JimRides... from Northern Cumbria in the UK

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by JimRidesThis, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    Yep, get yourself up here! If I can assist in any way let me know, I'm always happy to help motorcycle travellers when I can. Had a couple Canucks from Edmonton stop over a year or so back :thumbup

    Agreed. In fact it's my favourite place in Europe (that I've visited so far). Haven't found the combination of mountains, coastline, entertaining roads, lack of people anywhere else.
    Thank you Stewart! It's nice to know they're appreciated.

    JRT
    #61
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  2. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Thank you Jim, that means a great deal. Seems a shame not to take these kinds of opportunities, no?
    #62
  3. Kebabmonster

    Kebabmonster Been here awhile

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    Enjoyed reading about your travels there Jim.

    I'm doing a 7 day Scottish tour at the end of May with my 15 year old son riding pillion. It'll be our 3rd trip, each one longer than the last. I've never been over your neck of the woods, but the pics you've posted have put a trip over there on my to do list, it's not that far from me here in County Durham.

    Thanks for the RR.
    #63
  4. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    Well, you've got some great scenery and riding on your doorstep over in Co. Durham but I'm certain Scotland will blow you away! Have you got a route planned?

    You're probably already aware of this, but if you're camping, be sure to take plenty of midge repellant - Avon Skin-so-Soft is highly recommended, you'll find most campsites will sell it if Avon don't come calling :) - and many people use midge nets. Again, most campsites sell them if you don't pick a couple up before you go. DON'T underestimate the midge problem, they can make life a misery if they like the taste of your blood.

    Have a great trip and if you need any pointers or recommendations, drop me a PM.

    Jim
    #64
  5. IslandMonkey

    IslandMonkey inselaffe

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    Great posts, cheers Jim.
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  6. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    #Skyline, keeping CalMac afloat and the Periodic Table - Part 2

    [​IMG]

    Next day started with ride-by at the Talisker Distillery, Carbost. I don't really drink anymore but if I'm forced into a 'wee dram' the smokey, peaty 18yr old Talisker on the rocks is my tipple of choice.

    [​IMG]


    As we had a lap of Skye in mind we had no time for a Distillery tour, and without Graeme's SatNav we had to rely on a good old paper map...

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    From Carbost up to Dunvegan...

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    Dunvegan Castle

    ... across to Portree via Edinbane (great campsite there BTW) and down to Armadale ferry terminal...

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    ... where, after a short wait with a posse of bikers from Inverness, the sun came out and we boarded the ferry to Mallaig ...

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    Armadale > Mallaig Ferry. Thank you CalMac #1

    We'd planned to top up the tanks in Mallaig but, being Sunday on the west coast of Scotland, the fuel station had closed at lunchtime. Now, I know I've got a good 200 miles plus in the tank before the TDM goes into countdown mode (so, another 50 miles at least), but Mike (Triumph Explorer) and George (Guzzi Stornello) weren't quite as certain of their range.

    We knew we could get fuel at Fort William but decided to take the longer scenic route down through Salen and Strontian and experience the Corran Ferry. We made it. Just. Both the Triumph and the Guzzi were in minus figures on their respective countdowns by the time we got to the ferry.

    Side note #1. The element Strontium (Sr, atomic number 32) is named after the village of Strontian we'd just ridden through - see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strontium

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    Corran Ferry. Thank you CalMac #2

    Happily we were able to get fuel a couple of miles south of the ferry and enjoyed fast, flowing roads all the way down to our last hotel at Inveraray.

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    Ballachulish Bridge

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    The Inveraray Inn was home for the night and after a leisurely amble around downtown Inveraray (a 10 minute time investment) we retired to the hotel for beers and food. To finish off a perfect day's riding, George pulled the trigger on the last cheese-board of the trip.

    [​IMG]

    Side note #2. The Clyde Puffer, Vital Spark, moored at Inveraray, is the star of the Para Handy books by Neil Munroe written in the 1930's - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Para_Handy
    It was originally named VIC72 but was renamed (and later reregistered) for the making of a TV series 'The Tales of Para Handy' in the 1990's. Munroe was born in Inveraray.


    Here ends this RR. The following day we all made our way south in the normal deflated mood that means a great trip is coming to an end.

    #66
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  7. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    A couple of shots from last weekend, with an old buildings and fencing theme...

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    Orchardton Tower / iron rail fencing

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    Caerlaverock Castle / post and wire

    JRT :wave
    #67
  8. philipbarrett

    philipbarrett Been here awhile Supporter

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    Googling Motorcycle Rental Scotland right now...
    #68
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  9. Kebabmonster

    Kebabmonster Been here awhile

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    This will be my 5th or 6th (cannot quite remember now :confused) Scotland trip, and yeah, the midges have tasted my blood quite a few times. We're hostelling this time (never used hostels before, so all new to us), but have camped every other time I've been up there. Got eaten alive last year at the Red Squirrel campsite near Glencoe, put me off going back there if I'm honest. My wife is an Avon agent/rep/dealer (delete as appropriate haha), so have organised some of their Skin So Soft for the trip.

