Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 42 total)
  • HT 550 ’24
  • swavis
    Full Member

    For those who enjoy a bit of dot watching.

    https://trackleaders.com/highland24f.php

    My pal Colin Baird is doing as an ITT as he didn’t get a mass starting spot. They’re all mad though lol

    Houns
    Full Member

    Shall be locked in

    sillyoldman
    Full Member

    Cheering on Kerry and Sam here.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    I’ve been an avid HT550 Dotwatcher in previous years but have less interest these days. While what Alan Goldsmith has achieved is fantastic, and the efforts and abilities of the riders is legendary, I was more invested in it when there were more participants I knew/I knew off. As it has become more elite, the “skillset” also seems to have evolved into mainly being who can handle sleep deprivation best – and there are definitely some road safety issues around that. It’s also been noticeable that, for some folk, it has become all about the time and not about the adventure. We’ve seen many folk pull out when they’ve been behind their schedule for a target time of some sort.

    (FWIW I also have some concerns about the environmental impact. For instance, some bikepacking events are now imposing a no fly policy.)

    Anyway, good luck to them all and I hope they all stay safe.

    qwerty
    Free Member

    Unfortunately Alan isn’t riding it this year due to recovery from a recent dog bite, fortunately it’s his 60th so there is plenty of cake.

    paino
    Full Member

    After a slow start it seems that Kerry is absolutely smashing it!

    dander
    Full Member

    What’s the record? Alex McCormack approaching Bealach Horn, just coming up for 24hrs in.

    bigmandh
    Free Member

    Looking at last year’s if I’m reading it right then Angus Young was at bealach horn in 27hrs so Alex potentially 3hrs ahead of record. However long way to go, and depends on sleep stops (if any) at this point also.

    dander
    Full Member

    Yeah of course. Not even halfway, but still a phenomenal distance covered.

    Houns
    Full Member

    An amazing effort. Approx 250 miles in around 24 hrs!

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    As it has become more elite, the “skillset” also seems to have evolved into mainly being who can handle sleep deprivation best – and there are definitely some road safety issues around that.

    I agree.

    I used to follow it too. But it’s become all about elite & speed, when in fact I used to love a good adventurous amatuer and the blogs they made ..

    Houns
    Full Member

    I’m rooting for Allen B who is just in FA. Nice chap, enjoy his YouTube/IG stuff, member of BB, sold him a few bits and bobs. More interested in the back end than the pointy end.

    qwerty
    Free Member

    I’d disagree that it’s become “all about” the elite end of the racing, that’s most definitely one element but the results of finishers taking 4, 5, 6, 7 days to finish evidence a more balanced view, as does Alan’s entrant gender split focusing on equal inclusion of riders by gender, not all out athletic ability.

    jameso
    Full Member

    Amateurs aplenty there Matt. That I know of there’s only one full time sponsored racer in the pack. There’s a few returning fast amateurs and a lot of first timers plus large field of younger women riders, all are probably having as much an adventure as a race in the way any 1st time HT550 racer will. Loads of stories of adventure for anyone listening, I’m sure.

    About it all becoming about lack of sleep and speed… Always has been in distance racing, nothing new there. But not being into the way the riders who can handle little sleep do well is like saying you don’t like mountain stages of the grand tours because the small skinny guy always wins?

    If you’ve ever been deep into sleep deprivation in a race you’ll know how it’s only part of the skillset, it’s self-generated fog that affects all your other abilities and no-one goes fast or makes good decisions when very tired. Balancing speed, sleep, fuelling, reacting to weather, managing your bike mechanicals, keeping your ego in check, etc – to say it’s just about sleep dep is not understanding the reality of it.

    qwerty
    Free Member

    At 10:20 on Sunday 26th a quick look at the leaderboard shows:

    1 rider over 250miles !!!
    11 riders between 200-250
    14 riders 150-200
    31 riders 100-150
    7 riders 50-100

    It is still very much a mid pack riders race, it just attracts a few anomalies among the entrants.

    jameso
    Full Member

    It is still very much a mid pack riders race, it just attracts a few anomalies among the entrants.

    Agreed. 15 years plus since the early GDR races the whole scene is still very much for amateurs and a chance for anyone to step into the unknown and see how they get on. The essence of having an adventure? Where else in bike racing can a non-pro or rookie amateur racer be on the start line for some of the biggest events in that area of cycling?

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    (FWIW I also have some concerns about the environmental impact. For instance, some bikepacking events are now imposing a no fly policy.)

