A St Andrews woman is aiming to cycle 550 miles across some of Scotland’s toughest terrain.
Anne Lloyd-Evans, 32, hopes to complete the challenge in just seven days having started on Monday.
She is cycling the Highland Trail 550 route, tackling tough weather conditions and peaks as high as 2,500ft.
Anne – who was born in Cape Town but moved to St Andrews in 2001 – is raising money for charity.
Plans have a ‘high chance of failure’
She says she wanted to attempt the route in winter – as it is normally done in summer – and admits it will be a challenge just to complete the ride.
She said: “It’s really scary to share plans that have a high chance of failure.
“It would be much easier to just go ride, and not say anything unless it was successful.
“But I am doing this ride as a fundraiser, so keeping it quiet would be useless.
I’m expecting this to be hard: 17 hours of darkness every day, lots of rain in the forecast, gale-force winds
“I’m hoping to raise a few pounds for Bike for Good Glasgow, an awesome charity who help to make cycling accessible by running pay-what-you-can sessions and mechanics’ courses, encourage commuting by bike and help restore bicycles, keeping them out of landfill.
“I’m expecting this to be hard: 17 hours of darkness every day, lots of rain in the forecast, gale-force winds, possibly snow and ice on the high passes and high river crossings.
“This ride will be more about completion than speed, and I’m excited to see if I can look after myself.”
What is the Highland Trail 550?
The trail has a total ascent of more than 52,000ft – just over 16,000m – and is around three-quarters unpaved.
According to the Highland Trail 550 website, it was initially put together as a training ride for the Colorado Trail Race in America – but soon became its own popular trail.
The site also states that the best time to attempt the route is spring – and “riding the route cannot be recommended in winter or between August and October when the stag stalking season is at its height”.