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West Highland Way - Page 2

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skiier 09 Oct 17:20  

Joined: 09 Sep 2008

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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

ff60gyg 25 May 19:11  

Joined: 25 May 2009

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Hi im going to do the west highland way on the 26th of june so i will let you know.


norrymerrida 02 Jul 21:54  

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hi all well doing the whw on the 14th just gettin a few last miniute tips thanks lads will certianly let you know how me and my brother get on


Allxn 03 Jul 15:10  

Joined: 11 Jan 2009

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Third time for doing it, didn't finish (see below), planning a fourth

There has been some changes made making it easier for bikes. A load of the bridges and over road sections which involved climbing up staircases have been removed and smooth paths introduced. Some big stairs have also been removed and replaced by hard packed surfacing over a lesser gradient.

Bike gates have been reduced and simplified, again making it easier. Plus there was a section where you had to climb over a greasy moss covered dry stone wall with barbed wire surrounds, approached with trepidation but glad to see it is now been flattened with a path running through it.

Conic hill descent, still an absolute hoot. Got some really evil looks from some bobble hats though as I went tearing down it speedway style, jumped off the path and shot over the side laughing all the way. Two others in the group didn't fare so well. One went over the handlebars and the other dug his handlebar into the ground while doing the speedway style descent. Slid down the hill for a good forty feet until the bar was in up to the stem. Plus look out for the "smooth" sections beside the path, my front wheel disappeared up to the fork in a bog

Reason for not finishing.... two snapped rear mechs, snapped chain and late starts. As well as snow....in May!

As a point of note, Great Glen Way is a piece of ps (Two bits excepted but in contrast to the WHW it was easy). Did it in a day incorporating a pub crawl...(not many pubs) and we ended up doing skidding competitions on the way into Inverness to liven things up.

My Latest Route: Nov 2009 top to Bottom, Tiverton to Penzeance, Day 10

norrymerrida 17 Jul 10:19  

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hi all just completed the way, and what a trip ups and downs, cries and laughter, hard but fun. the ups the devils stair case and the climb out of kinlochleven where both hard but, the descent from the stair case to kinloch is the best ever done.

lessons learned dont take all the extra kit had to ditch half our wieght, loads of midgey stuff, dont ever rough it bitten to bits, and only 2 puntures easily fixed with slime patches peal them off stick em on and away you go.

the end was a bit of a let down, we where to knackered for celebrations, just wanted to get home its only now that i am sitting here wishing i was back on the way


goodluck and safe riding to all who go for it


keep_fit 25 Sep 23:28  

Joined: 20 Sep 2009

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never would dream doing anything like that
i just got a mountain bike recently an i did get tired just after doing 10 miles
an took around 2 hours were as normally it would be 1
if i keep at it n we keep getting good weather then maybe just maybe i attempt 2 do that next year


Allxn 28 Sep 15:24  

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Keep_fit, would advise that if you took two hours for the first 10 miles you get in some real hard practice. The first 10-20 miles are really very easy and show nothing of what the WHW is about.

Not trying to be negative but it takes a huge of amount of fitness and stamina/strength to complete in two days, all of it needed at the end of day one and mid/end of day two. The start of day one is a hoot as it is virtually a pathway.

Keep in there though, we all have to start somewhere but I would suggest you hit some off road circuit stuff to get your fitness up, get used to being in the saddle for 8-10 hours a day before attempting the full way.... or just take your time, do it over 4-5 days and enjoy the pubs and scenery while getting fit? ;)

Now considering running it over two days.... reckon it is feasible as the fell runners can do it in 15 hours straight.





My Latest Route: Nov 2009 top to Bottom, Tiverton to Penzeance, Day 10

The Plodder 23 May 22:48  

Joined: 23 May 2010

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Me and the wife are doing it in August. Not very experienced so we are going for four days!

Great advice on here and looking forward to it!


richard73 25 May 16:17  

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Hi Just got back from cycling the WHW. 2 and a half days

Absolutely awesome, but really really tough - do not underestimate this.

We were a mixed ability group and the fitter ones were challenged and the relatively unfit ones struggled big time.

Large parts of the route require carrying/pushing but get the right weather and its awesome.

If anyone wants any details re: which parts are un-rideable etc just post here and I will expand.

In a nutshell - tough even for the avergae fit rider but brilliant.



