Page 1 of 2

Thoughts on this route though Scotland.

Posted: 28 Feb 2014, 4:30pm
by t3racing
Hi, now i know i am not the first person to choose this route but could people give me some feedback on my choice of route as its becoming clear the choices are endless. I have basiclly planned it to be via Dunoon to avoid Glasgow and it looks to be a quieter route.
We are starting on the 15th July and expect to be at JOG by the 26th July so this route will be for the last 6 days.

I know the route on the military road next to Loch Ness has a killer climb at the start but are the rewards of quieter roads into Inverness worth the pain and safety.

Also not many people seem to use the ferry at Cromarty, is there a specific reason for this because i would assume it is quieter than going via Dingwall.

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4043001

I look forward to the replys, many thanks.

Re: Thoughts on this route though Scotland.

Posted: 28 Feb 2014, 4:44pm
by JamesE
t3racing wrote:I know the route on the military road next to Loch Ness has a killer climb at the start but are the rewards of quieter roads into Inverness worth the pain and safety.

Depends how much you hate climbing… but the view from the top of that climb, just east of Fort Augustus, is stunning and once you're past that the stretch along the bank of Loch Ness to Inverness is almost traffic-free and very beautiful.

Re: Thoughts on this route though Scotland.

Posted: 28 Feb 2014, 5:25pm
by irc
t3racing wrote:I know the route on the military road next to Loch Ness has a killer climb at the start but are the rewards of quieter roads into Inverness worth the pain and safety.


Yes.


If you are on a bike with 700x32 or better tyres then you could enjoy a few traffic free miles on the Great Glen Way/Cycleway on the west side of Loch Lochy. Saves you a few miles and a climb from the B road up to the A82 near Spean Bridge as well.

lochylochy.jpg

Re: Thoughts on this route though Scotland.

Posted: 28 Feb 2014, 6:41pm
by t3racing
Stunning views, as for the bike we are on a tandem with 28c tyres so not sure if it would cope with the loch trail

Re: Thoughts on this route though Scotland.

Posted: 28 Feb 2014, 7:57pm
by PH
There's so many options I hope you realise anything you read here is peoples recommendations rather than anything definitive, I doubt anyone has done them all!
Your western route to Inverness looks interesting, I've ridden a fair bit of that, though not on a E2E. From Inverness, I don't know the route you've planned, the route I've used is more inland and largely follows a couple of the rivers, Shin and Naver, the last part to the Northern coast is one of my favorite bits of UK road. Route here;
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4128323

You seem to have chosen a fairly scenic route on quite a tight timescale, nothing wrong with that, I like high mileage tours. But if it was me I'h have a B route ready (Or at least in mind) before setting off, just to cover unexpected circumstances.

Re: Thoughts on this route though Scotland.

Posted: 28 Feb 2014, 8:05pm
by PH
t3racing wrote:I know the route on the military road next to Loch Ness has a killer climb at the start but are the rewards of quieter roads into Inverness worth the pain and safety.


Yes. It's not that bad, steep but not very long and you're rewarded not only with the views as mentioned above, but also with a lovely downhill back to Loch Ness.
Another view of the Downhill :)
Image

Re: Thoughts on this route though Scotland.

Posted: 1 Mar 2014, 8:41am
by Ron
t3racing wrote:Also not many people seem to use the ferry at Cromarty, is there a specific reason for this because i would assume it is quieter than going via Dingwall.

Actually quite a number of cyclists use the Cromarty Ferry which as you say takes you on quieter roads than via Dingwall. You do have to cross the Boack Isle and this inevitably includes a climb whichever route you take between Inverness and Cromarty. I think the quiet roads, the views and including Cromarty in your tour are adequate compensation for the climb. There are shops and a cafes in Cromarty, so stock up there before boarding the ferry.

Re: Thoughts on this route though Scotland.

Posted: 1 Mar 2014, 8:35pm
by t3racing
Wow another nice view of a downhill, the tandem will love it :D

PH wrote:You seem to have chosen a fairly scenic route on quite a tight timescale, nothing wrong with that, I like high mileage tours. But if it was me I'h have a B route ready (Or at least in mind) before setting off, just to cover unexpected circumstances.


Yes the ride was set up to be scenic but in doing so not sure we can do it in the twelve days we planned and we would feel short changed if we just went straight up the A9-A99 to Wick missing out on some wonderful quiet roads but unfortunately it has to be 12 days so the route may change! We are now training hard to make sure we can cover the mileage/hours every day. I will start to look at alternative routes just in case the weather is going to be bad etc - no point in making it much harder than it needs to be.

Re: Thoughts on this route though Scotland.

Posted: 3 Mar 2014, 7:20pm
by Deckie
We used the Great Glen Way along side Loch Lochy in 2010 on our tandem with 28mm tyres and had no trouble, other than taking it steady as we had several broken spokes in the front wheel...

Re: Thoughts on this route though Scotland.

Posted: 4 Mar 2014, 9:39am
by t3racing
It would be good to know how the Great Glen Way has stood up to the harsh weather we have had over the past few months as it looks like a decent route, again avoiding the main A roads?

Re: Thoughts on this route though Scotland.

Posted: 4 Mar 2014, 12:39pm
by irc
t3racing wrote:It would be good to know how the Great Glen Way has stood up to the harsh weather we have had over the past few months as it looks like a decent route, again avoiding the main A roads?


I've not been there but I have been on similar highland forestry tracks and the rain hasn't caused any problems. These tracks are built with good drainage to cope with high levels of rainfall.

Anyway despite what the papers say there hasn't been record rainfall over most of the UK. The west highlands have had average to low rain this winter.

2014_1_rainfall_anomaly_19812010_thumb1.gif
2014_1_rainfall_anomaly_19812010_thumb1.gif (24.14 KiB) Viewed 15337 times

Re: Thoughts on this route though Scotland.

Posted: 4 Mar 2014, 11:46pm
by CafGriff
Pictures look beautiful; come with me up there!!!! :D

Re: Thoughts on this route though Scotland.

Posted: 5 Mar 2014, 10:33am
by LollyKat
irc wrote:
t3racing wrote:Anyway despite what the papers say there hasn't been record rainfall over most of the UK. The west highlands have had average to low rain this winter.

2014_1_rainfall_anomaly_19812010_thumb1.gif

Average rainfall in the west highlands is quite high, though - e.g. Fort William averages 74 inches a year, or 8.5 inches in January.

Re: Thoughts on this route though Scotland.

Posted: 5 Mar 2014, 2:56pm
by irc
LollyKat wrote:
irc wrote:
t3racing wrote:Anyway despite what the papers say there hasn't been record rainfall over most of the UK. The west highlands have had average to low rain this winter.

2014_1_rainfall_anomaly_19812010_thumb1.gif

Average rainfall in the west highlands is quite high, though - e.g. Fort William averages 74 inches a year, or 8.5 inches in January.


But as this year was average no need for any concern for condition of the Great Glen Way.

Re: Thoughts on this route though Scotland.

Posted: 5 Mar 2014, 4:00pm
by LollyKat
True. However I wonder how well the GGW is being maintained since the Forestry Commission gave up promoting it, preferring trail centres instead:

The trails will provide a higher quality alternative for mountain bikes than the former Great Glen Cycle Route. The Cycle Route will be withdrawn this year (2006) and it should be stressed that the new Trails WILL NOT BE A LIKE FOR LIKE REPLACEMENT. Although it will be possible for mountain bike riders to pedal between each facility, the Trails will not be promoted as a connected route. (source)

I'd like to know if it is rideable at the moment with a hybrid, or even a tourer with 32mm tyres.