North Coast 500

The Highland tour 18-24 Oct 2018

A five-day circumnavigation of the north highlands.

Outline of plan.

On Thursday morning 18th of October 2018 at 9am a 17-seater mini bus with a trailer will transport up to 10 riders and bikes to Inverness in the highlands of Scotland. We will sleep Thursday night at Inverness youth hostel. The first day’s ride will begin at a relaxed time and after basic breakfast (provided) to allow us to set up and prepare bodies and bikes. The van will follow the riders and will meet at an agreed time at the halfway point for the day usually where food is available, then follow us to the next hostel that afternoon/evening. This process will be repeated for four more days until we have circumnavigated the north highlands and returned to inverness. Below is a table of stages distances in miles and elevation in feet. On Tuesday night we will sleep in the youth hostel at inverness and travel home Wednesday the 24th arriving Cardiff in the evening.





distance miles

elevation ft






Inverness to Torridon




Torridon to Ullapool




Ullapool to Tongue




Tongue to Helmsdale




Helmsdale to inverness








Map Link

For a map and gps file of the route click here. 


All riders will carry a charged phone and have supplied their phone numbers to the organisers and all the other riders. There will also be a “Whatsapp” group set up too.

An entry requirement for this event is to use a GPS bike computer and be linked to strava and joined onto the event strava group. Additionally, to have the strava live tracking beacon feature switched on for the event. This is so that the driver, or any other interested party can make sure riders are safe if they become separated or have a mechanical failure.


Breakfasts have been included, however packing plenty of your favourite snacks is a good idea but also imperative for the lunch meals in case cafes or shops are closed or missed. Evening meals are the rider’s responsibility, but I envisage a communal decision to be taken daily and likely available from the areas local to the hostels or within driving distance for the safety vehicle.


We will be staying at youth hostels in dorm style rooms throughout the adventure, so bring a sleeping bag wash kit and towel and flip flops.

Kit and equipment.

Your road bike will need to be in optimal working condition, things like brake blocks and tyres need to be serviceable to be able to cope with the over 500mile route.

You may also need a bike box/ bag to transport your bike in the trailer (To be confirmed)


This is the Highlands of Scotland, YOU WILL NEED WET AND WARM BIKE CLOTHING For on the bike. A spare set of bike clothes is a great idea as well as off the bike clothes too.

A GPS bike computer with batteries or charger, linked to strava account/group/live tracking.

Daylight cycle lights with batteries and/or charger in case of bad weather or early darkness or late finishers

Water bottles, at least 2 bottles for each cyclist with plenty of s caps, zero tabs or other rehydration products that assist with returning minerals lost sweating.

Any additional riding fuel that you wish to carry daily.

Mobile phone and charger, to be carried cycling and fully charged at the start of each day water proofing if needed.

Drop bag for the van at half way.

Basic first aid kit to include any medications and chamois cream or equivalent.

Basic riding emergency mechanical kit for on the bike i.e. tubes gas, pump, multi tool, tyre levers, puncture kit etc. It is also an idea to have any basic additional tools in your drop bag in the van things like torq wrench, grease, chain lube, pedal spanners spare chain/chain splitter are good ideas to make simple adjustments.

Rider behaviour and etiquette.

Ultimately, we must ride within the rules of the highway code. In addition, some extra points of guidance for this event are useful given the narrowness of the roads and the remoteness of the route.

At this time of year, the roads will be quieter than at the height of summer however it doesn’t take much to block them with traffic, riding courteously and making use of passing places to allow traffic to pass are a good idea. When ascending the climbs, be wary that traffic could be coming the other way so staying alert and not using headphones is important. When descending be careful. Sheep, deer, golden eagles are all plentiful up here and a collision with any of them or oncoming traffic will ruin your day and theirs.

Keep an eye on your fellow riders, NO LONE RIDING this is an endurance adventure, so it will test the limits of some, remember we always have a vehicle if that test becomes too much or too dangerous to continue.

Emergency actions.

We do not envisage injuries occurring, however if they do, self-help or first as necessary if needed calling emergency services via the usual call 999. In areas of low/no mobile signal sending riders to get a mobile signal who are to alert the emergency services and the support vehicle and other riders.


This adventure is provided at cost price and there is no intention for profit to be made, therefore the price per rider will change dependent on numbers of riders. Below is a table depicting costs for group sizes


6 riders

£430 per rider

7 Riders

£390 per rider

8 Riders

£365 per rider

9 Riders

£345 per rider

10 riders

£330 per rider


My intention is to get 10 riders to limit costs, there is no space for more.   Pete Smith  07974004875

To guarantee your place on the event, please pay the deposit of £100 using the PayPal button below.  Further payments will be arranged when numbers are confirmed.  *NB in the event of being over subscribed places will be given in order of payments made ie first come first served!


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