RAPHA FESTIVE 500 SUPER LOOPER 2018

Since 2010 cycling trendsters Rapha have been throwing the Festive 500 gauntlet down and challenging all to ride 500km between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. On paper this seems like a fairly straight forward challenge, broken down it’s only 62.5km for 8 days. With a bit of commitment this shouldn’t cause much of an issue for your standard club rider. A few rides with your normal group and a couple of solo missions and the milage will come easily. But it isnt that straight forward.

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REVIEW – LUCK REVELATOR SPD SHOE

Luck are a Spanish brand who seem to offer a mind boggling selection of shoes that cover every occasion from road racing to enduro. With shoes being manufactured 100% in Spain, Luck are able to offer many custom options for fit, customisation and styling. Are your feet different sizes? Do you have biomechanical / metatarsus correction requirements? Do you want to go full FRED and match your shoes to your bike or kit colour scheme? Luck can sort you out.

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TYPE 2 IS COMING – GAMESHOPE BOTHY MICROADVENTURE

The days of recent may have been doing their best to eek out every last bit of good weather but the tell tale signs are starting to show. There is no doubt that winter has already began.

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GRINDURO SCOTLAND 2018

Last years Grinduro was a biblically wet. Riders battled with a day long deluge and all the mud, grit and slippy bits that go along with it. Clearly undeterred, Grinduro returned for 2018 and it must have been a surprise when they stepped off the plane in all their waterproofs only to be met with scorching sunshine (at least by Scottish standards). For the last few months we have been at the receiving end of an incredible summer. Trails have been dusty and our jersey tans are now well cultivated.

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GRINDURO – SURLY STEAMROLLER BIKE CHECK VERSION 2.0

Grinduro has come around again and you are probably thinking, “He is still riding that silly olden times/fashion trend fixed gear bike and hasn’t learned any lessons since last year”. Well you would only be half right. I am still riding fixed but this year I have made some vital upgrades to maximise shredding. Here is my Surly Steamroller Grinduro v 2.0.

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BIG MOUNTAINS

When was the last time you rode your mountain bike on a real mountain? Not a hill or a forest, a real mountain that towers over all that surrounds it. The realisation was that (like most riders) my mountain biking is spent pedalling around forests on purposely built trails.

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[NBD] DOLAN SETA TRACKLOCOFFEE

Recently Scotland has been doing a great impression which people from less soggy places would recognise as summer. This has opened up the possibility for flappy jerseys, cultivating tan lines and diversifying rides. Rather than a head down character building pedal from shelter to shelter there are now opportunities to explore parched singletrack meandering off into woods, partake in outdoor cooking and other such activities.

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HIGHLAND TRAIL 550 KIT LIST

I could not get enough of kit lists in my HT550 preparation and poured over many blogs comparing and contrasting my possible setups against others. Some were super light while others not so and many options were considered. Stu and myself had planned to avoid the complications of camping and spend our nights in bothys or bivying depending on weather and enthusiasm. Our goal was to finish in around six days (full write up can be found here), far from speedy compared to those monsters who race the route but still a respectable mileage each day. We also had the advantage of a few extra days flexibility should things take much longer than expected. I finished packing minutes before leaving the house so didn’t have time to take any trendy pictures of kit neatly laid out on the floor so this will be a bit word heavy, deal with it.

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HIGHLAND TRAIL 550 DAY 6

I woke in a moment of panic. It was probably no more than an hour since I had gone to sleep. My stomach was making very loud, very angry noises. I leapt up as best you can when tucked up in a bivy bag and rushed to the toilet. My belly was far from happy. I limped back when it was safe, re-inflated my bed and returned to sleep. This process repeated every hour until I just didn’t get back into my sleeping bag as the sun was coming up.

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HIGHLAND TRAIL 550 DAY 5

I woke at 5am feeling a little perkier, carefully stepped over the sleeping PNT Army on the floor and made my way out. The sun was up but yet to begin warming the land. After fiddling with my GPS for a while I was going again, energy levels were low but the sickness from the day before had passed and I was looking forward to breakfast and a restock in Ullapool.

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