Driver’s Swivel Seat – Instructional

This theoretically “easy” task is made more complicated in a Transit van, owing to the need to first lower the handbrake to allow room for the seat to swivel. The scopema drivers side seat swivel, comes with no instructions, other than a simplistic diagram of how to fit it on the website. Whilst we did video the whole process, this is just in case you are if you are like me and also like a written list.

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I is for Ice Skating

Ice Skating in Leicester’s Jubilee Square

When we thought about ice skating, it took us a while to decide where to go. Both the National Ice Centre in Nottingham and the Snowdome in Tamworth off year round public skating sessions for around £9 for two hours. As winter was in full swing, we opted to go for the more festive ice rink in Leicester.  At £9 for a fifty minute slot, is less value-for-money than the other two options, but was much easier to get to. If you are going with a group, there is some discount so make sure you check this out online! Continue reading

Know before You Go:

 Ten Things to Know:

Here is our NC500 top ten tips. Have fun planning and enjoy the ride!

1. Weather

I’m going to go for the stereotypical British thing here and talk about the weather. You can’t predict it, and you can’t control it, so you may as well embrace it. We barely saw the sun for a whole week during our NC500 trip, and although this didn’t make the scenery any less beautiful, it did mean we missed out on a lot of opportunities!  The photos we did take represent the best weather of the week! Particularly disappointing was the “aurora alerts” that buzzed in our pockets (when we had signal!). The cloud filled sky  sabotaged any of our efforts to glimpse the northern lights or take any stunning sunset, sunrise or starry night shots! The wind, which wouldn’t necessarily affect car drivers, meant that we were often riding at an angle just to continue in a straight line! You can read and watch about our windy Balach na Ba experience here. Our advice would be; go prepared and invest in good quality, warm, waterproof clothing!

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NC500 Day Six: Helmsdale to Inverness

Day Six: Helmsdale – Inverness

Route: Helmsdale – Inverness (via Inland route)

Distance: 163 Miles

Weather: Overcast with rain

Drop Counter: Jenny 0 (6) Ian 2 (4)

Another Detour

Today we planned to leave the A9 for a more exciting route! As we were low on fuel, we dropped down to Brora because the petrol station in Helmsdale wasn’t open. From Brora, we intended to ride all the way back to Helmsdale before cutting inland, but Sat Nav had different ideas! It took us on some even smaller roads than we had intended – so unused that grass was growing up the middle. A word of warning if you follow our route: the only other vehicles we saw were 4×4’s. Continue reading

NC500 Day Five: East Mey – Helmsdale (Orkney)

Day Five

Route: East Mey – Helmsdale (Via Orkney)

NC500 Day Five

NC500 Day Five

Distance: 172 miles (842)

Weather: Very Windy, Overcast, Showers.

Drops: Jenny 0 (8) Ian 2 (4)

Orkney

With little interesting riding to be found heading between Mey and Helmsdale, we opted for a day visit to Orkney. Whilst this is a rather expensive option, costing us £128 for the return trip, it did give us a fascinating insight into Neolithic history and an opportunity to experience riding in some staggering wind conditions! Had we visited in the right season, we would also been able to visit more puffin colonies!

During the summer months it is possible to get a passenger ferry straight from John O’ Groats, this is often combined with a day tour bus trip on Orkney. At £64 per person (Summer 2017) this may well be worth it depending on the vehicle you are travelling in. If you are set on visiting and driving yourself, the options catch the Scabaster-Stromness ferry or the Gills Bay-St. Margaret’s Hope. The latter is cheaper, and with a approximate sailing time of one hour is also a half hour quicker than the former option. We managed to get tickets simply by turning up on the day, but in high season advanced booking is required to guarantee a trip. We payed £16 per bike, plus £16 per person each way. Continue reading

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