Author Topic: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018  (Read 3977 times)

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« on: March 05, 2018, 09:46:14 pm »
I don't know why, but this ride interests me more than LEJOG, and I've been meaning to do this for a fewyears, but never got round to organising myself. So now I've bought my train tickets down South on the 21st April, and back from Scotland two weeks later :o :D

I'm going to be staying in hotels, at my parents' in South Yorkshire, and with some friends on the way. I think I should also be able to dash home on the train from Carlisle half way through to re-supply and fettle any bike problems, before catching the early train back and continuing north.

I think I've planned out my route now, but if anyone has any suggestions on the route, or anything else, then I'd really like to hear them. Also has anyone used the Durness-Lairg bus? It says that they take bikes, but I'd never heard of it before.

I'm getting both excited and a bit worried at the moment ;D

Route Updated, see Reply #28
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2018, 10:03:22 pm »
Cracking adventure. Enjoy.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2018, 11:03:54 pm »
I think these are the ones that run the bike bus. Although I think it is seasonal. Worth giving them a ring.

http://www.decoaches.co.uk

I could have given you a lift but you are up a few weeks too early.  :)
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2018, 11:10:37 pm »
Thanks. I've used that bus in the summer many years ago to get to the Ullapool ferry. I'm intending to take this bus home this time - http://www.thedurnessbus.com/806-lairg/

They say they take bikes, and should be running. I'm intending to contact them, but figured they may have been a bit busy with the weather recently
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2018, 11:37:21 pm »
Yes, there was quite a lot of weather up there!
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2018, 10:39:22 am »
I'd be tempted to see if I could make the time to go to Cape Wrath, if I could...

Adam

  • It'll soon be summer
    • Charity ride Durness to Dover 18-25th June 2011
Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2018, 11:32:08 pm »
In 2011, with a friend, I did Durness to Dover over 8 days, so an average of 100 miles a day, to raise money for East Anglian Air Ambulance.  North to South, on the basis it was more downhill!

Looking at your route, on day 4, by veering north-west, you're going through hillier countryside than if you stayed east of Doncaster, but I guess that ties in with staying with your parents?

For days 9 & 10, wouldn't following the cycle path along the A9 be easier?

It amazed me just how big Scotland is - and how empty the roads are compared with the south-east.  Enjoy!
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
  • ACME S&M^2
Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2018, 10:22:41 am »
From Tilbury to Cambs I'd probably follow this route

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26978851

South of Billericay it's a little bit wild if you are on a bike! 

The Southern bit of the route is based on how I get to Tilbury from Chelmsford, the Northern bit is based on our Audax rides out towards Cambridge.

A slightly more pleasant route would be to turn right just before 74km, then left Mill Road to Henham then right and along to Debden Green, through Debden and follow Debden Road in to Saffron Walden, right in to Brough Lane and then follow the road to Audley End to rejoin the route.  This of course adds bonus KM to your route but avoids a slog along the B1383 which can be a bit busy into and through Newport. 

You could also do this through a similar parallel route using Route 11 - turn left just before 78km to follow cycle route 50, right on to B1383, first left Rickling Green, after right @Rickling onto Rickling Rd, Poore Street to Arkesden to rejoin Route 11 then follow to get to Littlebury Green and your route to Ickleton
Regards,

Joergen

Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2018, 12:16:32 pm »
...
For days 9 & 10, wouldn't following the cycle path along the A9 be easier?
...
I hadn't noticed that... but you have to assume that mcshroom wants to take the Hilly Route...

Bairn Again

Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2018, 02:10:06 pm »
Hi there. id have joined you for a bit on Leg 8 but I will be away on holiday myself.

just a wee bit local knowledge on that leg...

North of the Forth Road Bridge, the mapping software has you doing a diversion via Nth Queensferry that isnt neccesary.  ridewithgps does this too.  You can just carry on after crossing the FRB on the bike path into Inverkeithing.

Slightly further north youve chosen the hilliest way possible to Kinross over Cleish.  If thats deliberate fair play, but the alternative via Hill of Beath (or if you are like me and super lazy) via Cowdenbeath.

The B996 isnt particularly busy as the M90 takes most of the traffic going north.   


mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2018, 03:05:55 pm »
...
For days 9 & 10, wouldn't following the cycle path along the A9 be easier?
...
I hadn't noticed that... but you have to assume that mcshroom wants to take the Hilly Route...

