Roads to avoid on LEJOG?

MacLean

Well-Known Member
Location
London
I have been planning our route for lejog and want to, for the most part stay on roads that have the right balance between, making progress north, and saftey due to how busy it is and speed that cars tend to go along the road.

So far I have been told to avoid the A30 in the cornwall area which I have done, is there any other roads to seriously consider avoiding?

Heres the link to my google plan of the route so far if any of you care to take a look....

Thanks

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=d&s...54.826008,-2.197266&spn=16.5004,33.574219&z=4
 

Anthony

New Member
Location
Wokingham
Hi,

I've had a look at your route. Are you going for a quick time? Because your route covers alot of major roads. Nearly all of them will be busy with traffic and the views won't be as good as the other smaller roads.

But they are doable, I cycled on a lot of them myself on my Jogle trip. But I regret not avoiding roads like the A49 north of Hereford and the A82 near Glasgow. They were too busy and monotonous.

If you were to avoid one road, I would reccomend avoiding the A9 coastal road in northern Scotland if possible. It is busy, and very hilly. If you could cut up north on the A897 via Kinbrace it would be better.

So if your main goal is completeing the trip in a short number of days, then this route is fine (if not good). But if time is not such an issue then I was suggest planning a route that avoids a lot of the A roads you have chosen. Maybe take a diversion into the Lake District too (it's the most scenic part of England).
 
OP
M

MacLean

Well-Known Member
Location
London
Thanks anothony for your input, its truely appreciated as it is a bit of a struggle im having lately.

We are set for a relativly ambitious 10 riding days MAX and we are riding with two tents which is going to make this a truely tough one for us. (see my thread about riding fully loaded 100miles a day)

Im gonna have a more indepth look at your suggestions when I get home, but essentially yes we have a short time, but yes I would also like to make it a bit more scenic and less main roads.

The problem is that it seems alot of B roads add significant milage onto my route which then starts to dent the 10 day target so its a bit of a head f**k lol! Do I select the longer quieter road and risk not finishing it all in time, or take the more direct A road and risk quitting due to misery, not being able to talk over cars and general road stress etc...

Will have another look when I get home from work later... Thanks for your input mate!
 

dellzeqq

pre-talced and mighty
Location
SW2
well the good news is that once you're north of Inverkeithing then you can say goodbye to traffic - and it'll be all the more apparent to someone from Wokingham, which is a traffic hellhole.

The big choice you make is the A30. I think it's fine, but you may not, especially if you're fully laden. If you start off on the A30 on a weekend morning, and aim to get as close as possible to Exeter by lunchtime you may find that you can stick it out, knowing that the next day will bring the 'old' A38 (the B3181?). If you find it too touch then you can choose to divert as and when.

Agreed on the A49, but LEJoG is as much about doing it as it is about spending time in nice surroundings. If you really want to do the thing in style take the Fosse Way and go east of the Pennines...

The A82 is one to miss. I'd go northeast and cross the Forth Road Bridge - once you do that it's pretty much plain sailing. Unlike Anthony I adore the A9 and 'old A9' route
 

Anthony

New Member
Location
Wokingham
User3143 said:
When you leave Taunton stick to the A38 this road is as flat as you like heading up past WSM, and you only have the one hill to deal with coming into Bristol.
+1

I took this road on my trip.

dellzeqq said:
The big choice you make is the A30. I think it's fine
Totally disagree with this. The A30 is basically a two lane motorway.

dellzeqq said:
The A82 is one to miss. I'd go northeast and cross the Forth Road Bridge - once you do that it's pretty much plain sailing. Unlike Anthony I adore the A9 and 'old A9' route
I can't comment on the more eastern forth road bridge route to inverness because I didn't go that way, but in my opinion I would stick to the route you have chosen via fort william and Loch Ness. The A82 is only really bad around Glasgow. After Dumbarton you can rejoin it and its a great road. Especially the bit through Glen Coe; perhaps the best valley in the UK! The route along the shore of Loch Ness is also very good.

To be fair, The A9 coastal road was very scenic, I just found it a bit busy and hilly (Though I did do that at the start of my trip when I was probably still gaining my fitness).
 

amaferanga

Veteran
Location
Bolton
I'm sorry, but to me that looks like a really unpleasant route. I guess you need to make a decision - a few miles extra each day and a few more hills, but some nice quiet roads (where you can have a natter with your mates) or busy main road bashing all the way being skimmed by cars travelling at 60mph+. I know what I'd choose. I did a LEJOG in half the time you're planning last year and still spent less time on busy main roads.

Here's my tracklog (can't remember if I've posted this on one of your threads already so if I have my apologies):

LE - Cheddar
Cheddar - Knutsford
Knutsford - Beattock
Beattock - Aviemore
Aviemore - JoG - back to Thurso

The only roads that were unpleasant for me were the A38 between Taunton and Bridgewater and parts of the A9 between Dunkeld and Aviemore (it was actually pretty quiet and enjoyable by mid-afternoon).

