The pre-trip check-ins and information were appreciated and helpful. Oddly, the one thing I couldn't figure out (and I guess I could have asked about) was a helmet - I brought one and probably would not have (one less thing to carry) if I knew one would be available.
For me, everything about it was amazing--the guides, the routes, the excursions, and of course Scotland itself. I drafted a fairly robust review, which I assume I can enter somewhere.
Accommodation & Food
I selected excellent because they were local and in the location, seemed like the best option for a group--with a restaurant, wifi, enough rooms for all of us. I know some would likely select "good" in comparing the accommodations more broadly, as they were sometimes a bit rustic.
If there was something above excellent, I would select it. Scott and Tim were just fantastic--thoughtful, knowledgable, accommodating, a pleasure to talk with and be around--the type of people who I thought "why don't I have friends like them back home".
The Bottom Line
Simply put, it was amazing and yes, you should do it. Scotland itself will amaze by any means, but experiencing it on a bicycle is a special treat—you go places you normally would not, or would speed through, and at a pace that allows you to take it in and really appreciate it. The route is well thought out, with manageable distances each day and opportunities for rests along the way. Each day begins and ends at a reasonable hour, and for me, I was still able to go for walks/hikes for an hour or two before and after dinner to explore the area (shops tend to close at 5:00). I liked all of the excursions, and found them well timed and well integrated into the day’s journey. You generally dine together, which I enjoyed and still allowed me to essentially also do a sticky toffee pudding tour of Scotland. The accommodations varied a bit, but they were all good local spots (no chains), with a bar and restaurant, wifi. Our guides, here Tim and Scott, were brilliant—they shared their impressive knowledge of Scotland and many random subjects that you broach when spending a week together. They checked in with us regularly, and were flexible and made tweaks to ensure everyone was enjoying their time. They selected great lunch spots and Scott prepared a fantastic picnic on one of the days. We had a range of riders, and they handled that well—one of the guides rides among the group (it sometimes stretches out a bit) and the other guide is always close by in a van, so you can join in there if you need an assist up a hill or are done for the day. Like one of my fellow riders from July, I am also looking at another trip. For those of you looking at these, wondering if you should do go for it—yes, you absolutely should. I pondered it for a few years, and my one regret here is that I did not start doing this sooner. About me for comparison: I am in my early 40s, and a pleasure and commuter cyclist, about 20 miles round trip for work, with a single Washington DC "hill" to climb at the end of one leg (no, not that Hill), and an occasional a weekend jaunt that can range up to 35 miles, again with no serious hills. And please don't judge me too harshly, but I use a hybrid and have never used clip pedals/shoes. (I stuck with a hybrid for the trip in fear of unforeseen issues switching to a road bike for a long trip; the hybrid worked fine for me, and it was a curiosity/amusement for everyone else—I was the lone hybrid user on the tour. And I also stuck with regular shoes.) I do have good endurance, which is needed for the distance and hills; I mostly walk or bike (versus drive) so am accustomed to long stretches of both. The Highland hills were challenging at times, but I always managed to make it up without walking my bike or hopping in the van. Ultimately, I was able to be near the lead for most of the journey, whether cruising the rolling hills or going up real hills. Thanks to Wilderness Scotland, particularly Tim and Scott, and my fellow cyclists for an unforgettable experience and introducing me to a new way to travel and explore.