Cycling in Glasgow, Falkirk, Argyll and Ayrshire

The Ayrshire Cycle festival

Cycling in Glasgow, Falkirk, Argyll and Ayrshire

Looking for information about cycling in Glasgow, Falkirk, Argyll and Ayrshire? Cycling UK's guide to cycling in Glasgow, Falkirk, Argyll and Ayrshire gives you routes, events, clubs and advice to inspire you to cycle in the county.

From the vibrant city centre of Glasgow to remote lochside and mountain roads, this area is one long list of outstanding cycling experiences, many of them suitable for all ages and abilities. This is only a selection.

Coming into Glasgow from Ayr to the south, NCN7 runs alongside some wonderful promenades and railtrails, many stretches being excellent for families. Road cyclists will enjoy ‘freewheeling uphill’ on Electric Brae, an unsettling optical illusion on the A719 south of Dunure. Another cycling curio is the zigzags of The Serpentine, Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Britain’s most hairpinned urban road.

Glasgow itself is a fine city to explore, and though it has its fair share of unpleasant busy roads, it also has plenty of traffic-free paths. Running west along the Clyde and on a canal towpath, NCN7 takes you almost all off-road to Loch Lomond. Up its west shore, NCN40 goes delightfully on the old road, now closed to cars – a relaxing and scenically superb ride.

Running east out of Glasgow, NCN754 follows a canal towpath to Falkirk (with its extraordinary wheel lift between two watercourses) and ultimately – still car-free – to central Edinburgh. Another option between the two capitals is NCN75, again largely traffic-free, on towpaths and railtrails. All of these are family-friendly.

There’s lots of mountain biking and off-road trails in the Trossachs – some of Scotland’s best. Touring cyclists can spend days exploring the fjord-like scenery of Argyll and Bute, perhaps using the Gourock-Dunoon ferry (one of many in this area). The Isle of Arran – a kind of Scotland in miniature, with its mountainous northern half and forested, hilly southern half, and even a whisky distillery –  is made for travelling by bike.

Cycling groups and clubs in Glasgow, Falkirk, Argyll and Ayrshire

CTC Glasgow (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/glasgow

http://www.ctcglasgow.org.uk/

Organises rides and promotes cycling in Glasgow and the west of Scotland

Cycle Ayrshire (Ayrshire)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/ctc-ayrshire

http://www.cycleayrshire.co.uk/

Regular rides throughout the area and further afield

Falkirk Bicycle Club (Larbert)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/falkirk

http://falkirkbc.co.uk/

Promotes road racing events in Central Scotland

Carronshore Youth Club (Carronshore)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/carronshore-youth-club

Caledonia Cycle Group (Falkirk)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/caledonia-cycle-group-falkirk

http://www.caledoniaclubhouse.co.uk/main_page.html

Supports and works with adults with severe or enduring mental health problems

Falkirk Easy Riders (Falkirk)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/falkirk-easy-riders

Easy rides round the Falkirk area

Belles on Bikes Falkirk (Falkirk) 

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/belles-bikes-falkirk

https://en-gb.facebook.com/BellesonBikesFalkirk/

Women's rides in and around Falkirk for all ages and abilities

Twechar Community Cycle Club (Twechar)

https://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/twechar-community-cycle-club

Belles on Bikes Cumbernauld (Cumbernauld)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/belles-bikes-cumbernauld

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Belles-On-Bikes-Cumbernauld/794817847257184

Group for women of all levels in and around Cumbernauld

Arria Wheelers (Cumbernauld)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/arria-wheelers

http://arriawheelers.com/index.html#

From entry-level base pace to fast, and many plans for expansion

Road Club Cumbernauld & Kilsyth (Cumbernauld)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/rc-cumbernauld

http://rcck.co.uk/

Promotes safe bunch riding and competition in all forms of cycle sport

West Dunbartonshire Community Cycle Club (West Dunbartonshire)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/west-dunbartonshire-community-cycle-club

Drumchapel Cycle Hub (Drumchapel Sports Centre) (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/drumchapel-cycle-hub-drumchapel-sports

http://www.drumchapelcyclehub.org.uk/

Community project promoting cycling for all with free bike hire, skills sessions, led rides

CHYP Bike Club (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/chyp-bike-club

Belles on Bikes Glasgow (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/belles-bikes-glasgow

http://www.meetup.com/Belles-on-Bikes-Glasgow/

Rides for all ages and abilities that has also trained women to organise and lead

Wild Wheels (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/wild-wheels

West Coast Velo (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/west-coast-velo

GK Velocity (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/gk-velocity

Alexandra Park Bike Club (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/alexandra-park-bike-club

Glasgow Bike Station (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/glasgow-bike-station

http://www.thebikestation.org.uk/glasgow/

Bike recycling charity offering workshops, training and safety to individuals and groups

NHS Greater Glasgow (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/nhs-greater-glasgow

