Bivvy a Month 2017.

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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby JohnClimber » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:42 pm

Taylor wrote:It’s with a heavy heart that I announce that “I’M OUT”.
That’s 8/9 or 68/69.


Congrats on such a great number, to beat that incredible number I'd need to be BAM'ing until the winter bivi January 2021 :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby crewlie » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:44 pm

deft punk wrote:
crewlie wrote:Anyway at the moment it looks like I'll be hosting my own Winter Bivy!
That'll be two of us then. I'm just on the other side of the water :)

Hi there...I'm not alone after all! :)
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby Moff » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:36 pm

Isle of Wight Bivi - 9/9

Seems to be a running theme in recent months, get to the end of the month and realise I haven't ticked off the bivi yet!
Same again for September....with three or so different ideas in my head I settled on my first bivi over seas (well the Solent) on the island and Dan (sit across the office from him) suggested I retraced his gpx track from the ride with sean_iow, JohnClimber, Farawayvisions & Jim the previous weekend.

Setting off from home later than planned....where was the bivi bag? When did I last use it? Will I need a stove? Is it going to rain etc....I got to the Red Funnel in Southampton a couple of minutes to late to catch the 5pm, so sat down with a coffee and cake waiting for the 6pm . The hour crossing allowed contemplation of route and where I was going to stop over night, originally my plan was to get down towards Yarmouth/Freshwater and pitch up down there, but being later and wanting to do the rumoured Brighstone Forest singletrack in the light, I thought I'd head up there and find a spot.

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After disembarking from the ferry I was quickly reminded that the Island is a might bit hiller than the New Forest and chosing the singlespeed mean I was bound to end up pushing somewhere!

After a bit of road, dropped down onto the Medina river path up to Newport and the last chance to find some food (the stove and related food got left at home). A quick spin round the town found a chippy, so after filling up on fish cake, battered sausage and chips, I pedalled out of town in search of what I now know is called Down Lane. It's probably been 10 years since I last headed out this way and I'd forgotten how much of a climb is was to the bottom of the lane which quickly had me walking as the rear wheel span out on the greasy chalky surface.

After a bit of mixed pedalling and pushing, the track flatten out through the fields up to the forest, with the lights ahead turning out to be three mountain bikers heading back down. From the bemused 'hello's, I guess they were a bit surprised to see someone heading out at that time of night?

Quite a few puddles later it was on the forest track toward the top of the Island, some forestry works had turned the track into a bit of a sloppy mess. Line choices weren't always possible and a couple of stalls nearly happened, but soon I was at the main track that Dan said to pass and 'look for the gap in the undergrowth', the start of the single track. I headed in until I though I was far enough away from the main track and found some convenient trees to string the tarp between.

After plugging in to a Podcast, I don't think it was long before I was asleep. Only to be woken at around 3am by the sound of a couple of MX bikes skirting round the woods. It was at this time I realised that my sleep mat did in fact have a hole in it and last time out wasn't me not having done the valve up properly, as I was virtually sleeping on the floor. Anyway I couldn't be bothered to blow it up any more, so rolled over to get some more sleep.

After getting woken up by rain and the gentle roar of the wind in the tree tops, I packed the kit up and gobbled a couple of breakfast biscuits listening to a Stag bark in the distance. So I was soon rolling down the lovely singletrack at bit blurry eyed and tentative over the under tyre grip....must go back on a dry day.

I missed turn halfway up a greasy climb lead to an over grown bit of trail, if I wasn't already awake the brambles and nettles made sure I was! Some lovely wide singletrack downhills, a few lanes and lovely buildings (who lives here, what do they do.....?) later and I found the old railway line between Yarmouth and Freshwater. The cafe in the old station building was closed, but it didn't matter too much as I wasn't feeling hungry, though a coffee would have been nice.

