Desert dreams and ghost cows: the AZT 300

Going in to the AZT300, my main aim was simply to be present, be confident in myself and to find that elusive state of mind that makes ultra-racing so utterly addicitive. Annie and me spent a full month in Arizona, spending some time with Kurt Refsnider and Kaitlyn Boyle, the respective male and female record holders of the 300 (and the 750 for Kurt), and … Continue reading Desert dreams and ghost cows: the AZT 300

Alaska and the White Mountains 100

It’s been a flighty few weeks here on the western side of the Atlantic. I’m sitting typing this in a garden in central Arizona while we wait for the start of the Arizona Trail Race, but that will (hopefully) be a story for another time. Before the warmth, sun and cacti happened, I spent 10 days at more northern latitudes in Alaska last month, separated … Continue reading Alaska and the White Mountains 100

Boundless: A Greenlandic Bikerafting Journey

This story originally appeared in issue 1 of the Bikepacking Journal. To get access to more tall tales from the journal in its beautiful, tactile paper format, you can become a member of the bikepacking collective here: https://www.bikepacking.com/join/ Three parallel tracks led straight on, seeming to merge as they crested the next dune. The two tracks on the right were pairs of reniform depressions like … Continue reading Boundless: A Greenlandic Bikerafting Journey

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Fat tyres and Friluftsliv: bikepacking in Arctic Sweden

I looked again at the map, at the confident lines that we had traced across its surface a few days before, but which now more closely resembled a rod for our own backs, and as time to think was plentiful I asked myself how I had come once again to a familiar position: lying in a tent somewhere cold, trying to ride (well mostly push, … Continue reading Fat tyres and Friluftsliv: bikepacking in Arctic Sweden

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

Tread lightly: A Tale of Three Plateaus

  The granite plateaus of the cairngorms began their life far from the sun, at the roots of a mountain chain, at a time when Scotland and America were still parts of the same landmass. Wind, water and ice took their toll, and the mountains were eroded into nothing, but their roots remained. Ice came and took bites from it, but the granite was only … Continue reading Tread lightly: A Tale of Three Plateaus

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The Out Track: 2018 Highland Trail 550

The clock says that it’s three in the afternoon, although you could tell me it’s 3am and that would feel about right. My first reaction to my own truncated attempt at this year’s Highland Trail 550 and the fallout from it was to simply forget about it: there’s always next year, best perhaps to chalk it up to experience. There was always going to be … Continue reading The Out Track: 2018 Highland Trail 550

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