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…

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…

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…

The Capital Trail 2016

I’m a planner. I like, at the very least, to think that I know what lies on the road ahead, to be able to pre-empt, prepare, control.

Highland Trail 550 – Part 3

Part 1 Part 2 I managed to sleep anyway, though, and got up at 5 to tackle the Postaman’s Walk along the north shore of Loch Maree, all the way to a hot drink at the Whistle Stop café in Kinlochewe. It was a huge mental struggle to get up and face the long daily…

Highland Trail 550 – Part 2

Part 1   So far I was happy enough with my progress, I knew I had clocked up at least 100 miles a day, probably more on the first day, and that would hopefully see me home in the six days that I was aiming for. I knew that the trail would only get hillier,…

A Vision Quest on the Highland Trail – Part 1

Apologies, I was too busy swallowing flapjack, pedalling and talking to myself to take any photos on this adventure. Besides, the phone was firmly stashed in many layers of waterproofing, somewhere in the depths of my seatpack. So in their place, let the words do the picture-painting for you, and I’ve dug out some photos…

Bikerafting the Rough Bounds

“And this is where Rob thought he’d broken his leg”, said Andy, pointing to a mass of tightly packed contour lines on the map as he talked about the last time he had been to Knoydart. “Good job he hadn’t too, because if something happens out there, well… It’s not going to go well. Are…

A Journey Through the West Highlands

Summer had arrived in Fort William, and the town was baking beneath the scrutiny of an unblinking sun. Call me a sceptic, but given the weather that we typically see in this part of the world in July I was neither expecting nor coping with it. I finished the meticulous packing of my frame bag,…

Video: North-West Waters

Back in April I gave packrafting a go, persuaded mostly by Annie and her shiny new boat from backcountrybiking. I wrote a few words about what we got up to here, but below is a video made using some clips we shot at the time. Disclaimer: there is some shonky home movie content, but as…

Cairngorm Cloud Giants

There are mountains, and then there are mountains. Ever since I first picked up a crayon, drew a triangle and gave it a wavy snowline halfway down (very funny, but no it wasn’t last week), I’ve been repeatedly amazed by the innumerable shapes, characters and idiosyncrasies of the many groups of mountains that are crammed…