Google+ The Norris Files: February 2011


Outer Hebrides; Flights Finalised.

Today, I finalised and paid for the flights in May to the Outer Hebrides. I ended up going with Qantas and changing a few of my previously planned travel dates and times so I could do both the out and back Singapore-London routes on the A380. I now end up back in Brisbane on Friday morning rather than Sunday morning so I have reduced the trip by two days.

The Qantas flights were not the cheapest but nor were they the most expensive on offer. Return economy fares Brisbane-Singapore-London-Glasgow cost $2328.72. By the time I added in travel insurance (around $149) plus the extra they charge you for using a credit card to pay the total came to $2518:91.

By my calculation I will have 16 days to travel from Castlebay to Stornoway which should be more than enough time. At this stage I will be spending two nights in Oban before I start cycling giving me a day to assemble the bike and get provisions for the first few days of cycling.

I still have the following to organise; accommodation in Oban (2 nights), return accommodation in Glasgow before I fly home (1 night),the actual detail and luggage space for the bus trip from Ullapool to Glasgow the day before I fly out, and consider insuring my bike for theft/damage. And of course I still have to organise my packing list and get the Thorn Nomad sorted for the trip but, that is a whole other story!

Wednesday 11/5/11.
*Fly out of Brisbane 13:55pm
*Arrive Singapore 19:50pm (7.55hrs)
*Depart Singapore 23:59pm
*Arrive London 06:35am (13:36hrs)
*Depart London 10:00am
*Arrive Glasgow 11:25am (1:.25hrs)
*Catch the train from Glasgow to Oban 18:21pm arriving 21:26pm - takes 3.5hrs
*Overnighting in Oban - Failte Bed and Breakfast Oban (0044 1631570219) (

Thursday 12/5/11 - Friday 13/05/11.

*As I will have arrived in Oban so late last night I will stay another night in Oban which will allow be to stock up on food on the mainland and assemble my bike for the ferry crossing tomorrow. - Failte Bed and Breakfast Oban (0044 1631570219) (

Saturday 14/5/2011.

*Ferry crossing from Oban to Castlebay departing 15:40 arriving Castlebay at 20:30pm
*Overnighting in Castlebay - Craigard Hotel Castlebay (01871 810200) (email-

Sunday 15/5/11 - Monday 30/05/11.

*Cycling Barra to the Butt then final night;
*Overnighting in Stornoway at Caladh Inn Stornoway (44-01851-702740) (email-

Tuesday 31/05/11.

*Ferry crossing from Stornoway to Ullapool depart 07:00am arrive 09:40am
*Catch the bus from Ullapool Pier to Inverness depart 09:50am arrive 11:10am
*Car hire downtown Inverness then drive to Glasgow Airport Holiday Inn
*Overnighting at Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport - ( (44-871-9429031)

Wednesday 01/06/11.

*Fly out of Glasgow 16:10pm
*Arrive London 17:40pm (1:20hrs)
*Depart London 21:20pm
*Arrive Singapore 17:30pm (13:00hrs)

Thursday 02/06/11

*Depart Singapore 21:25pm

Friday 03/06/11

*Arrive Brisbane 06:55am (7:30hrs)

A Distant Memory!

My last bike ride is just that, a distant memory. I think and I'm not sure but the last time I rode a bike was in South Australia around September last year just short of four months ago. I cannot remember the last time I rode at Daisy Hill, it has been that long, The weather, health issues and lack of motivation have kept me off the bike in recent times but after today's ride hopefully, I can get back to some regular riding and build up the kilometres leading into the Outer Hebrides tour in May.

All that being said, today's ride was a shocker. I really struggled! The heavens must have opened on Daisy Hill last night because it was a mud bath and the conditions simply awful. I did less than 10kms on tracks I haven't ridden in three years and they highlighted how badly my bike skills have slipped, probably because I have chosen to ride only the same route around Daisy for some tine now. That is a condition I aim to rectify somewhat by mixing up the tracks, keeping the riding I do fresher and more interesting. Hopefully,that will help with my motivation and result in more time on the bike.

Daisy Hill Trail Run

Another trail run at Daisy Hill today with a working GPS however, its batteries died at the 9.9km mark with roughly 700m left to run back to the car. That makes this run approximately an 11km circuit.

My elapsed time is rubbish but I managed nearly 100% forward momentum with very minimal stoppage time. I will probably run this route a few more times before upping the distance to 12km and then 15km