17/18 Apr , 31Jul/1 Aug 2021 | £260 per person
Your next step in the art of fast and light bike travel.
Not every adventure has to be a race, but we’ve all felt the lure of finding the limits of our own endurance: ‘Can I go further than last time?’ ‘Can I go faster than that?’ The answer is usually yes!
This course will help you streamline your gear and become more efficient, expanding your personal skillset. If you’re eyeing up the start line of your first bikepacking race like the Highland Trail 550, we can help you get there, but sometimes it’s non-competitive, personal adventureg goals that have you looking to ride further and faster. We’ll look at what goes on physically and mentally on long bike rides, as well as advice on gear selection and strategy, all while having our own lightweight adventure and a night out in the Cairngorms National Park. Guide Huw is a multi-time finisher of the HT550, the current record-holder on the 300km Cairngorms Loop, and won the 2019 edition of the Arizona Trail 300. Clearly he likes to go fast, but believes that the fastest way to ride is by making sure that you still have fun out there.
After a morning spent looking at what we *really* need to carry for a lightweight setup (although it’s personal and some would say that a hip flask is an essential), we’ll spend the day riding through some of the incredible terrain that we have on our doorstep. In the evening, we’ll head to base camp and get the fire on the go, before heading out on an optional night ride on the local trails. Bivvys are good for saving grams, but aren’t always the best thing for a good night’s sleep, so base camp will also have some additional shelter in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. After a big bowl of porridge in the morning, we’ll hit the trails for a second day, making our way back to Aviemore.
Over the two days we’ll look at:
- Planning and preparing for longer multi-day rides
- BEndurance bike setup
- Tactical gear selection to minimise weight and maximise fun.
- Fuelling: which foods to carry and how to make sure our bodies are getting enough of it.
- Trailside fixes + what we carry in our packs
- River crossings
- Mental aids for long rides
— Guiding and coaching from our team of bikepacking gurus.
— Use of bikepacking gear and camping essentials if needed (tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, stove, utensils and dishes) with no extra charge.
— Evening night-riding session, including use of riding lights if required (please let us know in advance).
— Accommodation at Base Camp, including our own Bell tents and wood-fired stove for communal cooking and shelter.
— Evening meal on day 1, plus breakfast on day 2.
— Transport to/from the start/finish of the ride if needed from BackCountry HQ.
What do I need?
— Some experience of riding on off-road surfaces will be needed, but whatever your technical ability, the tracks and trails of the Cairngorms have something to offer and we have a huge range of options on our doorstep. Feel free to get in touch for a chat if you’re unsure.
— You will need to provide your own mountain bike in good working order. If in doubt, a quick tune up at your local independent bike shop will get you all set.
— Bikepacking bags can be provided by us free of charge for the duration of the course, as well as the core camping kit, consisting of a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat and stove. For the Further, Faster course you will need to provide your own bivvy bag if you wish to use one, but shelter will be provided at camp in the form of Bell tents, so this isn’t a necessity. Just let us know in advance.
2 Days, Price £260/person