‘When you decide to do the Haute Route the hardest thing you have to learn is how to dig deep: how to find the energy that allows you to fight the ‘easy option’.’
Newport on Tay’s Doug Wilson pushed his endurance levels to their absolute limits as he completed three ‘Haute Route’ events back to back.
The Haute Route is a beast of a mountain bike climb, which sees those willing to challenge it cycle across the Pyrenees, Alps or the Dolomites.
A pedestrian cycle around the country roads of north east Fife this is not.
Doug, though, managed to complete a ‘triple crown’ of all Haute Route events - losing 23kg in the process.
Remarkably Doug used to weigh 120kg until he decided to get on his bike and do something about it.
“I used to be an elite-level volleyball player but when I got married and had children I just ballooned,” he said.
“I can’t remember how I came across the Haute Route but when I did I realised that this was exactly what I needed to snap out of my routine.
“I would have this routine of getting half fit and then just falling back into my old ways.
“This happened every few months and I was just so frustrated with myself.
“In the end I decided to swim against the tide and fight my habits.”
The amazing thing about Doug’s story is that he booked all three Haute Route events back-to-back.
That’s 2,563km and 60,000m of climbing in total over the course of three weeks.
“I knew I had to be serious about it and I was panicking that if I only did one week I would stay on the sofa until April,” he added.
“But I knew if I booked all three events there would be no slacking, no procrastinating.”
Doug, a semi-retired Canadian business owner, is married with a wife and two kids.
“My family have been amazing,” he adds.
Doug’s justgiving page at www.justgiving.com/DougRidesTheMountains is raising cash for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), an independent humanitarian medical aid organisation.