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Ullapool w/end Aug 2010

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Ullapool w/end Aug 2010

Post by JT on Mon 10 Jan 2011, 20:40

Now then

Thought I'd save this for a winters read Smile

Wee Al had sorted a weekend away for 7 of us Lads, up to Ullapool in North West Scotland. We would set off from Al and Hazel’s on Friday 27th August of the Bank Holiday weekend in 2010. Lesley would stay with Hazel and they would have a girlie weekend in Irvine, while we were away.

Thursday 26th
We’d packed our tank bag and givi back box for the weekend on Wednesday so that we could set off straight after finishing work on Thursday. I got home from work after Lesley and we were on the road by 17:30 in bright sunshine. Up the A1, across the A66 and up the M6 was our route. At Gretna the Sat Nav took us onto the very fast, wide open A75 to Dumfries then the magic A76 towards Kilmarnock. This road had a bit of everything with some lovely scenery and we loved it. After Thornhill on the A76 the sun started to disappear and before we got to Cumnock we saw the most beautiful sunset

The road was closed at Mauchline and so we followed a diversion via ‘B’ roads to Irvine. Riding unknown ‘B’ roads in the dark was, mmm, interesting. We arrived at Al & Hazels at 21:30 just as the takeaway’s arrived, great timing. Already there were Dalton, Ste, Heath and his mate Graham. We had a few beers as we ate the food sat around the chimera outside and then got our heads down looking forward to the following day’s ride.

Friday 27th
Everyone was up in good time as the sun shone brightly and Al made breakfast for us all. Al’s mate Billy, who lived local, arrived for breakfast and we all loaded our bikes ready for the off

The rider’s and bikes were :-
Al – CB1300
Billy – Blade
Ste – Street triple
Heath – XJR
Graham – Fazer
Dalton – XJR
Me – XJR

We were all ready and set off by 09:30. Billy led the way and was our front man with Al being ‘rear gunner’ for the whole weekend. It was back roads to Glasgow, over the Erskine Bridge and onto the A82 heading North. There was a bit of traffic about and when we turned right at Tarbet to keep on the A82 and hug the shore of Loch Lomond, the road narrows and it was too busy to overtake so we followed the cars in front until we were clear of Loch Lomond and the road then widens again and we could ‘crack on’ a bit. Left at Crianlarich and onto our first break at The Green Welly Stop at Tyndrum.

There was a few bikes in, including a pack of Harleys, one of which ended up on it’s side. Great big thing, two up with hard luggage, he just lost the balance stood still and needed a few helpers to pick it up. Nothing hurt but his pride so no drama’s. A trip to the bog, a smoke and we were off again. The weather was warm and dry and everyone was in good spirits after getting a few miles under our belts.
Back on the A82 and the scenery gets more stunning as you ride this road north. Through the Bridge of Orchy and Glencoe the road is fast and clear, fairly well open with minimal sharp bends to hold up our very good progress. We had a bit of fun, some overtaking each other went on and we got split up a little into two groups but not too far apart. Before you know it we are pulling into Fort William. Right to the far end of the through road next to Loch Linnhe and Billy led us into MacDonalds for a bite to eat. We soon realised Graham and Al were a little behind and when they arrived it turned out Graham’s gearbox sprocket on the Fazer had come loose and he’d lost drive. The sprocket nut had come off and the sprocket had worked it’s way along the shaft to the gap in the splines, very, very lucky, it could’ve ended in disaster but as it was Graham had pushed it back on and nursed it to Fort William. A local engineering shop was found and a couple of spot welds later Graham and his Fazer were up and running again.

Fed and watered we made our way to the petrol station and filled up. Some bikers who were travelling south told us that it was pissing down just north of Fort William so water proofs, waterproof gloves and clear visors were donned. It turned out to be a good move because we hit rain not long after leaving the garage. The good thing was it didn’t last for too long and we were soon back onto dry roads, pushing on and enjoying the route that bit more.
We turned left at Invergarry and waited at the junction so everyone was together again and on the A87. As Al pulled round the corner Ste shot off and I thought bloody hell, he’s off before we were all ready, then I thought, ‘eh up’, this must be a good road and he’s off to play, or he’s going to go ahead to get some photo’s, so I set off in ‘Hot pursuit’. Ste hadn’t been gone long as I pushed on and thought any minute now I’ll see the back of him in the distance but round each corner all I could see was clear road, no Ste, cars or anything. As I climbed up a hill I could see a layby, pull in, on the left overlooking a gorgeous loch, I eased up a little but saw no bike, so back ‘on it’. I didn’t mess about I can tell you but still no Ste, He’s clicked with his Street Triple and really enjoying it I thought, I couldn’t get anywhere near him. The road was absolutely superb. Up and down with a great mix of bends and straights and all on a decent surface, I really enjoyed it. Next thing I know I‘m at a ‘T’ junction, better wait for everybody else I thought, didn’t know which way we were heading. I took a couple of photo’s of me bike, as you do when Billy came into view then Ste appeared, that had me beat ! Turns out he had shot off to get some photo’s and stopped in a lay by, I’d missed him completely ha ha so I’d been trying to catch no-one, Laughing .

