Is it time to take the bikes on the NC500?

Cycling on the NC500

The North Coast 500 (NC500), which is the most famous long-distance road trip in Scotland, has announced a new initiative to encourage visitors to explore the route by bike.

It has long been popular with caravanners and motorhomers, but has now been fitted out with extra facilities for those wishing to complete it on two wheels.

As well as a selection of new itineraries designed around cycling, the initiative is drawing attention to cyclist-friendly cafes and bike storage facilities.

Should your trusty bike need some TLC on the route, there’s also maintenance areas and cleaning points to ensure you can get back on your way.

Markus Stitz, founder of Bikepacking Scotland, has come on board to help publicise the NC500’s suitability for cyclists and how exploring the route by bike is both sustainable and responsible.

He said: “The NC500 takes people through stunning landscapes, and I hope that through travelling this way people can have a positive impact on the communities along the way.”

Cycling and the motorhome lifestyle can easily go hand-in-hand, with many leisure vehicles well equipped to carry bikes.

You could use your motorhome as a support vehicle while riding the NC500 or combine your trip with some days cycling and others driving.

Craig Mills, head of operations from North Coast 500 Ltd, said: “As we cautiously open up to visitors again, it’s more important than ever that we promote the unique wide-open green spaces, coast, countryside and natural beauty of the NC500 to be enjoyed by everyone for the benefit of positive mental and overall wellbeing.”

The NC500 starts and ends at Inverness Castle and follows the main roads of North Highlands, taking in the stunning coastal scenery of Wester Ross, Sutherland, Caithness, Easter Ross, the Black Isle and Inverness-shire.