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Glasgow, Aberfoyle, Glen Ogle, Loch Earn, Crieff, Dunning, Queensferry, Edinburgh, Scotland.
(4 day bike-pack)
Tue 22 Sep - Fri 25 Sep 2015

Tue 22 Sep 2015

Tue 22 Sep 2015
Wed 23 Sep 2015
Thu 24 Sep 2015
Fri 25 Sep 2015
I set off from home at 05:30am on my new Surly bike to ride to Preston Railway Station. I was there in plenty of time to catch the 06:40 train to Glasgow. As Iíd bought an advance ticket the journey only cost me £9.60. I was in Glasgow just after 9:10 and began to get my bike and gps units ready.

Preston Railway Station

My Garmin etrex 30 wasnít showing the map for some reason so as I had a backup unit I used that for the time being. I set off south and soon turned right to follow the Clyde.

On the train to Glasgow

At the motorway overpass I turned right again to follow the track and streets to Kelvingrove Park then along the River Kelvin to the Forth & Clyde canal. It was a lovely morning and very pleasant in the sunshine. I followed the canal for a while then left it to visit the Glasgow North Trading Estate site.

Overpass in Glasgow

This is where the artist Andy Scott has his workshop. The security man at the gate said he was away on 2 weeks holiday. The man remembered me from the last time I was here. Itís the third time Iíve called in and missed him. I returned to the canal and enjoyed the ride to Kirkintilloch. I stopped by the bridge to sit in the sunshine and have a drink. I used the time to check my Garmin eTrex 30 and found the micro SD card holding the maps wasnít fitted in properly.

Rest in Kirkintilloch

It is easily dislodged when fitting the batteries. After re-fitting the card the maps loaded OK. I continued along the canal for a short way before leaving it to follow a path to a rough street then soon picked up the route of the Strathkelvin Railway. The line was opened in 1848 and closed in 1966. It was a pleasure to ride along but was heavily overgrown on both sides so the trees kept the sunshine out. I stopped at the Milton of Campsie Station site to photograph the wonderful route under the bridge.

Milton of Campsie

It looks like a circular tunnel has been concreted under the existing road bridge. The railway path continued to Strathblane where it ends abruptly and spews users onto the A891. I joined the road and continued towards Aberfoyle. I was concerned about riding along the main road but thankfully there wasnít too much traffic. I followed the A81 to near Gartmore then joined another cycle track along the old railway line into the main car par and visitors centre at Aberfoyle. I called in to the CoOperative shop to buy some water. I bought 2 2lt bottles of water at 49p each which is much higher than I usually pay. Most supermarkets have it available for less than 20p per 2lt. I continued up the street and turned right to follow the steep climb through Achray Forest. On the left was the grassy area where I camped here last December when it was snowing.

Start of the 7 cycle route

I soon reached the no.7 cycle route and followed it into the forest. The first part was surfaced but too steep to ride. I pushed the bike for a while then was abler to ride. After a wooden footbridge I had to push the bike up a rough forestry track which was surfaced with loose stone. The forestry works had made a mess of the track as far a cycling is concerned and it was difficult riding along many sections. The climbing continued for quite a while then eventually I reached the summit and open ground. It took me a while to find a grassy area big enough to pitch my tent. Iíd ridden 40 miles and the bike handled well. Itís the first dayís ride with full load on my new Surly. The main advantage over my old Dawes bike is that I now have disc brakes, which are a revelation and incredibly efficient. However, the true test will be in the rain which Iíve not tested yet.

Cycle track in the woods