Team entries for the 2014 Strathpuffer are still available, the organisers of this epic 24-hour race have said.
The 2014 race is the ninth edition of the race, which has never had to be cancelled despite the conditions. It takes place on the 18 and 19 January and there will be close to 600 competitors.
Many BikeRadar readers will be familiar with the concept of the 24-hour mountain bike race, but Strathpuffer is a small, growing race designed to push the concept to the limit.
It takes place near the Scottish Highland villages of Strathpeffer and Contin, 20 miles north of Inverness and two degrees of latitude further north than Moscow! It’s not just the location which makes the race special though – as the race takes place in January, weather conditions are extreme, and riders will face around 17 hours of darkness.
With temperatures that drop to -10ºC, as well as snow, hail, ice and strong winds, the race is gathering notoriety for being one of the toughest out there.
Prepare for darkness – 17 hours of it: prepare for darkness – 17 hours of it Matt Cope
Strathpuffer: it’ll be cold. And dark
The race is put on by a team of four local people, including the owners of Square Wheels Bike Shop and supported by Haglofs clothing, USE Exposure Lights and Cube Bikes.
Pivot Bikes rider Matt Page, who has completed the ‘Puffer reckons: “The Puffer is unique and sounds crazy. You will have either snow, ice, rain or a bit of everything and of course, 17 hours of darkness. Sounds miserable, but because you know what to expect, you go there prepared and it’s actually brilliant. The atmosphere is great, it’s run fantastically and is something I’d recommend to anyone.
“Just remember to take good lights and plenty of clothes to keep changing. If you have a support crew, make sure they can stay warm, fed and dry too!”
Strathpuffer: fat tyres may help: Matt Cope
Strathpuffer: make sure you go well prepared. Fat tyres could help!
In January, BikeRadar are sending tech writer Tom 500 miles north to compete in a team at the Strathpuffer. With its enviable reputation, we reckon it’s going to be an ideal place to put some kit to the test.
While solo entries sold out in eight minutes this year, there are still team entries available for the 2014 Strathpuffer, should you wish to take on the challenge.
Find out more about the race on the Strathpuffer website and entries on the Si Entries website.