Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Highland Trail 550 - Part 4

Day 7

There comes a time in these trips where you think that there's a good chance that you're going to get to the end, and with 160 miles left to do in two days, we could now visualise the end.

From Kinlochewe we headed into the Coulin Forest.

Towards Coire Lair.

Down then to Strathcarron for ice cream before  a small climb over the hill to Dornie for lunch.

The onwards into Kintail.

We did stop to change our damp socks for dry ones before the big climb.

Just past Glenlicht House, Tom shouts me. He shows me his front wheel. There is sealant leaking from one side and the middle of the rim. The nearest bike shop is 40 miles away, we are surely finished.

The sealant is still not sealing, but a positive is that it is  only escaping slowly. A quick bit of thinking and I have managed not to fix the crack, but have stopped the air escaping, if only temporarily. (On our return the rim was examined and there wasn't a crack in the rim)

The next section is pushing followed by  a fairly smooth descent.

I'm amazed but the wheel holds. We ride on until it's dark.

Day 8

We are up early. We know that this is going to be a long day. A couple of big lumps take us over to Fort Augustus for brunch.

Next comes the Caledonian Canal down to Fort William.

It's a hot day, Tom needs ice cream.

Out of Fort William we follow the West Highland Way over to Kinlochleven.

The walkers had mostly long gone home.

Half a lemon drizzle cake each for us before the descent.

Devil's Staircase, the last big climb of the day.

As we climb up, the sun sets.

 We make it over the other side of Devil's staircase just in daylight. Thereafter we ride with lights on.

It's fair to say that we were both very tired on the last few miles. The temptation to sleep was great, but finishing in under 8 days was more important.

At 2:10 am we arrived back in Tyndrum. A 101 mile day with over 9000' of climbing.

Our total time was 7days 20 hours and 25 minutes.

Strava - https://www.strava.com/activities/1011000628

We were most surprised that Alan and Mark had stayed up to see us in. Thanks, Oh and thanks to Mark Armitage for the pic below. Not looking too shabby after a 20 hour day.

We were in bed somewhere around 3am, then up again early to see of the folks who were setting of that morning.

After Alan had got a selfie with Tom, Tom started the race.

A big thanks to Alpkit for the bikes and luggage. I rode a rigid Frontier, and Tom rode a Carbon Transmitter.

Finally a big thanks to everyone for cheering us on!