The sixth Strathpuffer 24-hour mountain bike event, hailed by some as the most extreme in the UK, will be held over 15-16 January on an 11km track in the Scottish Highlands. Previous incarnations have seen all sorts of weather, including powerful gales and deep snow.
With Scotland feeling the effects of the Big Freeze this side of Christmas, it seems likely that this iteration of the Strathpuffer will be more hardcore than ever. Thus far, parts of the country have been blanketed in snow for a fortnight, while frozen motorways have caused chaos. So, while the race’s helpers had to dig snow out of 6km of the track last year, in 2011 they may have to do the whole lot.
Despite cruel conditions in previous years, places for the 2011 event still went quickly, with the solos and the pairs selling out within 20 minutes. Some quad spots remain, however, if you want to tackle the winter weather head-on.
The event will once again be filmed by BBC Scotland’s Adventure Show, and the organising team are planning a few extra amusements to help keep riders warm while they wait for team-mates to finish their laps.
For more information, and for pictures of the track that are more reminiscent of Christmas cards than bike races, visit www.strathpuffer.co.uk.