    Got the route all planned, hostels booked. In short, it's Durham to Inveraray up the A68, through Melrose, Peebles, Carluke, up the side of Loch Lomond, then A83. Day 2 takes us on the A816 Argyll Coastal route (love this), then through Oban, A85, A82 (stop at the Green Welly), A87 staying at Shiel Bridge. Day 3 takes us through Applecross (never been there), Gairloch, Scourie, Durness staying in Tongue. Day 4 is North coast, Dunnett Head, John O'Groats (never been to either of these either), ending up just north of Inverness. Day 5 is through the Cairngorms (love this area) finishing in Pitlochry. Day 6 is back past Loch Lomond, round Glasgow, past Ayr and staying somwhere in Dumfies. Then day 7 takes us home, depending on how we feel, it'll either be the scenic route taking in Hartside, then Alston, Middleton in Tessdale then home, or motorways and A69 just to get back as quick as possible.

    I'll do a bit of a RR when I get back, so maybe keep a look out for it. Just counting down the weeks until we go.

    Andy.
    #69
  10. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    A brilliant trip you have planned there Andy. Day 3 looks like a long one, but worth it not to miss out on Applecross and Belach na Ba.

    When you're on the Ayr - Dumfries section, if you have time, take the coast road down and see if you can fit in the A721 - Newton Stewart to Crocketford - you won't regret it!

    Have a great trip and let me know when you start your RR :)

    Jim
    #70
  11. boristhebold

    boristhebold Been here awhile

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    Great photos.....I'm venturing up there in a couple of days for 4 nights so reading this thread brings a knowing smile to my face.:clap
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  12. Kebabmonster

    Kebabmonster Been here awhile

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    Certainly will let you know about the RR.

    I'll check out my route and have a look at that A721. I'm not as familiar with that sort of area as I am with the west and north coast areas, so cheers for the recommendation.

    Andy

    Just looked there, I'm actually staying near Kirkcudbright on night 6, so I can double back about 15 or so miles to Newton Stewart and head back home that way on day 7. Excellent, thanks again.
    #72
  13. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    In praise of endorphins

    I've been having a bit of a time of it since the New Year. We all know a good spin on a motorcycle is a great way to leave the stresses and strains of the world behind, but sometimes even that doesn't do the trick. On Sunday, my other half suggested I get out for a ride to clear my head. I headed south towards the Lake District with the intention of having a brew at The Filling Station cafe in Keswick, a bit of a biker haunt.

    I got a bit side-tracked with an impromptu hike, so here for your edification, entertainment and amusement are the views from the top of Binsey...

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    Northwest, over the Solway Firth to Scotland, and...

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    ...southeast, over Bassenthwaite Lake (the only lake in the Lake District, the others are all 'meres', 'waters' or 'tarns') and the central massif of the Lakeland fells.

    I can confirm that biking clobber does not make good hiking gear, but I had the whole fell to myself for the hour I spent at the summit. There's nothing like being on the tops to put your troubles into perspective. I'll let Alfred Wainwright explain the particular merits of Binsey because I couldn't put it better myself. What a throne indeed!

    [​IMG]

    After that, I really felt I'd earned that cup of tea at The Filling Station ;)

    [​IMG]


    #73
  14. Montford

    Montford Been here awhile

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    Hey Jim, good to speak to you on the Armadale-Mallaig ferry (yellow Kawasaki GPZ).
    Enjoyed the write up of your trip.
    Cheers
    Ian
    #74
  15. lipsee

    lipsee Been here awhile

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    Hi Jim ,, I enjoyed reading about your adventures... A couple of years back I did a tour from cape Wrath to Lands end.. I stopped a night at Eddie Stobbarts in Carlisle. I went out that evening to Port Carlisle (just out of interest) and got talking to an old codger,he dragged me to his garage and show me his bike collection,, nice chap.. Then rode on to the site of the old Solway rail bridge,( and walked to the end) Yeah I love the area,, No tourists ,backend of nowhere,but more interesting for it!!! regards
    #75
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  16. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    Jim

    You bloody legend :thumb

    Love. This. Thread.

    Entertaining prose n sensational pictures.

    Thanks mate

    Shane
    #76
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  17. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    Hi there! I remember having a good look over your GPz. We had a great ride after the ferry, I trust you guys had the same back over to Inverness ;)

    Ah, a night at the fabled Eddie Stobbarts eh! It's only a couple of miles down the road from home. I know what you mean about Port Carlisle, it is lovely out there in a bleak, windswept sort of way. And, yes, no tourists. Much of the other side of the estuary (Dumfries & Galloway) is much the same, bypassed by the majority heading straight for the Highlands. Can't blame 'em though, it's great up there and it does leave D&G road relatively traffic free ;)

    Thanks Shane. Never though of myself as a legend but I'll roll with it and get a 'T' shirt made! It reminds me of the 70's Triumph copyline - 'ride a living legend' which was soon bastardised to 'ride a living leg end' ;) Kickback, yeah!
    #77
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  18. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    I've just been reading your signature threads. Fantastic!
    #78
  19. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    cheers Jim! Very nice of you!

    :ilmostro
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  20. TwedyMoto

    TwedyMoto The one who can't wheelie a SM

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    THANK YOU!! I live just outside Annan and have wondered what these railway thingys were that were jutting out onto the solway. I thought they were for rail port type thing, didn't realise there was actually a bridge there!
    #80