Booked my train to Inverness for the end of May and currently planning a 2 weeks route linking parts of the following:
Two City Divide
And currently adding some bits around the Lake District and thinking whether including a loop in Cairngorms or not, also need to check the routes @hollow__legs recently rode.
Any input is mega welcome!
The route link - WIP - is here: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35789379
Be careful with parts of the HT550 as it gets real radical even for a mountain bike and there’s some large sections of hike-a-bike. I’ve not done it so not sure exactly where that is I’m afraid.
If you’re going to Corrour Station for lunch/ dinner (which I highly recommend) then it’s best to book. Last time I did the Badger Divide it was fully booked out with walkers and the kitchen would only offer me chips. And that was mid-week!
To be honest, the section of your route from Kinloch Laggan to Killin takes in pretty much everything amazing in that area so I wouldn’t bother adding anything from the routes we did (the friend I was riding with created the Badger Divide).
Oft. Inverness to Glasgow think you've nailed that route, a few sections of fast touristy roads but unavoidable really. Some of the offroad sections you've got there in sutherland and South are hard work, like 10 miles might be a 4 to 5 hours job, lots of carrying and super rough bit really rideable terrain. But a lot is totally fine just farm tracks with a bit of course Gravel.
Glasgow South to Hexham area, you've got some pretty boring areas to traverse, not really a lot around there, could go way deeper se into dumfries and Galloway forests, quite a few very long sections of forest roads (super low use), but does add quite a bit of distance to get down to them. Then from actual town of dumfries east there's near 50 miles of flat nothing until you get into the nicer bit again (borders hills).
rode ht550 last year. it's very challenging in every regard. as a rule of thumb if it's on that route and offroad, it will be impassable or horrible if you're not on a MTB.
e.g. the section from ullapool to poolewe through fisherfield - coffin road, shenavall etc - scary even for experienced riders on very capable bikes. the exposure on the -25% grade permanently wet rock descent into carnmore is lethal if you put a foot down in the wrong place. it might not look like much on the map, but...
nc500 is quite touristy, lots of cars and motorbikes being ragged too fast, I avoided for those reasons.
cairngorms loop is also best avoided if not riding a MTB.
the two divides are great routes and probably very suitable for a trip like this.
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