What type of shelter do you use and why?
Terra Nova ‘Juniper’ hooped bivi. Because I’ve had it since doing Polaris events and it’s the best I’ve got for now. Having said that it is relatively light weight and packs small. I will change it at a later date to give me more space.
Is your bikepacking specific or is it just your usual bike adapted to go bikepacking. What, if any, adaptions have you done?
It’s a Scott ‘Big Ed’ Fat bike. I’ve just built some 29+ wheels to give me a choice on longer road section rides. I’m looking to build a bike more suited to bikepacking in the near future.
Are you a sub 24hr, over 24hr or a multi day tour sort of person?
I’ve done several 2/3 day rides with 15+ hours of travelling. I’ve just completed an overnight continuous ride and looking to do some more ITT type events. Longer multi-day tours await the time and kit.
What gadgets do you take with you? Dynamo/GPS/Gaia/Phone etc
I use a Garmin 810 gps / Samsung S7 smartphone / Cache Battery.
Map or GPS device or both?
Primary is a GPS with OS maps installed. I have OS maps on my smartphone as a backup.
Navigation: can you work a compass, get your bearings etc?
I can work a compass and carry one with me.
Do you do rides like the #Jennride often?
The #Jennride seems to me to combine several event types. It could be done as an extended Mountain Marathon where you carry kit in case you need to stop. Some rode it that way. Others including myself rode with the intention of stopping at a certain point, or after an amount of time or distance but keeping to the course. Others took the route as a suggestion and modified it to suit their wishes, or needs.
Do you do other types of riding or just bikepacking?
I did the ‘Dirty Reiver’ in April and I’m doing the ‘Dirty Boar’ in September as gravel rides. I also ride road bikes of various forms but rarely in events.
What is the best bit of bikepacking for you?
I like going to remote locations. Bikepacking allows me to travel further.
What is the worst bit of bikepacking?
Travelling to and from the start point. I live in the Midlands so getting to most places involves a long drive. I’d love to use trains but the hassle is usually too much, yet alone the cost.
How long have you been bikepacking for?
I started gathering kit at the beginning of this year. And my first bikepacking trip out was in February
What appeals to you about bikepacking?
A lack of complexity once you are riding. The general attitude of fellow travellers which is more relaxed than some other cycling activities.
What is your ultimate trip/destination?
Probably North East America / Canada.
What is the essential extra gadget/widget or treat that you have to take with you?
Of late it has been a pillow.
Choice of tyres (size/width/tread) and why you choose these?
I’ve just fitted some Maxxis Chronicles (29” x 3”) which I enjoyed riding across Wales. Before that it was Schwalbe Jumbo Jim (26” x 4”).
Do you change tyres to suit the destination you expect to ride on?
I changed to the Chronicles for the last ride based on the expected terrain, so I guess yes.
Do you opt for gram counting over comfort? i.e. did you pack the sub 400g wafer light sleeping bag despite it’s gonna be freezing just to save 250g?
Volume saving over weight. Though they usually go together. I haven’t got a winter sleeping bag yet but I’m looking.
Have you got the art of minimisation down to a fine art or did you pack everything and the kitchen sink?
I’m still downsizing equipment as I upgrade. I started with what I was using 15 years ago and things have moved on a lot.
Did you take some creature comforts like coffee, a stove a hip flask etc?
I take coffee bags. I have a hip flask but haven’t managed to extract some good whiskey from my sister, who works in the industry.
What are your thoughts on the ride we took the photos at and bikepacking in general?
The #Jennride was great all around. The start/finish location next to a brewery, artisan bakery and cycle shop. The well thought out route that showcased the South Lakes perfectly and delivered you to an overnight camp at just the right distance / time. Even the weather played it’s part in making the event.
Tell us some interesting facts about you?
That it’s taken me two days to think of anything tells a lot. I love all things mechanical and bicycles fit that well. I enjoy working on them almost as much as riding them. The most exotic riding location was Maui at the Xterra 2013 world championships.