Author Topic: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9  (Read 1217 times)

Bianchi Boy

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LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« on: January 12, 2020, 06:32:50 pm »
Hi,

Planning a LEJOG and wondering about options up (or close to) the A9 to Inverness. I know it has a terrible reputation and was seeking advice.

If anyone has a GPX of an acceptable cycle route for a road bike. By acceptable I mean ride-able on a road bike at audax speed and not too scary with trucks.

Thanks in advance to the collective.

Steve
Set a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

Jaded

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Re: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 06:42:40 pm »
There is a cycle path beside some of it. You need local knowledge.

There are a lot of road works, completed in the last few years, and ongoing, to dual it, so even comments from last year could be out of date.

Driver behaviour is way better since the Average Speed Cameras were put in, but it is not a road I’d consider cycling on.

(edited to add)
I'm talking of the Edinburgh to Inverness section. Fully agree that north of Inverness, go up the middle!
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Wowbagger

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Re: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2020, 06:59:10 pm »
We avoided Inverness and went via Drumnadrochit and Dingwall along the A862. We did use the A9 for some of the route further north and from memory it wasn't too bad. There was a solid white line and about a metre of road surface to the left of it so although there was quite a bit of traffic, which lessened the further north we went, I never felt uncomfortable with it. We were also pretty slow - Jan and me on a heavily laden Thorn tandem.

Disclaimer: this was 2007 and lots may have changed.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2020, 07:18:13 pm »
When I did a LEJOG in 2018 we got a taxi back from JOG to Inverness on the A9 and I made a mental note to myself never to cycle that stretch of road. Why anybody would choose the A9 over the beautiful inland Dingwall/Bonar Bridge/Lairg/Crask Inn/Bettyhill route, puzzles me.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2020, 09:18:11 pm »
There is a cycle path beside some of it. You need local knowledge.

Local erm um ok, Eek...
My most recent traversal was on the 28th of Decmber as far as Dalwhinnie...

Except over Drummochter and Slochd the majority of the sensible cycle routes up the A9 corridor are on bits left over of the "old road" and the "old old road"; (soon to have an extra level of Old on them in places)


The biggest problem describing them is there are some sections with multiple options:

If you're touring it I'd suggest rather than going to Perth, head for Crieff via Glen Devon and then up the Sma Glen and Griffin roads to Aberfeldy, then ride the north side of the Tay to Logierait, where we will pick up the route later.

If you insist on visiting the not very fair city (Perth) you have two options, the NCN 7 route which goes along the Inches and then out to Almonfbank from where there's a niceish country road route via Bankfoot to Dunkeld.

Another option is a path beside the A9 to Luncarty, then STanley and cross the tay at Caputh, where you join my regular route to Dunkeld from Meikleour (big hedge not much else)
I've never ridden this, because I'm always approaching Dunkeld from Dundee.

From Dunkeld you have 2 options to Logierait/Balinluig (Either side of the A9, now joined by a bridge)
NCN7 goes off road (and the only time I've ridden it, it was loose but I've heard it's got better) to the Tay Crossing bridge which you ride back over and up the road to Dalguise and then over the Logierait viaduct which is a wooden decked railway bridge that is open to motorised traffic on the promise of paying a donation.

The Regional route on the other hand is in some ways more sensible, it takes the old road out the back of Dunkeld to Dowally (Dowlie) and then uses paths and old road to get you into Ballinluig; the path sections can be a bit unclean but I've never found it impassable.

At Logierait/Ballinluig you again have 2 options (in order of preference)
1) The Etapé caledonia route to Pitlochry by Dunfallandy which I'd recommend
2) Dalcapon, this involves more climbing and sharper and unless I'm dodging Pitlochry and heading straight up the Moulin I go the other way.

If you want to go a bit off standard routes, one suggestion would be to ride to Alyth from Dundee, through Glen Isla to the A93 and then over Moulin Muir into Pitlochry, this is of course the Dundee in me talking and it makes no sense at all geography wise.

Pitlochry to Dalnachardoch Lodge is on the old road via Killiecrankie, Blair Atholl, Bruar and Calvine. Be aware that while the last section looks like it's a dedicated cycle track it's not, this becomes obvious at Dalreoch where heavy traffic is diverted round the Anderson bridge via the A9's main line.
I've heard that this section will have some changes to usage following the upgrade of this section.

