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