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Northern Area Dax Rush Owner's Club

Bens and Glens Trip - 2002

For the second time this year the N.A.D.R.O.C. managed to get together for a run through the Bens and Glens of Scotland's Highland region. Three cars joined the run, which started at our familiar Caithness Glass car park in Perth. In the rain. Again…

Although that was set to change as we headed out along the A85 west for Lochearnhead into the sunshine through the Keillour Forest. A quick photo stop and a chat with some bikers to discuss horsepower and tyres (!) saw us all headed out towards Tyndrum and both bikes and Rushes had no trouble despatching heavily laden hay lorries and caravans as we found some empty roads past Ben More through Glen Dochart to Crianlarich and on towards Tyndrum. As usual the popular Green Welly Shop was packed out with Sunday run drivers, holidaymakers and more bikes. Needless to say we didn't stop but pushed on passing more caravans and coaches along the West Highland way before a stop at the absent tea wagon overlooking Loch Tulla! One of the party had run off in front having a clearer run at Rannoch Moor than the two of us behind but Glencoe isn't really the sort of place you want to Rush through. It's awe-inspiring beauty beggars belief every time I see it. Pity there was absolutely nowhere to stop for photos as every possible parking spot had a car in it! As we wound through this fabulous Glen it seemed we were watching the march of a hundred ants as the dozens of walkers streamed in lines all over the hillsides. Just over the bridge from Ballachulish we stopped for a spot of lunch at a hotel looking out onto Loch Linnhe in the glorious sunshine of an August summer day.

Parked up at Loch Linnhe

After a good old natter and with food tanks topped up the next part of the run took us out of Fort William under the watchful eye of Ben Nevis where we topped up the cars' tanks too. This part of the route is really full as people head off toward the Western Isles and Skye in particular but we turned off right along the A86 through Glen Spean to Laggan and alongside the Loch of the same name where the road turned out to be all but empty. Except for the odd slow moving car and fast-moving bike, which proved to be not fast-moving enough through the twisties to pass three Rushes all the way into Newtonmore where we finally lost them in town traffic. The acceleration from the Cosworth Turbo installed in a 600kg car is quite staggering. You have to see it to believe it - especially if you're riding a Ducati 916! And with the two Cosworths behind me holding the bikes off the Pinto wasn't lost for legs either.

Some more fun pushing the cars through the B-road that runs parallel with the A9 brought us to Aviemore. Here the bank holiday weekend was being enjoyed by Harley Davidson Owners from all over the place and was wall to wall with bikes and bikers. Owner of the yellow Cosworth Rush, Jim took over the lead with some superb back road dodges round Grantown on Spey and onto the notorious Tomintoul road that's always closed in winter with snow. This particular day however it was blissfully dry and empty and even the sheep stayed behind the fences. It turned out Jim knew these roads like the back of his hand and keeping up with him was a challenge that Tangerine and the other Black Cossie rose admirably to.

Finally we came to the point where the boys had to head back to Aberdeen and I took the A93 south to Braemar for fuel before the dash home. Being Sunday Braemar was shut for fuel but open for ice cream. Further down the road past the Glenshee ski centre is a little place called Spittal of Glenshee, which sells petrol albeit at exorbitant prices on a Sunday. When you're faced with pushing the car you'd probably pay a pound a litre for the stuff! Once topped up again the blast home was a fine way to finish the day off and the sun was still shining when I pulled onto the driveway.

This report and photographs © Dean Heatley, 2002