Viewing 36 posts - 1 through 36 (of 36 total)
  • Great Glen Way advice
  • Premier Icon pinballwizard
    Free Member

    Hi there, I plan to ride the Great Glen way in a few weeks time and I am looking for some advice/suggestions please. Is it rideable on a gravel bike or do I need to take the mountain bike? I plan to ride it in sections, are there any transport links, shuttle service providers, that can get me back to the car at the end of each section?

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    Gravel bike would be ideal.

    Get in touch with these guys about transport.

    https://www.tickettoridehighlands.co.uk/cyclist-transport.php

    Premier Icon pinballwizard
    Free Member

    Many thanks, much appreciated!

    Premier Icon goslow
    Full Member

    I hope you update after your ride. I’m particularly interested in the surface between Fort Augustus and Inverness on the north side of the Loch.

    Premier Icon bri-72
    Full Member

    Done on gravel and apart from a few quite short (hundreds of metres) rougher and more technical sections, gravel just the job.

    Equally done it on an mtb and not sure there’s a downside to using one either, given a lot is steep up or steep down, and mtb gearing may be a bit easier depending on your gravel setup.

    Either would work.

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    Did it over ten years ago now. Easy gravel bike route, but I hope you like plantations. .. gets quite full tbh. Start and ends are the best imo.

    Premier Icon pinballwizard
    Free Member

    Thanks, FYI I have 34/34 set up on the gravel bike, so I am less worried about the gearing it was more the terrain and how technical it is? If it means I have to walk the odd 100m section so be it, just as long as it’s the not miles and miles of pushing

    Premier Icon gobuchul
    Free Member

    It’s very dull.

    We went to walk it a few years back, got as far as Invermoriston and gave up.

    Not injured or tired just bored.

    Fort Augustus was a great night, good pubs and music.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

     I hope you like plantations.

    The newer, high-level, section is much, much better than that.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Full Member

    The first half to Fort Augustus is pretty much cycling along a canal. I think a gravel bike would be absolutely fine.

    Have you looked at the Loch Ness 360 as an alternative?

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    The newer, high-level, section is much, much better than that.

    That’s interesting (and good), I used it as a covenant waymarked trail to get to Inverness from FW but found it dull.

    Premier Icon stevious
    Full Member

    The newer, high-level, section is much, much better than that.

    Does the high level route take out some of the steeper sections? I did it in a day about 10 years ago and had underestimated those bits. Was by far the least fun part of the day for me.

    Premier Icon krixmeister
    Full Member

    The high level bit adds in some even steeper sections. Nice views (weather permitting), but the lower level section from FA to Invermorriston is more rideable.

    Well worth considering the South side of Loch Ness (per @RichMTB above). Some additional technical sections (which can be walked), and more interesting views IMHO.

    Either way, a good (big) day out, or a very nice few days, depending on how you do it.

    Premier Icon bri-72
    Full Member

    I think gearing more a factor then gravel bike or not. Any pushing will be dictated by gradient more than it being technical. Some steep and real big climbs to do.

    I’d not manage them 34:34 tho everyone different.

    Premier Icon highlandman
    Free Member

    Everything below assumes you’re going Ft Bill to Inverness, so have a following prevailing wind direction.
    As for logistics, the bus service along the glen is pretty frequent, both local buses and Citylink. Check if they take bikes, most do across the Highlands.
    As Scotroutes states, the newer two top sections that create high level links between (a) Ft Augustus & Invermoriston, then (b) Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit create a lot more interest and also a lot more climbing. You now have a choice of high or low routes on each of these two sectors. Both top sections take you well above the tree line on built, (light) blue – grade singletrack with just a few rocky sections that are brief, with long, flowing sections of trail and stunning views. Highly recommended in my opinion and the switchback section down towards Invermoriston is a real eye-opener on a rigid bike..!
    The perfect bike overall is probably a short travel 29er hardtail with a lockout fork but I’ve had no difficulty on a chunky hardtail nor on a rigid bike wearing 1.9 tyres.
    Riding the upper options on the second half often catches folk out with how tough it is, the ride from Fort Augustus to Inverness with all of the upper options takes in well over 1500m of off-road climbing.

    There is also a choice of routes on either side of Loch Oich. SE side is a freshly re-surfaced old rail line and is therefore flat. This also takes you past the pub boat at Laggan Locks. The alternative on the NW, Invergarry side of Loch Oich takes you firstly up a loose, stony forest road climb, down into the village and up again on a 3 mile section of singletrack between the village of Invergarry and Bridge of Oich.
    Worth noting are the two wild camping spots, one half-way along Loch Lochy and another on the SE (railway) side of Loch Oich. Both are simple bits of flat ground, with composting toilets and fire circles. I don’t know of any more such along or above Loch Ness, @Scotroutes ?
    I’ve not ridden the 360 gravel route on the south side of Loch Ness yet (sorting that out in a couple of weeks..) but understand that it too is grand, a good bit of climbing and choices of sectors with tarmac, forest roads and several newly built gravel path sections.

