Challenging hills, fast descents, big mountains
This is the first section of a circular route. The whole thing is a popular route with experienced road cyclists as it combines quiet roads with some of the best scenery in Scotland. The circular route is described in a clockwise direction and it is recommended you do it in that direction because the road near Ben Heasgarnich has a series of steep hairpin bends at its south end. It is best to do this as a climb and descend at the north side where the road is mainly straight.
Moirlanich Longhouse (NTS) is near the start of the route, just after the left turn north of Killin. This is a traditional crick frame cottage dating from the mid 19th century.
Cycle north out of the village then take the first turning on the left just before the bridge over the River Lochay. The first nine miles are a gentle ascent, hardly noticable really, giving you no indication at all of the climb ahead. The River Lochay is very pretty. You are likely to encounter some cattle on the road and the occasional hillwalker's car.
Most people walk up at least part of the steep climb on the hydro-power road. There are several very tight bends. If there has been recent rain debris from the hill may be washed on to the road; there may also be some cattle.
At the top there is a flatter undulating section of about a mile then an easier descent down to Glen Lyon passing Loch Lyon. The road down Glen Lyon is mostly a gentle descent. Glen Lyon is the longest glen in Scotland and one of the prettiest. As you ride down you get fine views. The Post Office and shop at Bridge of Balgie is also a tea room, you deserve at least a scone!