Dalnachardoch to Drumochter is a mess, the bits that were built to deal with the old road being under embankment are rough and the old road bits are even rougher, but it is rideable on 30,,tyres.
From the summit of Drumochter there's a fantastic new surface (pending it surviving the winter) however there are a lot of wooden bridges on it to cross the drainage channels, and they're at right angles to the path, and with the resurfacing has come stupid concreted in bollards that necessitate losing a load of speed and I had a carradice rather than panniers.

Once at Dalwhinnie it's the old road again, typical scottish road surface and probably hasn't been resurfaced since it was sealed in the 1940s.

The road from Newtonmore to Carrbridge can be a bit wank, Carrbridge to Slochd is decent, the path over Slochd is Decent and then from Tomatin the path section to Moy junction is rubbish, from Moy you're being massivley detoured but it's prefferable to the A9; you can cut a corner of the NCN7 by turning off for westhill rather than going down to Balloch; by the time you ride it there'll probably housing estates stretching up to Slochd anyway. (this is a dig at the expansion rate of Inverness and chances are it'll be bigger than Dundee by the 2031 census, partly due to Invernesians dying of Poverty and drug abuse at a lower rate than Dundonians)

After Inverness use the middle road up to Tongue, cracking hostel there, and TBH you might as well stop there Thurso, Wick and JoG are utter dives.


Re: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2020, 09:42:02 pm »
Cant help north of Perth but this is what I reckon is pretty much the standard Edinburgh - Perth audax route (starting Haymarket Station) if its any use.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31748466

- tarmac cycle path for the first 8km to Cramond (lots of folk have trouble finding this way out of Edinburgh)

- B981 immediately north of Inverkeithing might be a bit meh on a weekday but only for a couple of miles to Crossgates.
 
- avoids the unpleasant Baiglie Straight S. of Bridge of Earn (traffic racing to the M'way junction) by taking the quieter road by Dron.

Good luck. 

 

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2020, 09:55:23 pm »
Best route from Perth to Inverness is via Glenshee and the Lecht. Keeps well away from the A9.

Re: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2020, 06:12:56 pm »
Planning a LEJOG and wondering about options up (or close to) the A9 to Inverness. I know it has a terrible reputation and was seeking advice.

If anyone has a GPX of an acceptable cycle route for a road bike. By acceptable I mean ride-able on a road bike at audax speed and not too scary with trucks.

Back in early July 2017 I did a 100 miles that started in Inverness going southbound.  Not exactly 100% useful information perhaps, and things may well have changed but here's my take on what I did.
  • I actually cycled on the A9 between just south of Bogbain Farm and the junction with the B9154.  It was early(ish) Saturday morning and that section is predominantly downhill so didn't take long and the risk seemed entirely reasonable.  I would suspect that uphill towards the end of the day might well be an entirely different story.
  • Between the point where I left the A9 and where I turned east to head towards Boat of Garden I followed the A9 cycle route and in the main it wasn't too bad.  The sections that are either the minor parallel roads or the "old" A9 are fine, the sections that are shared-use footpaths are variable - some are fine, some are a bit slower going.

I averaged a bit over 20kmh for the section on a Croix de Fer with a rear rack with a Topeak bag on the top and an Altura bar-bag, and that includes the time spent taking photos and the wait to cross the A9 on a flat crossing at one point.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2020, 10:42:09 pm »
Best route from Perth to Inverness is via Glenshee and the Lecht. Keeps well away from the A9.

You'll have less traffic these days on the A9 NCN route except for in Pitlochry and at Bruar.
"Snow Roads 250" or whatever it is called, also known as "how to increase hire car business at the motor bodyworks in Perth and Aberdeen"

My suggested A9 route from Perth General Station to Inverness Station would be:
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31754436

It's a fairly "Flat" route.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2020, 12:37:17 am »
Best route from Perth to Inverness is via Glenshee and the Lecht. Keeps well away from the A9.

You'll have less traffic these days on the A9 NCN route except for in Pitlochry and at Bruar.
"Snow Roads 250" or whatever it is called, also known as "how to increase hire car business at the motor bodyworks in Perth and Aberdeen"
Has it really got that bad? Can't be as many numpties as the NC500.
Most of the roads are quite wide, no problem with a bit of traffic. Anyway probably simpler and quicker cycling than jumping on and off paths alongside the A9.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2020, 12:09:33 pm »
Best route from Perth to Inverness is via Glenshee and the Lecht. Keeps well away from the A9.

You'll have less traffic these days on the A9 NCN route except for in Pitlochry and at Bruar.
"Snow Roads 250" or whatever it is called, also known as "how to increase hire car business at the motor bodyworks in Perth and Aberdeen"
Has it really got that bad? Can't be as many numpties as the NC500.
Most of the roads are quite wide, no problem with a bit of traffic. Anyway probably simpler and quicker cycling than jumping on and off paths alongside the A9.

