Highland Trail 550

Home Forum Bike Forum Highland Trail 550

Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 609 total)
  • Highland Trail 550
  • Chew
    Member

    There’s a significant amount of hike a bike in the route, so take a bike you’re happy to carry for a reasonable amount of time.

    Premier Icon TomHill
    Subscriber

    And yes, I doubt there will be many pannier racks. The vast majority will be using combinations of framebags, bar rolls, seat packs etc.

    I won’t be “carrying” my bike as such with it fully loaded, but will be pushing, manhandling, lifting, swearing for long sections.

    GregMay
    Member

    I can think of two sections you will be carrying your bike ๐Ÿ™‚

    ittaika
    Member

    cheers guys – sounds like a light bike is the way to go with packs and frame bags rather than a backpack. i was thinking of a wingnut adventure bag but the bike bags might be better.

    will also practice my swearing for all the hike-a-bike sections.

    Premier Icon ssboggy
    Subscriber

    Can you carry all your camping kit on your FS?

    Alan Sheldon who finished 3rd in last year’s HT400 was riding a Salsa Spearfish

    Premier Icon TomHill
    Subscriber

    Fair enough Greg – and you obviously know the route much better than I do. I meant more in terms of mile after mile with bike over shoulders. I don’t do that with an unladen bike, let alone a fully loaded one. It’ll be my usual inefficient wrestle ๐Ÿ™‚

    Having said all that, I still wouldn’t let the carrying sections influence my choice of bike. In order of priority I’d go with:
    -What I feel comfortable riding
    -Reliability
    -Ability to carry kit (given that virtually any bike will take a bar bag and seat pack)
    -Other stuff

    bekneeboy
    Member

    I’d like to fit this in to my plans for Scotland. I won’t be taking part in the official start time as I’ll only just have started making my way up to Scotland but if anyone is available to meet up in June etc. then that would be awesome.

    I’ve started putting together a little website to explain what my plans are (fill car with bikes and camping stuff and ride round Europe), so if you’d like to take a look; http://bigbikerideeurope.appspot.com/

    Back to the 550 – does this have any detail of the topography etc?

    Cheers then!

    richpips
    Member

    Back to the 550 – does this have any detail of the topography etc?

    Tracklogs says there’s 20,000 metres of climbing if that helps.

    bekneeboy
    Member

    The 20,000 will put me in good stead for the Combloux event I’ve entered then.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    richpips wrote:

    Back to the 550 – does this have any detail of the topography etc?
    Tracklogs says there’s 20,000 metres of climbing if that helps.

    Garmin Basecamp says 15,000

    bekneeboy
    Member

    I’ve just downloaded the GPX file and uploaded it and it’s apparently available on this link:

    http://maplorer.com/permalink.php?file=2014-03-24_19_18_24_b_HT_560.gpx

    16,834m of climbing.

    Stupid question, but what are people doing for training?

    richpips
    Member

    Stupid question, but what are people doing for training?

    Just ticked over during the winter, but the last couple of weeks –

    Trying to get plenty of climbing in, including hike a bike.

    Riding hard with a minimum of recovery for 2-3 hours, rather than going out and pottering for hours and hours.

    Will aim to increase duration for some rides as we get closer.

    eg. An off road 135 miler in a couple of weeks time.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    TBH I’m just trying to get out riding as often as possible but I’m finding it hard to maintain enthusiasm. It often feels like a bit of a chore. I’m hoping to get as many nights put as possible as I reckon the whole camping/bivvying thing will be just as important – especially for those of us planning 7 or more nights out.

    richpips
    Member

    I’m hoping to get as many nights put as possible as I reckon the whole camping/bivvying thing will be just as important – especially for those of us planning 7 or more nights out.

    Interesting, not thought of that. My plan was just to get into my sleeping and bivy bag when exhausted. I shan’t be cooking.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    I guess it depends on where you fall along the enjoy………………endure line ๐Ÿ™‚

    My plan is to go out and enjoy a ride around the Highlands, using the 8-day “cut-off” as a bit of encouragement/incentive. In fact, if I feel that the 8-day pace is too fast to enjoy, I’ll just go at whatever pace I want regardless.

    Chew
    Member

    those of us planning 7 or more nights out

    You need to finish in under 8 days to be classified.

    just to get into my sleeping and bivy bag when exhausted

    Part of the knack is being able to do this on ‘autopilot’ when you’re cold and spent.

    Stupid question, but what are people doing for training?

    Plenty of blogs around on peoples buildup/prep and write ups from last year. Its not an event to under estimate, so you’d hope people were in the final stages of build up, rather than just starting.

    richpips
    Member

    Part of the knack is being able to do this on ‘autopilot’ when you’re cold and spent.

    I have some previous as a climber. A sleeping bag will be luxury.

    AlasdairMc
    Member

    richpips – Member
    I have some previous as a climber. A sleeping bag will be luxury.

    One of the guys last year didn’t bring a sleeping bag (Daniel Jessee), just taking a bivi and a warm layer. His rationale was that he’d keep going if he was cold and uncomfortable, which seemed to work – he’s off riding London to Istanbul in July.

    Premier Icon NewRetroTom
    Subscriber

    Going with a rigid steel singlespeed.

    Taking bivvy bag, sleeping bag and thermarest, but no cooking equip to keep the weight and bulk down.

    Starting to get pretty scared now!

    Premier Icon NewRetroTom
    Subscriber

    In two weeks I’ll be starting my journey to Tyndrum. Everyone feeling prepared and confident?

    I see Mike Hall has disappeared from the start list (along with a few others). Wonder how many there will be on the start line.

    Premier Icon DavidB
    Subscriber

    Mike Hall is doing TransAM isn’t he? Which I guess is a bit close in timing?

