Scotland Coastal Tour

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Wallace1492
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Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby Wallace1492 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 15:04 pm

Apologies if this aint the right place, but I know a fair few of you tour, and it is an active forum, and the main one I have frequented.

Thinking of setting myself the challenge of cycling round Scotland from Gretna Green to Berwick Upon Tweed, taking the road closest to the coast as much as possible. Dead ends not counting and other circular routes depend on circumstances and time available, though would take in Mull of Kintyre. Estimate it would be 1,700 miles. My thoughts are to do it in one go probably August/September, though again depends on circumstances at the time, could take a break at some point.

Obviously try and avoid the bigger, busier roads where possible, but try and stick to coast where I can.

Anyone done anything similar? I have done West Coast Scotland to Durness a few times and the scenery is simply stunning.

Idea is unsupported, camping (or B&B/hostel if really bad weather (Very likely!)) Though I am sure a few mates and family would join me at certain points along the way.

I think I need a good challenge for the year, and not very keen on LEJOG, and this is nearly double a LEJOG.

Comments?
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Kieran_Burns
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby Kieran_Burns » Mon Jan 07, 2013 15:14 pm

Well- I drove most of that a couple of years ago. Erm. Wow.

I've seen some of the hills that route includes and it is epic. Plus: isn't the A9 the only route from the farthest NE corner? That's not a road I'd like to cycle on in places....
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meanredspider
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby meanredspider » Mon Jan 07, 2013 15:19 pm

Well, if you're doing a lap of the Black Isle, then I'd be very happy to meet up on the bike and give you a tow round.

It's a great idea and an epic ride
ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH

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UndercoverElephant
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby UndercoverElephant » Mon Jan 07, 2013 15:24 pm

meanredspider wrote:Well, if you're doing a lap of the Black Isle, then I'd be very happy to meet up on the bike and give you a tow round.

It's a great idea and an epic ride


+1, and I'd be more than happy to join you on the East Lothian leg.

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Wallace1492
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby Wallace1492 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 15:24 pm

Yes, A9 is only road for a fair section, thought with it being beyond Dornoch, the main traffic heading for Inverness and Western Highlands will have turned off. It would be the last section of a LEJOG anyway, so probably used to cycle traffic, and well, in some places I will just have to MTFU. Though I reserve the right to divert inland where safety could be an issue, (like A1 heading down nearer border). Sitting in house with pissing rain outside, it seems a good idea, but will take a few weeks to decide if it is feasible......
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pangolin
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby pangolin » Mon Jan 07, 2013 15:27 pm

This is a good read, he goes all the way around the coast not just Scotland.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Man-Bike-Mike-Carter/dp/0091940567

I've cycled the entire A9 KB, it's not that bad :?

Some of it was quite bad actually, lots of drains and tarmac ridges either side of them, that you could only avoid by riding primary (and you can't ride primary!). Dived off onto the cycle path a few times but it was pretty poor surface and went further, over more hills.
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Wallace1492
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby Wallace1492 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 15:28 pm

Cheers MRS and UE. I was looking at taking the Nigg ferry and down through Fortrose. As to East Lothian, and further south, do you know of a route to avoid the A1, while being close to coast?
"Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"

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UndercoverElephant
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby UndercoverElephant » Mon Jan 07, 2013 15:47 pm

Wallace1492 wrote:Cheers MRS and UE. I was looking at taking the Nigg ferry and down through Fortrose. As to East Lothian, and further south, do you know of a route to avoid the A1, while being close to coast?


Depends if you're OK riding on the train tracks...

I think the main problem will be between Torness and Cove, but that's only a couple of miles. The rest of the way, there seems to be back roads you could manage. There's also a bit between Eyemouth and Berwick where you'd have to cut inland.

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meanredspider
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby meanredspider » Mon Jan 07, 2013 15:48 pm

Wallace1492 wrote: I was looking at taking the Nigg ferry and down through Fortrose


A short-cut already? :wink: More than happy to meet you off the ferry (assault landing craft) - you might need me for a tow out of Cromarty anyway if the wind is blowing from the usual direction. Rode that route over Xmas and I didn't get out of 1st gear until the top of the hill due to the 25mph headwind :roll:
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meanredspider
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby meanredspider » Mon Jan 07, 2013 15:52 pm

pangolin wrote:I've cycled the entire A9 KB, it's not that bad :?


Kudos - I've driven it (south of Inverness) enough times to know I'd never EVER cycle it. I think people that cross the Kessock Bridge on the road want their heads looking at
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Kieran_Burns
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby Kieran_Burns » Mon Jan 07, 2013 15:59 pm

The other thing that stood out about the A9 was that the flat bits are only at the top or bottom of the next hill.

