Part of the reason I haven’t posted so much recently is we went on an eco cycling holiday. This involved train and ferry travel and a private hire minibus. The holiday? To cycle from one end of the outer Hebrides to the other along the Hebridean cycleway. Here are the lessons I would say we learnt.
First we had a practice. So in May we cycled from Edinburgh to Berwick Upon Tweed. This was invaluable. We worked out how far we could cycle comfortably in a day and flagged up a number of other problems. One I discovered was that the saddle that came with my bike was very uncomfortable after about 20 miles. I cycle a maximum of 6 each way to work and it had not been a problem. My wife decided to get a new pannier. So lesson on don’t just jump on your bike. But practice. This includes fitness although neither did much extra on this count. Before my cycle pilgrimage to the UN climate talks in Paris I did do some fitness work in the gym and running, along with some extra cycling.
The next lesson is to plan. You need not only to book accommodation well in advance but also meals. We didn’t camp but carried all our stuff for 10 days and ate out. Don’t try to wing it, you’ll almost certainly go hungry (at the very least).
Be flexible. The more the remote the area the more you are at the mercy of the elements. We had to leave a day early to get the ferry which was brought forward due to bad weather. We cycled extra one day and moved our accommodation due to bad weather coming in the next day.
Allow time for diversions to look at points of interest along the way.
Most of all enjoy – an eco cycling holiday is a great experience!