NC 500 16th June 2021

Notes for Leader’s Intro Brief

 

1. General ethos is relaxed. Enjoy the sights.

2. YOUR responsibility to have bags labelled. Including ‘day bag’

3. Have you completed the ICE form? Any medical conditions / allergies noted?

4. Daily schedule – see section below

  • 7:15am every morning – 10 to 15 minute briefing in hotel lobby and then straight to breakfast. Dress in cycle clothing but no cleated shoes please. After briefing proceed to the dining room for breakfast
  • 8:15am - when you have finished breakfast, bring your bags to lobby, check out (don’t forget to hand in keys or cards) and take bags to van. Leave yourself enough time after breakfast to ensure you are ready with bags at the van for 8:15am. The crew should be there to accept your bag and pack on the van. It is your responsibility to ensure the crew have received your bags. Do not leave bags unattended. Note you can stow your day bag inside the front door of the van.

Once your bags are in the van, then you can proceed to collect your bike from overnight storage and visually check it. We ask that you depart no earlier than 8:30am. This will ensure you don’t arrive at lunch too early. If you feel you need a little more time and wish to leave earlier in the mornings, then please discuss this with us.

5. Evening - meals are booked in hotels?

6. Lunch is included on 2 days and others we have recommended stops ... Marked on Route Guides along with coffee stops

7. Emphasize Hygiene - Remove gloves and use hand disinfectant

8. Support team will move ahead and be at lunch location prep lunch in time for first rider arriving. Will wait until all riders through

9. Bags will be in reception when you arrive

10. Where practical, the support vehicle will ‘leap frog’ the riders. If we pass don’t wave unless you want us to stop. We will be looking in our mirror and a clear ‘hand on the head’ signal will be seen and we will stop at next safe area

11. We will carry snacks and water

12. If you flag us down you have the option of travelling in the Support vehicle if you are cold or tired, etc. Bike will go in van

13. Call 999 immediately for any emergency that requires medical attention and then call your Tour Leader

14. You will have opportunity to provide feedback on all aspects of the tour once completed. If there is something that you feel strongly needs to be brought to our attention before that, then we welcome your comments and suggestions

Specifics

  • Caravans and motor homes; The peculiar northerners and their ways
  • Stopping signals

 

Every Day

  • Route Sheets glance over – Questions?
  • Hazzards / anything that might affect day
    Midges / roadworks / weather / COVID update
  • Destination Confirmation
    Route sheets with Kilometres, Climbing, Stops and other POIs
  • Time of Leaving
  • Dinner Order confirmation where required / Time

 

Each Day Specifics

Day 1 – Inverness to Strathcarron

  • A few miles to Loch Ness
  • Muir of Ord Whisky Distillery
  • Fairly easy day

Day 2 – Strathcarron to Loch Maree

  • Beelach na Ba

Lights on for this section as soon as you leave hotel please: the mist can drop like a heavy blanket and appear as suddenly and unexpectedly as Arthur’s mattress in the Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy

  • Headwind on climb?
  • Descent mossy, steep and slippy
  • Starts to get remote – Applecross might seem a bit early for coffee but literally NOTHING else until lunch and you’re nerves will be shot to hell after that descent anyway so you’ll want the caffeine

Day 3 – Loch Maree to Ullapool

CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING HERE – MUST’VE BEEN PRETTY BORING … except the Gorge – that was nice

Day 4 – Ullapool to Durness

‘The Lochinver Pass’, ‘The Drumbeg Loop’ or ‘The Wee mad road of Sutherland’

Whatever you choose to call it this 24 mile loop linking Lochinver to Unapool along the coast is simply a stunning place to be in the world. You’ll find out for yourself today.
I wish you sunshine and a clear sky to see it at its best.

 

Day 5 Durness to Thurso

Swimspots on the North Coast:
Ceannabeine Beach just past Sangobeg as you leave Durness and
the Beach at Sandside Bay behind Reay Golf Club

 

Day 6 Thurso to Lairg

Warning re the Lorries as this is The North of Scotland Timber Haulage Route.
Funded by them so they have more right to be there than us so WE have to thank THEM for being able to avoid the A9

 

Day 7 Lairg to Inverness

The beautiful Black Isle – any Ian McEwan fans? The Wasp Factory was set here. Strange Book