Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Highland Trail 550 Race The End.

First job of the day was to sort the broken saddle rail. I did this by moving the saddle forwards and clamping it in a different place
The stress of a bike that may or may not have got me there faded as I neared Fort William. I knew then, that I could walk to Tyndrum and make the 8 days finishers time.

There was a good view of the Ben Nevis race route. The weather was never like that when I had raced it.

I had a leisurely days riding, and stopped a couple of times to cool my feet in a stream.It was like being on holiday.

There was still the odd opportunity to practice carrying ones bike though.

At Kinlochleven I filled my bottle, and rode what I could up the gravel towards Devil's Staircase.

Long before the rocky bit my rear tyre punctured again.

My sidewall repair had failed.

All I needed now was a get home solution. Compeed and more tenacious tape. Win.

Oh yes, yet another puncture with less than 10 miles to go.

Happily it coincided with my passing the Inveroran Hotel. A pint of Stella and a seat in the beer garden were just what I needed to assist me while I fixed it.

I left the pub with a fixed tyre, and a head that felt like I had drunk 8 pints of stella.

No more dramas though other than taking a wrong turn. I had done that a few times on the last day.

I rolled into Tyndrum at 20:18, 7 days 11 hours and 18 minutes after leaving there.

Myself and my bike had made it. 583.9 miles (with detours) and 53,275 feet of ascent.

Out of 36 starters, I was the 10th person back. Only 2 others would finish. The other 24  riders had pulled out.

Alan Parkinson was waiting at the finish to welcome me back. What a star!

Time for some more beer!


  1. Well done Rich I really enjoyed reading that.

  2. Thanks for posting all of that. In one way, it's reassuring to know that other folk struggled with parts of the route. The amount of walking and resultant slow pace was one of the reasons I pulled out. However, knowing that now makes me think I should have stayed in - so perhaps I'll be drawn to it next year again!!

    Superb effort too in putting up with the mechanicals and bodily injuries.

  3. Thanks Rich, good to see _that_ red signpost again. It was the one nav mistake I thought I'd made...then reaslised, nope, it was this way :)

  4. Thanks Mark.

    Coilin you'd get round. You just need to be up for doing very long steady days.

    Greg, how did we manage before GPS technology. :)