Mike Collins

What type of shelter do you use and why?

I don’t. I prefer to ride straight through on a shorter event. If I take one I’m too tempted to use it and I like my sleep!

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

My bike is my everyday MTB but built with longer distance rides in mind. It’s got very little travel (I use a lauf fork) and Jones bars.

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

Depends on the event but I regularly do all three with a two week tour in Scotland last summer! This September I’m riding Turin to Nice and in August London-Edinburgh-London but that’s on road.

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

GPS (Garmin 810) and a piggy back battery pack with my phone for back up.

Map or GPS device or both?

GPS with a paper map for back up! I’ve been caught out before, I rode up the Struggle by accident last year when my Garmin crashed on this ride.

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

Yep I was a good Boy Scout and Ray Mears has given me some handy hints.

Do you do rides like the #Jennride often?

As often as work (and my girlfriend!) allows me. I work Saturdays.

Do you do other types of riding or just bikepacking?

I ride road, MTB, tourer and cross currently but I’ve done everything from track to racing for a team on the road in the past.

What is the best bit of bikepacking for you?

Just getting out there away from everything and having to think about nothing.

What is the worst bit of bikepacking?

The finish…. and saddle sore! Especially after this last ride. Pics on request 😉 (really not pretty!)

How long have you been bikepacking for?

In its current form 4 years but been touring as long as I can remember.

What appeals to you about bikepacking?

The personal challenge and the enjoyment of just being out there but not racing. How informal it all is.

What is your ultimate trip/destination?

Tour Divide of course!

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

I travel light and take only what I need but I have a tiny emergency light in my jersey and I never go without a buff!

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

650B plus Rocket Rons for comfort!

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

Nope! I can’t afford it 😉

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?

Yeah pretty much. I prefer to travel as light as possible and get round without stopping. If I do have to stop then a primaloft jacket and a foil bivy rather than a sleeping bag and a mat!

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

Somewhere in the middle.

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

No it was your basic pockets of flapjack and a pizza in Keswick!

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

The #jennride lakes 200 was horrendous with too much hike and bike but as a rule I’ve loved every event I’ve entered. Even that one afterwards – but I’m not doing it again!

Tell us some interesting facts about you?

I have a very large… bike collection. I rode 150 miles in the Dales on a Post Bike dressed as Santa Claus. I raced for a French road team for four years when I was 18.

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