24 hour racing with Josh Reid on Scotland’s Strathpuffer

27th January 2024

The Spokesmen Cycling Podcast

EPISODE 345: 24 hour racing with Josh Reid on Scotland’s Strathpuffer

SPONSOR: Tern Bicycles

HOST: Carlton Reid

GUESTS: Josh Reid, Alfie Marsh

TOPICS: Hiring a Range Rover from Turo to schlepp up to Strathpeffer in the Scottish Highlands for Giant Bicycles ambassador Josh Reid to ride the Strathpuffer 24 MTB race.


Carlton Reid 0:13
Welcome to Episode 345 of the Spokesmen cycling podcast. This show was engineered on Saturday 27th of January 2024.

David Bernstein 0:29
The Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast is brought to you by Tern bicycles. The good people at Tern are committed to building bikes that are useful enough to ride every day and dependable enough to carry the people you love. In other words, they make the kind of bikes that they want to ride. Tern has e-bikes for every type of rider. Whether you’re commuting, taking your kids to school or even carrying another adult, visit www.ternbicycles.com. That’s t e r n bicycles.com to learn more.

Carlton Reid 1:04
I’m Carlton Reid. And on today’s episode we follow my son Josh with 24 hours 24 hours of mountain bike racing on the hills above Strathpeffer in the freezing Scottish Highlands, I was support crew handing Josh his food, water and bubble-free Red Bulls from a rental Range Rover at the side of a fire road climb right on the Strathpuffer course. You’ll hear audio recorded during the day when Josh was chipper, and then through the 17 hours of darkness when he was well — spoiler alert — suffering. He managed 20 laps of what’s affectionately known as the Puffer. And that’s quite some achievement for him because …

Josh Reid 1:57
it’s very technical. …

Carlton Reid 1:59
… because he’s more of a roadie/gravel rider. And that snippet of information yelled at me as Josh came past on his first lap told me he’d likely lose a bunch of time on the technical descents. Let’s get rolling, beginning with some audio of me clipped from a video recorded on the long drive up to Scotland. We stopped in Glasgow to pick up filmmaker Alfie Marsh who helped Josh produce a stunning film of the event, the YouTube link for which is on the show notes at the hyphen spokesmen.com. I’m not gonna look at you, by the way, I’m going to be keeping my eyes completely focused on the road. So I do not normally drive an internal combustion engine car and certainly not one as mental as this Range Rover that I’ve got. But Josh needs to go to this event, we’re driving on the A9 up towards Inverness, and we’re gonna go to Strathpeffer — Josh can tell you exactly what the event we’re doing, but clue’s in the name, I guess. But to get out there to get all the kit, and to make sure we’re kind of comfortable. So we have hired this car. And it’s from a company called Turo. So I last time I hired a Turo in America in 2015 when I actually got a Tesla. But here, they’ve been in the last couple of years. It’s basically Airbnb of car hire. So basically rented it off somebody into his personal so it’s Gurinder’s personal Range Rover. And obviously looking after it’s not, you know, it’s a rental so don’t be gentle, no that you can look after the car. And we’re going to be stopping shortly. For coffee breaks, beautiful day here in the Scottish Highlands. And Josh exactly what are we going to so Strathpeffer, what’s the event that we’re actually physically going to be doing? You’re gonna be doing not me. So we’re

So we’re going to Strathpeffer, but the event is Strathpuffer, or people call it the Puffer. And it’s a 24 hour mountain bike event going round a 12 kilometre circuit. And as you can see, I’ve got laden with bikes in the back here. So I’ve got my gravel bike and full-suss mountain bike. And basically the aim is to just ride around a circuit for 24 hours and not to stop at all and see if I can get on the podium. We’re in just outside of Contin. Lots of big setups here. We’re in a small, relatively small setup, just the three of us. And we’re gonna be riding for 24 hours. And how are you feeling? Yeah, all right. Ready to get going?

It was a Le Mans start so all the riderss had to run to get to there

Josh Reid 5:16
just in the two hours in on the third lap, and just keep on pushing. Make use of the up hill was very slow on the downhills.

I’ve lost track of the number of laps I’ve done. I think I’m on lap five just under four hours completed. That means there’s 20 to go Yeah, it’s starting to feel like a grind going up this hill.

Carlton Reid 5:55
Coming back fast.

Alfie Marsh 5:56
I can see on the tracker. Josh is literally is just around the corner. There he is. Yes.

