First time in the ‘Alps and don’t know where to start? Relax, we have put together a series of helpful itineraries based on duration and distance.
- 90 minutes (est)
- 2 climbs
- 550m+ ascent
We call this the Shark because the route map vaguely resembles a shark, see? How clever! We’re in Dailly for short ride that will take no more than 2hrs. We head straight up Hadyard Hill, trek along the ‘secret valley’, and tackle the Black rated Glenalla on our return.
This route also works great in reverse.
- 3hrs (est)
- 3 climbs
- 800m+ ascent
The 60km version of the Ayrshire Alps Sportive, this route ensures a gentle introduction along the Girvan valley from Kirkmichael, before a series of testing climbs including the Nic O Balloch
- 5hrs (est)
- 6 climbs
- 1,500m+ ascent
Our 100km Sportive (always run on the last Sunday in August) feels much bigger than its distance price tag. After a quick gallop along the Girvan Valley to Blackie’s Brae the profile starts to resemble a saw as we pack in hill after hill. The classic Glenalla / Nic O Balloch / Tairlaw trio comes as the main course, while the climb of Largs is dessert. We wouldn’t leave you without after dinner mints though – enjoy the unclassified pull out of Patna to get you home!
The Dailly 7-Up
- 4-6hrs riding (est)
- 7 climbs
- 1,700m+ ascent
Today we’re basing ourselves in Dailly for an assault of: Wallacetown, Blackies Brae, Glengennet, Glenalla (Cloyntie), Nic O Balloch, Tairlaw Shalloch and Knockgardner. Seven climbs in total, including three rated black.
Rather Be Classic
- 5-7 hrs riding (est)
- 8 and 2 1/2 climbs
- 1,850m+ ascent
The signature edition ride! We asked round the world cyclist and Scottish Record Holder Gav McDonald of Rather Be Cycling to design us the ultimate 6hr ride through the Ayrshire Alps park. And oh boy, he did not disappoint!
Gav tells us:
“This is my all time favourite route in the Ayrshire Alps! It’s got everything – country, climbs, descents, minor roads, villages, a loop to the Coast at Lendalfoot (I’ve got that as a right handed loop as I like the climb over to Lendalfoot that way but it could be a left handed loop climbing Carleton). It’s also got the option of a detour into Girvan for a pub lunch of cafe stop.”
Start in the beautiful village of Barr and head straight for the Nick O Balloch, pay hommage to the Highwayman at Rowantree Toll before a sprint up Tairlaw Shalloch and into Straiton. Gav has us combining Knockgardner and Glenalla, before a return to the hidden valley. The climb over Glengennet deserves a refuel in Dailly before tackling the Byne and the gorgeous loop to Lendalfoot. A local boy, Gav sure knows how to plan a bike ride!
- 6-8 hrs riding (est)
- 9 climbs
- 2,250m+ ascent
Eat a big breakfast! Today we are going to attempt to ride over all the hill roads of the Ayrshire Alps, with nine climbs on the menu and the rest as descents.
A leisurely start out of Girvan takes us up Blackies for the amazing descent of the Screws. We’ve only just begun, but best be cautious and stock up in Barr before racking up the next summits of Glenginnet, Glenalla (Cloyntie), Nic O Balloch and Tairlaw Shalloch.
Phew, we’ve arrived in Straiton for some fruit loaf in the Buck before we head up Largs. A brief detour into East Ayrshire takes us out the Park, but its all to brief a visit before we return to Straiton.
Knockgardner is a green ascent, but at this stage it might as well be a red! Still have energy in the tank? Head north to Wallacetown and try and hold your head up high on the descent to enjoy the view! We finish with a rattle up the Assel Valley and a screaming descent back to Girvan via the Byne. You have earned those fish and chips!
- 12 hrs riding (est)
- 16 climbs
- 3,302m+ ascent
We never thought it would be possible, but in 2017 local rider Scott Knox took on the challenge of tackling all sixteen ascents in a day. Leading a team of Ayr Roads’ clubmates and friends, Scott proved that it can be done!
The route uses Barr as the start/finish location, well served by the community shop too. To ensure the distance is ‘manageable’, there are a number of dead turns where you will retrace your steps. The other benefit with this route is it provides some tantalising opportunites to stop and quit early. Just remember – you’d only be cheating yourself!
You can view the full route on Strava (including the leaderboard!)
Of course the real joy of the Alps is the freedom to develop your own route, so do be sure to download a copy of the park map.