    How are they policing that?

    jameso
    Full Member

    How are they policing that?

    Mainly self-policing I think. Most aspects of this kind of racing are self-policed?

    I like the principle. Most riders are going to fly to ride somewhere anyway – MTB Alps chairlifters, Lanzarote road training and other bike holidays produce far more flying to ride than endurance events but the point’s the same.

    qwerty
    Free Member

    Re: Policing

    My understanding is that amateur events like these police themselves, it’s the ethos and the understanding of entrants. You adhere to no outside assistance in the same way of not flying or pledging not to use plastic during a race (Plastic Free Time). This is the camaraderie that bonds the entrants.

    jameso
    Full Member

    I think it’s good how these low key amateur events can create rules like this that commercial events wouldn’t. They won’t change the world by one ride not having people flying in but they make a point. I think that’s especially relevant in bikepacking/touring culture where really there’s no need to fly to some exotic location to have a ‘adventure’, a bike is the perfect tool to get somewhere (add a train or ferry as needed etc).

    qwerty
    Free Member
    kcal
    Full Member

    I’ll also be cheering on @retrotom of this parish!

    elliptic
    Free Member

    GBDuro police no-fly by requiring trackers on from leaving home til back again, not just in the race. That said GBDuro do seem to like having rules…

    Meanwhile Kerry M is putting down quite a ride – only 20 mins behind Lee’s record at the climb out from Glen Golly.

    butcher
    Full Member

    Looks like Alex McCormack will get to Ullapool tonight, which is mad. Everyone else will need to wait until the morning if they want to stock up on supplies. A lot of the chasers will end up camped along the Ledmore traverse I suspect.

    paino
    Full Member

    Horrible band of weather coming their way. Was wondering if Alex is going to head to Poolewe before the worst hits. Things about to get (even more) brutal.

    butcher
    Full Member

    I forgot it was Sunday. He might just make it to Tesco before it closes.

    bigmandh
    Free Member

    Was there a bit after 8, looks like he was straight to the chippy. And not for a massive amount of time. 15 chip butties to go please….Adding an extra sense of adventure crossing fisherfield at night. Does anyone know if he’s actually stopped yet (for sleep)?

    butcher
    Full Member

    The Bothy at Fisherfield would be the ideal place to spend the night. A good slog up the coffin road first though. No idea if he slept last night but I imagine very little given his progress. He’ll need to stop soon.

    The question is whether any of the chasers push through Ullapool without resupply?

    StirlingCrispin
    Full Member

    Alex McCormack

    Looks like he slept for 3hrs last night. And he’s on his way again!

    Kerry MacPhee also slept for 3-4 hrs and is back making good progress.

    butcher
    Full Member

    Alex just coming off the Tollie path now and will hit some fast road sections. Dots look relatively close but with Thomas Boury navigating Fisherfield the gap is going to open up visually.

    Straightliner
    Full Member

    Leaders at the 520(ish) mile mark. That is some effort!

    bigmandh
    Free Member

    Looks like he’s on to beat the record by about 3hrs. Angus was in a battle to the end last year with the guy that eventually finished 2nd (after puncturing 10miles from end). So I’d expect that race would have spurned both of them on, so I’d be surprised if Alex could eek out the record by more than what he’s up at the moment. But who knows, the pace is incredible and to take that much off an amazing record anyway is something special. Kerry about 2.5hrs off Lee Craigie’s record so on the cusp of making it under 4 days.

    butcher
    Full Member

    Forecast also suggests a straight headwind all the way to the finish. I wonder if he’ll treat himself to breakfast in Kinlochleven before taking on the devil’s staircase.

    sillyoldman
    Full Member

    Kerry’s position not updated in almost 3hrs… hope all ok.

    sillyoldman
    Full Member

    Ignore me – just updated!

    sillyoldman
    Full Member

    Looks like Alex will be finishing any minute now.

    Absolutely bananas.

    butcher
    Full Member

    It’s taken him a while to do the last stretch, I wonder if he’s had issues.

    dander
    Full Member

    What a ride. Incredible!

    sillyoldman
    Full Member

    Proper race for 2nd/3rd shaping up in the last few miles!

    boltonjon
    Full Member

    So much respect for anyone completing this event!!

    I had a go back in 2017 and had to bail – hardest thing i’ve ever tried

    Aiming to go back in the summer and do it at a slightly more relaxed pace!

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