/ Biking fort William to inverness

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thebigdon - on 14 Apr 2014
Hello, planning cycle across Scotland next spring, is the great glen way suitable for road bikes?

Or would it be a mountain bike job?

Also is it easy to find a route avoiding a82? On B roads or similar

Thanks
cousin nick - on 14 Apr 2014
In reply to thebigdon:

We did Inverness SYHA to Glencoe SYHA via FW last year as part of JOGLE:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/390593074

The first part from Inverness to Fort Augustus along the military road was spectacular (and quiet, traffic-wise).However, between FA and FW the majority of us took to the A82. Some (by accident) tried to follow the route on the W side of Loch Lochy (Is that the GGW?). Anyway, they ended up lost in a forest and were eaten by bears. Those that survived turned around and took to the A82. All were on fancy carbon road bikes.

A82 was not nice compared to the military road, but it wasn't too bad either provided you keep yer wits about you.

N
Cuthbert on 14 Apr 2014
In reply to thebigdon:

It's forest roads for much of it so no.

The A82 is a death trap for cyclists and I would never do that intenionally.

North of Fort Augustus, on the south side of Loch Ness, the roads are lovely and quiet but quite hilly.

Sustrans is meant to be opening up the old railway line as a cycle route.

A compromise might be a cyclocross bike and take the canal path to FA from FW. It's too rough for a pure road bike.

The best thing would be to take a mountain bike and do the GGW to Fort Augustus and then South Loch Ness trail to Inverness.
andymac - on 14 Apr 2014
In reply to Saor Alba:

> It's forest roads for much of it so no.

> The A82 is a death trap for cyclists and I would never do that intenionally.

> North of Fort Augustus, on the south side of Loch Ness, the roads are lovely and quiet but quite hilly.

> Sustrans is meant to be opening up the old railway line as a cycle route.

> A compromise might be a cyclocross bike and take the canal path to FA from FW. It's too rough for a pure road bike.

> The best thing would be to take a mountain bike and do the GGW to Fort Augustus and then South Loch Ness trail to Inverness.

Agree about the A82 death trap bit.

From a driving point of view ,the spring and summer months can be a nightmare.

It's the groups of cyclists that cause the problems ; the tailbacks ,and then the crazy overtaking manoeuvres .

Nothing against the cyclists.their choice to cycle on the road.but I wouldn't cycle any of the A82
markk - on 14 Apr 2014
In reply to thebigdon:

A82 is bad enough in a car. If you particularly want to cycle across Scotland, Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh would be far more pleasant (train at either end) or even nicer is the ride from Tain to Ullapool through Strath Oykel.
steev on 15 Apr 2014
In reply to thebigdon:

I've ridden the GGW from Fort William to Inverness on a mountain bike and would certainly do it on a CX bike but not a roadbike. Nor would I consider riding the A82 on a bike at all. You probably wouldn't get killed but you definitely wouldn't have much fun (unless you have a fast, noisy traffic fetish).
Cuthbert on 15 Apr 2014
In reply to steev:

Well said. There is also the notion of "cycling across Scotland". If it's just cycling up the A82 for a day or two it doesn't amount to much other than frayed nerves and some grey hairs.

The mountain bike route from Fort William to Montrose is much better.
Tim Chappell - on 15 Apr 2014
In reply to markk:

My plan this summer is to do Ullapool to Bonar Bridge. Or vice versa. Or if I get keen, both :-)
rallymania - on 15 Apr 2014
In reply to thebigdon:

FA to Inverness I'd take the B862 or B852 rather than the A82

In fact if I wasn't in any rush I'd drive that way too :-)

ScraggyGoat on 15 Apr 2014
Andymac:

The problem with the A82 is not really solely the presence of cyclists (rare because its a horrible road to cycle) but the conflicting attitudes of the road users. One group on holiday taking in the views, some of which driving vehicles they are unused to (hire cars/ campervans and cavarans) unaware they are on an main trunk route, versus the 'relative' locals who should know better, but attempt dangerous overtaking to shave a few minutes getting from A to B. Throw in limited overtaking oppertunities, poor line of sights, common bends, hidden parking bays, minor junctions, road debris etc and the end results are at best (an amazingly commonly only) frayed nerves. The only thing to do on such roads is to take a chill pill, or drive them in the small hours.

To the OP the Great Glen Way makes a lesuirely two day MTB, or a harder single day.

If you're not fixed on an across Scotland route and want to use you're roasd bikes, consider Fort William-Ardgour, Kilchoan- then Ferry to Tobermory-followed by circuit of Mull, then Ferry to finish at Oban. Which gives you trains at both ends......and better secenery, better whisky, better food and less honey pot feel than the 'Great Glen'.
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Bob on 15 Apr 2014
In reply to ScraggyGoat:

My wife did the Land's End to John o' Groats route a couple of years ago. The section from Fort William to Drumnadrochit was the worst part along with a short section of the A30 that they accidentally strayed on to. If you go to the east of the loch then you are forced to go through Inverness which might be a least worst option.

Would second the suggestion about heading out to Kilchoan and then Mull. Worth detouring and going out to Ardnamurchan point as well along with a visit to the ring complex.

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