Viewing 34 posts - 1 through 34 (of 34 total)
  • Would you Scots be able to provide some suggestions to some Brazilian chaps?
  • simonralli2
    Free Member

    Three Brazilian chaps have been in contact with me after reading a Portuguese article about biking in Scotland on my blog. They are in their 50s, and the plan is to arrive in Edinburgh on 9th July, see the city on 10th, and then start riding on 11th. They are thinking about ending in Inverness, where they will take a train back to Edinburgh, to fly to Brazil on 21st.

    They seem to be quite fit, and want to be peddling around 60 – 70 km every day, on a mixture of road, tracks and singletrack, although I guess off-road may be better. They are really looking forward to the scenery, mountains, lochs and seeing places of historical interest.

    I have not cycled north of Edinburgh and said to them that I am not really in a position to offer advice based on my own experience.

    Are there any classic sections or routes you would recommend?

    Are there any good websites to point them towards?

    Their agenda is fairly open and they are open to ideas from people who know the area. They are not assuming they will need to take a train during the journey, but if it made a big difference I guess they would do it.

    All help gratefully received. Who knows, if anyone wishes to join them for a day then I am sure there would be some drinks and a meal afterwards as a thank you 🙂

    druidh
    Free Member

    Any idea what sort of accomodation they’d be after and do they need to hire bikes?

    gusamc
    Free Member

    quick brain dump

    re ending in Inverness – see Great Glen Way
    http://www.greatglenway.com/route_users.htm#Mountain and Road Bike
    *I have NOT cycled this but the area is bloody scenic, starts at Fort William – so I suspect some people here can recommend good off road routes around there and tell em to do islands on W coast if they can.

    Trossachs – Lock Katrine/ pedal out, paddle steamer back (*again not cycled this but investigated as treat for gf) http://www.incallander.co.uk/trossachs_katrine.htm

    stay in a lighthouse – http://www.ruareidh.co.uk/ (it’s got hostel facilities BUT really is the middle of nowhere with NOTHING else nearby)

    AlasdairMc
    Full Member

    I foresee a mega-tour in the making.

    If they don’t want to get the train anywhere, ride the canal to Glasgow (although far easier and quicker to just get the train through), then West Highland Way to Fort William in however many days you want. Great Glen Way to Fort Augustus, then Corrieyairack Pass to Laggan and ride that to get the trail centre experience. Follow that with the Sustrans to Aviemore area on quiet roads. Loads of riding in and around Aviemore, finishing with a train journey back down.

    EDIT – although personally I prefer the train back from Fort William instead of Aviemore from a scenic perspective. Perhaps once at Laggan they could aim for Corrour Station instead as it’s a lovely wee restaurant with a hostel down the track.

    druidh
    Free Member

    Alasdair – mirrors my thoughts almost exactly. The other option would be to head North West from the Great Glen and do some sort of route to Kyle or along that line somewhere.

    simonralli2
    Free Member

    Hi Druid

    I am not too sure about accommodation but I am sure bike friendly B&Bs with some clothes washing facilities would be good.

    They are bringing their own bikes.

    If any of you have links to info about these routes that would be great. I thought that I would suggest buying one or two books on biking in Scotland too, so if you know of any good ones that would be great too.

    kennyp
    Free Member

    What Alasdair said.

    simonralli2
    Free Member

    Thanks again folks.

    What is the canal like? Is it mainly tow path or does the track vary at all?

    druidh
    Free Member

    Towpath almost all the way – apart from a couple of very short on-road sections. It varies in width quite a bit though – and surface. The two canals meet at the Falkirk Wheel – well worth a visit in its own right.

    simonralli2
    Free Member

    Wow – that’s quite a sight.

    I assume it is pretty scenic along the way?

    druidh
    Free Member

    It has its moments (Polmont Young Offenders Institute for one). It’s also part of the new Scottish National Trail – an end-to-end route (primarily for walkers) gong from the border to Cape Wrath. It’s the most sensible route out of Edinburgh if you want to avoid roads and it takes you to within spitting distance of the West Highland Way.

    Your friends might want to know that the Loch Lomondside section of the WHW includes a little carrying. If they are travelling light it shouldn’t be a problem and they’ll get lots of advice on here.

    tmb467
    Free Member

    It’s posts like this one that show what a decent bunch of people actually frequent this forum…

    druidh
    Free Member

    Oh and simon…

    http://2010.midgeforecast.co.uk/index.php/shop

    simonralli2
    Free Member

    Absolutely tmb.

    I have been offered rides already in Brazil with people who are just friends of friends – there is a pretty healthy MTB scene developing there now.

    I’ll check about how much gear they have and do some more googling of the WHW.

    I will also invite them to join this thread but just thought I would get it started so they could have some initial information to think about.

    druidh
    Free Member

    Deciding early would be good. The WHW in particular gets booked up – and the Scottish school holidays start at the beginning of July. Train spaces for bikes are also limited.

    The more information you can provide on the sort of riding they want to do, the better route suggestions will crop up. I’d not rule out some of the quieter roads too – especially on the islands.

    poly
    Free Member

    Whilst there IS better riding in Scotland than the West Highland and Great Glen Ways, they would provide:

    – a mix of riding (some fast stuff, some tougher stuff)
    – mostly good condition paths even if its wet
    – no traffic
    – plenty of accomodation (not withstanding the book early issue)
    – baggage transport services (if they want to travel light)
    – a mix of scenery – but including some spectacular stuff
    – covers some of the most famous places in Scotland that a tourist might want to see: Loch Lomond, Glen Coe, Loch Ness
    – rural without being so remote that a bunch of foreigners with a problem are totally fecked.
    – option to add time at the Ft William Witches trials if they wish.
    – the Great Glen Way is pretty dull compared to the WHW – but you pass the Abriachan trails which would add interest if thats your thing (they are not well known, they are not the best trail centre in Scotland by any means but they have a nice mix to fill a few hours)
    – all can be done on a hardtail, and even rigid etc, but there are still enough bits to be fun on full suss
    – reasonably well signposted so navigation in strange country less of an issue
    – the canal to Glasgow is not stupid, but is a bit dull for a lot of it.

