A82 to Fort William – cycle friendly?
Am I missing something here? Why on earth would you head to John O’Groats via the A82?
As trail rat says, it would be horrible to ride. Where it’s not twisty/hilly you’ll have traffic trying to overtake you (and each other) at silly speeds so even those stretches won’t be relaxingPosted 5 years ago
It sort of became favoured option for a long day. The ferry and Stirling / A9 options have been mentioned. IIRC correctly the ferry option included a lot more climbing. Many thanks for input so far, I will feed back. No final decision yet made but we need to get accommodation booked.Posted 5 years ago
did this with my mate last year on the Bromptons on Lejog
Strathaven (South of Glasgow) to Fort William – Day 6
Was fine, some long climbs but they are not steep.
There are quite a few wagons using that route (as it is one of the few roads in the area), though we did it around easter, royal wedding last year so roads were quieter.
Looking towards Glencoe – Steve in the distance resting his arse
Decent towards Ballachulish
if the weather was bad and road busy it would be horrible, but not really any other option if you are doing this route.Posted 5 years agoTandemJeremyMember
Callander / crianlarich you at least have a sustrans rout a fair part of the way including the lovely glenogle.
I am with those who say avoid it if you can – it will not be a nice experience in the main
I have cycled down glencoe heading north which is quite fun – we just held a lane the whole way down as we were faster in the corners than most carsPosted 5 years agoransosSubscriber
I did the A82 on my LEJOG (we stayed at Loch Lomond and Onich, just south of Ft William). The scenery is spectacular, and the descent through Glencoe is fun. Traffic is pretty heavy in places, but I can only recall one really close pass. Try and go out of the school holidays – it’s quieter.
Foodstop: the Real Food Cafe at Tyndrum does fantastic fish & chips.
TBH, we had more problems on the A9 north of Inverness.Posted 5 years agoARTSubscriber
If you have an alternative please take it. Have only ever driven that road, but as said above the combination of scenery gapers and locals/ delivery vans on a mission does not a good combo make. Road also has that lovely highland ‘narrowness’ about it. I feared for every cyclist we saw on our most recent traverse.Posted 5 years ago
the A9 has a separate bike lane, but you still get the swishing of vehicles especially on the dual sections.
I think best plan is to do either on a quiet day… Royal Wedding was a god send last year and despite every scot saying they could not give a toss it was very quiet on the roads
on the A82 we did notice a lot of ‘upgrade the A82’ stickers in carsPosted 5 years agoircSubscriber
I went the old A9 on my LeJog specifiably so I didn’t have to cycle the A82. From Glasgow I went Callander, Killin, Pitlochry – old A9.
I’ve driven the A82 between Glencoe and Glasgow hundreds of times and cycled short stretches of it. It isn’t all bad. From Balloch to Tarbet the road is modernised, 2 wide lanes so cars can pass easily sharing the lane. As stated there is also a cyclepath option with a decent surface.
Tarbert to Inverarnan the road is so narrow HGVs come to a standstill to pass each other. It is mainly so twisty that cars are doing 30-40mph so taking the lane is feasable. Inverarnan to Tyndrum fairly wide lanes.
Tyndrum to the far end of Glencoe – narrow road with many long straights where cars get up to motorway speeds. The lanes are too narrow to safely get 2 cars and bike side by side so you are relying on cars doing motorway speeds judging their distances and gaps and being prepared to brake from 70mph to cycle speed.
If the distances could suit I’d suggest an overnight at Tyndrum followed by an early start to get to the top of the hill in Glen Coe before full holiday traffic builds up. A mirror to watch the behavior of traffic coming up behind would be useful.Posted 5 years ago
Some of my club mates are doing LEJOG later this year with myself in van support. They more or less have a route but one potential big day is 245km (they are well able to do distance)is North up the A82 between Glasgow and Fort Bill. A question has been asked as to what this section is like to ride, any cycle lanes / busy? Sure someone here would know.
The group only has a week so some trade off between speed and quiet roads is inevitable. Thanks.Posted 5 years agofranciscobegbieMember
I live right next to the A82 and have travelled the bit from Glasgow to Balloch many times. You would not, under any circumstances, catch me on a bike on there.Posted 5 years ago
Is the Glasgow to Balloch cycle path an option? Decent cycle path the whole way to Balloch, is there a decent road option from Balloch to continue your route?
I live right next to the A82 and have travelled the bit from Glasgow to Balloch many times. You would not, under any circumstances, catch me on a bike on there.
we followed the bike route out of glasgow..
were planning to do this route: see bit north of glasgow.
but we hooked up with a local guy going to loch lomond on NCR 75 and followed the river from Dumbarton upto loch lomond – mostly small roads and biek tracks – not as direct but a nice routePosted 5 years agorichmtbSubscriber
Personally I wouldn’t want to cycle it. But if you are comfortable cycling on fast single carraigeway roads then you should be okay.
Just a few sections to be careful of where it gets a bit clogged with traffic.
Tarbet to Inveranan – road is very narrow and twisty.
Glencoe – mixture of tourist gawpers and people making progress along some very fast sections of road – could make things interesting for a bike.
