Updated: Jul 22, 2019
“Can’t get anything you want and only half of what you actually need, that’s Northern Scotland for you…” Cap 21 - Glenn Eck
As Glenn Eck rolled towards the Scottish Parliament he had the same infections smile on his face when he started his 1065 mile effort, but it was clear he “went through some stuff”. The American was extremely well prepared for this ride calling on a huge amount of experience from many long distance tours and completing 2018’s Trans America Bike Race.
What he wasn’t prepared for was how isolated the Highlands can become “it get’s pretty barren up there, everything closes early up there too”. This happened to catch a number of riders out, especially when you need a little of what you actually need!
Three riders lost gloves along the route during the worst of the weather. Rather than waste energy retracing steps to find the dropped items a little A-Team montage of strapping socks on to hands was in order for Dario Demarco. Not the most waterproof alternative, but enough to get him to civilisation to purchase a new set.
If cycling gloves aren’t available it may be time to home brew something to the effect. As in the case of Nicky Shaw who, after searching the clothing section in a 24hr Tesco settled on a pair of gardening gloves topped with marigolds. Dario also traveled down that route choosing a washing up glove, but hadn’t thought to marry it with a gardening base layer.
Marigold Extra Life Gloves Kitchen - £2.50
Pretty good value for money don’t you think?
Larger items have a habit of getting lost and hiding too. James Mcdougall was found sporting a rather fetching Deer Stalker jacket bought in a bait and tackle store. Not going to lie here but he looked very dapper indeed. Especially when he was 400 miles in to the ride in extremely wet blustery conditions!
Couple of riders went the home brew method by cutting foil thermal blankets up for a creative way of warming cold feet! Both riders wrapped the blankets around their feet before placing socks over the top.
Ultimate takeaways, most riders after the Trans Alba Rase said they would sacrifice weight and cary a few extras for when the weather rolls in. Emergency blankets being one key item many mentioned. We’ve been very lucky to have Tiso as sponsors and they are experts when it come to coping with Scottish conditions. In events of this type it's important to understand it’s not just about being a cyclist, you need all around preparation to cope with Scotland's demands.
Thinking of taking something like the Trans Alba on?
Well, Tiso might be the place to start. Expert in store and online advice over a number of different fields. Think outside the box and steal ideas from mountaineering, climbing or camping.
Many a gem of an item can be found like my favourite - soft water bottles! Fill them up stick them in my back pockets for long distances. Keeps your back cool for a while and once they are done roll them up and stow them compactly! Means you don’t have to be reliant on nursing your 2 bidons! Mind blown? Well they blew my mind but I'm a thirsty thirsty boy... Also easily pleased!