Hailing from a village just outside the Peak District in northern England, Rich and his son Tom are no strangers to ultra-endurance challenges and races. For this winter HT550 attempt, Rich is going solo and travelling to the Scottish Highlands alone to tackle a never-before-completed challenge (although we doubt he'll be wearing the same kit as pictured!).
I’ve done the HT550 route 3 times. The first time was with the group start the event the first year the route was the 550. I had some wheel bearing issues but I managed to limp round in 7 days 11 hours and 18 minutes. I finished 10 out of 12 finishers and 25 others didn’t finish.
In 2015 myself and Tom aged 10 did some of the route before bad weather forced a retreat.
In 2017 I did an ITT of the route with Tom who was 12 years old a week before the grand depart. We finished in 7 days 20 hours 25 minutes.
In 2018 Tom and I left with the Grand Depart. 7 days 18 hours and 08 minutes.
Dave Barter and Andy Lawrence attempted a winter HT550 last year in too deep snow conditions and basically ended up pushing their bikes a long way. They bailed at Culra bothy.
I’m currently planning on leaving Tyndrum at 7am on 1/12/19 and the goal is to finish in under 7 days.
I will also be doing the route that the 2020 riders will follow which differs in parts to the previous editions.
Stay tuned for daily updates from the trail as Rich takes on a winter HT550 ITT. In the meantime, read about their travels including this year's Tour Divide on their blog.