Oh, yeah... while you're on the West coast and make a diversion so you can cycle UP Applecross Pass.
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meanredspider
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby meanredspider » Mon Jan 07, 2013 16:08 pm

Kieran_Burns wrote:The other thing that stood out about the A9 was that the flat bits are only at the top or bottom of the next hill.


Welcome to my world (not surprising really as my commute pretty much shadows the A9)
ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH

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pangolin
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby pangolin » Mon Jan 07, 2013 16:08 pm

meanredspider wrote:Kudos - I've driven it (south of Inverness) enough times to know I'd never EVER cycle it. I think people that cross the Kessock Bridge on the road want their heads looking at


No I went on the cycle path over the bridge.

Coming into Inverness from the south was good fun. For a while before I was really struggling, plodding along, then reached a sign telling me I was at some summit and realised it had all been a gradual uphill. Coasting down into Inverness afterwards was great.
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meanredspider
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby meanredspider » Mon Jan 07, 2013 16:16 pm

pangolin wrote: Coasting down into Inverness afterwards was great.


Slochd Summit - yes, lovely roll downhill from there.

At least the planned coastal route is reasonably flat along the Moray Firth
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Wallace1492
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby Wallace1492 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 16:22 pm

Kieran_Burns wrote:The other thing that stood out about the A9 was that the flat bits are only at the top or bottom of the next hill.

Oh, yeah... while you're on the West coast and make a diversion so you can cycle UP Applecross Pass.


Ah yes.... but that would NOT be a diversion, it is part of the coastal road north from Kyle of Lochalsh.... No getting out of that one. And it would be the day after doing Mallaig - Armadale, bit on Skye, Glenelg Ferry and over the Mam Ratagan pass to Shiel Bridge, not an easy day! Though it is not about making it easy.... Did the Bealach Na Ba last year, so know what it is all about, though did not have panniers..... and anyway, the road north from Applecross to Shieldaig is not to be trifled with.

A few ferries would be involved, Gourock - Dunoon, for lap of Argyll (Tignabruich), Corran Ferry for Morvern and on to Lochaline and Drimmin from there, ferry to Kilchoan, have to obviously pop out to Ardnamurchan Lighthouse... Onto and off Skye to get by Loch Hourn and Loch Nevis (shame to miss out Knoydart, but no cyclable road in or out)
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suzyb
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby suzyb » Mon Jan 07, 2013 16:57 pm

Wallace1492 wrote:Yes, A9 is only road for a fair section, thought with it being beyond Dornoch, the main traffic heading for Inverness and Western Highlands will have turned off. It would be the last section of a LEJOG anyway, so probably used to cycle traffic, and well, in some places I will just have to MTFU. Though I reserve the right to divert inland where safety could be an issue, (like A1 heading down nearer border). Sitting in house with pissing rain outside, it seems a good idea, but will take a few weeks to decide if it is feasible......

Don't you mean doesn't seem. Or are you one of these wiredos that likes the constant pissing down rain we get in Scotland :p

(this forum needs a proper tongue in cheek simile)

Aberdeen_lune
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby Aberdeen_lune » Mon Jan 07, 2013 17:35 pm

The most interesting route through Aberdeenshire is probably in land a bit. I'd suggest coming in at the Spey over the Cabrach, The Sui, then cut over from Alford to Banchory over the Cairn to the coast at Montrose. You could go all the way to Fraserborough, Peterhead and down through Aberdeen but it wouldn't be quite as spectacular. Personal taste though if you want advice on any of the roads near Aberdeen let me know. I could give you a tow if timings work in

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gtvlusso
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby gtvlusso » Mon Jan 07, 2013 17:52 pm

Good effort - that sounds like an epic ride!

Thought about charidy sponsorship?

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daviesee
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby daviesee » Mon Jan 07, 2013 23:00 pm

Wallace1492 wrote:.........And it would be the day after doing Mallaig - Armadale, bit on Skye, Glenelg Ferry and over the Mam Ratagan pass to Shiel Bridge, not an easy day! .....

Alternatively, stay on Skye and go over the bridge.
But that would miss out on the Mam Ratagan which gives spectacular views. If you can see them. :wink:
None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.

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anton1r
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Re: Scotland Coastal Tour

Postby anton1r » Mon Jan 07, 2013 23:06 pm

I'd be interesting in knowing your proposed (or previously tackled) cycle route along the west coast.

After doing C2C last year, the missus and I were pondering another multi day trip but along the west coast this time. Couldn't quite work out a route though.

Anyway good luck with planning your route and getting out and get on with it! :D
"I have a plan, a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a fox." (from the Blackadder TV series)


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