Multi-sport Race Scotland Coast to Coast

, October 3, 2011

Last weekend I completed the second iteration of Rat Race Adventure Sports’ ‘Scotland Coast to Coast’ race. This one day epic traverses 105 miles across Scotland on foot, bike and kayak.

Osprey Manta 25

, October 2, 2011

Colorado-based Osprey have been designing packs for the outdoors since 1974.  Maintaining a strong commitment to the environment, they support a number of North American conservation organization and even sew the 7 … Read more

Terra Nova Laser 20 Elite

, September 3, 2011

For many the weight of the Terra Nova Laser 20 Elite pack may seem like a miracle at 210 grams if it were not for its EVEN lighter brethren the Laser Ultra 20 which weighs 111 grams. Let’s get this into perspective by stating that a standard sized Mars bar is 58 grams, so both of these packs are highly specialist featherweight bits of kit!

Introducing Movescount: Training Software from Suunto

, August 26, 2011

As technology takes a greater hold on the way we run our lives, it’s no surprise that adventure brands are jumping on the digital band wagon to enhance user experience. To bring their adventure software in line with established platforms from other watch manufacturers, Suunto released Movescount, their version of performance tracking. As well as updating training data features, Suunto introduced a neat social networking element to enhance the Movescount product. Here I’ll outline some of the key features, and guide you through the process of setting up an account.

Endura Helium Jacket

, August 23, 2011

With the summer in full swing and the rollers and turbo tucked away in a closet, I’ve been venturing outside to brave the vicissitudes of the British weather this season. Fortunately I was lucky enough to have the Endura Helium jacket tucked away in my jersey pocket just in case.

Suunto T6d GPS Watch

, August 20, 2011

The Suunto T6d is described by the manufacturer as a ‘sports laboratory on your wrist’ and it’s an apt description for a watch that is compatible with a variety of … Read more

Arran, Scotland in Miniature

, July 19, 2011

The Isle of Arran lies in the Firth of Clyde, nestled on the west coast of the Scotland. Often described as a “Scotland in Miniature”, Arran’s geography mirrors the Scottish … Read more

Leeds Cycle Loop

, July 13, 2011

For Leeds cyclists and visitors to the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, there are some fantastic long distance cycle routes to explore from Leeds, Bradford or Harrogate. Rolling hills, valleys and reservoirs speckle the minor roads in north Yorkshire, offering ample space for recreation and challenging cycles.

Feetures! Light Sock

, July 12, 2011

I’ve been using the Feetures! Light socks for my Ironman training rides and runs over the last few months. The basic idea behind these socks is great and I loved the wickability of the the fabric. Out of the swim and onto the bike they dried quickly, and have remained comfortable throughout the runs. During my training I’ve also been using the Feetures Pure Comfort which has similar multisport credentials although in a low cut shape. The one small downfall of these socks is that I have noticed a slight shrink after washing them so don’t heat treat them.

Beet It

, July 7, 2011

Following research into the therapeutic benefits of beetroot juice in reducing high blood pressure, scientists then looked at the advantages of nitrates as a sports supplement. The William Harvey Institute has conducted research in the area to find out the effects of vascular contraction and dilation, while Exeter University Sports Science have been testing athletes changes to their their oxygen efficiency and stamina levels when taking the shot itself. Find out more about this research on the Beet It Research Page.

Gore Bike Wear Baselayer WINDSTOPPER Shirt

, July 7, 2011

I’ve been testing Gore Bike Wear’s new Base Layer WINDSTOPPER Shirt over the last few months and, in truth, the timing could not have been more appropriate. After logging the driest April on record, 2011 continued with similar flare during the windiest May and June months. The Baselayer and I have sampled a wide variety of riding together; from mountain biking in the Pentland Hills to a tour of the Isle of Arran. On a number of occasions, I have been glad of its company.

CS300 Polar Heart Rate Monitor

, July 5, 2011

Convinced by Polar’s reputation as a leading manufacturer of sports instruments, I invested in a CS300 during the 2006 season to track my cycling training. Five years later, I now swear by the product, taking it out on rides on the mountain and on the road. It took three years and hundreds of hours of usage before my CS300 battery ran out, and Polar just three days to find and mail fresh replacement. As a example of how simple tech can enhance and simplify the training process, my experiences with the CS300 are almost entirely positive.

Cycle Touring Part 1 – Route Planning

, July 4, 2011

There isn’t much fun in zipping along a fast smooth A-road if it means battling a constant stream of large lorries buzzing past. I opted, as far as possible, to stay on back roads and cycle paths. Although not the most direct option, back roads offer safer riding and you the best viewpoints to digest the local countryside. An added benefit is that quieter roads allow for a safe meander when you’re tired and need to recover without the risk of a car clipping your panniers as it overtakes at 80mph.

Old Favourite: Helly Hansen Lifa Stripe Crew

, July 3, 2011

I’m moving towards the core with this review, away from the shell garments discussed in the earlier ‘old favourites’ blogs. The Helly Hansen Lifa Stripe Crew is my favourite baselayer and in twenty years of running, mountaineering, climbing and cycling I’ve tried many alternatives, but none do everything a baselayer needs to do as well as the humble Lifa.

A Walk On The Wild Side: The Vesterålen Islands

, June 15, 2011

If you are looking for a pure adventure in the outdoors this summer then look no further than Arctic Norway. The Vesterålen National Park can be found within the Arctic circle, an unspoilt and little known area outside of Norway, recently coined as “Norway’s most beautiful natural attraction” in 2009 by the Norwegian outdoor magazine UTE. The Vesterålen archipelago neighbours Lofoten and at just a 30 minute boat trip from mainland Norway, an untouched mountain range, remoteness and exposure of exploring at 69 degrees North make up one of Europe’s local wildernesses.

Mountain Biking at Badaguish

, March 2, 2011

Located in the centre of Scotland and the heart of the Scottish Highlands, Aviemore has all the credentials to be considered Scotland’s adventure sports capital. Although the town is well known as a one of the UK’s best winter resorts, the mountain bike trails surrounding the town are little known and lesser ridden. In truth, it’s hard to commit to these trails with superior signposting at the 7 stanes or the nearby Laggan Wolftrax, both reputable mountain bike centres in their own rights. Here’s an introduction to Aviemore’s mountain bike trails, on which pro XC racer Adam Craig recently said that he wanted to ride every weekend.

Spring Classics Cycling Races

, March 1, 2011

Spring is in the air: the time of renewal, rebirth, and regrowth. Or if you’re a cyclist: of mud, cobblestones, and driving rain. The Spring Classics have begun!

Endura Road Overshoe

, February 20, 2011

I have tried a few different pairs of overshoes but since getting my first pair of Endura Road Overshoes, I wouldn’t hesitate replacing them with a new pair when they are worn out. Now on my third pair of Endura Road Overshoes, I swear by them as one of my most trustworthy pieces of gear.