The Folding Society

A cycling holiday in Skye

Final comments

Here are our thoughts in brief (using only one word, when I should use ten) to summarize the Skye trip.

  1. The Journey: If we went again, all agreed that the sleeper was not a good idea. The sleeping berth was very cramped and the rattle of the train not very sleep inducing. Also the refreshment facilities on the train were very limited, as was the space in the one buffet car. Overall we felt it would be a better (and cheaper) idea to take a day train up to Inverness and then head for a B&B, leaving us all fresh for the journey to Skye the next day. Obviously most cyclist will prefer not to rely on cars whilst on Skye, but we found that a car assist enabled us to see more of the island, bearing in mind we stayed in Portree, our central base. Hiring a car is not a good idea. It cost £35 a day, plus parking fees. You are better off getting A2B taxis to pick you up, or drop you off, at an agreed point. They have a Ford Galaxy which took three Moultons (split) and luggage, plus owners, with ease. The leaflet for the local bus company stated that bikes were not accepted on any service, but you'd probably get away with a covered folder.
  2. Cameras. I used a digital camera most of the time, mainly for the web pages, but also to enable me to print pictures off for my own use. The quality of the Sony exceeded my expectations and apart from crop pictures I did nothing to enhance the colour. My "real" camera was a Rollei SE which has a 42mm lens, ideal for landscapes and a very bright viewfinder. I used this for slides.
  3. The Bikes. All of us had no problems with the bikes, other than the teething troubles I had with my NS. Any cyclist will tell you never go on tour with a brand new bike, but I did and it was a pleasure to tour Skye on such a wonderful machine. We had no punctures and the gearing on the New Series seemed perfectly adequate for all the hills we encountered.

We did think of doing the same tour again, with a quality folder such as the Bike Friday, or one of Steve Parry's Brompton conversions. This could be fun, as you could use the extensive coach/bus network to get around the island. Maybe next year!

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Copyright (C)1999 Graham and Amanda McDermott and Peter Evans
Last updated: 1 July 1999