On yer bike!
Using a bike is cheap, gets you fit, and is a great way to beat the queues - particularly relevant when the Kessock Bridge is busy.
There are a variety of options for using the bike - you don’t always need to cycle all the way to your destination.
Stagecoach has launched a trial scheme to enable bikes to be carried on the Inverness to Cromarty route. See the service 26 timetable or use the Traveline Scotland Journey Planner to arrange your trip.
The bike bus service is a great, flexible way to explore the area, creating opportunities for cyclists to take their bus one way of a journey or travel to discover a different part of the peninsula.
The bus also passes the Learnie Red Rock Mountain Bike Trails which feature a range of routes for all abilities.
The re-opening of Conon Bridge Station is excellent news for commuters thinking of cycling part of the way then taking the train into work. There are covered bike racks and bike lockers for leaving bikes. Trains also have a limited number of bike spaces so passengers with a cycle ride at the other end can take their bikes.
Finding routes for cycling around the Black Isle
We want people to add paths and tracks to the online map OpenStreetMap, which is often known as the 'Wikipedia of maps'. Not only does this underpin our active travel map, but it also improves CycleStreets - an intelligent online route planner for cyclists that uses OpenStreetMap data.
Transition Black Isle launched cycleroutes.transitionblackisle.org - a version of CycleStreets embedded within our website. The map is centred over the middle of the Black Isle, which makes it quicker to add origin and destination. Thank you to everyone at CycleStreets for creating this for us.
The routing engine scores all possible ways to get from A to B, based on the rich detail tagged within OpenStreetMap. It then gives three route options: i) fastest - quickest route along roads, ii) quietest - avoiding the busiest roads and iii) balanced - a realistic route that will use a busier road if the off-road route is particularly slow.
We've produced a handy distance chart to help you work out the cycling times and distances between villages on the Black Isle and also to Dingwall and Inverness. It was made by calculating balanced routes in CycleStreets.
Contributing information to OpenStreetMap is easier than you might think! Visit our Community Mapping page for more information about this part of the project.