Tourist traffic suddenly got s---- everywhere about the time the pound tanked.
It's not as bad as the West Highlands yet, but still plenty of idiots who can't cope with the roads. I've not been on most of the NC500 routes in tourist season.
Only the Craighall Gorge bypass, the south side of the Lecht and the whole of the Cairnwell have had any significant widening from their original width.

Jaded

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Re: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2020, 12:31:36 pm »
The A9 is better than it used to be because of the Average Speed Cameras.

The NC500 is far worse, because local rural roads have been made part of the new theme park up there.
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Pingu

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Re: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2020, 01:06:22 pm »

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small

Re: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2020, 10:26:22 pm »
Best route from Perth to Inverness is via Glenshee and the Lecht. Keeps well away from the A9.

You'll have less traffic these days on the A9 NCN route except for in Pitlochry and at Bruar.
"Snow Roads 250" or whatever it is called, also known as "how to increase hire car business at the motor bodyworks in Perth and Aberdeen"
Has it really got that bad? Can't be as many numpties as the NC500.
Most of the roads are quite wide, no problem with a bit of traffic. Anyway probably simpler and quicker cycling than jumping on and off paths alongside the A9.

The first section of the A93 between Perth and Blairgowrie is really unpleasant to cycle on. Although traffic is not nearly as heavy as the A9, it’s not exactly quiet. Most of it is not really that wide, and there are lots of local drivers in a hurry who know the road well enough to drive far too fast, and will pass close rather than wide (in case something on the other side of the road is coming round the next bend). You could detour around this part using some really nice quieter roads, and rejoin the main road to cross the mountains, but that’s not going to be ”simpler and quicker”. The A9-adjacent route is more direct, much flatter, and signposted all the way. Over the mountains would be more epic though...

Talking of which, you could take FifeingEejit’s suggested route via the Sma’ Glen to Aberfeldy, but then instead of following the Tay to Logierait, head over the side of Schiehallion to Tummel Bridge, then North to Trinafour and over the moors to pick up the A9 at Dalnacardoch (note: I’ve never done this, someone else might have reasons why this is a Bad Idea)

Re: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2020, 06:50:00 pm »
https://www.strava.com/routes/17005740
This it what I did. It only covers part of your route but from Aviemore to Inverness the mix of cycle tracks and back roads was great.

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LFCC

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2020, 11:19:31 am »
Talking of which, you could take FifeingEejit’s suggested route via the Sma’ Glen to Aberfeldy, but then instead of following the Tay to Logierait, head over the side of Schiehallion to Tummel Bridge, then North to Trinafour and over the moors to pick up the A9 at Dalnacardoch (note: I’ve never done this, someone else might have reasons why this is a Bad Idea)

That's a cracking route, joins the A9 cycle route at the end of the Errochty road, it's about as hilly as the Snow roads option
1582m SRTM climb in the 100km from Bridge of Earn to Dalnachardoch.
Snow roads from BoE hits 2000m at the top of the Lecht in 126km

Re: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2020, 11:40:54 am »
Best route from Perth to Inverness is via Glenshee and the Lecht. Keeps well away from the A9.

Ditto.  The Glen Shee and Lecht are glorious routes albeit slightly hillier.

The A9 corridor is depressing.  The cycle track alongside the A9 through the Pass of Dromochter is strewn with chippings and detritus.
KIDDERMINSTER KILLER AND CLEE AUDAX, 20th July 2019; SOUTH SALOPIAN, 5th Oct 2019. http://beaconrcc.org.uk/audaxes/

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: LEJOG - Edinburgh - Inverness A9
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2020, 03:24:01 pm »
Best route from Perth to Inverness is via Glenshee and the Lecht. Keeps well away from the A9.

Ditto.  The Glen Shee and Lecht are glorious routes albeit slightly hillier.

The A9 corridor is depressing.  The cycle track alongside the A9 through the Pass of Dromochter is strewn with chippings and detritus.

Dunkeld, Pitlochry and Blair Athol are all nice.
Netwonmore, Kingussie and Aviemore less so.

When I rode up to Dalwhinnie on the 28th of December it was surprisingly clean of rubbish! (plenty of windblow and stuff but you get that on any cycle route without the input or traffic to clean it)

I wouldn't say any of the 3 options are particularly more scenic than the others.
They're all just bleak mountains and muir.