Cycling the Hebridean Way Spiral-bound – 13 Nov 2017
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A comprehensive guide to cycling the Hebridean Way with colour OS maps,listings of accommodation, refreshments and shops. Different stages are described in detail with gradient profiles and distances. Lots of information about places and sights along the Way. Books are sent first class by the publishers as standard usually within 24 hours of receiving the order. For reviews of this book, please see the out of stock entry for the first edition
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Some points that I don't think I found clearly enough in the book that I wished I had known:
I was aware of the importance of religion in the Western Isles, but hadn't quite appreciated that everything - EVERYTHING - closes in north Lewis on a Sunday, when I happened to finish my ride there. Some shelter from the wind and rain and a cup of tea would have been most welcome at some point that day, or even just the opportunity to refill my water bottles, but no chance. Even the hotels don't seem to be open to non-residents. I understand the more southerly islands are less religiously observant, and so you might be well advised to be there on a Sunday, or plan your trip to exclude a Sunday.
Doing this cycle from the south, "with the wind", really is no picnic, as the cross winds are significant. It took a lot of effort to control my bike at times, and I heard a number of stories of people literally being blown off their bikes and injured. I thought the distances I had planned to cover each day were conservative, but the cross wind effect made them rather tougher.
The route is all on road, and many drivers make absolutely no concessions to cyclists, and I did not see any signage asking for their consideration. I was essentially run off the road on the many single track sections on numerous occasions, and the speeds of some drivers were terrifying. I regularly ride on the road in England, and have cycled abroad, and feared for my life on the roads of the Outer Hebrides more than anywhere else I have cycled.
For the above reasons, I would suggest this route is only suitable for experienced cyclists, and definitely not for children.
A final note - the book was just too big to go in my handlebar bag without bending, so a slightly more compact version would be great.