Fort William to Crinan Cycle: The Report

Road Sign - Hill: 1 In 8

Hill Gradient: 1 In 8

Fuck me! What a fucking nightmare. I don’t think the conditions could have been much worse for the Fort William to Crinan/Lochgilphead cycle.

The total distance for the route we took was approximately 83 miles, which took around 6 hours despite some good early pace; climbs and weather slowed us up significantly during the second half of the journey.

The route we chose was the A82 out of Fort William, onto the A828 picking up the A85 from Connel to Oban before hitting the A861 taking us nearly all the way into Crinan. This last leg has a couple of quite steep climbs although you could go the R78 cycle route, not sure what the terrain is like along that though.

The initial part of the ride along the coast from Fort William to Oban is pretty easy, dead flat and there is even some parts of the new west coast cycle path already open that are quite stunning and, obviously, free from traffic. Apart from some really gusty winds, which also meant us having to walk the bikes across some bridges, it is an easy enough ride.

Before hitting Oban we began to encounter some quite heavy rain, this lasted almost the whole of the rest of the ride and left us absolutely soaked through despite wearing full waterproofs, even my tyres had water in them and my computer, obviously trying to tell me something, completely broke down after about 105km.

The ride from Oban was where the difficult part of the ride began, the rain was extremely heavy and there was a couple of prolongued climbs including a really hard 1 in 8 that seemed to go on for some distance.

Now we’re gearing up for a Crinan to Glasgow ride via Tarbert, Portavadie, Dunoon and Gourock. This ride takes in a couple of ferry rides and has what looks like one major climb. Weather is, again, not looking too favourable. Night sleeper out of Glasgow into London in the evening.

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