We’ve been in the UK for most of January and, as always, things have been crazy hectic and so, despite riding quite a bit, I’ve not managed to find time to write anything on the blog.
The first big ride of the new year was my trip back to the Ardeche which I wrote about before. We then packed up and headed back to blighty to visit family and friends.
Then, on the 11th and 12th I rode in the bearbonesbikepacking event ‘There and Back’ which involves participants riding as much or as little as they want over a weekend of bikepacking fun in mid-Wales at a time of year when most outdoors types are whining about the cold and making excuses for sitting in front of the TV.
A sort of laid back mountain biking orienteering event it was my first bearbones event (I’ve entered others previously but never managed to make it to one due to injuries, babies and other distractions) and Stuart and Dee put on a great weekend of fun, mud and cakes!
It was good to meet up with Neil (of composite projects fame) and the others for a pint, tasty food and to talk bike on the Friday night before I headed back to my bunkhouse (the only person in an 18 bed house) for a good nights sleep.
Here’s me outside the Spar in Machynlleth early on the Saturday morning getting supplies for the trip:
I then headed on over to event HQ where I met up with Taylor, Matt, Burty, Jase and Ian and we set off (only a little late) into the hills…..
The weather was surprisingly pleasant and the first long road section of the trip passed quickly and easily.
The route had been planned by Taylor and whilst it was definitely more road/track orientated than a lot of peoples routes it was certainly a lot more ridable in the wet and soggy conditions and we suffered a lot less than many who’d planned more ambitious and technical routes.
Here are a few of the views along the way on day 01:
We traversed an old sheep track along the edge of the reservoir and were at the bothy in no time.
All that remained was to get a roaring fire going, cook some food and settle in for an evening of talking bollocks and staying warm.
I had planned to camp outside but around 18:00 temperatures had hit -3°c and it was a cloud free and windy night and so I opted to chicken out and stay in the bothy (a wise choice in hindsight).
The sunset from the bothy was amazing as you can see below:
Here you can see my plentiful bounty of fine wines and tasty snacks (all consumed by about 20:00):
In the morning there was a frosty reminder of why I decided to sleep in the bothy:
After a great nights sleep and feeling nicely refreshed we set off bright and early to head back to event HQ for tea and cakes.
We got back at around 14:00 pretty much as planned and after getting changed, scoffing cake and chatting rubbish we headed our separate ways.
Thanks guys for a great weekend and thanks again Stuart and Dee for putting on this mighty fine event!
See you next year…..