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West Highland Way - Page 3

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skiier 09 Oct 17:20  

Joined: 09 Sep 2008

Posts: 2

Bike:

Hi, Anyone cycled the West Highland Way? I am looking do it next spring but unsure of how dificult it would be, any advice would be fantastic, thanks

Stevie0350 06 Jul 02:41  

Joined: 06 Jul 2011

Posts: 1

Bike:

Hi tonytucci,

Im also looking for someone to join me on this route.
Ive only completed it by foot before but that was almost 10 years ago now.

Please get in touch if you want to get organising.

Rgds,

Stevie


Jim Jong Ill 27 Sep 13:59  

Joined: 27 Sep 2011

Posts: 1

Bike:

The WHW is a superb, challenging, super-XC route. The interesting bits (from a XC mountain biking perspective) are all north of Loch Lommond so it's as well to miss out the southern sections or at least read the other posts ref trees, ladders etc. If you've got the legs for it and travel light weight the northern sections (beyond Inverannan/Ardlui) can be done in a day (with a bit of managed risk) I advise doing it in mid summer when you'll have a few extra hours of daylight on your side just in case. One way of achieving it in a day is to catch the sleeper to Fort Willliam. The train journey over Rannoch Moor is supposed to be one of the most scenic in the UK in any case. The train gets to Ft Bill at about ten'ish so you need to get your skates on. In the past I've aimed to have a biggish lunch in Kinlochleven before taking on the back side of the Devil's Staircase, it's v-steep and v-rough and some of the upper sections are a bit too technical to ride. Once you're at the summit I've always considered it home and dry because it's an easy escape to anyone of the train stations.


amduk25 08 Jan 09:19  

Joined: 08 Jan 2012

Posts: 2

Bike:

hello i will like to do this on this june can give me loads of info and advice please also we r deaf too i can look in www.sdmtb.co.uk we will like try to West Highland Way

and we will done this march MBLA - mountaion bike leader award course one of this said need to more then 6 hours so thou will be good link with this course

hope you will give us advice and info if you dont mind thank you.

from chris whitehouse

email is cwhitehouse1980@googlemail.com


amduk25 08 Jan 09:19  

Joined: 08 Jan 2012

Posts: 2

Bike:

hello i will like to do this on this june can give me loads of info and advice please also we r deaf too you can look in www.sdmtb.co.uk we will like try to West Highland Way

and we will done this march MBLA - mountaion bike leader award course one of this said need to more then 6 hours so thou will be good link with this course

hope you will give us advice and info if you dont mind thank you.

from chris whitehouse

email is cwhitehouse1980@googlemail.com


desperadok 08 Jan 17:24  

Joined: 29 Mar 2009

Posts: 4

Bike:

6 hours is almost impossible to do the complete route. Some of the technical stuff is time consuming !! I did it over 2 days tho 1 of my riding companions was a bit on the unfit side ! plan to do it again this spring over 2 days again, taking in a bit of scenery.


BigBadBenson 14 Apr 19:44  

Joined: 14 Apr 2012

Posts: 1

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just finished the Ft Bill to Loch Lomond section. I'm not very fit and it took a day and a half. First day was Ft Bill to Bridge of Orchy. Without doubt the downhill into Kinlochleven is the most exhilerating biking I have ever done. Quite technical but brilliant. Left out Loch Lomond after the other posts here alerted me to it being more carrying & pushing than biking. Fantastic experience. Bunk houses in Ft Bill (Chase the Wild Goose - £15) and Bridge of Orchy (£18 - b'fast in Tyndrum -close and quite quick to get to) were good value and not booked in advance over easter. Plenty of space it seems.

Between two we had... 5 punctures, one write off tyre, one broken hanger, one broken spoke and two badly dented rims - bring plenty of spares.