    If they are “out and out” mountain bikers though this is not the best of scotland.

    The Corryvarick pass option, wolftracks and aviemore is a nice idea depending on ability / fitness etc (will have been in the saddle for a week by that point?).

    West Coast Islands and long roads are also very good but would be a slog if on full suss; but great on tourers…

    AlasdairMc
    Full Member

    Hardtails would definitely be the best choice on the route I suggested, mainly to get the miles in.

    There’s plenty to ride up in that neck of the woods, but I suppose the benefit of the WHW is that it’s truly all-weather – the trail centre of long distance paths!

    Just had another thought. A bothy would be a good experience, so from Kinlochleven head to Corrour Station and down Loch Ossian, then climb up to the Bealach between Ben Alder and Aonach Beag (I think that’s the hill). Descend off the Bealach to Culra bothy looking out over Ben Alder. Nice and remote, with a good track out to Dalwhinnie in one direction and Laggan in the other. You can climb the Munro behind the bothy in a two hour round trip (walking) which makes for a spectacular sunrise.

    simonralli2
    Free Member

    Thanks again for these suggestions.

    Druidh – when you say the WHW “gets booked up” what exactly does this mean? Do you need tickets to do it, ie. numbers are limited to stop too much environmental damage?

    Cheers

    Simon

    druidh
    Free Member

    simon – I meant accommodation. There are a couple of stretches where there is little choice so it pays to book well in advance. A bit of careful planning will help avoid these, especially as cyclists will be able to go further than walkers on any given day.

    simonralli2
    Free Member

    Ah of course – sorry for being dim!

    rosscopeco
    Free Member

    Anyone suggested this yet?

    http://www.oe-mag.co.uk/oemag/?p=1828

    They could peel of at whatever point they want.

    Fancy doing this myself….would make for a cracking little adventure.

    ojom
    Free Member

    I’d be up for a bit of pointing in the right direction and general help.

    Not in a business sense obviously. I only have one log in so this is a personal post. Just in case they need help in Greggs with the language barrier and our fine cuisine.

    Diane
    Free Member

    Have they considered guiding? http://go-where.co.uk/
    Top guy and lots of local knowledge.

    reginaldo
    Free Member

    Hello, everyone. I’m one of three Brazilians who are planning a bike trip through Scotland. Sorry for my bad English.
    I thank them for the information and especially I thank for Simon, who I met at Internet and showed me a lot of kindness and companionship of Scots.
    Some people have made some inquiries. Here are my answers:
    -We will take our bikes (softtails, two Trek model EX9 and one Specialized).
    – We intend to stay in hotels (preferably not too expensive).
    – We love mountains, forests and lakes, with said Simon.
    Thanks for the help and for the tips.

    simonralli2
    Free Member

    Oi Reginaldo

    Welcome to Singletrackworld. It is a very friendly community and if you have any more questions I am sure people will be willing to help, especially as Scotland is the greatest mountain biking country in the world!

    Um grande abraço

    Simon

    Trekster
    Full Member

    Welcome Reginaldo 😆

    “Lakes” are called Lochs in Scotland. Simon can help you with the pronunciation 😉

    Have you considered coming south of Edinburgh?
    http://www.7stanesmountainbiking.com/Home

    Trekster
    Full Member

    Welcome Reginaldo 😆

    “Lakes” are called Lochs in Scotland. Simon can help you with the pronunciation 😉

    Have you considered coming south of Edinburgh?
    http://www.7stanesmountainbiking.com/Home
    Diane – Member
    Have they considered guiding? http://go-where.co.uk/
    Top guy and lots of local knowledge.

    globalti
    Free Member

    Reginaldo, bring plenty of insect repellent:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/outdoors/articles/midge/

    simonralli2
    Free Member

    Hi Trekster

    They have plenty of photos of mine already so they can see the south of Scotland. However, I thought it may be a little out of the way for a first trip which also takes in the mountains and highlands?

    StirlingCrispin
    Full Member

    How about NCN 7 from Glasgow (or Stirling) to Inverness via Aberfoyle, Callander, Killin, Aberfeldy and Pitlochry. Plenty of MTB alternatives beside the official Sustrans route (Menteith Hills, Glen Ample, Glen Lyon etc).

    Then head into the Cairngorms and Aviemore via the Gaick pass, or head to Laggan and the routes round there. You can finish in Inverness, or catch the train from somewhere before that.

    I’ve done variations for various groups and they’ve loved it!

    Oh – and check out Trossachs Backpackers in Callander for accommodation / bike shop stuff.
    http://www.scottish-hostel.com/

    simonralli2
    Free Member

    Well folks Reginaldo has emailed me again and again is really grateful for all your help.

    I was wondering if anyone knows of any good videos of all these places mentioned? I am now back in Brazil and didn’t get too much of a chance to ride over Christmas, so I’d like to see them too.

    ivnickkate
    Free Member

    http://www.hostel-scotland.co.uk/ another hostel link

    Diane
    Free Member
    simonralli2
    Free Member

    Thanks Diane

    More like that please, and the Brazilian infused track was a nice touch 😀

Viewing 34 posts - 1 through 34 (of 34 total)

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