Going the Glasgow way

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
Brianjeff50
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Going the Glasgow way

Postby Brianjeff50 » 18 Aug 2020, 8:46pm

I’m tempted by this LEJOG route chiefly because I’d like to ride the towpaths of the Caledonian Canal. (I’m a canal boat owner in England but the Caledonian is not connected to our waterways.)
Two questions really: is the A82 as nasty as I’ve read (I’ll be on it middle of next month. I believe there are some stretches of cycle way.
And are the canal towpaths ok for a road bike on 25 or 28 rubber? (I know how bad some of the English ones are!)

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Paulatic
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Re: Going the Glasgow way

Postby Paulatic » 18 Aug 2020, 10:18pm

I visited Bowling Basin a few weeks ago and while I was there checked out early part of the route towards Loch Lomond which looked promising.
There’s info and alternative ideas here viewtopic.php?t=107968&start=15

I’ve been looking at riding the Caledonian canal but decided to go via Adrossan> Arran> NCN 78 to FW
Whatever I am, wherever I am, this is me. This is my life

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irc
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Re: Going the Glasgow way

Postby irc » 19 Aug 2020, 12:36am

I live near Glasgow and know the A82 well.

The tow paths through Glasgow are fine, mostly tarmac now.

The A82 had a roadside cycle path as far as Tarbet.

From Tarbet to Ardlui the road is twisty enough to keep speeds down.

From Inverarnan to Tyndrum the road has been improved and widened. From Tyndrum to Fort William it is all 1950s vintage. Single carriageway but narrow. Summer traffic is always bad but this year is worse to than normal because much foreign travel has been cancelled.

I wouldn't cycle the section from Tyndrum to Glencoe in summer. Via Arran and Kintyre would be better.

As for the Caledonia towpaths. It was fine on 700*35s. Probably better on 28s than 25s.

After Fort Augustus the B roads east of Loch Ness are the way to go. Far lower traffic and better views.

viewpoint.jpg
Looking north towards Inverness

Brianjeff50
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Re: Going the Glasgow way

Postby Brianjeff50 » 19 Aug 2020, 7:15am

irc wrote:I live near Glasgow and know the A82 well.

The tow paths through Glasgow are fine, mostly tarmac now.

The A82 had a roadside cycle path as far as Tarbet.

From Tarbet to Ardlui the road is twisty enough to keep speeds down.

From Inverarnan to Tyndrum the road has been improved and widened. From Tyndrum to Fort William it is all 1950s vintage. Single carriageway but narrow. Summer traffic is always bad but this year is worse to than normal because much foreign travel has been cancelled.

I wouldn't cycle the section from Tyndrum to Glencoe in summer. Via Arran and Kintyre would be better.

As for the Caledonia towpaths. It was fine on 700*35s. Probably better on 28s than 25s.

After Fort Augustus the B roads east of Loch Ness are the way to go. Far lower traffic and better views.

viewpoint.jpg


Not the news I wanted to hear but what I pretty much feared - thanks for such a comprehensive reply.
I don’t want to veer too much off a direct LEJOG route but in an earlier thread this was suggested as a way around the worst A82 section. What do you think?
Norman H wrote:A bit late for you now but for anyone else wishing to avoid the A82 over Rannoch Moor. Follow the A85 from Tyndrum to Connel and then NCN 78 north to Balachulish. It runs parallel to the A828, mostly traffic free using the old railway bed.

I've not used NCN 78 but I've been that way from Tyndrum to Oban. It's mostly downhill or flat all the way to Connel.

Norman H
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Re: Going the Glasgow way

Postby Norman H » 19 Aug 2020, 8:28am

With regards to the alternatives to the A82 over Rannoch Moore, when I did LEJOG I had planned both routes and left the choice open until I reached Tyndrum. On the day traffic wasn't bad and I opted for the shorter route over Rannoch.

The route using A85 and NCN 78 adds about 24 miles to the distance between Tyndrum and Ballachulish. I've still not ridden NCN 78 but Geocycle's comments and photograph, that was in the post that followed mine in that earlier thread, make it look very tempting.

Oldjohnw
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Re: Going the Glasgow way

Postby Oldjohnw » 19 Aug 2020, 8:33am

Whatever else you do or don't do, avoid the Green Wellie at Tyndrum. Used to be a great stop but now the pits.
John

irc
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Re: Going the Glasgow way

Postby irc » 19 Aug 2020, 8:42am

Given that the alt via Connell adds 25-30 miles I would consider going the A82 but trying to schedule it so this section was a week day. Ideally staying the night at Tyndrum and going early to avoid as much traffic as possible.

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Paulatic
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Re: Going the Glasgow way

Postby Paulatic » 19 Aug 2020, 8:54am

irc wrote:Given that the alt via Connell adds 25-30 miles I would consider going the A82 but trying to schedule it so this section was a week day. Ideally staying the night at Tyndrum and going early to avoid as much traffic as possible.

I like this idea and also wonder would a late Sunday afternoon/ early evening would also be viable? Thinking that most of the traffic will be coming towards you.
My one and only experience of cycling this was a 'Daylight 600' on a Saturday afternoon 20th June and it wasn’t pleasant.
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Norman H
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Re: Going the Glasgow way

Postby Norman H » 19 Aug 2020, 9:18am

My experience of traffic on the A82 over Rannoch at weekends, especially on a Saturday in the holiday season, is that most traffic early morning is holidaymakers returning south. As the day progress traffic volume increases going northwards as visitors from further south make their way into the highlands.

On our LEJOG we crossed Rannoch on a Saturday morning which had the added advantage of an early start from FW on the Sunday. We were in Fort Augustus before most folk were out of bed. From there we took the old Military road.

For a variety of accommodation at Tyndrum I'd recommend the By the Way hostel. Also the YH at Crianlarich and the Strathfillan Wigwams.

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Mick F
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Re: Going the Glasgow way

Postby Mick F » 19 Aug 2020, 8:28pm

Watch this movie from my JOGLE.
First movie down on this page.
Old A9.

Forget the A82.

http://jogleonachopper.blogspot.com/201 ... gh-on.html
Mick F. Cornwall

Brianjeff50
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Re: Going the Glasgow way

Postby Brianjeff50 » 20 Aug 2020, 11:48am

Oldjohnw wrote:Whatever else you do or don't do, avoid the Green Wellie at Tyndrum. Used to be a great stop but now the pits.

So not a pitstop, more a pits stop. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Oldjohnw
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Re: Going the Glasgow way

Postby Oldjohnw » 20 Aug 2020, 11:55am

Brianjeff50 wrote:
Oldjohnw wrote:Whatever else you do or don't do, avoid the Green Wellie at Tyndrum. Used to be a great stop but now the pits.

So not a pitstop, more a pits stop. Sorry, couldn’t resist.


I like it.
John