Good luck and enjoy.


milnek 22 Apr 17:35  

Joined: 22 Apr 2012

Posts: 3

Bike:

Hi - I haven't done it yet, but planning to do Fort William to Milngavie at the end of May. I'm doing it over 4 days/3nights. Starting with 5.30am train Glasgow to Fort William (gets in about 9.50am)and will do the following stages:

Day 1: Fort William - Kinlochleven (16miles)
Kinlochleve to Kinghouse Hotel (9 miles, overnight there) - total 25 miles

day 2: Kinshouse - Inveroran (10 miles)
Inveroran - Tyndrum - 9 miles
Tyndrum - Inverarnan - 12 miles (Overnight at The Drovers Inn)- Total 31 miles

day 3: Inverarnan - Rowardennan (14 miles - overnight at Youth Hostel - kind of a rest day. I'm not doing the rough section - taking the ferry!

day 4: Rowardennan - Milngavie (29 miles) and then the train to Glasgow City Centre

I reckon that this is an enjoyable way of doing it, rather than an endurance test (for me anyway) of 2 days - I'm not that fit at the moment and will be 50 in May, so taking it easy. I'm meeting my wife in Tyndrum for lunch (Real Food cafe for fish and chips - best in Scotland) and then the Drovers (luxury jacuzzi suite for 2) on the 2nd day.

I did the `extra' section from Glasgow City centre to Milngavie yesterday - it is called the Allander Way (was thinking about doing this bit at the end the other way round). The pathway was vague from the West end to Maryhill - I spent an hour in Maryhill (mmm!!) riding in circles trying to find the Allander Way - finally got directed by friendly cyclists - would never have found it and I have a good sense of direction (and had an OS map too). The path was really nice through Kelvinbride area up to Maryhill - the section from Maryhill to Milngavie follows the river Allander along a narrow mud and grass path (about 1 to 2 feet wide and lots of fallen storm damaged trees and about 6 styles that you have to carry the back over. I took the Milgavie train back to Glasgow City Centre and then biked it back to Shawlands (my start point) - Shawlands to Milngavie was about 29 miles - total mileage was 31 and it took me between 11am and 3pm to Milngavie.

For anyone who has done it North to South, what was the Devil's staircase like on the way down? Also, anyone know rought timings between sections?

Keith


danieljames 02 Jul 14:19  

Joined: 02 Jul 2012

Posts: 1

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Here is an updated list of useful points. My mates and I looked at this thread before we cycled the WHW and think its probably best to get an update!

In no particular order, and some things are common sense:

•Do it! 6 of us did the full official route, 3 experienced MTB'ers and 3 novices but all with good fitness levels and we found it tough, but rewarding.

•South to North good, and second section (approx. from Tyndrum/Crianlarich) is best

•We were very lucky with the weather and did it early June. Sunny spells, light breeze, nice temp and only a few light showers.

•North East of Loch Lomond will require a few hours pushing and carrying and very demanding, but not impossible.

•Wear trail type shoes rather than SPD's

•Prob around ~1/4 (distance) and >1/3 (time) pushing/carrying, but took it easier to avoid breakages (bikes and cyclists!)

•Some amazing flowing sections out with the pushing/carrying.

•Drainage channels are bad and may cause punctures - worth seconds stepping over rather than minutes of midge infested repairs

•Do-able over 2 days if fit and have a decent (ideally hardtail) bike - light and serviced, and no need for spare DISK pads

•Some of us hired bikes from here and the guys at the shop were brilliant and the bikes too – Genesis Core 30’s. Even delivered and collected the bikes to/from Glasgow for us: http://www.cyclerepairman.co.uk/

•Day 1 - 13-14 hours, but stopped to eat at pubs etc and had a few breaks

•Day 2 - 11 hours, but stopped to eat at pubs etc and had a few breaks and were tired from day 1!

•Smidgie is good!

•Last place to get free drinking water going South to North is Rowerdennan Hotel - tap at front. Inversnaid only sell water, so could get expensive.

•Tyndrum hotel is a dive and a bar brawl kicked off when we arrived (nothing to do with us!), but who cares when you are tired!

•Moorings Hotel in Fort William great - near Neptune's staircase so not that central. They took our luggage to the station the next day and we cycled round to loosen the legs.

•Bag carrying service is a must and cost £15 - www.travel-lite-uk.com

•Recommend the map we had - West Highland Way XT40 (Route Map) - and is all you should need.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1851374582/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00

•There are plenty of great places to stop for food/pint and the above map highlights them

•Get a horn/bell for you bike to warn walkers of your approach - weren't as many as we expected

•Camelbaks were great as we needed lots of water

•Start as early as possible, otherwise you will be cycling in the dark

•Good shorts and gloves, and wear glasses/shades

•Electrolyte tablets great for reducing cramp and easy to carry.

