MY SPE­CIAL RIDE

Scot­landõs west coast

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Justin Hayzelden

‘At the end you’ll want to ride it again - go for it, there’s still enough time’

An early start will make the most of this epic route, but be sure to down a full Scot­tish be­fore set­ting off – you’ll need it. Head north­west from Cri­an­larich on the A82, fuel up at The Green Welly, then en­joy the first of many grins as you chase a glo­ri­ous rib­bon of tar­mac across open moor­land to ride the spectacular Glen Coe pass. Push on to In­ver­garry, via Fort Wil­liam and Spean Bridge.

Take the A87 from In­ver­garry and surf the curves be­tween loch and glen, beck­oned on­ward by a flow­ing road set against a truly breath­tak­ing back­drop. Fill up at the Jet sta­tion along Loch Duich (108 miles from the Green Welly), then six miles fur­ther turn right for the A890. From hereon the roads get nar­rower (for a while at least) and down to a sin­gle track in places. The go­ing may be slower, but the in­cred­i­ble land­scape doesn’t let up.

At the T-junc­tion turn left and fol­low the A896 for nine miles to Tor­na­press, where you’ll find the start of Scot­land’s third high­est road, the fa­mous Bealach na Bà. This twisted cor­nu­copia of steep gra­di­ents and tight turns snakes its way up and over the Ap­ple­cross penin­sula in true Alpine style and must be tack­led with cau­tion. The wind can gust with aban­don so take it easy – any run-off is lit­tered with un­for­giv­ing rocks and boul­ders. Stop at the view­point for an oblig­a­tory selfie be­fore de­scend­ing to Ap­ple­cross and a well-de­served lunch at the Inn.

Once fed and wa­tered, fol­low the coast road north. This rugged and re­mote route, though nar­row and twisty, should not be too tax­ing and makes for some sen­sa­tional vis­tas. Turn left at the junc­tion with the A896 and fol­low the road to Kin­lochewe – this whole sec­tion should take about an hour and 40 min­utes. Stop here to top up your tank and you can for­get about fuel for the rest of the ride.

The A832 from Kin­lochewe via Gair­loch is noth­ing short of motorcycling nir­vana. There are 60 miles of rolling, wind­ing (mostly) twolane tar­mac that loops out to the coast, around and back, re­veal­ing ever more awe­some­ness at ev­ery twist and turn. At the end you’ll want to ride it again and on a long sum­mer’s day there’s still time – be­lieve me, I’ve done just that. The fi­nal stretch along the A835 is best taken at a re­laxed cruise and there’ll be no small feel­ing of ac­com­plish­ment as you park up at your digs in Ul­lapool. A last, lin­ger­ing look at the beast that brought you here and then it’s off to the pub to cel­e­brate a truly sat­is­fy­ing ride in fine style.

The Scot­tish scenery is breath­tak­ing, so re­lax and take your time on this trip

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