Decided it wasn't a day for a trip up onto Tennyson Down and towards the Needles and the forecast wasn't that great for the day, so I headed back up the spin of the island towards my bivi spot. The breeze was up, which wasn't a problem as I was travelling with it but the greasy chalk turned the climb in to push going up past the golf course, where there seemed to a number of people searching in bushes for lost balls and though it was a distance of it looks like there were a few surfers out in Compton Bay.

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A gimpy descent (I don't like this greasy chalk c*rp), push up past the cow gate, a fun descent dodging the dog walkers and then the climb up to the top of the Island where I started my day. From there is was in to uncharted (for me) territory, the ground become more loamy/clay based, less sketchy and the hills more forgiving. A mixture of tracks, field edges and lanes found me in Godshill and a bit peckish. Being covered in a fine layer mud and it still being mid-morning I didn't feel sitting in a cafe was the right thing to do, so a route around in the sparsely stocked village store resulted in a Gala Pie, Smarties and Appletise snack.

Quickly after Godshill, it was onto Red Squirrel trail (none were seen :cry: ) and then the old railway line back to Newport. It was nice seeing the trail being used, runners in their headphone bubbles, darting dogs, uncontrollable kids and the two boys sat chomping on sandwiches after pedalling their BMX's from somewhere. Once at Newport it was a case of retracing my wheels back down the Medina to Cowes and the ferry, which I got to 10 minutes before departure, perfect.

The other passengers gave me a bit of a wide berth as I collected a coffee and snack from the onboard cafe, I guess they didn't want to get muddy too? So I sat up on the open air deck for the trip back on the wipe clean seats. Riding back home though Southampton got some funny looks from those out for the national sport of Shopping.....who had more fun though??

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102km of riding, 2 ferrys, a Bivi, 9 from 9 done.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby JohnClimber » Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:31 pm

10/10 bagged early this month.
18th in a row

34 second movie of my commuted to work, bivi afterwards and home 28 hours after I left on Friday
https://youtu.be/WI7eobCAhhw

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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby dorsetshirelad » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:27 am

September Bivi of the Month

After arriving in Dorchester by train I joined the South Dorset Ridgeway above Maiden Castle. Heading east towards Lulworth Cove, a gentle westerly breeze assisting my progress on a fine autumn day. It was 30k on mainly good tracks and bridleways ,the only slightly difficult section encountered was Winfrith Drove, which was overgrown in places.

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I’d hoped to take the direct route through the ranges but luck was against me. The Army, busy firing shells into the hillside, with canon and heavy machine gun. I took a 10k detour around the firing and rejoined my route and headed towards a bivi spot atop the Purbeck hills.
Trying out hammock and tarp for the first time it was strange to be looking for a place to camp amongst the trees, my scout training had taught to avoid sheltering in such places. The forest was just cresting the ridge but falling away steeply down the north, on closer inspection I found an old track contouring just below the summit with a bit of flat ground and plenty of suitable trees to string my suspended accommodation from.

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After a meal of chicken and rice all was quiet as I settled down early for a good nights sleep, however I was soon awakened by the army’s night time firing, an increasingly strong wind blowing through the trees and heavy rain beating on my tarp, it was after 1am before I got to sleep.
The screaming of some unidentified raptor roosting in the forest canopy above, tore me from what had turned out to be quite a comfortable few hours sleep. I set about preparing my breakfast, attempting to bake a flat bread scone wrapped in streaky bacon with an egg on top. All in a mug, inside my billy can, my appetite proved to be greater than my ability and I end up with a soggy bottom. It’s back to the drawing board for the next trip but a spin off could be, The Great British Bike&Bivi Bake Off

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Clearing away I headed down to Corfe Castle and then up onto and along the ridge of Brenscombe Hill and Ballard down to Old Harry and on to Studland for a coffee on the beach at Jo’s café. The sea was flat calm and not a sign of the the stormy weather I had imagined during the night?Taking the chain ferry to Sandbanks it was then a very easy ride back along the promenade’s of Poole and Bournemouth to home, 83km in all.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby Borderer » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:53 pm

