A non technical mountain biking route through the Scottish Highlands from Glasgow to Cape Wrath May & June 2023
An Turas Mor, the Long Journey, is a 354 mile non-technical mountain biking route stretching from the centre of Glasgow to the lighthouse on Cape Wrath, passing within a few miles of our new house as it does so. Cycling in 2023 it is still a relatively new trail, made possible only a few years before by the development of the hydro tracks across Rannoch Moor. It is not signposted, instead you can download a gpx track of the entire route and plug it into your onboard navigation system (or in my case painstakingly hand-draw it onto your OS maps). Downloads, guidebooks and all trail-related info are available at www.anturasmor.co.uk. Given the proximity to our front door the idea was born to divide it into two: a long weekend for Glasgow to Home; to be followed a few weeks later by Home to Cape Wrath. This was our first attempt at off-roading, or “bike packing” as I think the cool kids call it, and though I would consider all of us fit outdoorsy people we are not fundamentally cyclists. This may explain why it took us 13 days to cover a trail the guidebook suggests you can do in 8, or maybe it was the morning swims, café lunches and more of a commitment to “being on holiday” than covering miles. Regardless, I’d thoroughly recommend taking two weeks to enjoy this trail to its full. In terms of what bicycles you use the guide recommends a 29inch wheel hardtail which thankfully I have (yippee). Robbie rode his vintage 26inch Marin which had only one mechanical issue and is currently awaiting new derailleurs… And Tas took her hybrid all the way to its limits (in wetter conditions may have surpassed them) and spent a lot of time wishing for lower gears. But we all made it, and had a great time doing so.
Four days, two first time bike-packers, a decent amount of sunshine and a slightly freaky complete absence of midge
Write up in progress...