Are we going bikepacking in Scotland?

It’s been a topic between us for years. Going on an unsupported cycling trip and camp in the wild. After we got the Diverges we immediately continued that discussion; when are we going and where? Bikepacking in Scotland perhaps?

Why Scotland?

We had so many ideas. From practice runs to epic adventures. From going by train or boat and cycle back. One thing we would prefer to avoid, is traveling by plane. We still remember frantically trying to bend back Annemieke’s discs last time we flew with bikes. And the overweight we were charged on the way back.

Komoot was a very helpful tool in this process. It’s easy to plan rides, even multiday rides to find out the impact of our ideas. Like taking the train to Berlin and cycle back. Some 550km to my house. Brilliant I thought in the first place. The only thing was, it didn’t seem very adventurous. Not many wilderness along the ride. And that was actually what appealed to us. Camping and sleeping in the wild. Like… Scotland-wild.

Dismissing the flying, we loved Scotland and there’s so much more to explore. On our last trip, a tour around the Cairngorms (see our Komoot collection for the route), our guide Ben Jones told us about the Bothies. It’s like huts, but mostly set in the Scottish Highlands. And looking so ancient, you’d think you stepped through a stone and landed 200 years back in time. Yes that is an Outlander joke. Come on, the Droughtlander is killing me.

So… bikepacking in Scotland

Scotland and bikepacking and gravelbikes. It would be a save conclusion to assume that we are going to attempt the North Coast 500. That’s 500 miles… in about 6 to 7 days. With camping in the wild or sleeping in a bothy. And maybe one B&B to recharge and shower once.

Early estimation is june 2021. That gives us, bikepacking noobs, ampel opportunity to figure out this bikepacking thing. The kind of bikepacking where you bring a tent, a sleeping bag and mat, along with your clothes, spare-parts, food and water. And dress for Scottish weather too.

The best part: prepping

It’s an immaculate puzzle of gear and minimalism (is Annemieke going to follow suit on her “one bag rule” for this trip? Dunno, find out!), and we love it.

Seatbags and sleepingbags have been sorted and are on their way as we speak. In februari we’re doing a “hut” sleep-over without heating and doing a ride the next day. A basic first bikepacking trial-run. We can only bring what we can carry on our bike (bar the books for the research we’re doing the night before).

Follow our preparations with out podcast. It’s going to be epic.


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