University of the West of Scotland (Paisley)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/university-west-scotland

Fuse Bike Hub (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/fuse-bike-hub

Urban Roots (Glasgow) 

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/urban-roots

https://www.urbanroots.org.uk/projects/cycling-with-urban-roots/

Bike loans, journey planning advice, information on safe travel, Dr Bikes

Govanhill Baths Cycling Club (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/govanhill-baths-cycling-club

Al-Meezan House (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/al-meezan-house

https://www.almeezan.co.uk/green-travel

Charity meeting educational and social needs of Muslim women and children; cycling lessons

South West Community Cycles (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/south-west-community-cycles

http://southwestcommunitycycles.co.uk/

Rental, maintenance, repair, park and ride, tuition, confidence building, led rides, Dr Bike

Belles on Bikes South West Community Cycles (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/belles-bikes-south-west-community-cycles

Free Wheeling (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/free-wheeling

Renfrewshire (Renfrewshire)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/renfrewshire

http://www.whatsonrenfrewshire.co.uk/activities/cycling/

Links to local clubs, events and suggestions of places to cycle

Kidical Mass Glasgow (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/kidical-mass-glasgow

https://www.facebook.com/login/?next=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fgroups%2Fkidicalmassglasgow%2F

Fun, friendly, informal, child-friendly rides in the Strathclyde area

Kidical Mass Neilston (Neilston)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/kidical-mass-neilston

Melo Velo at Barrhead Centre (Barrhead)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/barrhead-cycling-club

http://cycleworkshop.cocharity.co.uk/

Cycle and repair project staffed by adults who attend Barrhead Centre

Bicycle User Group South Lanarkshire College (South Lanarks)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/bicycle-user-group-south-lanarkshire-college

Blantyre Bikes Better (Blantyre)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/blantyre-bikes-better

https://www.facebook.com/BlantyreSoccerAcademy/

Community project getting 300 local children and families onto bikes 

Upcycle (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/upcycle

Gobike! Strathclyde Cycle Campaign (Strathclyde)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/gobike-strathclyde-cycle-campaign

http://www.gobike.org/

Campaigns in Strathclyde, mainly Glasgow and around

GCU Belles on Bikes (Glasgow Caledonian University)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/gcu-belles

http://www.gcu.ac.uk/sustainability/smarttravel/gcubellesonbikes/

Supports women who want to cycle, in a social, friendly, inclusive and relaxed environment

Beith Cycles, Beith Trust (Beith)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/beith-trust

http://beithtrust.org/beith-cycles-2/

Initiative to encourage the people of Beith to get on their bikes

Bridge Church Community Action Project (Youth Under Construction) (Kilwinning) 

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/bridge-church-community-action-project

https://www.bridge-church.com/youth-under-construction/

Youth outreach group offering events, trips and activities

Belles on Bikes East Ayrshire (East Ayrshire)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/belles-bikes-east-ayrshire

Hope For Autism (Airdrie)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/hope-autism

http://www.hopeforautism.org.uk/

Support for families and activity groups for 2 to 25 year olds on the autistic spectrum

Glenboig Cycle Club/Glenboig Neighbourhood House (Glenboig)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/glenboig-cycle-club

http://glenboignh.com/

Voluntary organisation that engages with residents of all ages and delivers needed services

Byker-Palooza (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/byker-palooza

Connect Community Trust Bike Club (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/connect-community-trust-bike-club

http://www.connect-ct.org.uk/

Four community facilities throughout the East End including a bike club

On Yer Bike (Kilwinning)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/yer-bike

https://www.onyerbike.club/

Encourages cycling through renovating donated bikes and selling affordably

East Ayrshire Recovery Group (Kilmarnock)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/ayrshire-recovery-group

http://www.addaction.org.uk/services/east-ayrshire-recovery-service

Free and confidential drug and alcohol support across East Ayrshire.

Killie Blue Belles (Kilmarnock)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/killie-blue-belles

https://www.facebook.com/events/1454597138201205

Women-only group offering rides led by trained and experienced female leader

KSRHT Community Cycle Club (Kilmarnock)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/ksrht-community-cycle-club

http://ksrht.org/

Activities, events and hire rooms for the community

Ayr Burners Cycling (Ayr)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/ayr-burners-cycling

http://www.ayrburners.org/

Cycling opportunities for children and adults, and encourages other cyclists to visit

Townhead Community Cycling Club (Glasgow)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/townhead-community-cycling-club

Lochside Neighbourhood Group (Lochside)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/lochside-neighbourhood-group

https://www.facebook.com/Lochside-Neighbourhood-Group-918228368200448/

Multi-partnership forum working for the local community promoting citizenship and pride

Girvan Wheelers (Girvan)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/girvan-wheelers

https://en-gb.facebook.com/girvanwheelers/

Organises rides, tours, events and training in Girvan and South Carrick

Buddies (Paisley)

http://www.cyclinguk.org/local-groups/buddies

http://www.activecommunities.co.uk/content/cycling-buddies/

Safe routes using cycle paths with trained leaders to help adults get back on bikes

What to take with you on your ride 

The only thing you really need for cycling is a bike. And maybe a phone, and credit card: in Britain you’re only a call away from any service you might need.

