Highland Trail 550
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.Posted 3 years agoTomHillSubscriber
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 🙂
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:Posted 3 years ago
-What I feel comfortable riding
-Ability to carry kit (given that virtually any bike will take a bar bag and seat pack)
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!Posted 3 years ago
I’ve just downloaded the GPX file and uploaded it and it’s apparently available on this link:
16,834m of climbing.
Stupid question, but what are people doing for training?Posted 3 years ago
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.Posted 3 years ago
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.Posted 3 years ago
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.Posted 3 years ago
I guess it depends on where you fall along the enjoy………………endure line 🙂
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.Posted 3 years agoChewMember
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.Posted 3 years agoAlasdairMcMember
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.Posted 3 years agoSannySubscriber
How do you transition from pissing wet through to dry with a bivvy bag? And how do you deal with the midges? 😯
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!
SannyPosted 3 years ago
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.Posted 3 years agoSannySubscriber
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. 😀Posted 3 years ago
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.Posted 3 years agoAlasdairMcMember
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.Posted 3 years agorugbydickSubscriber
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?Posted 3 years ago
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.Posted 3 years agojamesoSubscriber
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.Posted 3 years ago
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?Posted 3 years ago
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