•Some of us had intended to go to the Mountain Bike world cup on the Sunday (cycled Friday and Saturday) but the weather was dire and we were happy just to head home as were pretty damn tired!

Hopefully that will help someone!

Cheers,

Daniel


THE BIG MAN 03 Jul 13:56  

Joined: 12 Jun 2012

Posts: 52

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My Profile
richardpm38 i seen the video, the track looks hell of a narrow one, looked great though. adrenalin boost


Gordo 30 Jul 12:42  

Joined: 30 Jul 2012

Posts: 1

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Hi,whw < 24hrs was the challenge, 22hrs was how long it took: after falling off on the way down conic hill and bruising a rib, and carrying the bike for miles at the north of Lochlomond, also big lights recommended for the night sections and spare bateries, it is a bit scary on a knarly decent into Kinlochleven trying to see the path and boulders with only the lights from the bike infront. Dooon't have the macarony and cheese in Tyndrum - very messy in the bushes later. < 24hrs is very doable, and a great day out for the mental challenge (for the metally challenged). It may be possible to take a ferry from Inversnaid across the loch and cycle on the west side of the loch on the road for 6 miles (= cheating) but it would save a good 3-4 hour bike carry. Spare brake pads, two inner tubes, and a few chain links are recommended -- oi! and don't change gear going up hill as you will snap your chain. A decent service before starting is recommended. Whats next ? -- 7 days 550miles 55000 ft climbing mmmmm and it rains a lot in Wales, or Kielder 100 it's really muddy - wicked.


steviemac 25 Aug 19:41  

Joined: 25 Aug 2012

Posts: 2

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Ha ha ... I'm starting to think this "West Highland Way in a Day" of mine is a bit mad.
Me and my son Mark found out to our surprise walking north to south 2 years ago and he said he never wants to set foot on the WHW again.

However, time really IS a great healer and he is up for my next idea. We want to try to complete it within 24hrs using both feet and bikes.

Our plan is to cycle from Milngavie to Rowardennan (27miles - 3hrs), walk the 'uncycleable' route Rowardennan to Inverarnan (14miles - 6hrs), then cycle Inverarnan to Bridge of Orchy (26miles - 3hrs) and bed for the night (7hrs).

Last lap - Bridge of Orchy to Fort William (37 miles - 5hrs)

Anyone want to join us?

Stevie Mac




steviemac 25 Aug 19:49  

Joined: 25 Aug 2012

Posts: 2

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TO Keith ... we took ages finding the START at Fort William ... as very few people start here it is not signposted as well as at Milngavie ... when I say ages I mean about an hour ... valuable lost time.

The climb after Kinlochleven is a killer and is precisely what makes North to South much harder than South to North ... going North to South, Devil's staircase is a dawdle by comparison ... we made it to Inveroran by the end of the first day, a total of 35 miles .. we camped up for 4 hours while we waited for a rescue car to come and get one of our party ... the last 10 mile stretch from Kingshouse to Inveroran was very tough!

Steven


Sutherc 25 Apr 12:28  

Joined: 25 Apr 2013

Posts: 1

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Just completed the WHW by bike from South to North in 2 days .
Day 1 Heavy rain and strong winds in Milngavie was a bad start at 6am and from then it was a constant slog until we cycled slowly into Bridge of Orchy Hotel at 2130hrs close to death.
A lot of people talk about Chonic Hill at the start of Loch Lomond being a pain but for me that was one off the better bits of the day!
First stop broken chain (30mins)on the easy section before Drymen then Rowandennan Hotel for soup (30mins)then Inverannan (30mins) and the remaining 14 hours was a slog and majority not too enjoyable .
Day 2 Bridge of Orchy Stared at 0645hrs and made slow progress to Fort Willian arriving at 1630hrs. Superb change in the weather with sun and very little wind. Probably would have enjoyed this section a lot better but was hurting badly from our previous day efforts which made any uphill/downhil very painfull.
Broken chain early on was our only mechanical issue - not even a puncture which was good
Would I do it again - No - great sense of achievement but majority not enjoyable more of an endurance test

Best bit of the journey - The bottle of red and a few beers on the train home



EvanBevan 12 May 00:20  

Joined: 12 May 2013

Posts: 1

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Odd question perhaps -
Thinking of being a support cycle for a friend who may be running the WHW. I'd be taking a touring bike with luggage so sticking to roads mostly and meeting them for the camping and food stops. I am NOT a mountain biker. (I know, appalling stuff!)

