Clyde to Cape Wrath – day 3

Day three of the Clyde to Cape Wrath trail, off-road bike route  After two shorter introductory days, today added fifty miles and three climbs. The second of these being the Kirk Road a short distance east of the main refereshment stop at Bridge of Balgie. The journey to that lunch pause involved ascending the peaceful Glen Lochay from Killin, passing hydro schemes that would be appearing more frequently as I headed north. This beautiful glen leads to a paved road that heads steeply north-west from Kenknock, before plunging down into Glen Lyon and swiftly on, passing high cloudy summits on either side of the road, amongst sheep pasture and forested slopes to the Bridge of Balgie.

To this point, the cycling had been fairly mellow, mostly on quiet, paved minor roads. This all changes with the Kirk Road, which is a steep hike up on a gravel  forest track, before heading down into the forest, south of Loch Rannoch, where I became misplaced for a while. A ‘spaghetti junction’ of paths that did not agree with my digital mapping did eventually gain access to the minor road,  alongside of Loch Rannoch. The way was clear from then on, as I had been here before. All that was left was the estate road loop over from Rannoch towards Loch Ossian SYHA, north-east of the Glasgow to Fort William railway track. A short rest and a brew stop, fueled with some grub, allowed this final height to be summited in deteriorating weather and energy levels. The cosy hostel and spare food cupboard was a welcome spot for the night. A good night’s sleep was simple.