Three round the world cyclists hope a new film will inspire people to get on their bikes around Argyll and the isles.
The route is a key feature of Wild About Argyll’s Pedaddling initiative, led by Argyll and the Isles Tourism Cooperative with funding from VisitScotland.
Bikes, ferries and boats
It is showcasing the range of journeys available to both novices and enthusiasts across Argyll and the isles using public transport.
The film, produced with support from Schwalbe Tyres UK, sees the three adventurers using their gravel bikes as well as ferries and boats to travel throughout the area.
Mark Beaumont, the fastest person to have cycled around the planet, said: “I love the idea behind Explore Your Boundaries.
“You don’t need to go far to find adventure, and that is surprisingly true of Argyll, sitting immediately to the west of Glasgow.
“The rugged Argyll coastline and the Inner Hebridean islands were perfect to showcase opportunities to find new routes to inspire people to get out.
“We are spoilt for choice in terms of places to go in Scotland, and I want to give people the quiet confidence of getting out there and having adventures themselves, to appreciate wild spaces and get a new understanding of what’s on their doorstep.”
Adventure potential on your doorstep
Inverness endurance cyclist Jenny Graham became the fastest woman to cycle around the world in 2018.
She said: “I think it’s the perfect concept to showcase the adventure potential available from your doorstep.
“We were using Scotrail’s Highland Explorer carriage and CalMac ferries for part of our journey, which made getting to and cycling in the wild and diverse area of Argyll all the more accessible.
“Each time I adventure in this area I’m left with the feeling that I’ve only just scratched the surface.”
Markus Stitz, founder of bikepackingscotland.com, has recently released his first book Great British Gravel Rides – Cycling the Wild Trails of England, Scotland & Wales.
The trio cycled the boundary of Argyll in three ‘chapters’. Mark and Markus started the route with a boat ride from Crinan to the north of Jura, cycling on gravel tracks and along the east coast to Craighouse.
They took the ferry from Feolin to Port Askaig and, after a loop on Islay, they continued with a ferry trip via Colonsay to Oban and to Tobermory on Mull.
Jenny and Markus later travelled from Dunoon to Helensburgh and on to Balmaha.
They crossed Loch Lomond by water taxi and from Luss went via the West Highland Way to Crianlarich.
From there they went to Tyndrum, through Glen Orchy to Dalmally and on the train to Connel Ferry and Oban.
Filmmaker follows the cyclists
The third chapter involved all three cyclists, accompanied by filmmaker Maciek Tomiczek.
From Cairnbaan they journeyed on the Crinan Canal, then along the Knapdale and Kintyre coasts to Tayinloan.
Another ferry took them to Gigha and then on to Southend at the Mull of Kintyre, along the Caledonia Way from Campbeltown to Tarbert.
After another ferry at Portavadie, they continued to Colintraive, around the Isle of Bute to Rothesay and finished on the Canada Hill Serpentine Road.
Cathy Craig, CEO at Wild About Argyll, said appetite for the great outdoors grew massively during lockdown.
“This summer, we created Pedaddling to encourage everyone to leave the car behind and enjoy people-powered adventures in stunning locations on Scotland’s Adventure Coast.”
David Adams McGilp, regional director VisitScotland, added: “Every year tens of thousands of visitors come to Scotland to explore our country by bike, including the stunning scenery and coastline around Argyll and Isles,
“We expect this epic journey will inspire many more.”
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