Fitness for Hebrides

Rotha Posts: 3
I got it into my head last year that I'd like to do a cycling trip in the Hebrides, going from the tip of Lewis down to the south of Barra.

Only problem is, I'm an inexperienced cyclist and not very fit. I'm 52 years old and weigh 15 stone, of large build. I do up to four miles on the bike twice a week, all on fairly level ground. I've never been on a cycling trip before.

I was planning to it in a period of ten or twelve days in early August. However, I haven't done any preparation or planning yet.

How demanding is cycling in the Hebrides? What level of fitness would I need?

My instinct at this stage is to cancel it until next year and to get properly fit in the meantime. I could also devote a proper amount of time to planning the trip.

What do you think? Any advice would be appreciated. :?


  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Stornoway to Barra is about 130 miles. If you're taking 12 days to do it, that's only 10 miles per day. Although I'm not sure what you'd do after you'd cycled your 10 miles, which even if unfit will probably only take you about an hour or so...
  • Rotha
    Rotha Posts: 3
    It does look like there could be a good deal of spare time. However, I'm quite good at doing nothing and like to take photos or to wander around speaking to the locals. I'm interested in the language, culture and music of the islands.

    I suppose I could always reduce the number of days.
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Perhaps just look at the map and work out places to stop etc. I think you'd be suprised as the amount of distance you're able to cover - especially since you have all day to do it.
  • The North of Lewis, ie the Butt and around is pretty flat and featureless but more than likely incredibly windswept at times. I don't really foresee any probs for the mid section, around Stornoway etc but Harris will be pretty hilly. The great thing about Lewis is that you can rough camp anywhere, within reason, and there's fresh crystal clear safe drinking water everywhere. Midges may be a problem too.
    I would Youth Hostel it at the towns to give yourself time to get your gear clean and recharge your knees.
    Voodoo Hoodoo