Glasgow 2014 inspired cycling routes
The Glasgow 2014 road cycling events launch today with the women’s and men’s time trial races first and then the cycling road races on Sunday. The events are free to watch and it’s expected that the city streets will be filled with people eager to catch a glimpse of our Commonwealth’s top riders.
Earlier this week we focused on mountain biking, which was another hugely popular Commonwealth games event. Dozens of top mountain bikers took on the challenge of Cathkin Braes as they competed in the Glasgow 2014 cross-country mountain biking event
Now it’s the turn of the riders who prefer the smooth surface of the tarmac.
In recent years, cycling has grown as both a leisure and commuting activity. Studies show that there has been a rise of between 2.5 and 12% in cycling on UK roads, depending on where you are and the type of cycling involved.
Cycling is a great way to stay in shape and to reach a destination in an environmentally and cheaper way. It is also a great family activity and fun for groups of friends.
With Scotland as the current focus for sporting events, and especially cycling in the final five days of Glasgow 2014, we recommend seven great Scottish road cycling routes.
7 top road cycling routes in Scotland
The Lochs & Glens cycle route
The Sustrans NCN Route 7 Lochs and Glens heads 214 miles from Glasgow to Inverness. It is a fabulous route with ever-changing landscapes and steeped in history and culture. You’ll cycle past ancient castles, whisky distilleries and welcoming Scottish towns and villages. And, as the name suggests, there will be plenty of lochs and glens en route.
The Macs Adventure Lochs & Glens trip
offers an eight-day version of the route, starting form Callander, known as the gateway to the Highlands, and finishing in the Victorian spa town of Pitlochry in Perthshire.
Island hopping by bike
The most famous cycling route on Scotland's islands is the Five Ferries Cycle Route
. The details are:
Brodick to Lochranza on the Isle of Arran: 14.9 miles.
Claonaig to Tarbet on the Kintyre Peninsula: 10.5 miles
Portavadie to Colintraive on the Cowal Peninsula: 19.2 miles.
Colintraive to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute: 8.3 miles
Wemyss Bay to Ardrossan, Ayrshire: 18.5 miles
Taking your trip to eight days rather than one and exploring three islands in more depth why not book a Macs Adventure Scottish Island Hopscotch
cycling tour? The trip takes in Arran, Islay and Jura, travelling between the isles on ferries, and enjoys a wealth of scenery, history and wildlife as you pedal.
The islands are renowned for their welcoming people and quieter roads, which make them a great place to cycle on the roads.
Applecross and The Bealach na Ba
The Bealach is the UK’s biggest road climb at 2053ft (626m) and follows a road pass from sea level to summit in just six miles. Passing through the mountains of the Applecross Penisula, this route is popular with cyclists and also the location for the 43-mile Bealach Beag Sportive
and the 90-mile Bealach Mor Sportive
. The road has also been voted by National Geographic as one of the world’s greatest car journeys.
Four Abbeys Cycle Tour
The famous medieval abbeys of Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso and Jedburgh are the focus for a delightful 55-mile cycling route know as the Four Abbeys Cycle Tour. Combine cycling with a trip through the history books on this lovely cycling trip
Assynt Achiltibuie Circular
A stunningly scenic but demandingly hilly route of around 75 miles follows the Achiltibuie Circular. Starting in Achiltibuie, you cycle north towards Lochinver before joining the coastal road to Drumbeg and Newton, and then along Loch Assynt to Ledmore. The final section takes cyclists to Drumrunie before heading back to Achiltibuie.
Isle of Skye Cycle Tour
The Isle of Skye off the north west coast of Scotland is acclaimed for its mountains and lochs. It is also a fantastic place to cycle on quiet and picturesque roads. Why not follow a self-guided Macs Adventure Skye Cycle Tour
pedalling to highlight places such as Armadale, Broadford, Dunvegan, Uig and the island “capital” of Portree.
Tour of the Cairngorms
Explore the fabulous Cairngorms National Park, cycling between charming Highland towns, historic castles, Speyside malt whiskies, Jacobite battlefields and forever surrounded by the most amazing scenery.
Starting in Inverness, the Tour of the Cairngorms
route heads to Aviemore, then Blair Atholl, Braemar, Tomintoul and Elgin before returning to Inverness.
Now back to Glasgow 2014 where the Commonwealth's top women and men and currently cycling for medal positions.