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Way out West: Bikerafting in the Outer Hebrides

  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Scotland is an infinitely more varied and variable part of the world than its size and tourist-pleasing stereotypes would suggest. The mainland alone is a geological patchwork quilt of different massifs and ecosystems, of different accents and too many unhealthy foods to count. Macaroni pie, anyone? As well as the mainland, there are of course … Continue reading Way out West: Bikerafting in the Outer Hebrides

Highland Trail 550 – Gear freak-out

The 2018 Highland Trail got a little too exciting for me, and in the end wasn’t a completion, although it had nothing to do with my gear choices. I do like to indulge in a little gear nerding from time to time, and optimizing my kit for this year gave me something to think about in the months leading up to May. At the end … Continue reading Highland Trail 550 – Gear freak-out

Introducing the Caribou

When Annie and me met Sarah and Thor Tingey at the UK packraft roundup at Inshriach last June, water levels were on the bony side of optimal, but we went for a ride through the dusty pinewoods anyway, and took boats so that we could float down the Spey back to base. It turned out it was the first time that Sarah and Thor had … Continue reading Introducing the Caribou

East winds and Snotcicles on the Lochaber Tundra

It’s pretty easy to laugh at Scottish skiers, given the flurries of speculation and planning at the first sign of snowfall, and what constitutes ‘all time’ conditions in a country when any snow is sometimes a blessing. On reflection though, I’m not sure that I can really point the finger, given the number of routes that I’ve traced along the map while dreaming of winter … Continue reading East winds and Snotcicles on the Lochaber Tundra

Review: Gore Alp-X Pro Windstopper Shorts

Every now and then I find a piece of kit that’s so useful, I end up stocking up on replacements long before they show any sign of wearing out, so horrendous is the idea of spending any time without them – these Windstopper shorts from Gore fit that bill perfectly.   I was aware that they existed for quite a while before I considered trying … Continue reading Review: Gore Alp-X Pro Windstopper Shorts

Clockwork Ghosts: the 2017 Highland Trail 550

    I’ll begin at the end.   There is a searchlight moon hanging low in the sky, but it’s almost hidden behind the squat silhouette of Buachaille Etive Mor. Although it’s bright tonight, the wash of pale blue light does little to fill the shadows of ink that deepen to black in the coires and gulleys, where vague outlines merge into one another. It’s … Continue reading Clockwork Ghosts: the 2017 Highland Trail 550

Highland Trail 550 – Kit List

Since the ITT I rode of the Highland Trail 550 in May last year, I feel like I’ve learned a lot more about optimising kit and strategies for covering a lot of miles as lightly and efficiently as possible. Of course, it’s always possible to go faster by having a better engine or spending less time stopped, but well thought out kit makes a massive … Continue reading Highland Trail 550 – Kit List

Grinding Gravel: Dirty Reiver 200

  In the last few weeks I’ve finally gotten a Salsa Warbird of my own built up thanks to Bryan at Raleigh, so I can stop stealing Annie’s Warbird and making her cross.   It’s been a busy few weeks for the new arrival too, with a bobbly-gravelly-soggy backroad tour of the Outer Hebrides and the far north of Scotland a couple of weeks ago, … Continue reading Grinding Gravel: Dirty Reiver 200

Review: Revelate Designs Periphery Pocket

  Perfectionism isn’t always a virtue – no one is going to notice that your tyre logos line up with your valves when they’re caked with mud, and oftentimes it’s best to just crack on without sweating the small stuff too much. I’m willing to bet though that Eric from Revelate would disagree, and his constant tinkering and experimenting with the designs of his company’s … Continue reading Review: Revelate Designs Periphery Pocket

Strathpuffer 2017:The Return of Pace and Momentum

This was my fifth Strathpuffer, but I’ve never stood in the damp January air listening to the piper, shivering before the traditional run to the bikes, and faced the prospect of doing all the hard work myself. If that was a daunting feeling, there wasn’t too much time to dwell on it, as the shout to action rang through the crowd and I got lost … Continue reading Strathpuffer 2017:The Return of Pace and Momentum