Our car has been off the road for the past week. A lot of the Scottish Borders are inaccessible by public transport so a visit to friends meant getting the bikes out again. Although we only had 23miles to travel, I thought it would be a good chance to score a BAM so we left late in the afternoon and camped overnight en-route. As we arrived after dark we opted for this spot by the side of the track in the middle of nowhere. Nobody was going to be using the road after all. Six thirty next morning, three quarry trucks came thundering up the hill and past us. They woke me up when they were about a mile away. :shock: They were followed by a lot of other construction traffic. Like camping by a bloody motorway.
We had a really nice evening anyway - we made a fire in our brazier/stove and enjoyed the absence of flying bitey things. I don't think we would have camped if it hadn't been for BAM, so :-bd from me. I'm really glad we did, as we both really enjoyed it. 8/10 for us both.

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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby benp1 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:10 pm

Managed to bag my October BAM last night, weekends looking busy for the rest of the month, and Beaver camp tomorrow with my son!

Was warm last night, completely bonkers. It's mid October and I was in my summer sleeping bag, toasty warm too (and I'm a cold sleeper)

Very local too, left home at 11pm and was home just at 7.15am in time to get the kids ready and take them to school
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby RIP » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:11 am

While you lot are (have been) having a nice relaxing time swanning around in all that idyllic Welsh scenery some of us have got to continue fighting the good fight down in the dark underbelly of bikepacking. Consequently here is Reg on the 07.09 to Stoke mingling with all those commuter type people, heading with my usual unerring sense of timing straight into Ophelia's teeth. Stoke on Trent is of course a fascinating place despite being frequently voted the UK's crappest town, and which currently has the most vacant shops in England. Then again it was voted the best place to start a business. Just to add a little spice to the proceedings here is my means of navigation 1947-style below. See you, via who-knows-where yet, in Manchester tomorrow unless I get blown there quicker, or unless I get lost 70 years ago like some sort of BP Marty McFly.
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby RIP » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:14 am

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"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby psling » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:40 am

One of my favourite little bike shops is in Stoke; well, Alsager really. Sideways Cycles.
My occasional bivi this month was somewhere near the confluence of the Doethie and Tywi. Another of my favourites, a favourite place the Afan Doethie but have to say the trail down it last weekend was a mare - greasy wet surface churned up by pony trekkers. Pleasant evening meal in the Towy Bridge Inn, new(ish) owners, recommended!
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby Pickers » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:20 pm

Marty McFly would have had a Barts' 1/2" map!
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby RayKickButts » Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:26 pm

October Hammock trip 10 of 12 ..... so having purchased a new hammock it was only right to find a good spot to faff around trying to get the thing up so me and Wayne opted for a re visit to the Gower and the stunning Cwm Ivy.

We ditched the van at Pitton Cross campsite and then headed along the road to Rhossili beach and took our usual route up whiteford sands and into the woods to get water before re using a spot we have now covertly marked so we can find it easily.

And this spot s perfect for hammocks with a good selection of pines from which to dangle the offending article.

While Wayne set up his ground dwelling i started on examining the hammock and trying to figure out how to get it safely up. After some thought i went with a Alping Butterfly and stopper knot on one length of the webbing pulled the other end the the alpine loop and then simply tied off in a double bow. I'd been advised to have my feet slightly higher than my head when in a hammock so on a second attempt i think i had it pretty much how i wanted it.

After a gentle sit and then lay down i was thinking that the hammock was very narrow it was on looking further that it opened up and once inside cacooned, with a semi inflated neo air and my 4 season bag in it was proper lush.