Josh Reid 6:08
Yes, my four and a half hours in probably about 20 to go.

Alfie Marsh 6:16
What’s been going on with you so far?

Josh Reid 6:18
I feel a bit sick right now. I was like stuffing a wrap with peanut butter and jam in. And then like all the way up to last climb. Got it down on me. But like, coming down I was just like

Alfie Marsh
How’s the riding? good.

Josh Reid
Oh, it’s just really good. Yeah, so much fun like the top it’s really tacky, which is quite difficult, considering I’m a roadie. And then the bottom is really like flowy it’s very nice. I guess I’m just Yeah, keep keep on plugging away. Yeah, I think last lap I was fifth place. Yeah, last I think I might have missed out a few places. I think last time I looked through a seven Okay, which is about half an hour ago.

Alfie Marsh
Yeah that’s pretty damn good though. Yeah, you’re happy with that?

Josh Reid
Yeah, just keep on going. Yeah, you never know when anyone else is gonna stop please raise your own race. You’re gonna pass people you don’t know where they are. You have a clue where

Carlton Reid 7:13
the music is by Sonder, they’re next to us, and will they play music all night long? dDon’t suppose so — their batteries will run out.

Sonder fella
we can always make you on Thank you. Yeah, just coffee or tea or because that’d be nice yeah, yeah.

Carlton Reid
Thank you. Yeah, I just want to transfer any food you want to wrap? No,

Josh Reid 7:57
can’t eat it You’re good. You’re good

Carlton Reid 8:05
to what you want and then next lap right you’re still back there

Josh Reid
thank you

Carlton Reid
you need more food and there’s just more and

Josh Reid 8:27
more and you just stopped doing my pocket here? I don’t hear this okay. Thank you very much.

Carlton Reid 8:39
Next lap wrap

Josh Reid 8:50
my head was going coming down this last year but see it’s nice to see familiar tactics for the next stage. They will more often then take our sunglasses off as it’s getting darker ready. Ready for 17 hours of darkness oh good and bad camera wrap.

Carlton Reid
Wrap is here.

Josh Reid I just need some water. Did you find the tablets?

Carlton Reid
No, I haven’t

Carlton Reid 9:28
what do they look like?

Josh Reid
Make it okay. All right. Cool. Thank you guys so much. Pasta.

Josh Reid 9:48
Pasta and yoghurt.

Carlton Reid 9:51

Josh Reid 9:55
For more much more apricot?

Carlton Reid 9:57

Alfie Marsh 9:59
How’s it feeling in the

Josh Reid
It was amazing to start with my first taste it was really good to start with just like fresh air it felt like a new ride. But I started to drag on now keep on plugging away I think I’ve stopped for about 10 minutes so far. We’re about 10 hours two more to halfway to

Carlton Reid 10:30
our next one I’m doing now how’s it doing? Nothing we’re doing okay now that we’re found Josh’s salts and he’s had a look at that. So that is beautiful as pasta that we cooked yesterday or today. When did we cook that pasta last night and it’s now got lovely, lovely Strathpeffer mud on it. And he’s ingesting that. She’s getting extra proteins no doubt from that nice mud. Right so that’s his next one that’s got salt in and I may as well do his next one as well. After that. I don’t he might want to Red Bull while after that lightly. We’re going to leave Josh in the mud for a moment and cut to an ad break with my colleague David in the US.

Josh Reid 11:23
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Carlton Reid 12:24
Thanks, David. And were back in the dark supporting Giant Bicycles ambassador Josh Reid on his first stab at the Strathpuffer 24 hour mountain bike race in Strathpeffer in the Highlands of Scotland. Right here.

Josh Reid 12:41
What I’ve learned I’ve got just chop that up. Yeah, no, he’s got that one. Yep. Thank you.

Carlton Reid 12:51
So you’re sick. And you’re not far away from the the four and five and six, you’re all close together rallied about like 30 minutes. At the moment. Top Five is a possibility.

Josh Reid 13:09
Can you get my Camelbak ready for the next lap? Yeah,

Carlton Reid 13:12
it’s there with the batteries the battery thing and what battery

Josh Reid 13:17
does an Exposure battery thing in the yellow bag? But no worries are not okay. Okay, I

Carlton Reid 13:22
got it the … okay

Carlton Reid 13:26
what do you want? Okay.

