CYCLING IN WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE
If you want rough and challenging terrain then you are spoilt for choice across the muirs or crags. A look at the Walks in West Dunbartonshire section may give you some ideas beyond those here; some walking routes being suitable for such cycle rides too. index.asp?pageid=719120
If you want a pleasant smooth ride then you have several options to and through West Dunbartonshire.
If you are a long distance cyclists, you will find West Dunbartonshire a great place to start at or stop at to replenish.
The NCN 754 follows the Forth and Clyde Canal towpath westwards from Old Drumchapel and Higher Knightswood before entering West Dunbartonshire. The NCN 7 uns westwards too, but closer to the Clyde and the two converge on the Forth and Clyde Canal towpath in Clydebank next to a sculpture of a giant bicycle. From there the route continues along the towpath on its easy flat surface.
The National Cycle Network (NCN 7) runs right through the area utilising sections of Forth and Clyde Canal towpath and old railway routes until it heads up the towpath on the western side of of the River Leven heading to the cycle path on the western side of Loch Lomond.
The NCN 7 within West Dunbartonshire is in several sections that together make a great day out ride, but section by section offer easier outings for you and your family.
- FORTH AND CLYDE CANAL TOWPATH. From Clydebank all the way to Bowling. The old railway swing bridge over the canal basin is being turned into an integral part of the cycle route.
- BOWLING OLD RAILWAY ROUTE. This section is very different and follows the disused railway route as far as Dunglass Roundabout.
- CYCLE ROUTE INTO DUMBARTON. From Dunglass Roundabout you reach a purpose built cycle track and follow that, parts of which were also former railway line, as far as Dumbarton Central Station. There are some roads to negotiate.
- LEVEN TOWPATH. This follows the River Leven all the way to Balloch Bridge.
- OLD LUSS ROAD AND LOCH LOMOND. From Balloch Bridge head west until you find Old Luss Road. Travel along that until it pops put next to the A82 heading north. But instead of keeping alongside that ride through Duck Bay. You will soon find a cycle path that may spend some time next to the A82 again, but for much of its length is a very pleasant ride alongside Loch Lomond.
West Dunbartonshire is well served by railway stations at a reasonable distance fom or close to the NCN 7. The route actually passes below Dumbarton Central Station. At Balloch you can arrive by train and choose whether to head east into the rolling hills around Gartocharn or north following Loch Lomond.
The Scotland Cycle Route website suggests this route eastwards from Balloch. It takes in some rolling hills, Gartocharn and even the southern banks of Loch Lomond at Ross Priory. See the link below. You could vary that with a visit to the Bird Reserve (index.asp?pageid=715851) and a return ride down Auchincarroch Road into Jamestown. Of course if you kept going east you would probably reach Croftamie.
Bowling is a good place to stop off at. The cycle route follows the Forth and Clyde Canal towpath over the newly upgraded and restored railway bridge, now referred to as the BOWLINE. From this vantage point you can look down on the boats, but a cycle ramp takes you to the ground level complete with a cafe and a bike shop / repair centre. index.asp?pageid=716285
The Vale of Leven Trust run an ACTIVE TRAVEL HUB from premises in Mitchell Way, Alexandria. You can not only meet others interested in cycling, but refresh your cycling skills if you have not been on a bike for ages and learn about bicycle maintenance. They have a fleet of e-bikes and lead group outings. See details below.
SUSTRANS have established self-help bike repair points at such places as Dumbarton Central Station and Bonhill Bridge that crosses the Leven between Bonhill and Alexandria.
ACTIVE TRAVEL HUB - Vale of Leven Trust : https://www.facebook.com/valeofleventrust/ and https://vale-of-leven-trust-active-travel-hub-sports-club.business.site/
CYCLING SCOTLAND : https://www.cycling.scot/
KOMOOT website : https://www.komoot.com/guide/68894/cycling-in-west-dunbartonshire
SCOTLAND CYCLE ROUTES website : https://www.scotlandcycleroutes.org/routes/balloch-loop-via-gartocharn Route from Balloch and looping around Gartocharn.
SUSTRANS website on the National Cycle Network : https://www.sustrans.org.uk/national-cycle-network/
WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE COUNCIL website : https://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/leisure-parks-events/countryside-facilities-and-wildlife/countryside-and-leisure/cycle-paths/