But unless money is no object, it’s wise to take a few things with you on a day ride. A saddlebag or rear rack and panniers are best for carrying stuff. A front basket is second best. A rucksack is third best. Your sweaty back will soon tell you why.

Cycling short distances in jeans and t-shirt is fine, but on a long or strenuous ride – over ten miles say, or in hills – those jeans will rub and the t-shirt will get damp and clingy. Shorts or, yes, lycra leggings and padded shorts will be much comfier, and merino or polyester cycling tops wick away the sweat, keeping you dry and comfy. (They don’t have to be lurid colours.)

If rain’s in the air, pack a rainproof top. If it might turn chilly, take a fleece or warm top. But the thing you’re most likely to forget is the sunblock. 

It’s remarkable how often you enjoy being out on the bike so much that you suddenly realise it’s getting dark. So take lights (which are legally required at night). They’re price of a sandwich, take no space, are easy to put on thanks to tool-free plastic clips, and the batteries last for ever.

Take a puncture repair kit (with tyre levers) and pump. Make sure it fits your valves, which will be either ‘Presta’ or ‘Schraeder’ – realising they don’t match is a very common roadside discovery! Carrying a spare inner tube (make sure it matches your tyre size) makes puncture repair much easier: mend the old one back at home. If you do get in trouble, some kindly passing cyclist will probably stop to help.

Using a helmet is a personal choice – they’re not legally required.

Cycling makes you thirsty, so take lots of water. Long-distance riders talk about ‘the bonk’ – a sudden loss of energy rendering you almost stationary. It’s miraculously and instantly cured by eating something sweet. On short rides you’re unlikely to run out of energy, but just in case, take a snack like flapjack, banana, chocolate or jelly babies. 

Taking a packed lunch or picnic will save you money, though that hot drink and cake in a cosy cafe could yet prove very tempting!

Your phone GPS could be invaluable for showing where you are when lost; you can download free detailed UK maps and GPS software before your trip. 

Paper maps are still useful, though, so take one: no power source or wifi signal required, and they’re great for suggesting possibilities or changes of plan.

What have we missed? Recommend your favourite routes using the comments box below. 

Cycling routes in Glasgow, Falkirk, Argyll and Ayrshire

Getting around and through Glasgow, canals, Loch Lomond, Ayrshire, Arran and many more

Cycle A-way’s list of routes, maps and resources for Glasgow, Falkirk, Argyll and Ayrshire

Journey Planner

Ayrshire Coast Cycleway (NCN7)

Clyde and Loch Lomond Cycleway, Glasgow to Loch Lomond (NCN7)

Cycling Mid Argyll and Kintyre

Cycling events in Glasgow, Falkirk, Argyll and Ayrshire

Check out our events calendar to find a ride that suits you

Make sure your bike is working
(from our partners, Halfords)

Creaking cranks, wobbly wheels or slipping saddles are the last thing you want, but Halfords' guide to basic bike maintenance will keep you rolling smoothly. Whether you’re a regular commuter, a leisurely weekend rider, or prefer to tear it up on a serious MTB trail, signs of wear and tear might keep you off the saddle from time to time. Whilst we can’t promise to banish those roadside mishaps, we can help keep your bike tip top with our top tips!

You’re heading out on your lovely bike, with a pannier packed with your essentials. A glorious route lies ahead, but then you run into a spot of bother! Most of the time there are handy hacks you can do to tide you over whilst out and about, and we’ve taken a look into the most common bike problems and solutions…

Clicking saddle? Check that the bolts connecting the saddle to the seat post are not loose. Tighten until the saddle is firmly secured using an allen key from your trusty toolbox!

Squealing brakes? This could be down to dirt or oil on the brake pads. Give it a quick wipe down, then when you get home take the brake pads off and readjust.

Squeaky derailleur? A little lube should help. Remove any excess.

Creaky pedals? Dry pedal bearings, loose crank arms or a worn bottom bracket could be the culprit. Once home, remove and lube the pedal bearings, tighten and lube the crank arms, or replace the bottom bracket if it’s still making a fuss.

Problem areas

Some of the problems you find with your bike might need a closer look, and here’s where we can help!

Wobbling disc rotors, spongy brakes and rattling bolts needn’t be as pesky as they sound for long enough to keep you off your bike! Call and see us with your two wheels at your local Halfords, or with any other bike bothers you might have.

From as little as £15 a year, Halfords will take the labour out of looking after your bike. Halfords offer a range of care packages, they provide free fitting on all parts and accessories bought from Halfords, and even include an annual service worth £50 as part of the plan!

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