We had high winds that night and it was a pleasant sensation being rocked to sleep in the breeze, withe the bicycle 7 set up as a A frame above me it was pretty cosy.
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with light now beginning to fade and the temp dropping we put extra layers on and started to get T on the go.
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I've also refined my baby bell candles, the ultimate bike bivi recycle, so now the wax is held in a shotgun shell base and my old coke can is the reflector
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with the help of my hip flask, the motion of the hammock swaying and a full belly i was out like a light, i think i woke up once for a P but have to say it was dam comfy night and once yo get used to how to move in the hammock it was great.
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We had a lay in Saturday morning as we had to wait for the tide to go out to get back to rhossilli

We hit the beach just after 830 and into a hideous head wind all the way back to the van

I'm sure some have see the top layer of dry sand blowing across the beach, to ride in it is a odd sensation not sure the pic does it justice
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After 5 hard miles to get to rhossilli we hoped the head wind would be gone... how wrong were we it had increased and it was head down and grind all the way
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I was cream crackered when i got to the end of the beach and just about managed to push the bike up that last steep section and spin along the road to the van.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby Taylor » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:20 pm

More hammocks. :-bd
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby Borderer » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:10 pm

I like the beach with blowing sand photo. Looks amazing, but hard work. What do you use for the wick of the baby bell candle?
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby frogatthefarriers » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:39 pm

Borderer wrote:I like the beach with blowing sand photo. Looks amazing, but hard work. What do you use for the wick of the baby bell candle?


Blowing sand, flat beach... makes me want to get the kite buggy out again. :wink:
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby RIP » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:49 pm

Well I can confirm that it's pretty damn breezy out here at the moment in this field. I've got the tarp in super-low-profile mode with my nose touching the tarp - in fact it's a bivvy bag in all but name - and there's sheep and cows all flying past airborne... could be an 'interesting' night...
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby RIP » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:50 pm

I wouldn't recommend that kite buggy here just now unless you fancy ending up in orbit!
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby Borderer » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:48 am

An interesting night to have been out Reg. Hope all well this morning.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby sean_iow » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:43 am

10/10 for me now. This was a short bivi after finishing the BB200. I forgot to take the picture before I packed my bag away but I guess enough people wandered past who could vouch for me. I did wonder if only being in my bag from about 05:00 to 07:15 was enough to count but I did ask Stuart in the morning and he said it should. I did actually have a couple of hours of sleep which is more than some get in a whole night of biving :grin: It felt like a safe place to be with all the other bikepackers about either in their cars/vans or turning up at the finish and the ground had a slight spring to it which is the stuff they put down to reduce injuries when kids fall over? it was slightly odd to wake up and look up to see a sand-pit looking back at me :lol:

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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby RIP » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:55 pm

Thanks Borderer, seem to have survived somehow. Will scribble something later once I've returned from collecting all my belongings scattered to the four corners of the Peak District... what was more scary than last night was riding through Manchester Longsight this evening!
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby MuddyPete » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:41 pm

Sitting in a morning rush hour traffic jam in Longsight a few years ago a bloke ran past me, carrying a telly.
A few seconds later the owner of the telly ran past me, in hot pursuit.
Interesting place, Longsight... :wink:
May you always have tail wind.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby ScotRoutes » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:37 am

The blown sand photo is great. It is odd riding in it though - it can be difficult to judge your speed and direction.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby RIP » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:29 pm

Well I’ve retrieved everything from the hedgerows at last, apart from my tyvek sheet which is now adorning a weathervane on top of a 200’ church steeple in Stoke...

One of the many things I like about arriving somewhere by train is that there’s no umbilical cord tying you to a motor that you have to come back to. It’s a mental not just a physical consideration, and adds to the “anything can happen from now on” half-baked-mini-philosophy. There’s also no possibility of last-minute faffing with stuff you’ve brought in the motor, because basically you’ve got what you’re standing up in for better or worse. You step off the train, take a deep breath and away you go. Exhilarating. In this particular away-you-go case I had stacks of time so thought I’d explore the Stoke area before heading north-ish, and an NCN555 sign pointed me down to the canal and they’re usually guaranteed to pass through and into the interesting arse-end of places. Stoke was no different in this respect, and the scenes became more and more “Mad Max” as I proceeded through Etruria, switching to NCN5 at Tunstall and up the old railway towards Kidsgrove. My 1947 map made this easy because of course the railways were marked on it boldly as, well, railways. I’d argue – go with me on this one - that the scenery and interest of The Potteries is no more or less valid than that of the Cambrian Mountains; example:

