Sometime towards the end of 2015, I made two impulsive decisions:
- I bought a piece of titanium with fat wheels named Rasputin without considering the clear lack of space in the bike shed; oh well, it will have to live indoors.
- I signed up for the Highland Trail 2016, in order to test out said piece of titanium (ie, to justify the purchase of yet another bike).
The Highland Trail (aka HT550) is a self-supported bikepacking event in the Highlands of Scotland. There will be nearly 50 riders at the mass start in Tyndrum at 0900 on Saturday 28 May, pedalling and pushing our bikes around the Scottish Highlands through all manner of midges, weather and terrain. Have a look at the video by Ian Barrington from 2014 to get a rough idea.
I’ve been ruminating on my impulsive decision No. 2 for several months, all the while careening towards this immovable start date. My preparations have bordered on obsessive and I still don’t feel like I’ve nailed it. There are just so many things can go wrong in the mind, the body and the bike.
- Have I trained enough?
- Is my body going to do what it’s told?
- Do I have the right gear… and not too much or little of it?
- Is my ‘Plan A’ too ambitious?
- Have I planned enough backup waypoints for ‘Plan B’?
- Have I lost my mind?
- Where is my peanut butter?
I’ve now reached the final countdown; only two days until the start. Even if I can answer all these questions, it’s unlikely to make a damn bit of difference. I need to get out there and do this thing.
You can follow my GPS location on Trackleaders (ie, ‘dot watching’) from 0900 on Saturday morning. The rest of the riders are on there as well, many of whom will probably be finishing before me.
How To Follow Me
Starting 0900 GMT on Saturday 28 May
- My Highland Trail profile on Trackleaders
- Complete Field for Highland Trail 2016 on Trackleaders
- Highland Trail on BlueDot for Mobile (iPhone/Android)
Great Video By Ian Barrington From HT 2014