My Latest Route: Apr 2009 Stirling Loop via Sherrif Muir and Braco

keep_fit 25 May 17:15  

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just to note that my post was posted last year lol
just done 10 miles from cycle track and main road to glasgow took an hour dead on
was please with it but was sore as iam just a beginner n getting the chance to do it often mainly cycle local area just now doing my first 50 this weekend probadly sund as bike going in for service so i hope it be a smooth run as this weather is staying great for the time being enjoy it while it last


getoffyourbike 06 Aug 17:13  

Joined: 06 Aug 2010

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Please note that this is a route originally intended for walker and be responsible . The whole idea is to enjoy the route not to annoy other people. Please also remember to be polite to others using this route - without them it would not exist.

I find cyclist in the main to be very rude to walkers who are out to enjoy the countryside not just to get there as fast as you can - that is not the point.

also please do not ring your bell - the person in front of you may be deaf - it is more polite to get off your bike and walk past not just go past as fast as you can. Hell mend you when you fall off your bike - we walkers get the last laugh plus


richard73 18 Aug 13:29  

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Ah the spirit of acceptance, tolerance and understanding lives on in the last post.

I assume its a joke post, either way its funny. Why would a walker join a cycle forum?

When I rode the WHW "us cyclists" go on really well with "them walkers" as mutual respect was given and accpeted.



My Latest Route: Apr 2009 Stirling Loop via Sherrif Muir and Braco

keep_fit 18 Aug 13:33  

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well after a year on
have not done this as i said i would
but leave it till next year
my stamina is picking up better now than i was a year ago
10 miles take bout 45 mins
love the cycling wish i did it sooner
anyways
would love to try this route looks exciting
just need perfect weather


BIG ALY G 28 Jan 11:19  

Joined: 28 Jan 2011

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Yep, walked it but decided before i get to old to do the whw by bike, just booked the holidays today and will take 4 days to complete starting on the 21 april. ive heard its easier from fort william to milngavie is this true.
Al


stephens 29 Jan 11:59  

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It would be very dificult to walk let alone cycle.Why? because the route where walkable is totally ruined by its being decked out with chuckies as they are known.They are the sort of annoying stone [40mm size] gravel you find in horrible crunchy home driveways.Terribly annoying to walk on and i would not even attempt to even try and ride a mountain bike on them.Welcome to the Scottish sense of route surface protection [if the midges don,t get them this will] Then there is the devils staircase leg of the walk just opposite Jimmy Savilles abode[ a luxury shed by the looks of it from a distance.You have to carry your bike up there and its hard enough to walk up let alone carry a bike its really a quite tricky ascent and you have to watch your step or you,ll easily twist an ankle.If the chuckiesies don,t get you the MIDGES will after June they are in their element.Absolute clouds of them when the wind goes down in the morning and evening.Welcome to hell on earth.So dream on,watch the tv,do anything but but don,t even think about it.Enjoy you have had a lucky escape....Sorry Jimmy just joking.Nice looking place to watch idiots ascending afar.Have a nice day pray for rain and wind.


stephens 29 Jan 12:09  

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But of course you can always take the A82 road route cycling to Fort William and the great beyond but the walkers path no way hose'


stephens 29 Jan 12:18  

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The A82 ascends from loch lomond to Glasgow so if you head that way it will be a tough ride at the end of the journey.


konajim 13 Mar 21:57  

Joined: 13 Mar 2011

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go for it ..its doable over 2 days no bother ...can be done in a day if you are very fit and focused .
ps
no by me
jim


tobykerr 16 May 13:43  

Joined: 16 May 2011

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hi skiier, just finnished it on friday 3 days would be enough, inversnaid to the drovers bit of a nightmare took about 3 hours carrying the bike & about an hour up the devils staircare, apart from that its great, hope the sun is out it rained every day for me


paddyccc 17 May 02:29  

Joined: 11 May 2011

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YOU WILL SPEND MORE TIME WALKING WITH YOUR BIKE ON YOUR SHOULDER THAN YOU WILL CYCLING


tonytucci 06 Jun 20:02  

Joined: 06 Jun 2011

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Am looking for some1 to cycle the west highland way with.


Stevie0350 06 Jul 02:41  

Joined: 06 Jul 2011

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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  

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


Gordo 30 Jul 12:42  

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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.


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