Hunt Beyond rider Rich Rothwell has split his riding time between his own adventures and time on the bike with his son James. James has developed fantastic bike handling skills and has demonstrated strong endurance abilities. Last year, the pair completed the Lakeland 200 together and also podiumed at a pairs 24hr mountain bike race. James is 11 years old.
This year was the year for something big. And it doesn’t get much bigger than the infamous Highland Trail 550. This incredibly rugged and often extremely isolated 556 mile long route includes 18,000m of climbing and some of the roughest trails in the UK. With large distances between resupply and some very exposed and treacherous ground, this route is not for the faint hearted. A completion is a massive achievement for a competent adult.
James and his father completed the route in under 12 days at the start of April this year. James is now the youngest person to ever complete the route. The pair didn’t have it easy either; between the clearer days, it rained heavily, the wind blew hard, and at times it sleeted.
We asked the pair to share their favourite 5 pictures from the adventure and give us some of their thoughts behind their selections.