The Trossachs 1999 ride
I did not have a camera back then, I am afraid. So no pictures from that tour. But click on the button below to open up Google Maps.
Enter "Dumbarton" in the search field & Google Earth for xtra pictures
I did a lot of bikerides in 1999 and this was one of the better ones that year. It was a ride long on want list since my first ride over to Callander a couple of weeks before this ride. This was alos my first 100 miler in Scotland and the route seemed brilliant.
With some trepidations, I set off from my flat in Bonhill, Alexandria early that morning for the ride up to Balloch over Jamestown. I switched to Stirling Road here over to Drymen. A nice little ride over the hill to a crossroad followed before I started the climb up to and past Drymen before I reached the big crossroad at Balfron Station. I took the road to the left over towards Aberfoyle. This pretty flat road was very interesting. I reached the Aberfoyle – Callander crossroad and took the undulating road to the right from the golf course past up to Lake Of Menteith up the the foot of the hills taking me over to Callander. The hill was vertical for a while and I ate a banana one the way up to the top. After the descent and a crossroad, I arrived in Callander for a small break.
I now joined the rather busy A84 up the river gorge to the small lake named Loch Lubnaig. The climb up to this lake was OK. The road along it was also OK. The sun was shining and I made good progress up to
the small village named Strathyre. A small climb started here up to Rob Roy's grave at
Balquhidder. The views towards the mountains at the other side of the valley was brilliant in the sunshine. I felt really good when I started the descent down to Lochearnhead where I had a rest before the main climb of the day. I felt fine when I passed under the disused railway bridge and started the climb up
Glen Ogle. The climb was not particular bad despite Glen Ogle being called Scotland's answer to the Khyber Pass. I was admiring the disused big railway viaducts on the other side of the valley, not knowing that it was soon to be made into a cyclepath and that I would indeed use it eleven years later. I reached the top of the pass and started the descent down to the valley floor on the other side.
The 20 km bikeride in this valley up to Crianlarich is very boring. I was counting down the kilometers while being bored stiff. I was glad when Crianlarich appeared ahead of me. I was starting to get a bit tired. But the descent down to Ardlui at Loch Lomond and the flat ride down this lake made me feel a lot better. I wa pretty happy when I reached my flat again though after a long day in the saddle.
I did this bikeride, with a small variation between Drymen and Aberfoyle again in 2010. I will probably do it again in 2020 or so. It is not a bikeride I really enjoy. The reasons is the Callander to Crianlarich bit which is too dull for my liking. But it is one of the great rides of this area and recommended for that reason. Please note the spectacular cyclepath up Glen Ogle which I recommend instead of the rather busy trunkroad.