Callander return – 1999
I did not have a camera back then, I am afraid. So no pictures from that tour. But click on the button below to open up Google Maps.
Enter "Dumbarton" in the search field & Google Earth for xtra pictures
I did a lot of bikerides in 1999 and this was one of the better ones that year. I had never been to Callander before and I wanted to visit this place. I first thought about taking the train to Stirling and then approaching it that way. But with some rudimentary maps, I managed to find this route which I went for this year.
I set off from my flat in Bonhill, Alexandria early that morning for the ride up to Balloch over Jamestown. I switched to Stirling Road here over to Drymen. A nice little ride over the hill to a crossroad followed before I started the climb up to and past Drymen before I reached the big crossroad at Balfron Station. I took the road to the left over towards Aberfoyle. This pretty flat road was very interesting, but I also stared straight ahead at Duke's Pass. I reached the Aberfoyle – Callander crossroad and took the road to the left up to Aberfoyle.
The climb up to the big mountain of the day starts in this very nice village and the gradients was close to twenty degrees on this zig-zag road. A very tough climb indeed before it became a lot flatter and manageable at a small lake before the final climb up to the top of Duke's Pass at around 250 meters above sea level. This was my first time over this much feared mountain pass and I loved it. I also loved the views towards the lakes below and Callander in the far distance. The descent to the first lake in this valley. It's name is Loch Achray and a big castle is guarding it. I was very impressed by this castle and this loch. The ride over Brig O Turk and
Loch Venachar is one of the most scenic in this area. It is pretty flat with only a couple of hills before Callander. But the terrain and the bikeriding is top notch. This bikeride ended at the goal of my ride; Callander. This big village is surely one of the prettiest villages in Scotland and I was dead impressed. I was also tired so I took a long break here. I was so happy to be in such a beautiful place. But the return beckoned and I started on the rie back again up the A81 road. The climb from Callander is not bad at all. A bit steep just after a crossroad, but that was all. The descent down to Lake Of Menteith was a bit hairy though. I continued on the ride on the northern shores of this lake to the crossroad at Aberfoyle where I took the return over Balfron station, Drymen, Balloch back to my home again after a very nice bikeride.
My first ever venture into the Trossachs area and one that opened up the door to an area I have often visited during the last years. Some pictures can be found hereand here. In it's own right, it is a good tour. But this tour is best done as the Callander tour as described here. I really recommend that tour and not the tour I have described here. But in it's own right, this is a very good bikeride.