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Old 07-22-2013, 10:09 AM   #1
sablesurfer OP
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Question Scotland in '14, talking outloud

Just signed up to compete in some Scottish Highland Games, in Scotland where I will be the foreigner. Would be great to get a bike for a day or so and run around the coasts and maybe see some sights while not in a cage.

Thoughts on bike rental in Scotland? (Most everything seems to be down around Edinburgh except for one place in Aberdeen.) There would be two of us, me lots of bike experience (including one trip abroad), her intermediate bike experience.

Where would you ride in the north of Scotland? I have thought about picking the bikes up in Aberdeen, running the coast up to Inverness, maybe down by the Loche, then down through Glenmore forest to Braemar and return the bikes in Aberdeen. Something quick, scenic, fun, not an advanced ride since I have never actually gone riding with the GF.
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:47 PM   #2
High Country Herb
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First off; good luck in the games. I hope you show those guys a thing or two.

My biggest concern, if I were you, would be your girlfriend's intermediate riding experience. An inmate here who has ridden in the UK quite a bit suggested sticking a piece of tape on the left side mirror, and keeping in mind that always need to be closest to the curb. It sounds silly and overly simple, but in a stressed situation simple is good.

Sounds like a great trip, and I will be curious to see what those familiar with the area say. I hope to explore Scotland while I'm there.
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Old 07-24-2013, 03:58 AM   #3
xppx
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Hi there!

If I can I would recommend you that:

http://gps.motionx.com/maps/389950bc...79010c4d98045d

That was my weekend trip in May.. You'll enjoy the roads, and I wouldn't say that may be hard for inexperienced rider... but, well that depends. Some roads are easy for one and hard for another... There is no much traffic north and west from Inverness.

I could also recommend the Isle of Skye, and outer Hebrides ( http://gps.motionx.com/maps/206028ab...aa1f27fd75047f ), but for that you'd need a few days.

Don’t know how about bike hire since I always ride my own but, I'm sure there'll be something.

When are you planning to come over, and where Highland Games will take place?

If I'm free while you'll be here I'm more than happy to guide you, ride somewhere
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:40 AM   #4
scootac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sablesurfer View Post
Where would you ride in the north of Scotland?
The Highlands!
Get to Durness, then south to Ullapool, Gairloch, Fort William and back to Glasgow.
It's beautiful country,,, with wonderful people. Wife and I spent two weeks there in May (in a car though),,, we would go back in a minute.
There's a thread in Ride Reports, Scotland at 45mph,,, with lots of pics to get you excited!
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:54 AM   #5
sablesurfer OP
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@xppx - that is a nice route. Two things I have found since I started just googling routes is that...the castle that 'supposedly' inspired bram stoker is off around peterhead and the GF says a distillary that is on her list is somwhere around MacDuff? So we may be doing up the coast and around to Inverness.
Also, pretty sure that since I am a Highland Games competitor I might just have to stop at a place called Braemar since we compete Braemar stone and if you have a caber too light you screw around and try 'to braemar' it with no run up.

The route up north, what are some highlights that you might think are not to miss? (Although I am sure that the whole route is beautiful.)

The games are Sept next year right in Inverness.

@High Country Herb, thanks for the well wishes. I can manage to keep myself in top 15 for my age group in US. This competiton will pull a lot of guys from Europe I have never seen. Also, I'll be moving up an age class next year and that means more new people I haven't thrown against. Have my work and training cut out for me.

@scootac, unfortunately not sure we will get down to Glasgow or Edinburgh. The games will take up three days of the trip, then we have to hit the Loch, just cause you have to as a tourist. And I have learned from my Irish uncles not to plan mileage just for mileage sake. (I tried to get them all the way across Spain in two days....they said NO...)
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:59 AM   #6
Montford
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Hi

http://www.highlandsuperbikehire.co.uk/

This is a new Motorcycle hire place opened up last year in Muir of Ord,where I live,its about 10 miles from Inverness by road and two stops on the train from Inverness station.

I have no connection with this company and not heard any reports about them but they have been posting flyers around the Highlands.

The rates seem expensive for the bigger bikes but I see they also hire 250 Hondas which would be just as much fun if you don't have to carry a lot of luggage and much more manageable on the smaller roads.

There are loads of good day trip possibilities from the Inverness area,the main tourist roads are very busy particularily the A 82 and A9 but away from the main roads the traffic is light.

Applecross is worth a visit,the road over the mountain is stunning but I would say not best suited to a novice.
An easier but no less scenic route is head north West from Inverness towards Ullapool then follow the coast road North
to Kilochbervie,there are some lovely places around that area like Oldshoremore and Blairmore you could then return via Lairg and onto the A9 or continue to Durness and Thurso then return via the A9.

The distances are not great but many of the roads to the North West are narrow and slow so allow plenty of time and above all enjoy your visit.
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:47 AM   #7
Mark Manley
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I can recommend Michelin map 401 for route planning, any road with a green line for a scenic road on it will be great and there are plenty of those up there.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:01 AM   #8
LC8rider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sablesurfer View Post
Where would you ride in the north of Scotland? I have thought about picking the bikes up in Aberdeen, running the coast up to Inverness, maybe down by the Loche, then down through Glenmore forest to Braemar and return the bikes in Aberdeen. Something quick, scenic, fun, not an advanced ride since I have never actually gone riding with the GF.
I seriously love riding the scottish highlands and have been several times. Its a beautiful part of the UK and if you are lucky enough to get good weather, then you will not be disapointed with any of it. I even got married up there in Fort Augustus/lLoch Ness last year. For me, the west coast from glencoe to durness is as good as it gets. Some parts are touristy, but you will be a tourist after all, and it will never be as bad as many other places, ie, cumbrian lake district!!!! Can't advise on bike hire I'm afraid.
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