Onich to Fort William. Twisty bit of road always lots of traffic herePosted 5 years agocrazy-legsSubscriber
It’s a fantastic road that – for driving. I rode from Glencoe up to the foot of Devil’s Staircase a while ago, mostly using footpaths along side the road but there were still about 3 miles I had to do on road and it was very unpleasant. Only time I’d consider riding it would be crack of dawn and then only if no other route was available.Posted 5 years agodewyddMember
Onich to Fort William. Twisty bit of road always lots of traffic here
^Scariest on road experience ever for me. Ridden once and never again.Posted 5 years ago
You could make your way to Lochgilphead via the Rest and be Thankful. Up to Oban, then cycle track the majority of the way to Onich and cross at Corran ferry to avoid section to Fort Wiliam. Bit of a detour but much safer.ransosSubscriber
but we hooked up with a local guy going to loch lomond on NCR 75 and followed the river from Dumbarton upto loch lomond – mostly small roads and biek tracks – not as direct but a nice route
We used that route too, then onto the A82 at the north end of Loch Lomond. It was ok, although the locals appear to have been holding a festival of broken glass.
I think some people are over-playing the dangers of the A82, to be honest. It’s not that bad, unless you’re travelling at the peak of the holiday season. You’ll be pretty used to riding in traffic by the time you get there, anyway.
Top of my hate list on my LEJOG was the A49 in Shropshire and Cheshire. Now that was dangerous.Posted 5 years agohighlandmanMember
If following Dewydd’s advice and crossing Loch Linnhe at Corran, you can cross back again to Ft Bill town at Camusnagaul in a wee (passenger only) ferry boat, which lands you at the Crannog seafood restaurant. It does carry bikes but only runs a few times a day though.Posted 5 years ago
I was brought up living alongside the A82 and have ridden many parts of it; but I’d not want to do any significant section after 10.00am in tourist season. You are placing your life in other folks’ hands and a lot of people die on that road every year. That said, and as others have alluded to, a ‘pack’ of riders can be very visible here in the Highlands and can own a piece of road.
Many thanks all, have passed this link to the riders to make a decision. They are experienced riders and are quite capable on busy roads but like us all would prefer to avoid them – subject to meeting an 8 day schedule. We are starting on 2nd September from LE so kids should be back at school by the end of the week. FW is end of that day as currently planned so it will not be an option for an early start.Posted 5 years ago
Top of my hate list on my LEJOG was the A49 in Shropshire and Cheshire. Now that was dangerous.
Yep A49 is terrible…(comining from Shrewsbury the A49 is well known both north and south) about so we stayed east:
Day 3 Route non A49 http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=230731Posted 5 years agolightmanMember
I drove the support van for a group of my friends last year and im guessing you’ll be going a similar route.Posted 5 years ago
Website route etc…
Most of the time i was able to just leave them to it, but on some of the narrow twisty fast country roads, i would drive behind them to slow the traffic down so they weren’t getting vehicles flying around blind corners at silly speeds only to be met with a not so fast group of cyclists, and i would either wave the vehicles past when possible or pull over so they could see when it was safe to pass the group. Then i would join the back of the queue again and i would start over again.
On the A82/FW road, i did just that, you may piss a few divers off, but its either that or risk a possible accident depending on what standard of drivers are out that day!
The day they did that road, it was pissing with rain, so visibility wasn’t that great either.
If there is a big build up of traffic, then i would suggest that the group pull over every now and again just to let it clear. The day of the road from hell, when they reached Fort William, i counted around 30 vehicles in the convoy because they never pulled over! It really wasn’t the weather for stopping in though.trail_ratMember
“Camusnagaul in a wee (passenger only) ferry boat, which lands you at the Crannog seafood restaurant. It does carry bikes but only runs a few times a day though.”
wont carry tandems and gets grumpy if there are more than a couple of you on bikes ….
it is a small boat though-lovely quiet road though.
i rode the a82 to corran once -ill never do that again !Posted 5 years agoStirlingCrispinSubscriber
How about north to Killin using the Sustrans route from Glasgow via Callander, along Loch Tay, then north to Pitlochry on minor roads before picking up the cycle route beside the A9.
On this route at the Sustrans bridge before Lochearnhead you’ll see a memorial stone in memory of a cyclist killed riding on the A9 on a LeJoG. Think about it.Posted 5 years ago
On this route at the Sustrans bridge before Lochearnhead you’ll see a memorial stone in memory of a cyclist killed riding on the A9 on a LeJoG. Think about it.
Sad someone should lose their life on Lejog, chap was killed near Telford on the A449… last year as well.
but then people are also getting killed on a few miles to work.
How many people do Lejog per annum? would be interesting to see.Posted 5 years agolightmanMember
This happened not long after we finished on a stretch of road where you think it would not be possible!Posted 5 years ago
Just make sure the group pay attention to what is around them and coming flying up behind them.legendMember
quite capable on busy roads
this is a slightly worrying comment. If you read all the posts you’ll notice that volume of traffic isn’t the problem here. Instead it’s the nature (variation I suppose) of it along with the nature of the road itself – dual-carriageway, fast sweeping A road, very tight twisty A road, more fast A road, twisty A road, etcPosted 5 years agoGavinBSubscriber
I’ve driven that road for many years, and seldom, if ever, see any cyclists on it. I’d consider myself a confident road cyclist on busy roads, but would NOT want to ever cycle that way to Fort William.
I think I’d head for Gourock, take the ferry to Dunoon, and ride from there via Loch Fyne/Inveraray. Much quieter roads and still pretty direct.Posted 5 years agob rMember
I would rather ride the A82 than most of the roads around, Surrey and London..
There aren’t that many single-carriageway roads in Surrey where I’d happily run the speeds I use to on the A82…
When I worked up there I use to reckon on just over an hour between the national speed signs of Dumbarton and those in FW 😯Posted 5 years ago
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