A long distance self-supported mountain bike time-trail route through the Scottish Highlands.
The Highland Trail is the pinnacle of UK bikepacking routes. It takes in 550 miles and 50,000 feet of Scotland at its most rugged and beautiful. It features some seriously remote terrain including world renowned single track, rough dirt roads, hidden glens, and lochs, not to mention a few testing hike-a-bike sections. The 550 is a self-supported Individual Time Trial Race in which even the best climbers and technical descenders will find some terrain beyond their ability.
Event Recap (by Alex Pilkington): “Since it was devised and then first ridden in 2013 by its creator Alan Goldsmith, it has captivated my attention as an epic endurance race, however it was only this year that the opportunity came for me to be able to ride it. Year after year the HT 550 race times kept improving; with last year’s race being set at a blistering pace by Canadian rider Neil Beltchenko and UK rider Chris Hope, Neil holds the course record in 3:10:22. The HT 550 is now stamped as one of the ‘iconic and must-do’ bikepacking races.
This year Scotland was witnessing some unusually hot and dry weather, during the race week temperatures soared to the high twenties (80F). The race ‘Prologue’ consisted of a very pleasant social down by the river; here we had a HT 550 beer courtesy of Stuart Taylor and his brewery at Kirkby Lonsdale in North Yorkshire – it was going to be our last beer for a little while.”
For a detailed account of Alex’s Highland Trail 550 ride, check out the blog post here.
2018 Highland Trail 550 Top Finishers:
1. Alex Pilkington 3:16:52
2. Lee Craigie 3:20:53
3. Javier Simon 3:21:55
Read more about the Highland Trail 550 route in our routes section.