The John Muir Way makes a fantastic cycle route usually taking about 4 or 5 days, depending on your temptation to linger and explore.
It's intended to provide a pleasant, and sometimes challenging cycle through the countryside, not – like many traditional cycle routes – an efficient way from A to B on a bike.
What type of bike should I use?
We strongly recommend using a mountain bike, hybrid, sturdy tourer or gravel / adventure bike with puncture proof tyres. For comfort and to reduce the chances of a puncture on the rougher sections, go for tyres at least 30mm wide.
In some places there are short steep and rough sections, and individual obstacles like kerb edges and tight corners, which will be challenging if you have a heavily-laden touring bike. The surfaces and gradient, or simply the presence of pedestrians, may at times mean that cyclists have to push.
Unavoidably, some short sections are on busier roads which aren't so suitable for the less experienced.
In some places there are cycling 'braids', shown in green on the interactive map.
These usually provide smoother and flatter options to the main route which may be steep and bumpy. The braids are especially suited to touring bikes with panniers. In some places, such as on the Antonine Wall, the braids are there to discourage cycling on a particularly vulnerable surface.
If you'd like a leisurely cycle, try hiring an electric bike and cruise along the route.
Following the signs
The John Muir Way is signed in both directions. At braid junctions there will be separate signs for both walkers and cyclists. The sign below, with a bike and W, would be for cyclists heading west.
In some places the John Muir Way logo is incorporated into other signs such as the Sustrans NCN signs. These can be harder to spot when travelling at speed on a bike!
Repairs and Spares
There are numerous bike shops along the length of the route which we've listed on the section pages:
- Falkirk town centre
- Edinburgh - Bruntsfield area
- North Berwick
Hiring a bike
Offering a selection of bikes for hire, including e-bikes, Belhaven Bikes can provide one-way bike hire for those completing the coast to coast route. They can even offer hire bikes just for part of the route, if you want to do a mixture of walking and cycling. Please contact them to discuss your requirements.
Tel. 01368 860300
If you fancy a mixture of "hike & bike" in the western section of the John Muir Way, West Highland Wheels can offer a solution. You can walk to Balloch, pick up your bike and cycle via Strathblane to Kilsyth where West Highland Wheels will collect your hire bike. West Highland Wheels is a fully insured mobile bicycle transfer service with a range of well-maintained bikes for hire. They can also put you in touch with baggage transfer services. Please contact them to discuss your requirements.
Tel. 07031 985 411
Bikes and public transport
Experience tells us that spaces for bikes on trains, especially from Dunbar to Edinburgh can be limited so it is best to book ahead and travel off peak to guarantee your space.