Our site works best with JavaScript enabled.

Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure

Pips on the Highland Trail

By MiniPips
05, Jun, 2015

10 year old Mini Pips drags his dad on an attempt of the Highland Trail 550

If you've ridden the Highland Trail 550 before as I did in 2014, or you know parts of the route, you will no doubt have thought that the idea of a 10 year old riding it was a bit crazy. People say it is one of the toughest bikepacking challenges out there, and the cold wet and windy conditions this year certainly made it much harder than last year.

So what were we thinking? Well we were after a challenge that would fit into Tom's half term, that was hard. Did I think we'd get all the way round? I honestly didn't know. I had several possible scenarios in mind both before we set off, and was always discussing our options to Tom on our ride. My primary aim was that Tom had a good time, and that we both got home in one piece whilst having a proper adventure. This trip, I thought would also be good preparation for riding the Tour Divide next year. I knew he could do 2 or 3 tough days back to back, but the Tour Divide will take us nearer a month.7 days seemed to be a good way of testing his staying power. I'm proud to say he was strong throughout.

The responsibilities of taking a child to the remote places that this route visits cannot be understimated. I had to ensure that in case of my incapacity that Tom had the required skills to take shelter, navigate and to call for help if needed. I was confident that if needed Tom could look after himself. I made a couple of decisions, that meant we didn't complete the whole 550+ mile route. Safety was my number one consideration plus we were limited by Tom's school holidays for time. Also it has to be said that even with a very light load, Tom's bike was heavy for him on the rougher hike a bike sections.
Over 7 days though we rode 405 miles in challenging weather, and though a lift home was always a phone call and a few hours away, we didn't give up on riding our bikes back to Tyndrum. It's easy to sit with a map at home planning what's going to happen and when. It's a different thing though to adapt ones itinerary to reflect energy levels, the weather, and other external influences. I think we learned how to do that well, and that will stand us in good stead next year.

Here's a video of their experience. To read reports on all the 7 days of riding then make sure you head over to Minipips and his Dad's Cyling Adventures

  • Google+

In pictures

No Comments

Share your thoughts about this article.

Daring Deeds

Testing New Frontiers
Join us for a spin in the Peak District
Second City Divide Part 2
Did they make it to Glasgow?
Second City Divide Part 1
Alpkiteer Steve Bate takes on the Second City Divide
Adventure Training at Alpkit
Proper training in the outdoors
The Tour Divide story - Part 1
Rich and Tom take on the Tour Divide
Al Humphreys - Suilven
Al Humphreys takes his new Brompton on a trip to Suilven
Rich and Tom Siepp Pre-Tour Divide ride
Rich and Tom's kit list and pre-amble for their Tour Divide route ride
The Proof of the Pudding
make sure you test your equipment

More from Deeds

News

Sonder Winter Gravel Series
Keep your legs moving over winter with Sonder
800 Mile Great North Trail Opens
New off-road cycle route
Sonder Storybook 2019 Comp Now Open
Release your inner Dervla Murphy
Alpkit Keswick Official Opening
Yippee! It's officially official... We're open!
Ireland To Asia: A Year On My Bike
Tales from Sean Hoban's journey to Asia
Alpkit Adventure Weekender
Join us in store for an adventure filled weekend
Teuchters on Tour
Fundraising cycle trip
Silk Road Mountain Race
An unsupported bikepacking race in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan

More from News

Develop

New Sonder Transmitter: Q&A with Neil Sutton
We catch Sonder Bike Guru Neil to quiz him about the new Transmitter
New UK Made Bikepacking Bag Range
UK-made bike luggage shifts up a cog
Sonder Evol: Q&A with Bike Guru Neil
Sonder's new 140mm trail bike
The low-down on Polygiene™
Wear more, wash less: you can't get simpler than that!
Branching out with the Rando Bikepacking Bag Range
New welded bike luggage
2 new Sonder bikes
2 new bikes set to join Sonder
Seat pack developments
2 new seat packs
2016 bike luggage dev part 3
Stem Cell updates

More from Develop

Spotlight

Wild Camping Tips and Kit List
The guide to getting it right when camping out
The Highland Trail 550 2019
Stu Taylor returns to the Highland Trail
Long Distance Bikepacking: Highland Trail 550 Packing List
Pete McNeil tells us how to pack for endurance bikepacking events
Dirty Reiver 2019
Our staff rides for the 2019 Reiver 200
Surviving 24hr bike races - Strathpuffer
Surviving 24 hours on a bike in northern Scotland
Supporting the Silk Road Race
Watching dots on the Silk Road
A Lake District Guide to Hike-A-Biking
How and why to hike-a-bike
What a Difference a Day Makes
What can you fit into the Bank Holiday?

More from Spotlight

Kudos

More from Kudos

Be the first to hear about our newest products and promotions

Join AlpCol's Espresso newsletter for that hit of Go Nice Places, Do Good Things Greatness

CLOSE

By adding your email you consent to our terms and conditions