Fintry return over Campsie Fells




June 1999
80 km




I did not have a camera back then, I am afraid. So no pictures from that tour (but three photos taken in July 2006). But click on the button below to open up Google Maps.
Enter "Dumbarton" in the search field & Google Earth for xtra pictures





I moved to Alexandria in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland in October 1996. I purchased the bike I have now the year after. I started to do some bikerides that same fall. I did not really start to do some serious bikerides before 1998 and 1999 though. This ride was high on my agenda in 1999.

I set off from my flat an early morning for Balloch up past Jamestown. At the bus station, I turned to the right and up the steep Stirling Road towards the Drymen Queen's View crossroad. The cycling was interesting with first a couple of steep hills and then a steep descent through Gartocharn and a flat, scenic road to the crossroad. At the crossroad, I took the road to Croftamie. I have recently learnt that there is now a cycle road bypassing Gartocharn (see the Tak-Me-Doon Rd tour) and the hills here. But back then, I had no proper maps and no clue
The road up to Croftamie and past it is pretty steep and I took it easy here. A new crossroad followed and I took the road down the hill and over a small bridge towards Killearn. I here reached the Glasgow to Callander main road in a roundabout. I continued up a very steep hill to Killearn. This is a very scenic village, but hard to get to by bike from all directions. And I have been up all the steep hills leading to Killearn. I continued towards Balfron and reached a crossroad where I took the road up the valley towards Fintry. This road has some really fun bikeriding and it was my first ever ride up this road. I really enjoyed it. This valley road is not steep in the beginning. But there is a couple of really steep, short hillclimbs here just before Fintry. I reached this village and took a small break before continuing up the valley to the Carron Valley Lennoxtown crossroad. I took the legendary Crow Road towards Lennoxtown. The climb from this crossroad is absolute vertical and very hard. One of the hardest roads in this area by far. I went over here again in 2006 and I took these pictures of the Crow Road:


Looking down the steep road towards Fintry and the Trossachs mountains



The gully leading down towards the drop to Lennoxtown



Lennoxtown and Glasgow from the top of the mountain

It took an eternity to reach the descents down to Lennoxtown, but the views was worth it. The views really knocked me sideways and they are very popular with a lot of people visiting it every day. The descent down to Lennoxtown was a bit too hairy with some stonefall debris in the middle of the road. Big enough to kill me if unlucky. I was very relieved to be back in Lennoxtown.
The road from Lennoxtown to Bearsden over Torrance and Bardowie was pretty boring though with a couple of small, very steep climbs too. That in some heavy traffic on narrow roads. Not a good experience. I was very happy when I reached Bearsden. I continued up the hill from Bearsden over toward Duntocher, bypassing Clydebank and ending up in Bowling. From there, I continued down the river to Dumbarton and home again to Alexandria after a hard bikeride.

Conclusion



A rather interesting bikeride. This was my first tour into the Campsie Fells area. The road up to Fintry was and still is an eyeopener. It is one of the best bikerides in this area. Hence the many bikeriders you meet here during weekends. I guess the shop in Fintry does good business on this road and it's users. The Crow Road over to Lennoxtown is very hard. The return over to Dumbarton is rather boring. Recommended ? Only the part over Fintry to Lennoxtown. The rest is best avoided.