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Some of the canal bridges are very low. I asked the bloke in front to stop and give this one some scale, but he looks a bit like ET with his long neck! Perhaps he was ET:

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One of the info signs mentioned that the old Chatterley Whitfield colliery headstocks and buildings still exist, so I cut east through Chell Heath to be confronted with this fascinating sight:

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This pit, along with nearby Wolstanton, once had the deepest mineshafts in Europe at over 3000’ deep. I seemed to have gone a bit too far north, so it was back down to the Caldon Canal towpath with its Sustrans £2m-worth of nice luxury surface and over to Leek for a spot of lunch. By this time the wind was gradually building up, and to add to the Mad Max feel the sun had gone rather wierd:

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In fact the whole area was quite strange. After last month’s beautifully-crafted Peak District walling, we have a curiously see-through style this month....

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.... and railways on which Network Rail has taken cash-strapped maintenance-deferral to extreme lengths....

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.. and cows teaching each other to swim....

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It struck me that I probably ought to be considering a bivvy spot that wasn’t too exposed, and I opted for a field near Wincle (great name, sadly the micro-brewery closed ten minutes ago). Behind the telephone exchange was my first option but the trees looked a bit life-expired, and I didn't want to end up life-expired as well. A field wall offered some protection, and I configured the tarp as super-low-profile, sliding myself in like a bivvy bag. As others have mentioned, it’s curiously warm so I was trying to take account of that, no rain, and hurricane winds – so, 9x7 cuben tarp (190g), pole/pegs (140g), winterlite mat (400g), bit of tyvek (50g), pillow (40g), summer bag (390g). Fairly luxurious set-up, so although the wind kept me awake, at least I was comfortably awake. Hmm.

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Woke at 7am and everything still seemed to be standing, including my tarp, so a quick brew of porage and ovaltine (I now serve that in the porage pot, giving a curiously oaty style of ovaltine), and away into one of the sunniest and clearest days of the year ironically. Passed a farmer and asked how he’d got on, nothing damaged but he had recorded a windspeed at the farm of 49mph on his anemomenenememomememmonometer. At least the wind had blown all the weather away, leaving a calm bright day...

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The long climb up into Macclesfield Forest followed, with some great views over “flat” Cheshire and Jodrell Bank telescope in the distance. Lots of interesting bivvy spots for next time too.

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I’d intended to ride along the old railway from Macc to Marple and get the train into Manchester, but I arrived way too early so continued riding on into the city via Stockport and Reddish foolishly trusting the Sustrans route signs. It’s surprising how rural things can be even deep into urban areas, with this a few yards from Stockport centre...

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As MuddyPete has intimated, when riding through Levenshulme and Longsight, it’s best to keep your eyes rigidly in front and stop neither for man nor beast, nor woman for that matter, nor indeed any combination of the three. Far scarier than anything you’d find “in the woods”. After a quick squint round the city centre to complete the “urban bikepacking experience”, I jumped on the 20.15 to Milton Keynes which whisked me there in the ridiculously fast time of 1 hour 32 minutes, nice and relaxed reading the paper with a beer or two and crisps and nibbles and whatnot, including a nice natter to the train cleaner who was inevitably baffled by the whole proceedings. She also politely declined my request to valet my filthy iron horse with all her cleaning equipment. Each to their own as ever, but I’ll never go back to motor-based bikepacking as a first choice if I can help it – far too “normal”.

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Last edited by RIP on Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby MuddyPete » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:21 pm

RIP wrote:Image

Reg - You're right: trains do trump cars on the "booze & snooze" front.
Did you grab some cushions off that sofa, for an extra-comfy kip?
Last edited by MuddyPete on Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby RIP » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:30 pm

Must admit I was very tempted to conk out under the sofa and jack the rest of the trip in but it was only 10am!
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ
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