UK endurance mountain biker and Team Syncros Endurance team manager Rob Lee will attempt to ride the full length and back of Scotland’s West Highland Way starting at 11am on Friday, 16 April.
The route runs between Milngavie, on the outskirts of Glasgow, to Fort William, which sits at the foot of Ben Nevis. The path is 96 miles (154km) long, which means Lee will ride 192 miles (308km) through some of the most scenic off-road wilderness in the UK.
He’s done this sort of thing before: in 2008 he became the first rider to take the South Downs Double record without a support crew, and he’s also ridden a double version of the Pennine Bridleway and linked all of the 7Stanes red routes as part of his Seven Deadly Spins project. The West Highland Way double will be the sixth ride of that series and looks likely to be the hardest one yet.
“The route is really special,” said Lee. “It goes through some amazing countryside and covers some really tough trails. I particularly like the way that it regularly changes and throws up so many variables that kit and bike choice are a really serious consideration.
“Looking back on the other rides I’ve done of this type, this one is by far the toughest. The distance is no higher but the terrain itself is much harder to pass over at any great speed. I’m in fantastic shape at the moment, having worked very hard with my coach over the winter, but even so I think this challenge is going to take about 32 hours to complete.”
One thing Lee is changing is that he’ll be supported this time. “It makes sense really as we’re producing a film about endurance mountain biking so there will be a crew following me,” he said. “I think this ride is hard enough as it stands, so why make it harder?”
The ride will be filmed by Mark Wilcox from Reset Films as part of a larger project to “capture the spirit of the ultra-endurance adventures these riders undertake”. You can watch a trailer of Lee preparing for this ride on Vimeo. Once he sets off at 11am on Friday, you can follow him on his tracker page and on twitter.com/RobLee7ds.