E-biking in Argyll & the Isles

Scotland's Cycle Coast

Whether you own your own or simply want to hire one for the day or the week there is great scope to discover places previously out of reach with an e-bike, to discover more of Argyll and the inner Hebrides.

E-bike batteries make distances and hills much easier! You can go places without limiting yourself!

Why is Argyll so good for gravel biking?

Argyll, argubaly, gave birth to modern day forestry in the UK, on the banks of the Holy Loch near Dunoon. Today, we have more than 30% of our land area covered with forests and woodlands with an intricate network of tracks and trails to explore.

The Scotrail Highland Explorer gives access to a number of stations in Argyll, including Helensburgh, Lochgoilhead, Arrochar, Dalmally, Taynuilt, Connel plus Oban. Each is a great launch point for a gravel bike adventure with a number of routes mapped out for you in Komoot.

You can alos readily get the train to Gourock and ferry across to Dunoon, or to Wemyss Bay and across to Bute to get out on the trails for a great day out.

If you have more time, you can try some bikepacking. Markus Stitz of Bike Packing Scotland has devised two trails in Argyll - one in the mainland and one picking up the main islands. As well as offering great Bike Packing, these trails can be used to plan gravel bike days out too. The contrast in scenery is phenomenal so don't stop at one day out!

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Safety First When Cycling

Road cycling is a wonderful way to explore but it’s not without risk. Keep safe by following these safety tips.

  1. Keep your bike roadworthy – maintain it well and check it is in good working order before you set out.
  2. Check your lights are working and wear high-vis clothing.
  3. Carry essential tools and spares. Don’t forget your mobile phone and a charged power bank.
  4. When cycling, wear a helmet.
  5. Ride sensibly. Limit your speed and keep your distance.
  6. If new to the area start with a short trip, preferably on an official trail.
  7. Ride within your skill level and take your time. Consider your fitness levels, the terrain, weather forecast etc.
  8. Know your navigation. Plan your route and carry a map and compass or GPS.
  9. Be seen – you might not be on public roads all the time but you still need to be seen to be safe.
  10. Pack a basic first aid and survival kit. Think self-heating hand warmers, foil blanket, high-calorie foodstuffs, tick remover etc.
  11. Pack for all weathers. This is Scotland. Pack waterproofs and sun cream.
  12. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
  13. Know how to summon help if you need it.
  14. Carry cash. In remote areas, you may need it for that well-earned coffee, cake or even a dram.

Road Cycling FAQs

Can I hire road bikes in Argyll & the Isles?

There are a number of places to hire road bikes and e-bikes in Argyll and the Isles for the day or as part of a longer break in the area. We recommend you book well in advance at peak periods.

What equipment do I need?

The Oban Sportive takes place in May every year. It offers two loops For a short trip on a planned route, you just need a road bike, helmet, high vis clothing, map and compass / GPS and plenty of water. For a longer trip, it woul be useful to have a basic bicycle repair and first aid kit, sun cream and a waterproof jacket (it is unpredictable in Scotland!), insect repellent and plenty to eat and drink. Always carry cash to make the most of the cake stall honesty boxes and other places where cards are not accepted.

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Explore all the places to visit in Argyll & the Isles

3700km of coastline, 23 inhabited islands, major towns and villages are all waiting for you.

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