Josh Reid 13:30
It’s getting harder and harder to get do the techie section. Just like tiredness yes of course change and much with the place to get where bits are. I’ll finish that Red Bull next lap somewhere. Yeah, for sure. For sure. Appreciate it.

Alfie Marsh
You got this you got this.

Josh Reid
Want to sub in for me?

Alfie Marsh
I’d love to I’d love to have a good one, man.

Carlton Reid 13:56
Up you know for a while.

Alfie Marsh 13:58
What are time are we on now, Josh?

Josh Reid
that past 11 o’clock. 11.30 maybe?

Alfie Marsh
Do you know what lap you’re on?

Josh Reid
lost count on ap four

Alfie Marsh
Do you know what place you are?

Josh Reid
No. Do you know?

Alfie Marsh
I actually don’t right now. How are you feeling now?

Josh Reid
Good. It’s good to be past halfway not hopefully I’ll get easier and easier. This is gonna be the hardest bit I think. next little bit

Carlton Reid 14:32
to three o’clock. Tough one.

Josh Reid 14:36
The laps are taking me like an hour and a half now. Yeah. Whereas it would take me under an hour before.

Alfie Marsh
Yeah. You guys Yeah.

Carlton Reid 14:48
Right, do you want some pasta?

Josh Reid
Can do.

Carlton Reid
There’s some sandwiches We’re getting

Josh Reid 15:03
it’s almost 6am Probably another two hours before light. pretty cooked, just started to snow

How are you want to stop this keep on plugging away this take it easy and just keep those legs spinning two more hours and then I can stop

Josh Reid 15:39
I’ve want some of this return yet I

Carlton Reid 15:45
can’t toast it for you…top 10 Josh keep it up how you doing the lights? I’m

Josh Reid 16:03
fine six

Carlton Reid 16:04
I mean six hours

Josh Reid 16:06
yeah but I don’t I only use it on low for what about yeah I lost about one on profit

Carlton Reid 16:13
I haven’t really helmet like

Josh Reid
It’s OK I’m going slow.

Carlton Reid
How about one of you?

Josh Reid 16:24
I can’t get it on. Can you get it on? I’m just gonna go

Carlton Reid 16:34
That flapjack was really nice. So just chomp on that it’s really soft

Josh Reid 16:41
Should be light by the next time I come around ish. What? Six there’ll be eight o’clock ish yeah all right

Carlton Reid 16:58
there’s one more can of Red Bull Yep,

Josh Reid 17:02
I’m gonna have I drank three so far

Carlton Reid 17:28
do want to establish take around with you Josh. What about more flapjack? That’s quite nice. It’s nice flapjack.

Josh Reid 17:39

Carlton Reid 17:43
Babybel here next time. Next time what else next time. You haven’t had an apple?

Josh Reid 17:59
I know one apple a horrible hurry. Okay.

Carlton Reid 18:03
Any pasta right she got some more sandwiches? Yeah, yeah. To eat more apricot. Well, pasta I mean you first sandwiches How are you doing your water? Full full. Full. Okay. That’s cool. You don’t drink much water

okay. Daily, they say.

Josh Reid 18:42
Now in the second half of the last lap 10 minutes to 10 which would be 24 hours. We have till 11 To finish the loop. So really excited to be done.

Carlton Reid 18:57
Been a long night. It was a long 24 hours never mine a long night, Josh. And he came in at just before 10 o’clock. And he was 10th, well done Josh.

Josh Reid 19:30
What’s going on? That was so much fun. The smell of it. Yeah. Just like knowing now it’s done. Well, like I was in pain on my last lap. My hands I couldn’t like because all the bumps just came to me properly. I’ve been awake for 25 hours.

Carlton Reid 19:53
When Josh was little when he’s about 5, 6, 7 I used to do 24-hour mountain bike events. So really pleased to see Josh is carrying on the family tradition — there has been quite a big gap since the time I was riding 24 hour solos, but they are good events to do. I’ve never done the Strathpeffer. That was actually after my time when I was riding, but maybeI’ll do it next. Yeah, maybe, maybe. It was certainly fun to be there supporting Josh. So well done to him for the 10th place. So many thanks to Alfie Marsh who was doing some of the recording there. And of course, all of the filming, which I grabbed some of the audio from from his footage. And thanks also to Turo for helping out with the the rental Range Rover and of course, to the sponsor of this podcast every single show which is Tern Bicycles. The next show will be out next month, but meanwhile, get out there and ride …

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