    Premier Icon NewRetroTom
    Subscriber

    Ah yes I see he is – guess the HT550 wouldn’t be ideal preparation a week before the start of a 4,200 mile race.

    Premier Icon Sanny
    Subscriber

    NewRetroTom

    How do you transition from pissing wet through to dry with a bivvy bag? And how do you deal with the midges? ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    I have to say big respect to anyone even attempting the ride as a race. It’ll be super hardcore if the weather we are currently enjoying doesn’t improve any time soon!

    Sanny

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    what tyres for trench foot? ๐Ÿ™

    Premier Icon NewRetroTom
    Subscriber

    Sanny

    If my sleeping bag gets wet then I won’t be able to dry it out before the end of the race, so I’ll be carrying and sleeping in a wet bag for the rest of the event. The outside of the bivvy bag getting wet is not a problem – just shake off drops and pack away damp.

    So the key is to not get the sleeping bag wet! I’ll try to sleep in bothies where possible if it’s raining, even if this means going a couple of km off route.

    I did 3 nights in my bivvy at the European Singlespeeds the other weekend and it rained on two of those nights. Only the hood of my sleeping bag got a bit wet, so I can cope if it’s no worse than that.

    Premier Icon NewRetroTom
    Subscriber

    Midges – there is no solution! Just hope there aren’t too many and bivvy in a windy spot if possible!

    Premier Icon Sanny
    Subscriber

    NewRetroTom

    I genuinely hope the midges don’t come out! At the moment, they aren’t out in force up here despite it having been the perfect winter for them to breed at lower levels. Still, if they do, it will be character building!

    Bivvying is something that has kind of passed me by. I guess I like the luxury of a tent and knowing that I will always have somewhere to change from sopping wet to dry clothes. Bothys are great for that! As I read somewhere once, any fool can be cold and wet which has stuck with me as a bit of a mantra. ๐Ÿ˜€

    richpips
    Member

    NewRetroTom

    Taking bivvy bag, sleeping bag and thermarest, but no cooking equip to keep the weight and bulk down.

    I’ll try to sleep in bothies where possible if it’s raining, even if this means going a couple of km off route.

    Are you taking a tarp?

    If you are planning on staying at the bothies, (I have them marked on the GPS just in case) remember they can be both noisy, and comparatively cold, For some you’ll need a good sleeping mat.

    AlasdairMc
    Member

    I’m still debating whether to go tent or tarp. I’m swinging towards tent based on the aforementioned midges, but the extra comfort afforded by the tent may be to my detriment if the weather is poor – it’s too tempting to sleep longer if the weather is bad whereas you’d be better to just keep riding.

    I’ll make the call closer to the time, although bivi is very tempting at the moment.

    richpips
    Member

    I’m not even going to wait for the weather forecast.

    I’ll give it my all during the days riding, at night I want comfortable dry and midge free sleep.

    sturider
    Member

    Tent for me. Have cut the tooth brush in half and gram counting ๐Ÿ™‚ Last test ride this weekend to fine tune the packing and tinker with the bike.

    Lets start putting the 50ps in the weather meter.

    Premier Icon NewRetroTom
    Subscriber

    Not planning to take a tarp. Just rely on the bivvy.

    Will have a Thermarest, so should be warm and comfortable if I can get to a bothy.

    Hoping to manage 3 nights in bothies if all goes to plan.

    dunmail
    Member

    Quick question – the route on the website has a couple of “loops” where the outgoing and returning lines meet or cross. Does the route go up the east side and down the west, i.e. anti-clockwise or the opposite way round?

    Premier Icon NewRetroTom
    Subscriber

    Always north up the east side and south down the west for all the loops.

    Premier Icon rugbydick
    Subscriber

    Just a thought on this (planning to possibly compete in this next year):

    What do people do about keeping lights, gps, phones, etc charged?
    I’m assuming with the daylight (from say 5am until about 9pm) there is little night time riding involved? Or are some of the guys putting in more than 16 hours a day in the saddle?

    And how do you prove that you’ve actually done the ride? Assume you’d have to submit a GPS log? So you’d need your GPS to be fully charged.

    Dynamo hubs? USB battery packs? Solar cells? What’s the deal?

    richpips
    Member

    A lot of people run a dynamo setup that’ll charge phone, gps etc. You could manage fine with batteries though.

    For the group ride we’ll all have Spot Trackers http://trackleaders.com/highland14

    GPS tracklogs would be fine though as evidence.

    As you say there are plenty of daylight hours for riding, though I’ll bet the fastest guys will do a bit of night riding.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    As you say there are plenty of daylight hours for riding, though I’ll bet the fastest guys will do a bit of night riding.

    A lot rather than a bit, I’d expect. Usually 19-20hrs on the bike with the fastest guys doing the last night right through if needed. Seems that the front end of races like this are about how long you can cope on minimal sleep, long hours at a steady pace often beats faster riders who stop early.

    Premier Icon NewRetroTom
    Subscriber

    Weather forecast isn’t looking too bad for the first couple of days at the moment on the Met Office West Highlands mountain area forecast:

    Saturday 24th May

    Another mainly cloudy day with occasional rain or showers, especially across the more northern Ranges. North or northeasterly winds easing.

    Sunday 25th May

    Mainly dry and bright with some sunshine at times. Mainly light winds.

    I imagine the ground is going to be pretty wet at the moment though with the rain that’s been through in the last week.

    Any local observations on the ground?

    richpips
    Member

    Any local observations on the ground?

    Scotroutes was saying the ground is very wet.

    Premier Icon NewRetroTom
    Subscriber

    Level of the burns will be nice and high too then…..

    Lovely!

Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 609 total)

The topic ‘Highland Trail 550’ is closed to new replies.