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Allan Rides the National 400km -25/26th July

In January a trip to the Highlands of Scotland in July held the promise of riding through beautiful map scenery and good weather with the midges the only possible downside. So the caravan site in Dingwall was booked and preparations continued over the months leading up to the event scheduled for the 25th and 26th of July.

The National 400km Audax moves around the country and this years edition was to start from Dingwall, north of Inverness, and travel to the largest town in the most north westerly corner of the Scottish mainland. As with all Audax events there is a time limit for the completion of the ride and a 10.00.am Saturday start meant a finish by 1.00.pm on Sunday (27hours overall). Meals and drinks were included in the entry at all controls on the route.

So 11.30.pm on Saturday evening, 240 km ridden, leaving Strathy control heading for Kildonan – distance to ride  52km. I am wearing a full winter jacket, thermal base layer, second thermal layer, winter gloves, roubaix leg warmers and winter overshoes. Arriving at Kildonan at 1.30.pm I am absolutely freezing. The temperature is apparently -2 Deg C! Air beds and blankets available so sleep for an hour and a half before breakfast of omelette followed by trifle and custard? and then some toast with lots of tea.

I eventually finished in Dingwall at 11.30.pm. – 25 1/2 hours – so inside the time limit.

Stats – 425km, 4,700 metres of climbing, 11,114 calories. A fantastically well organised event. 

elevation_profileAllan Taylor 02/08/15

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