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  • Cycling the A9 North of Inverness,
  • Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    How is that not just horrible? We’re up here at that moment (Golspie), so are driving the A9 a fair bit to go sight seeing, and seeing quite a few touring cyclists. I assume they’re doing LEJOG/JOGLE/NC500 or similar.

    Now, I love road riding, I love touring, but I can’t say it looks like fun; cycling up or down a massive hill, fully loaded, with a massive logging wagon on my arse is not my idea of a good time…

    Premier Icon bri-72
    Full Member

    Agreed. Other better, more scenic and quieter/safer options for those doing nc500.

    Lejog I guess has little to do with scenery or pleasure (never done it just doesn’t appeal at all).

    Premier Icon tonyg2003
    Full Member

    When I did LEJOG we used the A836 – quiet little sometimes singletrack road up to Bettyhill. Way way better than the a9

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Yup – I don’t get it. I have also seen them on the A9 south of inverness and once came round a corner to find a man running with a fridge on his back on the dualled A9. I had to emergency stop not to hit him. there is a cycleroute all along the A9 south of inverness.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    Inverness – Tain; shit. Easily avoided on either version of what used to be NCN1.

    Tain – The Mound; pretty shit.

    Avoid both the above by going over the Struie and round Loch Buidhe.

    The Mound – Golspie; not too great

    Golspie – JOG; increasingly more pleasant as you cycle north. The traffic thins out, you have some hills to occupy your mind and the coastal scenery is superb.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I did a small bit of it at the weekend – was working on the Deloitte Ride Across Britain LEJOG event and, because of the logistics of shifting that many riders within a defined period of time between set locations, finding locations suitable for feed stations etc it has to take in some sections of road that you probably wouldn’t do if you had free choice of route.

    That said, riding in a decent group (decent as in competent, 2-up, reasonably small) can actually have great safety benefits over doing it solo.

    The bits we did were OK – fine to sort of transit between the nice bits and nothing too long on the A9 but it’s certainly not a pleasant road to ride on. Most drivers though are fairly considerate – I assume all the locals know it’s a LEJOG / NC500 route and actually do treat cyclists with reasonable consideration.

    Premier Icon sbtouring
    Free Member

    A few years ago me and a mate did LEJOG. We did it in 7 days, but really should have taken a few days longer, but we just didn’t have the time to do so. In the end we had to average well over 130miles a day, so long days in saddle.

    We found was being on a tight schedule meant we couldn’t take a lot of the nice quiet county roads and alternative routes as it just added too much time, as they were usually hillier and longer. So we used a lot of main roads at times, as it was quicker and usually less issues with navigation. So by the time we got that far north, the A9 wasn’t as bad as some of the other roads we’d encountered in England.

    We rode most of the A9 from Dunkeld to Latheron. We used the cycle path for lots of the sections south of Inverness where there was one, but some bits you had to be on the A9. These bits were pretty scary with the amount of traffic and the speed they go past, and wouldn’t like to do it again.

    Most of the A9 after Inverness wasn’t too bad. I would say a lot of the road is decent size so plenty of room for traffic to overtake safely, so it didn’t feel too bad at all.

    Given the chance to do LEJOG again I certainly would, but I would take longer and do it on much quieter roads and avoid the A9 where possible.

    But I can totally understand why some use the A9, especially when they are on a tight time frame as it’s often the quickest route.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Free Member

    I agree there are better options but I didn’t find it too bad. The A49 however, has a special place in hell. Never again.

    Premier Icon sockpuppet
    Full Member

    Lejog I guess has little to do with scenery or pleasure (never done it just doesn’t appeal at all).

    It *can* be about both those things, but not IMO if it includes the A9!

    Far better options, though longer and slower. Of course if you’re going for a fast time you already crossed “pleasure” off the list.

    I just watched a YouTube video about the record being set. Kudos, but rather him than me.

    I did it unsupported in 14 days, and then again a few years later with a baggage wagon in nine days. Neither included that stretch. I’ll likely not do it again, lots of other tours to do

    If I do, it’d likely be a 30 day route, going a long way round all the good roads! Once the kids have left home. And still not the A9!

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    there is a cycleroute all along the A9 south of inverness.

    Not much cycle route actually. Calvine to Dalhinnie is the longest stretch, there’s the “orphaned” bit from Kincraig to nowhere, a tiny bit before Slochd and then the short section between Tomatin and Moy.

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