2018 GROUP START
Suggested start time: TBC by Dec 2017, probably last weekend of June.
No entry fee, no prizes
If you are interested in beginning your ride at the suggested start time, and believe you can complete the route within 40 hours, please email your intent to ride to the contact details below. You should want to complete this challenge because of the self-supported rules, understand the ethos behind them, and not be looking for grey areas within them.
Understand you must plan to be completely on your own, just as you would be if you chose to ride the route on any other day. The Cairngorms are infamous for their remote nature, and extreme weather conditions. You are responsible for your own safety and should be prepared for a night in the hills. Tell someone what you are doing and check in with them when you are done.
Email email@example.com to confirm your intent to start.
To record your finishing time submit the full gps track of your route by email.
2017 GROUP START
4 riders started the group start on Saturday in fine weather with a strong headwind to Braemar but also a tailwind back.
The trails were dry, fast and in great condition with minimal vegetation, ticks and midges for once. The long daylight hours allowed the riders to ride late with only 4h of real darkness
The finish times are listed below with a flyby of the weekend on Strava.
Angus Hamilton – 23h 6m for the long route.
Bob MacGregor – 31h 28m for the long route
Adam Wallace – 28h 13m for the regular route
Chris Paterson – TBC
2016 GROUP START
A small field of four riders started the Deeside Trail in Banchory at 8am on Saturday the 4th of September.
The riders stayed together until the top of the first climb at Scolty Hill where the descent split up the group. The early grey weather soon turned fine, giving great views over Deeside as the route passed Glen Tanar. Adam and Bob ended up riding together at a similar pace with Adam climbing faster and Bob descending faster to balance things out. Anita started well but dropped out after 25 miles, admitting that a busy week leading up to the start meant she couldn’t be fully prepared. Howard was similarly just back from abroad and nursing a dodgy suspension pivot which didn’t help for the technical singletrack sections.
Ground conditions were dry making the singletrack descents and climbs fast with Bob and Adam reaching Braemar at 5pm as the rain started. An extended fish and chip stop saw the rain stop by 6pm and they continued on in the twilight until about 9pm at top of Glen Quoich where Adam stopped and Bob continued into Glen Gairn until dark. Howard stopped in Glen Lui as darkness fell and was off before 6am into the technical ground which was made trickier by rain overnight. Bob left with an hour’s head start on Adam which he held throughout the morning as the cloud cleared to leave another fine day.
Adam dropped out late morning when his seat tube snapped on Morven leaving him with a long walk to Dinnet for the bus back to Banchory. This left Bob as the clear front runner and he managed to stay ahead of the heavy showers over Tarland, finishing at 4.11pm with a time of 32h 09m. Howard was less lucky with the rain making ground conditions tricky but he continued through the evening and the late night mist to finish at 10.43pm with a time of 38h 41m, claiming the title of oldest finisher at 54.