Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Glen Fruin, Yankee Road and the 3 Lochs Way.

Unfortunately I've not had the usage out of the old Kona that I'd hoped but I managed a little jaunt the other day. I didn't have much time so it was really a micro adventure but it's always good to get out for an overnighter even close to home. 
I left home in Helensburgh at 5pm so daylight was always going to be in short supply, a quick pedal up Sinclair Street brought me to the Glen Fruin turn off.  

I pedaled through Glen Fruin as quickly as possible, I wanted to get further on to try and find a bivi site before it went completely dark. Soon enough I reached the start of "Yankee Road" (or the American Road as the 3 Lochs Way website calls it, presumably in some kind of strange effort to appear PC). This is a military road through an army training area with firing ranges but there is access to the public as long as you stick to the road when the red flags are flying. 
Eventually the tarmac road peters out and turns into a forest road along which the 3 Lochs Way runs. I followed this in the gathering gloom looking for a likely spot to stop for the night. My parameters for a bivi spot were level ground, preferably grassy, water source and some windfall branches so that I could use my Honey Stove to cook on (I had a meths burner with me as well just in case I couldn't find any wood to burn). I ended up riding on almost to the end of the forest road just before the "Gurkha Bato" (a connecting track that the Gurkhas built for the 3 Lochs Way). Finally a suitable spot revealed itself and I set about setting up my bivi in almost total darkness. 
I only needed small sticks for my stove and there was a plentiful supply in the area to cook my dinner and then just sit and relax listening to the red deer stags roaring all around me. 
Next morning I got up as soon as it was light and ate some breakfast before packing up. 
Then it was on along the 3 Lochs Way, crossing the Allt Derigan stream. 
After crossing the West Highland railway line via an underpass there was a steep climb up to another forest road that ran up Glean Culanach which leads to Glen Douglas. 
I popped out onto the road again at Glen Douglas, riding down to the A814 above Loch Long with views of The Cobbler and Ben Narnain and the other Arrochar Alps. 
Then it was an enjoyable road ride following the A814 fifteen miles or so back to Helensburgh in time for lunch.

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