Bikepackers 2017, Feature

David Thorpe

What type of shelter do you use and why?
Tarp no poles please. Or Czechs.. .ha. it’s lightweight and I like being outdoors with fresh air and a breeze

Is your bike bike packing specific or is it just your usual bike adapted to go bike packing. What if any adaptions you’ve done?
One of four bikes that I might adapt for the purpose. I have a touter if I want luxury!!

Are you a sub 24hr, over 24hr or a multi day tour sort of person.

What gadgets do you take with you? dynamo/gps/gaia/phone etc
Fairy lights. Battery operated. Google maps. That’s all folks.

Map or gps device or both?
Map back up.

Navigation: can you work a compass, get your bearings etc?

Do you do rides like the #Jennride often?
No. I don’t tend to do organised rides although the cause in this case persuaded me.

Do you do other types of riding or just bike packing?
Road biking and commuting. Fairly new to bike packing but am loving what I’ve done. Planning some bigger micro adventures

What is the best bit of bike packing for you?
Sunshine After the rain. Drying out. Change of clothing at night.

What is the worst bit of bike packing?
Worrying if I have all I need. Trying to cater for eventualities. I have to be determined at minimalism. It’s hard to say ‘no’ and to cut back.

How long have you been bike packing for?
Fairly new to bike packing. About a year.

What appeals to you about bike packing?
Stealth camp. Having the freedom to camp where I want unseen unhindered unheard. Then I disappear next day.

What is your ultimate trip/destination?
I have modest ambitions and would like to do Georgia. Iran. All the blogs talk about the welcome and friendly nature of Iranians. Gaza. A place undervisraeli siege for 10 years.

What is the essential extra gadget/widget or treat that you have to take with you?
Coffee. Ground.

Choice of tyres (size/width/tread) and why you choose these?
Size, width and tread depend on the challenge terrain. I am doing Turin-Nice in September. Smooth and hard touring tyres for roads and occasional gravel. The Jenn ride I can’t recall? Did i have Nobbly Rocket Rons that were supplied as standard. I might have replaced them with Shwalbe winter tread suitable for wet sloppy roads.

Do you change tyres to suit the destination you expect to ride on?

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?
It’s not a race.

Have you got the art of minimisation down to a fine art or did you pack everything and the kitchen sink?
I end up packing the odd ridiculous thing… but generally have minimization at heart. Lightweight layers etc. Functional but pack small. Last weekend on the Tour de Staveley I packed my evening wear including flip flops in my Altrua saddle bag. From the sublime to the ridiculous.

Did you take some creature comforts like coffee, a stove a hip flask etc??
Always coffee and a small stove.

What are your thoughts on the ride and bike packing in general.
The ride was well organised. A friendly event. I used to mountain bike a lot but got suckered into road and cyclo cross so revisiting some Lakeland technical trails was fantastic – to be up there again in amongst the scenery

Tell us some interesting facts about you
I snowboard. I do open water swimming. I have four children all grown up and am proud to say I’ve influenced them in the ways of silliness. I want to give up work shortly and get a van to equip and live in. It’s payback for this years of looking after children. A Sprinter long wheel base or similar.

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