With the Tour de France 2023 in full swing and promising to be a battle between Vingegaard and Pogacar it is time for amateur/sofa cyclists the world over to plan their route to glory for the next twelve months!
Scotland has such an amazing landscape for road cycling but I’ve been so busy with work and working on the house that opportunities for cycling have been far too few.
The terrain (and the weather) are not for the faint hearted but then the UK is known for its rolling cycling terrain rather than the steady gradients found in the Alps! In Scotland of course some of the hills are actually mountains!
That being the case it surprises me how few cyclists use this area as a training base to get those miles in before heading off to events like the Etape du Tour. The major roads can be unpleasant but with a bit of planning quieter roads can be used and provide some absolutely stunning views. For the reasonably fit the loop around Loch Awe provides a good 100km on mostly very quiet roads. Check out number 5 on Komoot. For those whose legs fancy a challenge there is also an amazing 7km hill sprint up to the Cruachan Dam from St.Conan’s Kirk.
As someone who has dropped from 200km per week to a very poor 30km per month I have to say the thought of getting properly back in the saddle is a daunting one but given the beauty of the area I am sure I will cope.