Once we were all together again Billy led us along the A87 past Loch Cluanie, Loch Duich and Loch Alsh all beautiful and to our left. Words cannot justify the scenery in this part of the country and the roads running through it are as spectacular and as quiet as any biker could wish for. We turned right at Auchtertyre and had a smoke and piss stop. It was at this point it was noticed Heath’s rear tyre was, how can I put this, ‘F#cked’. Completely knackered in the middle, no tread left at all infact it was down to the carcass !

Scary stuff with a good way to go till we reach our hotel, with nothing resembling a town that would have a bike or tyre shop in, on our route. Rather than ring for a breakdown recovery and with time against us, Heath decided to carry on and sort the tyre out tomorrow, so on we went.
We had turned onto the A890 which ran to a ‘T’ junction and I led away. Another classic road which runs along the side of Loch Carron to New Kelso. The road climbs initially, the road surface not being brilliant ‘mill pond like’ but good enough. Well into the Highlands now and the road twists and turns round mountainsides, through forests and along a Loch with a safety barrier above a drop on your left, then your right for virtually the full 15 miles. The road surface improves after a couple of miles and the ride is mega. Our route took us right at the ‘t’ junction to stay on the A890 and along a recently resurfaced with chippings road. It didn’t seem to bother Billy who led and who seemed to ride all the way along this stretch right in the pile of chippings in the middle of our lane which entertained Me & Ste Lol. We stopped at Achnasheen

which is in the middle of nowhere for a short break before making our way onto the A835 and turning left for Ullapool.

Once on this road we pushed on a bit and Al came up from the back to have a bit of fun and we upped the pace into Ullapool. We were all running low on fuel and as we pulled into the petrol station the heavens opened, phew, we made it just in time I thought. As that thought was still in my head Ste pulled up and informed us Billy had ran out of petrol a couple of miles back so we bought a plastic can and ste and Me rode back to Billy. The rain was bouncing down but it didn’t take long to empty the 5 litres into Billy’s Blade and we were soon in the hotel and showered and changed.

We had a walk out that night for some food in a local bar and had a walk along to another couple of pubs before calling it a night.

Saturday 28th
There were a few delicate heads in the morning, especially Heath who’d been talking into ‘the big white telephone’ during the night lol but one by one we all made it down for breakfast. Heath had organized for a recovery for his bike because of the rear tyre and the truck pulled up during breakfast. Heath went gingerly out and watched the guy load his bike up and off they went to a bike shop in Inverness for a new tyre. Everything was steady away this morning and so after breakfast and still feeling a little dodgy I went for a walk in the surrounding area and got some fresh air.

It did the job and I felt a lot better by mid morning. We had a walk down to the port area and hung about a bit taking in the scenery and some wildlife.

The weather forecast wasn’t good and it soon started to turn wet. Billy, Ste and Graham were keen to go out on the bikes and waited until Heath returned and then the four of them went to explore in the rain. Me, Al and Andy decided against it and went for another walk round Ullapool, took on some lunch in a café and ended up in a bar. The lads returned from their ride and we met up again before showering and going out for the night. We had another good meal and not so many drinks before hitting the sack.

Sun 29th
Up in no rush, showered and a quick look outside to see the rain pissing down, bummer. After going downstairs for a full breakfast we loaded the bikes, said our goodbyes and set off. The rain kept coming but the road was quiet so we kept a decent pace. Not far out of Ullapool after passing a couple of cars we slowly caught up on a Porsche. He wasn’t messing about but when we followed him passed another car or two he upped the ante. We didn’t know the road and the weather was pretty crap so followed for mile after mile not exactly hounding him but close enough and eventually we all got past him and forged on.
We decided on the quick way home because of the rain so made for the A9, Inverness and the A82 south, alongside Loch Lomond. The rain had started to ease a little and steadily improved as we headed home. The funny thing was, even though the weather was pretty shit up till this point we had made really good time, forward planning and the odd dodgy overtake saw us covering ground quickly. Another stop at Maccy D’s in Fort William for a break, was just the job for people to get out of their waterproofs, seen a s the rain had stopped and to get ready for the last stint.

Off again and with dry roads we had another great, fast ride through Glen Coe to Crianlarich but as we approached Loch Lomond the traffic slowed us down. From there to Glasgow the traffic was very heavy and we had to filter. After we stopped for petrol just before Glasgow, Ste, Andy, Heath and Graham decided to make their way straight home, so we parted company shortly after that. Billy, Al and me headed for Irvine and then Billy left us at his turn off and we got back to Al’s soon after that.

What a cracking weekend. A great group of lads, fantastic roads and amazing scenery made the weekend one to remember. It has been said before many times by the biking press but Scotland really is a biking paradise, get yourselves there.

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Re: Ullapool w/end Aug 2010

Post by silverback on Tue 11 Jan 2011, 00:23

Good write up and sounds like a good trip.
You could have got a tyre in Kyle Of Lochalsh 5 miles up the road from Auchtertyre or even in Ullapool rofl
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Re: Ullapool w/end Aug 2010

Post by Kaiser on Tue 11 Jan 2011, 08:05

Nice thraed JT - hope you enjoyed the trip, looks like you did cheers
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Re: Ullapool w/end Aug 2010

Post by bazza on Fri 28 Jan 2011, 22:41

yip sounds like you guys had a good trip, Billy and wee Al told me about it, i know Ste ,Andy and Heath (good Lads)... and yes the roads up that way are the mutts nutts for bikeing..
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Re: Ullapool w/end Aug 2010

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