Sorry, yes I've deliberately chosen to go through that bit. I've ridden over the Cairnwell a couple times in the opposite direction on tour and on the Deeside loop and also over the Lecht once from the North. I fancy riding through from the south. I've also ridden the Drumochter cycle path a couple times and while Drumochter is definitely the easier route, I just don't like it very much.
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2018, 03:17:43 pm »
Hi there. id have joined you for a bit on Leg 8 but I will be away on holiday myself.

just a wee bit local knowledge on that leg...

North of the Forth Road Bridge, the mapping software has you doing a diversion via Nth Queensferry that isnt neccesary.  ridewithgps does this too.  You can just carry on after crossing the FRB on the bike path into Inverkeithing.

Slightly further north youve chosen the hilliest way possible to Kinross over Cleish.  If thats deliberate fair play, but the alternative via Hill of Beath (or if you are like me and super lazy) via Cowdenbeath.

The B996 isnt particularly busy as the M90 takes most of the traffic going north.   



Thanks. I'd missed the diversion into North Queensferry, thanks for the correction. North of there the route planner has followed NCN1. I rode that route doing the Coast and Castles route, and it is nice, but I think the less hilly route does sound more appealing, especially considering the following day.
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2018, 04:10:16 pm »
Yes, there was quite a lot of weather up there!
Looks like there still is!

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Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2018, 04:11:31 pm »
There are good rideable tracks between the Braemar area and Tomintoul that go via Loch Builg and Glen Avon, apart from about a mile past the Loch itself, which would be rideable on a mountain bike but would probably involve walking on a loaded tourer.
You can start at either Invercauld bridge, or a mile or so up the B976 from Balmoral.

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2018, 04:28:58 pm »
From Tilbury to Cambs I'd probably follow this route

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26978851

South of Billericay it's a little bit wild if you are on a bike! 

The Southern bit of the route is based on how I get to Tilbury from Chelmsford, the Northern bit is based on our Audax rides out towards Cambridge.

A slightly more pleasant route would be to turn right just before 74km, then left Mill Road to Henham then right and along to Debden Green, through Debden and follow Debden Road in to Saffron Walden, right in to Brough Lane and then follow the road to Audley End to rejoin the route.  This of course adds bonus KM to your route but avoids a slog along the B1383 which can be a bit busy into and through Newport. 

You could also do this through a similar parallel route using Route 11 - turn left just before 78km to follow cycle route 50, right on to B1383, first left Rickling Green, after right @Rickling onto Rickling Rd, Poore Street to Arkesden to rejoin Route 11 then follow to get to Littlebury Green and your route to Ickleton


Thanks, I'll have a look. That bit is the area I have the least experience riding.
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

Bairn Again

Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2018, 08:01:33 pm »
Hi there. id have joined you for a bit on Leg 8 but I will be away on holiday myself.

just a wee bit local knowledge on that leg...

North of the Forth Road Bridge, the mapping software has you doing a diversion via Nth Queensferry that isnt neccesary.  ridewithgps does this too.  You can just carry on after crossing the FRB on the bike path into Inverkeithing.

Slightly further north youve chosen the hilliest way possible to Kinross over Cleish.  If thats deliberate fair play, but the alternative via Hill of Beath (or if you are like me and super lazy) via Cowdenbeath.

The B996 isnt particularly busy as the M90 takes most of the traffic going north.   



Thanks. I'd missed the diversion into North Queensferry, thanks for the correction. North of there the route planner has followed NCN1. I rode that route doing the Coast and Castles route, and it is nice, but I think the less hilly route does sound more appealing, especially considering the following day.
Ive had a look at day 9.

This : https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26981599 is about 6km longer from Perth to Alyth but has much less on the A94 (which can get busy and not very pleasant on weekdays) and instead uses some lovely Perthshire lanes

Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2018, 08:26:29 pm »
Jane OTP has done this ride, if memory serves.
It might be worth giving her PM a rattle....

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2018, 08:39:30 pm »
...
For days 9 & 10, wouldn't following the cycle path along the A9 be easier?
...
I hadn't noticed that... but you have to assume that mcshroom wants to take the Hilly Route...