My route comes in at about 1500km so not much different from yours, but IMO will be much more enjoyable.


P.s. You don't need to go up to Longtown on the A7 from Carlisle - there's a new road that follows the motorway to Gretna.

P.p.s. What's with the detour through Dumfries instead of following the B7076/B7078 which shadows the M74 almost all the way to Glasgow and will be almost traffic-free?
 
OP
M

MacLean

Well-Known Member
Location
London
Thanks all for your input.

I ment to look at it in detail last night but ended up taking my mum to hospital... Anyway


I am in the process of amending my route to V2.0 by taking in to account all your suggestions.

One question amaferanga, I have had a look at your first leg in the cornwall area and a good few of the roads you used are single track roads which I have found can be much trickier to navigate... Given we wont be using any gps or anything other than paper maps would you still recommend taking small unmarked roads? How did you find navigating them or did you have some kind of gps guiding you?

BTW, the de-tour through dumfries was purely because I had no idea there was a B road following the M74! So that alone has saved loads of miles aswell as it being much more quite so thanks.


I will post up my route V2 tonight.
 

amaferanga

Veteran
Location
Bolton
MacLean said:
Thanks all for your input.

I ment to look at it in detail last night but ended up taking my mum to hospital... Anyway


I am in the process of amending my route to V2.0 by taking in to account all your suggestions.

One question amaferanga, I have had a look at your first leg in the cornwall area and a good few of the roads you used are single track roads which I have found can be much trickier to navigate... Given we wont be using any gps or anything other than paper maps would you still recommend taking small unmarked roads? How did you find navigating them or did you have some kind of gps guiding you?

BTW, the de-tour through dumfries was purely because I had no idea there was a B road following the M74! So that alone has saved loads of miles aswell as it being much more quite so thanks.


I will post up my route V2 tonight.
I used a GPS to navigate - Garmin Etrex Legend HCx. You could buy one between the 4 (?) of you for about £40 each, which IMO will make your navigation of minor roads much easier. Actually Handtec currently have them for only £125. You'd need to buy a bike mount for about £10 on top of that and if you PM me I'll help you out with some maps for it ;)
 

tribble

New Member
a9

i live very close to jog and at the moment there is a lot of traffic on the A9/A99 the kinbrace route is better and safer.

the A9 is not for cyclists at all this time of year.....too many tourists on the road

i have a young man who is staying with me at the moment having just completed lejog he came up via glasgow loch lomond fort william inverness and up the A9 and he said it was the only terrifying part.

if you do choose the A9 my young friend tells me he reached a speed of 42 mph going down berridale braes and approx 1mph climbing back up. and please lots of sun cream my young guest looks like a lobster thats been cooked.
 

Joe

Über Member
The descent at Berridale is awesome! Definitely made me question the wisdom of building my own bike;)

Obviously tribble lives there and I've only ridden through once, but I don't recall the A9 being bad...a few close passes from lorries but nothing major. Coming out of Inverness was a bit manic, and that narrow bridge not long after could be nasty in the wind but if you've survived the whole Wigan-Preston urban sprawl I don't think it will phase you!

Mine was in August though, don't know whether that's likely quieter or worse?
 
OP
M

MacLean

Well-Known Member
Location
London
Okay made a few amendments:

I have tried to take quieter routes that are generally going the same direction as the main roads so that im not adding on loads of milage. E.G the A49 Ive avoided after hereford however do go back onto it when no reasonable B-Road alternative is close by.

I've still not settled on anything north of Glasgow so will brew this over in my head....

I have planned this route without single track farmer roads as we are tight on budget so dont think we will be getting any GPS.

The markers are ment to represent approx 100 mile days and we have friend/family accomodation at preston and glasgow.

Let me know if iv still got some death roads which can be detoured round without adding significant milage!

Thanks all!

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=d&s...3.001562,-1.010742&spn=9.567119,19.665527&z=6
 

amaferanga

Veteran
Location
Bolton
Alness - Altnaharra - Bettyhill was for me by far the most enjoyable part of the trip. In fact, I've cycled all over the UK and that stretch of road is one of my favourites. IMO it'd be a shame to miss it for the sake of a few extra miles, especially given how unappealing the alternative is.

I understand that you have a tight budget, but £40 each on a GPS will be money well spent. You could even sell it on after your LEJOG and probably get 80-90% of your money back.
 

shirokazan

Veteran
I think Amaferanga and Joe have made some sound comments.

