Kevin Brennan

What type of shelter do you use and why?

I used a tarp from Alpkit as nearly all the research from various forums and advice was to use this type, especially for one night.

Is your bikepacking specific or is it just your usual bike adapted to go bikepacking. What, if any, adaptions have you done?

No I was advised (by Ian) to use the bike I used regularly, my 5 year old Cotic Rocket though quite heavy, would be better than trying to get used to a hard tail or no suspension fat bike.

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

Up until the actual Jennride I really have not done any touring/bikepacking. Before this event the farthest I had done was 47 miles over the Mary Townley Loop.

What gadgets do you take with you? Dynamo/GPS/Gaia/Phone etc

I took a memory map GPS with full 1:25000 mapping, a small back up Garmin, my iPhone and a power bank.

Map or GPS device or both?

I always take both.

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

Yes I’m up to Yachtmaster level where you have to be able to use a chart and compass, but I’d rather be enjoying the riding than taking fixes and bearings. In case of poor visibility where taking bearings is difficult or impossible a basic low cost garmin or smartphone can give you your position on the paper map.

Do you do rides like the #Jennride often?

This was the first one.

Do you do other types of riding or just bikepacking?

I do quite a lot of mountain biking, I’m very spoiled for routes and  trails in the South Pennines. I also do a bit of road biking usually in winter or to keep Susan my partner company.

What is the best bit of bikepacking for you?

With my limited experience I saw more of the South Lakes over two days than I’ve seen over the last 10 years and thanks to Rich Munro for putting together a route that provided this.

What is the worst bit of bikepacking?

Rain then having to deal with wet gear, which did happen.

How long have you been bikepacking for?

I started to train and prepare for this event at Christmas when I retired after nearly 50 years of working. It seemed doable, a good goal to achieve and also supported a very worthwhile cause – a win win.

What appeals to you about bikepacking?

Instead of just setting out on a usual ride repeatedly with no aim other than keeping fit, bikepacking gives you a goal and much of the fun is in the preparation and logistics and adds another dimension to biking – keeping it fresh and interesting.

What is your ultimate trip/destination?

I would like to do the Coast to Coast, but the Highland 550 is on my radar.

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

I took my iPod nano with me as I enjoy listening to music and these have a long battery life without using other precious resources and are small and light.

Choice of tyres (size/width/tread) and why you choose these?

With my bike being an old 26” I’m limited in width choice but I use Maxxis Minnion front, High roller rear both 2.5” tubeless which seems to suit most of the riding I do at home and also performed very well on the Jennride.

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

Not really. I only change when the mud fest of winter takes over and put a Minnion on the rear and a Shorty on the front – again 2.5”.

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?

I didn’t do as a lot of the stuff I borrowed from my son who’s in the forces and they’re not known for the lightest of gear.

Have you got the art of minimisation down to a fine art or did you pack everything and the kitchen sink?

I think it’s fair to say I took far too much gear on an already heavy bike (old money 33 lbs – clean). During the Jennride I met up with  a few people I go out with on a Monday Night Pub Ride (MNPR) and they commented “a stunning effort on what is the heaviest bike in the world” so I will look carefully at what I take in future.

Did you take some creature comforts like coffee, a stove a hip flask etc?

I took a stove and some Alta Rica coffee to have in the morning. When unpacking at my overnight camp, the coffee (which I had put in a small plastic bag) was present but in the morning it was missing. I assumed it had disappeared during the night as the wind picked up. I did find it later at home in the washing machine – leaving all my biking gear with a coffee coloured hue.

What are your thoughts on the ride we took the photos at and bikepacking in general?

The photos I have seen were brilliant and showed the event to be good natured and worthwhile. I wasn’t on the starting ones as I set off a couple of hours earlier to get a head start on what for me was going to be a long day, so it was good that you took some photos’ at the end as they are my only record of taking part.

Tell us some interesting facts about you?

I reckon I’m the most uninteresting person, but quite a few people comment on some of the obscure facts I come up with saying I have a head full of useless information. I do a lot of sailing, more so dinghy racing now I have a Laser. I have sailed in the UK, round the Irish sea quite a few times until I came to the conclusion it would be cheaper to stand under the shower (always raining) at 3-00 in the morning (awful tide times) tearing up £10 notes (extortionate marina fees). A few years ago my partner and I sailed a yacht from Athens to Santorini, entering the Caldera at breakfast time, passing all the cruise liners, eating a bacon buttie and being able to sail by the lava flow. We spent a couple of fantastic days there before returning to Athens. We island hopped all the way there and back, taking in some ten different islands – a trip of a life time and not too far removed from the principles of bikepacking.


One Response to Kevin Brennan

  1. Steve Sedgwick October 4, 2017 at 12:40 am #

    Kevin you are a ledgend 😀👍

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