Edinburgh filmmaker and cyclist Markus Stitz encourages Scots to cycle iconic North Coast 500 route

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A round-the-world cyclist has documented his 200-mile gravel bike journey on the North Coast 500 in a new short film.

Edinburgh-based filmmaker Markus Stitz has released his documentary ‘Where Roads End’ on YouTube, in an attempt to inspire others to cycle the iconic Scottish route.

The film showcases the stunning landscapes of the North Coast, as it follows his journey through the regions of Wester Ross, Sutherland, Caithness, Easter Ross, the Black Isle and Inverness-shire.

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To encourage cyclists to try the NC500, Mr Stitz has designed an itinerary that can be ridden in a week or less.

He said: “My first ever bikepacking adventure in 2006 took me through the absolutely stunning North of Scotland, and I vividly remember that journey.

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"Having worked on a couple of different cycling route projects over the last years and most recently a book about gravel riding in Britain, I was interested to partner up with the North Coast 500 not only to showcase the stunning landscapes I travelled through, but also to give people an idea that the NC500 is much more than just a driving route.”

On his journey, Mr Stitz rode on a gravel bike hired from Ticket to Ride, Inverness-based bike hire specialists.

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Markus Stitz on his bikepacking journey on the North Coast 500.Markus Stitz on his bikepacking journey on the North Coast 500.
Markus Stitz on his bikepacking journey on the North Coast 500.

Lindsay MacKinnon, who runs Ticket to Ride, said: “The sustainable future for tourism in the Scottish Highlands depends more on cyclists. Visitors who cycle travel slowly, spending more time and more money in local communities.

"Not everyone has the legs for an epic adventure like Markus, but I know his film will inspire many to plan a North Coast 500 cycling adventure of their own.”

The new itinerary and film are part of a partnership between North Coast 500 & Bikepacking Scotland.

Craig Mills, Head of Operations at North Coast 500 Ltd, said: "We’re really excited to have teamed up with Markus as part of our new cycling campaign for 2022. As we cautiously open up to visitors again, it’s more important than ever that we promote the unique wide-open green spaces, coast, countryside and natural beauty of the NC500 to be enjoyed by everyone for the benefit of positive mental and overall wellbeing.”

Where Roads End’ is available to watch for free on YouTube.

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