My first visit to Helensburgh

September 1997
30 km

I did not have a camera back then, I am afraid. So no pictures. But click on the button below to open up Google Maps.
Enter "Dumbarton" in the search field & Google Earth for xtra pictures

I moved to Alexandria in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland in October 1996. I purchased the bike I have now the year after. I started to do some bikerides that same fall. This tour was one of the first tours on roads I had never been on before. I knew nothing about this area so this was pure exploration and very exciting too.

I set off from my flat an early morning for Balloch up past Jamestown. At the bus station, I turned to left and over the old road up towards and onto the cycle path which took me over a small hill to the posh Cameron Hotel. I went over Duck Bay to Arden and the start of the hill climb over to Helensburgh. After a small, but still hard climb, I reached a crossroad. Straight ahead lay Glend Fruin. But I chose the road to the left, the road to Helensburgh. The road went over a small bridge and then up the hill to the water reservoir at the top of this hill. A pretty hard climb it was too.

The views from the top of this hill over Helensburgh and the Clyde river is very good and alone worthy the whole tour. The descent down to Helensburgh was a bit hairy with a lot of cars entering and leaving the road in the front of me. I was not best pleased. I was soon down in Helensburgh and did a sightseeing there. I was very impressed by this place and that made the whole tour for me

All good things had to come to an end and I turned my attention to the busy Helensburgh to Dumbarton road. The road was flat in the beginning before it went into vertical climb just before the Cardross village. There was good views towards Port Glasgow throughout. But the traffic was horrendous and I was struggling. The descent down to Cardross and past the shops and the golf course was not pleasing too. After passing this village, the road joined the Clyde river for some hundred meters before the vertical climb up towards Dumbarton. No doubts the hardest climb of the day although it was not a long climb. But it was steep and pretty bad in the heavy traffic. I reached the top of this hill and descended down to Dumbarton. I took the road past Renton to my flat again after a nice exploration bikeride.


This was an exploration bikeride and nothing more than that. Recommended ? I leave that to yourself to decide. I will never do this tour again. Not even as a pure training bikeride. Too boring and there is far better alternatives to this bikeride where I live now.