Hamilton to: Lanark
from Hamilton leave the town and head for Chatelherault Country park, go past the park, and at the garden centre turn left, signposted lanark, M74. by now you are thinking, what is this guy trying to pull? this road is crap!. Just wind open the throttle my friend! the next stretch is amazing, and well worth building up some speed for. the road sweeps down the side of the valley, just gently banking to the right then, POW. the road follows the exact course of the river for about 6 miles, it turns, rises, drops, banks like a bugger. it's amazing at 80+ you eventually come to the Garrion bridge over the river clyde. keep going straight ahead, and you get more of the same for >another 10 miles!!!< by the time you reach lanark (which is at the top of a 5:1 gradient with two 90 degree bends on it) you will be screaming your head off !! and the best bit? well after a visit to the (brilliant) chip shop beside the station, you get to do it in reverse. or of course, you could go out through lanark towards symington, which brings you to the A707 Edinburgh to Moffat road that someone else has put in.... It's great to live in Scotland!!!
Crianlarich to: Glencoe
This is one of many absolutely brilliant runs for those of us lucky enough to live about the middle of Scotland. It's a favourite circular run for locals, but can be done one way if you're touring or visiting. Best to avoid the main summer months, since it can get a bit busy with cars & coaches, and watch for Mr Plod (unmarked cars & bikes). Total distance as described below is about 120 miles I think. The route's all single carriageway A-roads, mainly good surfaces, with decent grip - not too many muckspreaders around, but watch for loose gravel at farm exits.
Starting at Crianlarich, the A85 to Tyndrum is a fairly quick, wide, road with some good open bends. Tyndrum has a couple of decent eateries, plus what's reputed to be the most expensive petrol in the universe. Take the A82 to go over Rannoch Moor and on through Glen Coe itself - if you don't have to stop and look at these hills, you're not human! Do watch out for hillwalkers wandering about on the road, though. Once through Glen Coe, there's food and fuel at Ballachulish. Take the A828, which is an interesting twisty road along the side of Loch Linnhe. Last time through (November 98), the surface was starting to break up in parts, so a bit of care was needed with cornering lines. At Connel, take the A85 along the side of Loch Etive and Loch Awe to return to Tyndrum & Crianlarich - again, a decent bit of road with a mix of tight corners in the first half or so, followed by more open straights and bends later.
Gilsland to: Langholm
This is pure pain and pleasure to ride, there is everything from hairpin bends,hump backs to short fast bursts of speed to cool the brakes off, but beware you will soon be hard on them again! Ride this road as fast as you dare then turn round and do it again. Watch out for a 350 degree bend about 1 mile after the welcome to Scotland sign.
Laggan to: Spaen Bridge
I was on holiday in Scotland a couple of years ago and this was my trip to the shops. It's abour 30 miles of beautiful scenery fabulous bends and very little traffic.
Laggan is just off the A9: come off on the A889 at Dalwhinnie, (only do the distillery trip on the way back, please!) or Kingussie. At the other end, Spaen Bridge is just a few miles from Fort William.
The stretch alongside Loch Laggan is the best, with rocks on one side and water on the other. But the roads are good quality all along, with plenty of space and a good surface, (last time I was there). And of course bends. There are a few more-or-less straight bits - just enough to catch your breath before the next set of twisties. The first time I did it was in miserable wet weather and it was still brilliant!
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