    Premier Icon pinballwizard
    Free Member

    Thanks Highlandman, that really great information. Yes, I am heading From Fort Bill to Inverness and will use the buses (FYI, I have heard from the local bus service who have confirmed they do take bikes so long as they are bagged (I will buy a couple of cheap ones on ebay or Amazon). The choice of routes sounds really good particularly as my wife may not fancy the more challenging off road trail sections. Thanks once again

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    I don’t know of any more such along or above Loch Ness

    Nothing official, though you are often well enough away from houses etc that it wouldn’t be difficult to find a decent spot.

    There is the Abriachan Eco-cafe and campsite. Always worth a visit, just for sheer eccentricity.

    Premier Icon aberdeenlune
    Free Member

    Any advice on ride time for the low level route between Fort Augustus and Inverness. Is it about 4 or 5 hours on a hardtail? We are travelling light not carrying anything.

    Whole route is Kinloch Laggan to Fort Augustus in the morning. Lunch at FA. Ride Great glen way lower I think to Abriachan for coffee. Finish route into Inverness to van at Bught park.

    I can see the amount of climbing thinking 8 or 9 hours riding time. Is that in the ball park?

    Route here Laggan to Inverness

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    I have 6 hours for the high route. I guess the low route would be a bit less.

    Premier Icon aberdeenlune
    Free Member

    Thanks, I’m trying to work out a start time so we make it to the Old Bridge Inn for supper. Looks like it is doable.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    I hope you’ve booked the OBI and aren’t planning to do it on a Wednesday.

    Premier Icon aberdeenlune
    Free Member

    It’s for this Saturday. Tables already booked. It’s just the start time I’m trying to finalise and a wee bit of logistics.

    Premier Icon bri-72
    Full Member

    5-6 hours riding time FA to Inverness

    Premier Icon aberdeenlune
    Free Member

    Thanks. Looks like I need to allow 9 hours riding plus 2 x 1 hr cafe stops. That’s assuming 3 hours for Corrieyarick pass and 6 hours for Great Glen way. 7am start should get us to Inverness for 6pm. May start at 06:30 if it’s light enough. Thanks for the input. Hoping the weather gods are nice to us.

    Premier Icon stanfree
    Free Member

    I’ve done FW to inverness on the mtb with the high routes which was good. Also did the loch bess 360 last week on the gravel bike . This was with the low routes. Both were good but If I was purely doing the Great Glen way I’d stick with the mountain bike as there were some fun bits on the high routes and I think there is not much to be gained by using the gravel bike. On the other hand if your doing the 360 use a gravel bike as day 2 is pretty much 90% on the road.
    Also if you do the low route from fort Augustus to drumnadrochit you dont really see much of the loch .

    Premier Icon aberdeenlune
    Free Member

    Went over the route today. Luckily it stayed dry. 6 hours riding time from Laggan to Inverness. Will post some photos. Plenty of time for the pub tonight. Thanks for the route advice we took the lower route on the Great Glen way. Tons of climbing and still some good views.

    Premier Icon aberdeenlune
    Free Member

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2mwHxXb]B40079F7-EDC5-4A15-936C-81E410D11450[/url] by Aberdeen_lune, on Flickr" alt="Looking north on the descent of Corrieyairack at Loch Ness" />

    Premier Icon aberdeenlune
    Free Member

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2mwE3TU]0C31E80F-E4B3-4087-80ED-F40874304252[/url] by Aberdeen_lune, on Flickr" alt="Loch Ness view heading north towards Invermoriston" />

    Premier Icon aberdeenlune
    Free Member

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2mwE3Xg]0BC634E7-D152-465C-8975-A3F10333009C[/url] by Aberdeen_lune, on Flickr" alt="Descent off the Corrieyairack heading to FA" />

    Premier Icon dickyhepburn
    Free Member

    Strong work Aberdeenlune! Did Inverness to Laggan about 10d ago and it took just shy of 8h on a gravel bike, headwind and rain were a bit keen (my slowness excuse!)

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    Excellent. Todays weather was nowhere near as bad as forecast either so looks like you got a good day.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Full Member

    go slow
    I hope you update after your ride. I’m particularly interested in the surface between Fort Augustus and Inverness on the north side of the Loch.

    If it’s any help I’ve ridden it on this, single speed, so a bike with gears and knobby tyres should find it a breeze.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    ^ da heck is that?

    Edit: @<span class=”bbp-author-name”>epicyclo</span> posted it, no explanation needed.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Full Member

    @matt_outandabout

    Dahon Hammerhead. Nifty wee beast. Fits nicely in the boot of the car with the pedals folded.

    It wasn’t in production long in that form, but that front fork has just enough suspension so that it feels like a bigger wheel. Later models were rigid forks.

    They’re featured in one of the fancy cycling books as an example of good design… 🙂

    Premier Icon aberdeenlune
    Free Member

    Must have been a fair bit of walking doing that route on a single speed unless you had a flip flop hub with big cog/little cog. Well it would be for me anyway I love my dinner plate cassette especially on that route with 2500metres of climbing.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Full Member

    aberdeenlune
    Must have been a fair bit of walking doing that route on a single speed…

    Mainly the start up Craig Dunain, but I’ve seen plenty people on geared bikes walking that too.

    What sticks in my memory more is that there were a couple of slightly sketchy bits with the wee wheels and skinny tyres. Recent rain had made it a bit slidey.

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