"The longest night (and day)" by Lee Craigie

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"The longest night (and day)" by Lee Craigie

It was over. I’d ridden 23 laps in 24 hours. Approximately 245km and 8350m of climbing, 15 toilet stops, two packets of jelly babies, one pair of shorts, 20 litres of Ribena, four pork pies, the equivalent weight of a small child in banana flapjack, half a tub of Happy Bottom Bum Butter, one new favourite word (houfin’), countless new friends and title of UK 24-Hour Mountain Bike Champion 2016.

 

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"Coasting through California" by Ayesha McGowan

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"Coasting through California" by Ayesha McGowan

I ride bikes. I am a bike racer. I am a bike advocate. I do not consider myself to be a touring bicyclist. Is that even what you call people who go on bike tours? Nevertheless I agreed to ride a bike 600 miles down the coast of California from San Francisco to San Diego.

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"Into The Dark" by Harriet Pike

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"Into The Dark" by Harriet Pike

I stood on the hillside, my beam of light pointing onwards. All I could see through the darkness was the colourful rectangle of my GPS device directing my stumbles through the tussocks, and the flickers of other people’s beams up ahead and behind. My whole life was focused into that beam and my forward course. 

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"Road to Rio and the Inner Warrior" by Karen Darke

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"Road to Rio and the Inner Warrior" by Karen Darke

This weekend was the official British Paralympic Association launch event. With less than 60 days to go until competition starts in Rio, we’re into the final leg of four years of hard work. It’s got me thinking about how I got here and why I do what I do...

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"Why go on adventures?" by Durita Holm

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"Why go on adventures?" by Durita Holm

It was late September 2015. Lee Craigie and I were four days into cycling the Pyrenees from west to east. It was the third peak of the day, the low-hanging clouds were refusing to let any heat through, and it was freezing cold at this altitude. It was afternoon and I was hungry and worn out...

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"The Highland Trail 550 - The final chapter" by Lee Craigie

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"The Highland Trail 550 - The final chapter" by Lee Craigie

It was getting dark but I didn’t want to break the spell by putting any light on. I was carrying two Exposure Joysticks and one Diablo that I had charged at home and had so far used only about 20 minutes worth of low light charge. I reached the edge of the plateau high above the causeway in the last of the light, and the vastness of it took my breath away. 

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"The Highland Trail 550 - Part 2" by Lee Craigie

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"The Highland Trail 550 - Part 2" by Lee Craigie

"Oh no. No, no no, no." I frantically stabbed at buttons. The unit would raise a theatrical eyebrow then swoon again. I kept stabbing and hoping. I changed batteries, removed SD cards. Deactivated and reactivated maps and tracks in all the different orders I could think of. The Garmin initially responded as though it might deign to comply and then... nothing. I was losing time. I had to act. I got my iPhone out and switched it on. I had downloaded the GPX file to my Memory Map app as a backup but with the phone's infamous battery life and passcode to bypass, not to mention constantly having to get it in and out of my waterproof holder and pocket, I didn't foresee this as a long-term solution. I still had 285 miles to navigate to Tyndrum. If I couldn't convince my Garmin it wanted to live, I was in deep do do. My good mood imploded. 

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"Ride of the two volcanoes" by Juliana Buhring

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"Ride of the two volcanoes" by Juliana Buhring

Here we go again, I thought in that long second when time slowed and the pavement came rushing up to meet me.

It had been some time since I last crashed. So long, in fact, that I was beginning to think something was wrong.

Good to know I’ve still got it...

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The Highland Trail 550 - Part One

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The Highland Trail 550 - Part One

"It's the day after the Highland Trail 550 and I feel like I have just now woken up from a dream. A four-day adventure of moving through the most elaborate of film sets, the most magical of dream worlds. While riding this trail that stretches the length of the Scottish Highlands, I feel like I've been flying with the birds who would call to me each morning or bounding like the deer that watched me quizzically from hilltops. I've been changed by this. Unquestionably, mind-alteringly changed"

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