Tour # 8.
Dumbarton - Arrochar - Rest And Be Thankful - Inveraray - Loch Awe
- Crianlarich - Loch Lomond - Dumbarton
Approx. total hill climb: 700 meters.
Highest point: Rest and be Thankful: 282 meters above sea.
Traffic: Moderate to Busy.
Severity Rating: ******
Fun rating: ***
How to get to Dumbarton: Train from Glasgow Queen Street four
times an hour.
This is a very long cycle trip and I have therefore rated it as
a six pointer on the severity scale. But most of this cycle trip is
moderate undulating or flat. But there are three major hills on this
cycle trip. Thankfully, these hills comes within the first 120 km
of this cycle trip. The cycling is not particular interesting. But
it is a nice cycle trip for those who want to do a 180 km + + daytrip
Take the road on the west of River Leven from Dumbarton to Balloch
through Renton and Alexandria. The road is flat, with a small hill
just after Balloch. Follow the cycle path to Luss and then follow
the trunk road to Tarbet. Take the road in the direction of Campbeltown
(A 83) over the small hill to Arrochar (shops), and along Loch Long
to the foot of the climb up to Rest And Be Thankful. The first climb
is moderate, the second climb is very steep before you comes to the
main climb (2.5 km) up to the top of Rest And Be Thankful. The scenery
is breath taking. A rapid descent follows to Loch Fyne. The road follows
Loch Fyne for 30 km before you come to Inveraray (shops). Take the
road (A 819) to the left towards Oban. The first climb is very steep,
but the rest of this hill is relative flat with some moderate climbing
towards the end. The top of the hill is around 200 metres above sea
level. The view over Loch Awe is worth all the sweat and pain. The
vertical drop to Loch Awe is a test of nerves and brakes. The 10 km.
up through the forest along Loch Awe is moderate undulating. Just
after the crossroad between Oban and Glasgow (follow the road to Glasgow)
is the small village of Dalmally. It has some shops, but they are
never open. You may be luckier than I was last time. Just after Dalmally,
is the climb to the valley leading to Tyndrum. In my view; this is
the most uninteresting part of Scotland. The valley up to Tyndrum
is without any interesting details. The climb is almost flat, but
it takes it's toll. After twenty kilometres of dull cycling, you are
in Tyndrum. The shops and newsagents offer a welcome rest. The road
down the valley to Crianlarich (shops) is moderate undulating with
a short, nasty climb when crossing the railway line. From Crianlarich,
take the road (A 82) to the right under the railway bridge up a short,
sharp climb to a small moor. From this moor, the road falls down the
valley to Loch Lomond. The road along Loch Lomond down to Tarbet is
relative flat, with some potholes now and then. Be careful. There
is a short climb after the hydro electric station, but that is all.
The traffic is normally very busy on this narrow road. Tarbet (hotel
and shops) is normally very busy. There is a cycle path from Tarbet
to Luss, but it is off a very poor standard. If you can live with
the traffic, I recommend the road to Luss. Luss (shops) is one of
the most scenic villages in Scotland. The view from the pier to Ben
Lomond is world class. From Luss (15 km. from Tarbet), please follow
the designated, quite scenic cycle road. The road from Luss to Dumbarton
through Balloch and Alexandria is flat and reasonable interesting.
Train from Dumbarton back to Glasgow four times an hour.