For your updated route:

1) Chepstow to Monmouth: I found the A466 OK. It's a bit of a slog pulling out of Chepstow but then you'll just fly down to Tintern. For reference I went along it between about 6pm and 8pm. You might wish to check the elevation of your route along the B4293: could be some serious climbing there (I've never been along it).

2) Gretna to Glasgow: I did the B7076/B7078 and found them to be extremely quiet and, therefore, a top choice. I didn't go through Glasgow, instead taking a very wide circle south of Glasgow and crossing the Clyde at the Erskine Bridge (which is at Old Kilpatrick), but given that you want to keep the mileage down I can understand your choice of route.

3) A82: Quite a few cyclists would avoid this, regarding it as just too dangerous these days. Particularly north of Crianlarich. I've only ever driven along it but would agree.

4) A9 South of Inverness: Between Pitlochry and Loch Moy, I've cycled alongside this on the NCN 7 cycle route. This is a cycle path formed from bits of the old A9 (you can see some faded lane markings) or gravel/stone/hardpacked earth track. Some people find the latter a bit rough but I thought it was fine (and I say this as someone who will always choose a longer tarmacked road over some rough old forest track). You might wish to consider using this route in preference to the A9 itself.

5) A9 North of Inverness: I've used some of this between Inverness and Tain. Crossing the Kessock Bridge (immediately after leaving Inverness) you can cycle on the path rather than risk life and limb on the road itself (I did the latter on my first tour of north Scotland in 2007 - I've no idea what possessed me). I can't see why any sane, rational person would follow/use the A9 after the Kessock Bridge other than to save miles or purely for the experience, it's just dreadful. Take up amaferanga's suggestion to go via Altnaharra, you won't regret it: I've done it twice now.

Enjoy your trip!
 
OP
M

MacLean

Well-Known Member
Location
London
shirokazan said:
I think Amaferanga and Joe have made some sound comments.

For your updated route:

1) Chepstow to Monmouth: I found the A466 OK. It's a bit of a slog pulling out of Chepstow but then you'll just fly down to Tintern. For reference I went along it between about 6pm and 8pm. You might wish to check the elevation of your route along the B4293: could be some serious climbing there (I've never been along it).

2) Gretna to Glasgow: I did the B7076/B7078 and found them to be extremely quiet and, therefore, a top choice. I didn't go through Glasgow, instead taking a very wide circle south of Glasgow and crossing the Clyde at the Erskine Bridge (which is at Old Kilpatrick), but given that you want to keep the mileage down I can understand your choice of route.

3) A82: Quite a few cyclists would avoid this, regarding it as just too dangerous these days. Particularly north of Crianlarich. I've only ever driven along it but would agree.

4) A9 South of Inverness: Between Pitlochry and Loch Moy, I've cycled alongside this on the NCN 7 cycle route. This is a cycle path formed from bits of the old A9 (you can see some faded lane markings) or gravel/stone/hardpacked earth track. Some people find the latter a bit rough but I thought it was fine (and I say this as someone who will always choose a longer tarmacked road over some rough old forest track). You might wish to consider using this route in preference to the A9 itself.

5) A9 North of Inverness: I've used some of this between Inverness and Tain. Crossing the Kessock Bridge (immediately after leaving Inverness) you can cycle on the path rather than risk life and limb on the road itself (I did the latter on my first tour of north Scotland in 2007 - I've no idea what possessed me). I can't see why any sane, rational person would follow/use the A9 after the Kessock Bridge other than to save miles or purely for the experience, it's just dreadful. Take up amaferanga's suggestion to go via Altnaharra, you won't regret it: I've done it twice now.

Enjoy your trip!

Thanks man!

1) Ive now changed this back. Im taking your word that its gonna be a half decent road ;)

2)Glad to hear this is a good route! The point G on the map is right near my friends flat where we are stopping this night so we have to go right into glasgow on this day otherwise we probabbly woulda went via the erskine bridge aswell.

3) Still unsure about the route after Glasgow and haven't decided on this yet :biggrin:. Im very familliar with this A82 route having family in fort william and have always wanted to cycle through glen coe etc.... However I will speak to my mates about this and see what we all collectivly think about it.

However you sed you went over the erskine bridge on your cycle trip but have only driven the a82? What way did you go then from there (on cycle) because going over the erskine bridge would suggest you would then be taking the A82 rather than heading East?

4) If we choose to head east after Glasgow then I will deffo take this.

5) I am now amending our route to head via Altnaharra as recommended by you and Altnaharra


So my real area of uncertainty now is whether to take the A82 route between glasgow and inverness or the more eastern route (which I am not familliar with at all)

Again if anyone has any further suggestions/ recommendations of routes that are less dangerous but still dont add too many miles then im all ears!

Thanks alot so far guys!




Updated route for anyone that is interested:

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=d&s...56.632064,-4.416504&spn=3.015484,7.042236&z=7
 
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