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Cycling up the Hebrides in the summer of 2006, to record a 13-part series for BBC Radio Scotland, I had modest aims -- to stretch my legs and spend some time away from mobile phones, emails, and deadlines. I experienced that - and so much more.

Hermetically sealed in a car the visitor moves too fast from A to B, and is often underwhelmed at both ends. No serendipity, no downhill descents into dodgy sheep-grids, no conversations at bus shelters, no skirling bagpipes wafting from island games. Above all no release from driving -- the normal daily habit that keeps curious minds in the vice-like grip of everyday behaviour.

Instead, on the bike, I spent weeks in touch with two great natural phenomena. The sea, never more than a few miles distant. And the people of the Outer Isles, repositories of Scotland’s collective psyche.

This fully revised 2022 edition is the product of annual visits to the Outer Isles and firm friendships developed over the intervening 15 years. It details astonishing changes in technology and community land ownership and the islanders' continuing battles with ferries, house prices and motorhomes. But the centrepiece remains unchanged - the people of the Hebrides, their eccentricities, landscapes, musical tastes, golf courses, languages, humour, beaches and archaeology - with punctures, insurmountable hills, headwinds and bike chat thrown in around the sides.

ISBN 1906307865
ISBN 13 9781906307868
Language English
Number of pages 192
Publisher Luath Press Ltd.
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