Yeah that route between Glasgow and Dumbarton is pretty shit. Littered (inc a lot of broken glass), can be undesirables hanging around on the bike paths etc.
If you must go in that direction, you'd be better just sticking to main roads and getting it over and done with asap, or get the train to Balloch as that cuts out the worst bit.
Gets nicer from Balloch but the roads out that way can still be pretty busy with drivers too eager to get where they are going and not very sympathetic to cyclists.
The section from Drymen, through Dalmary to Cobleland is pretty bleak, I've ridden it in the other direction once and would never do so again. Direction you're going wouldn't be so bad, big climb out of Drymen then descending pretty much to Cobleland but the scenery is pretty boring and the road pretty bad.
The alternative up the A81 is actually, in my opinion, a much nicer ride and although it is a much busier road, it's still pretty quiet during the day during the week and it's a nice wide road so any traffic you do encounter shouldn't be an issue.
That leads me on to say that in agreement with others I'd suggest heading north more quickly.
Milngavie, depending on the bikes you'll be on either around or through Mugdock park, Strahblane would be a good start.
From Strathblane you can decide between heading east through the Campsie Glen, up the Crow, along the Carron Valley etc or north up the A81 towards Aberfoyle etc.
I'd choose the latter but once you get to the junction at the Aberfoyle Golf Course I'd really recommend you make the extra effort to turn left to Aberfoyle and take in the Duke's Pass and Lochs Achray and Venacher. The Duke's Pass is a cunt of a climb, there's no escaping that but you will be rewarded with quieter roads and much nicer scenery.
Again it depends on the bikes your taking but there's a nice path between Ardtalnaig on the side of Loch Tay and Newton (on the A822) that would be a great way to avoid the A9.
The initial climb is probably largely unrideable due to gradient but wouldn't take long to push up (again I've done it the other way and found keeping my speed down pretty difficult) and while the path is mainly a pretty well surfaced farm access track there are a couple bit where the surface is made up of larger rocks or it becomes quite difficult to follow through grassy areas. By and large though it follows the river Almond so navigation isn't an issue. Very quiet, secluded, nice areas for camping.
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