Taking place today! Highland Trail http://www.highlandtrail.net/

I stumbled across this race late last year and just had to do it. A 430 mile off-road mountain bike race across the Scottish Highlands. I was looking for a new challenge in 2013 and this served it right up.

This is the first year the race is being undertaken and the field is limited to about 30 riders. It’s an unsupported race, so this would be completely different than the races I’m used to. It would also mean I would need to go out and buy some new specific bike packing kit.

Being a virgin at unsupported riding, I went about out getting advice from the people who know how to do it. Mike Hall, Shaggy and Shona from Keep pedaling gave me a lot of help and sent me in the right direction for the best kit, tactics and bike packing tips. The chaps at Back Country Biking up in Aviemore were also a good source of info and a great help in buying a whole load of new Revelate bike bags. Back Country Biking are the only UK importers of this stuff and it really is fantastic gear. John at Exposure and Rob Dean have also been a great help in sorting out lights and charging to keep me going through the night.

So fast forward seven months, hundreds of hours of training, planning, spending and lots of faff, and here I am heading up to Tyndrum for the start of the race. All riders will be taking spot trackers, so if you want to follow the race, use this link: http://trackleaders.com/highland13

Not sure how long it will take. Not planning on getting much sleep but also not sure how my body will react after a few days of continuous riding. Bring it on!
See you on the other side…

Phil Simcock