As far as training routes on the Isle of Lewis go, this is one of the closest training routes you'll get to that of a Mountain stage race. The route takes you south over rolling hills, and then into Harris, where you will encounter the Clisham road climb, (Highest Hill/Mountain on the Island) and Ardhasaig climb as well as the rolling climbs between them, all with respectable gradients. This is a ride that has in the past had me pushed beyond the limit and "abandoning" before completion.
Today was going to be no exception, as when I set out at 9am with my pockets stuffed with snacks, I discovered the forecasted SW wind was a lot stronger than expected. Despite this, I paced well, climbed the Clisham road feeling fresh and arrived in "ghost town" Tarbert (geez, it is quiet on sunday!!) after 2.5hrs of riding with a slightly disappointing 14mph average speed. Things would change on the way back however, as the wind that had me nearly blown off my bike at points was now a tailwind. This certainly helped up the rather steep Ardhasaig climb, and 30mph+ along flat sections wasn't unseen, which had me arriving back in Stornoway in a pleasing 4hrs and 7mins. No camera with me, so here is a shoddy pic taken by Ardhasaig that I found via google images.
Feeling suprisingly fresh after that, so I will perhaps try a 30min recovery ride or short walk later to clear out the legs. What better way to spend a Sunday :-)