I just wanted to know whether the stretch of WHW from Kinghouse to Altnafeadh is conducive to semi-slicks...? Otherwise it's a long morning without a food stop for my amigo ;)


Fatshiny 19 May 19:14  

Joined: 19 May 2013

Posts: 2

Bike:

Hi

Who are you doing it with?

I hope he's got the stamina to keep you motivated!!

HAHA


Fatshiny 19 May 19:15  

Joined: 19 May 2013

Posts: 2

Bike:

Hi

Who are you doing it with?

He'd better have lots of stamina to keep you motivated!!

HAHA


GWCarter 17 Aug 13:35  

Joined: 17 Aug 2013

Posts: 1

Bike:

Completed the West Highland Way a week ago now. Did it in one go and it took us 22 hours. Thanks for all the posts on here as most of them were useful and honest, particularly where Loch Lomond was concerned.
Just to emphasise others comments. both of us are the wrong side of 55 so it certainly is DO-ABLE in one go for many people.
Some thoughts:

Lovely riding all the way to Inversnaid.

The next section is nothing other than a complete nightmare. Accept that, don't rush, be careful with the bike by not dragging it around and you'll be fine. There are no death defying situations because you just can't ride it. Very awkward just to throw on your back because the terrain changes so much.Go clipless as some muddy sections whilst walking.
This section will take its toll energy and fitness wise and this is something you really need to consider when training (we didn't do that enough).

Rest of the riding varies from track to a some technical riding (avoided by getting off).

Rannoch Moor is awesome at night.

The pull out of Kinlochleven is down to endurance (phew).

Consider food/water dumps if unsupported. We used them but please pick the wasts up after the ride.

Giving up is not an option because the midges will eat you alive!! They were as bad during the night.

Book accomadation in Fort William. We thought we would be able to drive home. Wrong. Only just managed to get a room.

You will be completely wrecked (well I was) and it is one of the hardest things I have ever done but the satisfaction gained from that is just awesome!!!

Before this in previous years we had completed C2C, W2W and Hadrian's Cycle route. All sub 24 hours. Don't think that because the mileage is low it is easy. It's much harder than those just mentioned.

Go for it and be proud :)


jas.merr28 31 Jan 11:47  

Joined: 31 Jan 2014

Posts: 1

Bike:

hiya,
i did it in september last year over 3 days with some guys from my work for charity. i put a good bit of training in before and it defo paid off as i smiled from start to finish....others less so lol
we did from milngavie to fort bill, the most akward section was probably from inversnaid up tbh but we stuck to the "Way" .
A few long uphills but the downhills more than made up for it!!
if you need a more detailed idea then let me know and id be happpy to pass on some advice .:-)
recorded it all on my garmin too and uploaded it to strava

cheers

jason



milnek 19 Oct 18:17  

Joined: 22 Apr 2012

Posts: 3

Bike:

Hi - I did the route over three nights in May 2012 and did it from Fort William, travelling South all the way. This way, the WHW walkers were always able to get out of my way and i did not induce heart attacks in any OAPs trudging their way North. Advice i would give is train beforehand (i did about 3 months work beforehand), take a good supply of energy bars that you actually like, and book accommodation well in advance. If you can afford luggage service, then this would improve things too. Lastly, i would probably skip the East side of Loch Lomond - it was a nightmare that is hard to describe - especially getting over Rob Roy's cave section. .On the other hand, the wee boat i tokk to get over to the east side was a great experience (had to wait for ages till the guy arrived). Also, if you can avoid the Youth Hostel in Rowardennan, then do so, it looks deceptively pretty, but when i was there, it was alive with midges and the rooms were like the Black Hole of Calcutta. I think that the other advantage of going North to South was that, after Tyndrum, it's kind of downhill most of the way, just when you are feeling the pain after day 2. I went Day 1: Fort William to Kingshouse Hotel, Day 2: Kingshouse to The Drovers Inn and then Day 3: Drovers to Rowardennan, Day 4: Rowardennan to Milngavie.

I have some photos on a slide if you are interested. See enclosed link: https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=9F8B0DB3D908E39B&id=9F8B0DB3D908E39B%21180.

Keith



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