This time last year I took part in the Highland Trail 400, a 430 mile inaugural bike-packing race along the wild trails of Northern Scotland. After riding hard for over 30 hours covering 230 miles, my race came to an abrupt end after my rear mech decided to give up. At the time I was devastated and promised that I would be back.

Well here we are, a year later and after a winter of hard training, I’m ready to take on the race again, determined to finish this time. I am now more experienced at this bikepacking lark and I’ve sorted all the problems and mishaps with the bike and kit that I had last year. To make things a little harder, this year’s race has been extended to 560 miles and I understand the additional loop added will not be a gentle ride through the glens!

HTR_smallmap

So, apart from the usual last minute faffing, the bike is ready, kit has been pulled together and then stripped back and I have a strategy. It’s not too complicated – ride for as long as I can, as fast as I can, without breaking myself or my bike and make sure I get to the finish even if I have to crawl! Last year before the event I was nervous, trying to anticipate what may lie ahead. This year I just can’t wait to get going and start the adventure.

Details of the race can be found on the website www.highlandtrail.net and if you have nothing to do over the weekend and into next week then you can watch the race unfold via the trackleaders website http://trackleaders.com/highland14 , as we will all be riding with SPOT trackers.

See you on the other side…