16 Mar 2012, 10:46pm

Re: NC500 info

Postby gloomyandy » 4 Oct 2020, 12:04pm

You may want to search out the GCN video of Mark Beaumont doing this ride (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J2gAY-WZhU). They modified the "standard" route to include more of the coastal roads to Lchinver (which i've ridden and I'd definitely recommend) and also some small roads/tracks to avoid parts of the A9 (which I've not ridden but anything that avoids the A9 is probably a good idea). That modified route is probably a little harder (more ups and downs), and more remote (but that's a good thing I think).

FerociousDog
Posts: 73
Joined: 28 Sep 2020, 5:56pm

Re: NC500 info

Postby FerociousDog » 4 Oct 2020, 12:08pm

I was going to look into that this afternoon thanks!
Reading some of the posts it sounds like it can be a bit hit and miss on the main route!

Tangled Metal
Posts: 7274
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: NC500 info

Postby Tangled Metal » 4 Oct 2020, 8:15pm

My experience of other areas of the Highlands is end of may first week in June is the best weather and midges.

I recently read about in a report that showed the accident rate of the roads on the NC500 went up something like 47% in the first year since it opened. Another report claimed that most economic benefit was to the larger towns near the route and the smaller villages that really need the boost actually had less passing trade than before it. One councillor from one of the Highland areas it runs through was very critical of it as a mechanism for economic growth in those areas.

Having said that, we're considering doing something like that in our campervan one day. It is a nice part of the world. I wonder if there's not a different, self created route that could be better?

Tangled Metal
Posts: 7274
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: NC500 info

Postby Tangled Metal » 4 Oct 2020, 8:23pm

Duplicate post