Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Highland Trail 550 Preparations.

Just over a year ago I took part in the Highland Trail 550 Race.

After the race, my summary of this unsupported bikepacking trip was -

"The route devised by Alan Goldsmith, starts at Tyndrum and visits the Mamores, Corrieyairack, Oykel Bridge, Assynt, Foinaven, Glen Canisp, Torridon, Kintail and Glen Affric, before returning to Tyndrum.

The terrain is varied, but can overall be described as tough. There are extended sections where pushing or carrying the bike is the only option. The rewards though are some magnificent riding on deserted and varied trails."

36 riders started, and I finished in 10th place out of 12 finishers. On day 5 I considered retiring. The thought that spurred me on though was "What would Minipips do in this situation?"

Well we're going to find out. The two of us are going to leave Tyndrum, the day before the faster riders with the intention of riding the routes 550+ miles.

All our bikepacking luggage has kindly been supplied by Alpkit , some of which is on its second HT550 trip.

A big thanks also to Use Exposure for our Toro lights and a Vybe suspension seatpost to keep Tom's bottom comfy.

When we're done I'll post a full kit list. Some other highlights though.
Accommodation - Alpkit Ordos 2 tent - rain and midge protection for 2 weighing in at 1.2Kg.
Down sleeping bags, with Tom's being an adults pied d'elephant bag, which is a full length bag for him!
Rapha classic jerseys, bibshorts and rain jackets for us both.
We'll obviously save a bit of weight with some shared bits, though I'll add an extra warm layer over what we'd take somewhere less remote. We'll also be taking a GoPro and a stills camera, so we'll have a video and some pictures to show you at the end.

Via our Spot GPS Tracker you can follow our progress live at the Trackleaders website link (Rich and Tom S.....)

There's a twitter feed for HTR news here

We leave Tyndrum early on Friday morning, and if the weather is kind, the bikes don't have a mechanical and we don't pick up an injury we hope to be done inside 10 days.

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