The Riverside underpass is a useful link because it connects the River Clyde Walkway to Partick, Dumbarton Road and Finnieston without having to go over a tricky bridge.
The north bank of the Clyde is a really popular path to cycle. The western side of it is part of the National Cycle Network, Route 7 but the blue ‘NCN7’ signs can be hard to see (or missing). Many people going west will get past the SECC car park and go towards this pedestrian bridge over the Clydeside Expressway. It’s natural, since it’s big, the path ‘leads’ to it and you can see through the railway arch to Sandyford Street on the other side.
It also seems to have nice ramps at either end. However, the ramps have steps so it’s not as bike friendly as it first appears. I often see people pushing their bikes up the steps, riding along then getting back off for the steps on the other side. It’s quite hard work – I know because I did the same when I was just discovering cycling routes around Glasgow! It must be even harder for the Deliveroo rider in the photo (I guess every second counts in the courier business). I think most people trying to go over this bridge probably don’t cycle that often. I definitely see it happen more during good weather.
In case people wondered if there’s an easier way to get across the Clydeside Expressway – there is. The Riverside underpass is tucked away next to the River Kelvin, just a few minutes further on. If you want to see it on a map, go to Cyclestreets.net photo map (Cyclestreets is also very useful for cycle route planning).
Getting to the Riverside underpass
Continue along the Clyde Walkway path towards the Riverside Museum (‘Scotland’s Museum of Transport and Travel’). It’s basically straight on, although the fence zigzags slightly (and you may have to weave past some people on foot). The path may not look like much but it’s a decent width and smooth tarmac the whole way to the Riverside (more than you can say about some parts of the Walkway). You can see the museum and the masts of the tall ship, Glenlee, on the left as you ride along.
Eventually you’ll turn a left-hand corner to a zebra crossing.
On the footpath on the other side of the road, go right.
There’s a very small hill which hides the underpass. When the path splits – go left down the chicane under the bridge (watch out for pedestrians at the blind corner).
The underpass has murals of different modes of transport to tie in with the museum. Some of them are a bit surreal – for example, an astronaut pushing a child’s buggy.
At the other side there’s a wee climb that curves back on itself by the railway viaduct.
The curved path turns you round 180 degrees. There’s a slight bump near the top then the path splits again. Since you’re facing back the way you came, going left now takes you east and turning right goes west.
Going east (left turn)
The left path leads back to residential roads. If you take the first railway arch, it goes onto Ferry Road.
To go towards Kelvingrove Park from Ferry Road turn right up Old Dumbarton Road. There’s a short climb before the left turn onto Bunhouse Road (alongside the Kelvin Hall). At the traffic lights before the Kelvingrove Museum, cross over the road then nip across the pavement and up the path into the museum car park.
Going straight on from Ferry Road takes you across the Benalder Street bridge over the River Kelvin.
Benalder Street links to the east side of Beith Street – turn right onto it then, when the road splits, take the left fork to get to Dumbarton Road and Siempre Bicycle Cafe. I usually get off and walk the bike across Dumbarton Road as it tends to have heavy traffic. The cafe is next to Kelvinhall Underground station and you can park your bike inside or in their back yard (access next to the subway station). The right fork of Beith Street goes to the junction at the bottom of Byres Road (which is a bit of a climb!).
The other option going east from the underpass is to keep on the path for a minute or two. You can go through another arch to the SWG3 venue at the end of Eastvale Place.
A few minutes further east, along Kelvinhaugh Street, you get to The 78 cafe/bar and into Finnieston. The main road can be very busy so, if you want to go to Glasgow Bike Station, turn left on Yorkhill Street to get to Haugh Road.
Going west (right turn)
Taking the the right-hand path from the Riverside underpass goes towards Partick station and Yoker.
The first bit, on the bridge, is really narrow (sometimes it’s best to wait if someone is coming the other way). After that it opens out and goes past another railway arch (blocked for building work during 2016). To get to Partick bus/train/subway station, go up a right-hand ramp to a crossing across Beith Street. To continue towards Yoker, keep going straight on.
The bridge in the photo is where you could come over from Castlebank Street (if you’d taken the other path up from the Riverside instead of going down to the underpass). You’re not meant to ride on the pavement next to it and the dual carriageway is usually a busy road. The footbridge has plaques set into the paving about the history of the Meadowside dock area (the empty site across the Kelvin from the Riverside).