The Glen Douglas ride
I did not have a camera back then, I am afraid. So no pictures. 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. But my full season was the 1998 summer. One of those rides was this ride. I cannot remember why I chose it though.
I set off from my flat an early morning for Balloch and Glen Fruin. I made good progress up to the start of Glen Fruin on a dubious B road. Glen Fruin is pretty flat until the head of the valley where it rises very sharply to a plateau. Normally, I would now have had to descend down to the Faslane naval base and then climb another steep hill again. But there are only a gap of 200 meters between the old and the new Glen Fruin road over a disused road. So I bypassed a fence and went over to the new road, bypassing all these hills. Pretty pleased with myself, I made a rapid descent down to a big crossroad where I chose the road down to Loch Long.
The road down to Loch Long is undulating with a vertical drop down to the naval base at Loch Long. I made it down alive and with some burning, painful fingers due to all the braking down the hill. The road in Loch Long is a bit hilly in the beginning. I was looking for the dirt road up to Glen Douglas. There is a military road which also goes up to Glen Douglas. But I believe this is off limit for non-military personell and all use of it means hefty fines in the courts. I am not sure about this though. I went for the dirt track road and I arrived at it halfway in Loch Long towards Arrochar.
This road is both steep and sandy. Unsuitable for everything but four wheel drive cars and mountain bikes in other words. I pushed the bike up this vertical zig-zag road to the beginning for this valley. To my joy, the road from the military installations and the railway line had very good tarmac and the climb up the last few meters to the top of this valley were easy. This scenic and well hidden valley drop down towards Loch Lomond again and so did the road. It is an OK valley, but not a must-visit valley. I had a great time cycling down the valley towards Loch Lomond. The last bit down to the mainroad was a vertical drop. I was soon down at Inverbeg where the cycle path took me down to Luss and then home again after a good ride.
Not the most exciting bikeride in this area. But it is still a quirky ride through two valleys very few knows about; Glen Fruin and Glen Douglas. This ride is a good variation of the Arrochar ride too. The dirt road from Loch Long to Glen Douglas is vertical and the boring bit here. The rest is good bikeriding. Recommended ? As a variation of the Loch Long rides, yes.