24th September 2017

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The Routes

 

Loch Avich - 54 Mile - 1335m Climb

Kilmartin - 86 Mile - 2056m Climb

    
             
    
 
 

Oban Sportive is a back country challenge making use, in large part, of Route 78 of the National Cycle Network. Both routes make use of single track roads and you can expect to deal with variable tarmac and cattle grids. That said, a road race bike with reasonably robust wheels and tyres no less than 23mm is the most suitable type of bike. You can also expect plenty of climbing, steep descents and winding roads. If you accept the challenge you'll be rewarded with some of Argyll's finest landscape.

From the start you'll climb out of the harbour town of Oban emerging at the top end of Glen Lonan with views to the East to Ben Cruachan the closest Munroe. Back to the coast past Loch Nell and the main road section south. Enjoy the level road around Loch Feochan but don't push too hard you'll need your legs later. From there up and over and ride the sweeping bends down to Kilmelford. The routes split here and the Loch Avich riders will turn off and be straight into the toughest climb of the day. From here on the road rises and falls through sheep country, hill lochs and forests eventually emerging on the shores of Loch Awe Scotlands longest freshwater loch to rejoin the longer course at Dalavich.

The Kilmartin tourists head further south on the A816 skirting Loch Melfort to the West and then another significant climb before coasting down to Kilmartin. The terrain and the atmosphere changes, the hills fall away, this area is littered with prehistoric sites, standing stones, castles and forts. The southermost part of the course joins the Crinan Canal with it's many locks and swing bridges. Built in 1800 to shorten the passage to the Inner Hebrides and Oban it's now an unexpected contrast to the wild country around. Half way and crossing the canal we return to Kilmartin village for the first feed station to stoke up. Heading north, the hard work is about to begin. You are going to ride the whole length of Loch Awe climbing and descending as you go sometimes in dense forest and at others with views over the Loch. Some Loch Avich riders will still be re-emerging near Dalavich and all can get food and drink at Kilchrenan. Ben Cruachan will now be looming over you as you climb away from the feed station and you'll eventually descend through the ancient woodlands of Glen Nant to Taynuilt. The final leg is through magical Glen Lonan, the back road to Oban, this is sheep and cattle country and needless to say there are a few ups and downs. Finally it's steep downhill through Glencruitten and back to the finish. Well done!

 

 

 

 

 

Contact: nick@obansportive.co.uk

01866 822736