Sorry, yes I've deliberately chosen to go through that bit. I've ridden over the Cairnwell a couple times in the opposite direction on tour and on the Deeside loop and also over the Lecht once from the North. I fancy riding through from the south. I've also ridden the Drumochter cycle path a couple times and while Drumochter is definitely the easier route, I just don't like it very much.
I'd agree with you here, following the A9 is boring. Over Glenshee and the Lecht is more fun.
For day 10, I'd go for the A939 over Dava Moor, then towards Cawdor and into Inverness (following NCN1).
For day 11, there's a nice wee road along the north side of the Beauly Firth for a few miles. Also note there steep steps on the Invershin Viaduct, may be tricky with a fully loaded bike.

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2018, 09:09:20 pm »
I'd agree with you here, following the A9 is boring. Over Glenshee and the Lecht is more fun.
For day 10, I'd go for the A939 over Dava Moor, then towards Cawdor and into Inverness (following NCN1).
For day 11, there's a nice wee road along the north side of the Beauly Firth for a few miles. Also note there steep steps on the Invershin Viaduct, may be tricky with a fully loaded bike.
I'll have a think. I've actually ridden down that bit of the A9 before on the planned route, but looking at it again I'd really prefer not to.

There are good rideable tracks between the Braemar area and Tomintoul that go via Loch Builg and Glen Avon, apart from about a mile past the Loch itself, which would be rideable on a mountain bike but would probably involve walking on a loaded tourer.
You can start at either Invercauld bridge, or a mile or so up the B976 from Balmoral.

What sort of surface is this track likely to have? I'll probably be on 32mm Marathons, so they can handle dirt tracks but not anything too rocky.
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2018, 09:45:42 pm »
agree with fuaran.

Leave Inverness over the Caledonian Canal past Scourgie, then Beauty, Muir of Ord. Conan Bridge. There is fast traffic but less of it than down south.

Given you are starting from Lairg, this might not be appropriate, but there is a Hotel at Overscaig; I phoned them up and got a late breakfast arranged when I did a 200km from Ullapool, via Lairg, to Tongue. They are used to Audaxers, but may not be open at this time of year. There's also a hotel at Riconich.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2018, 01:03:29 am »
agree with fuaran.

Leave Inverness over the Caledonian Canal past Scourgie, then Beauty, Muir of Ord. Conan Bridge. There is fast traffic but less of it than down south.
Nicer to go across the Kessock Bridge, then the minor road along the north shore to Redcastle. Then its only a mile or so on the main road to get to Muir of Ord.

Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2018, 03:48:19 pm »
That looks like a bloody excellent adventure - dead jealous.

Your final two days should be good.  I did Inverness to Lairg over two days last year; though I diverted across the Black Isle rather than around to Dingwall.  That was a nice ride.  Larig to Durness was lovely.  Quite straightforward and should be a lovely end to your trip.   http://www.richmay.co.uk/allpointsnorth/

I live down on the South Coast though so know your first day area better.  Mostly pretty good but if (like me) you might like passing nice churches and the like let me know and I might suggest some minor tweaks between Dungeness and Ashford.  Avoiding Maidstone is highly reccomended.  Route 17 passes on the hll above the town; it might be a bit muddy in April but still better than Maidstone!  My main suggestion though would be to sack off the suggested route where it has you crossing the Medway alongside the motorway.  Rather than hanging a left there carry on through Borstal and follow the cycle way down alongside the east back of the river into Rochester; go past the castle, and join NCN 1 - head over the Medway bridge and then follow route 1 on some nice quiet lanes (well once you are out of Strood) into Gravesend:  see the latter part of this ride for info...  https://www.strava.com/activities/1193655641

Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2018, 07:23:02 pm »
Can recommend the Hotel in Lairg.Part of our group on an EtoE stayed at the Hotel, we ate there but actually slept in the BandB across the road.It was run by an elderly lady who didn't bat an eyelid dealing with four hairy **sed cyclists and cooked a excellent Scottish farmhouse breakfast to set us up for the ride to JoG that day. Happy memories.

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2018, 07:49:05 pm »
NCN1 has an extended rough section east of Gravesend (the canal bit) which I wouldn't recommend.
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Dungeness to Durness - April 2018
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2018, 08:23:38 pm »
NCN1 has an extended rough section east of Gravesend (the canal bit) which I wouldn't recommend.

Second the disrecommendation, especially if it's wet.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...