Bivvy a Month 2017.

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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby Borderer » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:09 pm

JohnClimber wrote:Image


Is that you calling your order in that she is on the phone to?
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby JohnClimber » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:05 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:John ... be careful angling that centre pole too much as it increases the stress on the spigots / joints. :wink:


Thanks for the tip :-bd
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby sean_iow » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:45 pm

11/11 for me now, only 1 to go :smile:

I thought I would get one more big ride in before the 25 Nov :wink: but didn't want to just do laps of the Island so came up with the idea of riding a South Downs Way double. I didn't want the expense of taking a car to the mainland but a quick look on a cycle route planning website shows that starting at home and riding to Winchester would only add 25 miles each way to the trip and these would be on roads/cycle paths so easy spinning compared to the SDW. I booked a Thursday and Friday off work hoping there'd be less walkers on the trails and crosed my fingers for good weather.

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Obligatory picture of my bike on arrival at a ferry terminal :smile:

It was easy spinning to the start, but with more climbing than I'd imagined, although nothing compared to what was coming.

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The official start is taken as the statue of Arthur.

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This was taken just outside of town. I only know one person who picks up feathers and pokes them in signs/trees/fences etc. and that's my Father, but he's deceased, so I took this as a good omen for the ride. It wasn't there on the way back either.

In my head when I first thought of the trip I was thinking I'd get to Eastbourne on the first day and bivi somewhere on the return leg. I'm not sure why I thought this would be achievable. Maybe I was using the SDW double record of 13.5 hrs for the 200 miles as the benchmark and then maybe doubling it? That clearly wasn't ridden on a loaded singlespeed :lol: By 22:00 I was some way short of the end and having left home at 07:15 that morning (the ferry used up nearly 2 hours by the time you get there early and then the crossing) I was getting ready to stop for the day. This coincided with a section where all the fields had livestock in followed by a golf course. By the time I got back onto open land it was 23:40 but I had now covered the first 70 miles on the SDW and ridden 95 in total for the day.

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Sight of the first nights bivi, the only clue I'd been there was the patch of dry grass that had been under my bivi bag.

I was packed up and riding again before 07:00. The last 30 miles of the SDW at the Eastbourne end are definitely harder than 30 at the other end, well the hills seemed bigger. Despite this I managed to get to Eastbourne by just after 12:00 so not too bad. I had also stopped on the way to make some instant porridge which I'm glad I did as I needed the calories on the climbs!

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Took a picture of the bike at the Eastbourne end and then had some lunch in the handily located cafe right next to the end. :grin: The woman serving asked where I'd been. Upon explaining that I'd started on the Isle of Wight the day before she said she used to live on the Island for the last 40 years and had only moved at the beginning of the summer. I'm sure that this fact and the tale of the distance I covered got me special treatment, if they put that much bacon and eggs into every baguette they'd be bankrupt in no time :grin:

There now only remained the small mater of the return trip as I was only half way... so giving my lunch a minute to settle I then pushed back up the slope form the cafe. The gradient at the end is too much on 1 gear and probably so much effort with more gears that riding is not worth the effort. Upon getting to the top of the slope it became apparent that I would be riding into a strong headwind, probably for most of the next 100 miles :roll: I was hoping to get at least half way back but with the wind that was looking doubtful. A determined effort saw me 50 miles back along the trail by 22:40 including stopping to make noodles. I first did the 'stop early for dinner and then ride on' thing on the BB200 and it seems for me at least to be more than worth the time it takes. I only took about 20 minutes to stop,cook, eat and get going but the lift physically and mentally makes up for this.

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It's always nice to wake up and see the bike. I was slow getting going today. It had started raining just after I got the tarp up but fortunately I was in a more sheltered spot than the night before. It was still drizzling in the morning but I was riding before 08:00 though so not too bad. I met a fellow bikepacker just a mile or so along the track. He asked my name to add me on FB. Apologies for not asking your name, I wasn't fully awake. If you're reading this and still want to get in touch then PM me. Hopefully he reads this as he did say he was on the reserve list for the BB200 this year when I mentioned that.

Only 50 miles of wet slippy chalk and mud to cover to get back to Winchester into the headwind so I peddled onwards with the lure of hot food at Queen Elizabeth Country Park keeping me going. At QECP I had a steak baguette which seemed to hit the spot :grin: Just after this is Buster Hill which is a long grass climb. I thought I'd probably be walking most of this but as my ride coincided with a cross country running event and the place was heaving with fit young people running up the hill as a warm-up I had to put the effort in and ride as far as I could. I made it about 75% of the way which was far enough to be above the last of the marshals so at least I wouldn't get any abuse from them about pushing. The last 23 miles from QECP seemed to go on forever but the mud was a contributing factor here.

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Back at the start :grin: I got a few funny looks as I took a picture of a filthy bike by the statue. I was none too clean myself. Just a quick spin back to Southampton to get the ferry home. Once on the ferry one of the staff came over to see if I was ok, what he actually wanted to find out was if I was going to sit on the chairs covered from head to toe in mud. I explained I'd be taking my waterproof shorts and coat off as my bibs underneath are actually outerwear. He still came to find me 10 minutes later to check. He pretended to be concerned and that he was checking I was warm enough. I saw thorough this and spent the next 15 minutes telling him all about my trip despite his best efforts to get away :lol:

Off the ferry, and only 10 miles back along the road to home.

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The stopped time doesn't include the bivis but does include the time I was stopped during the day at cafe's or cooking my breakfast/dinner. The total distance includes 22 miles on the ferries but the height climbed should be right as the ferry doesn't go up hill as far as I know. I'd like to go back and have a go at the sub-24hr double but I'd do that without the bikepacking kit and maybe run a higher ratio as well... and make sure it was dry. The summer would be much better for that as I was riding for 7 hours each day in the dark which makes a difference to the pace especially on unfamiliar routes. But all in all a good 3 days/2 nights out :grin: Only one more month to go for the set this year, I think I'll make the next one more local and relaxed :smile:
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby RIP » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:08 pm

Compliments to you Sean - S/S on those hills and headwind... Yep only 1 or 2 to go now. I'm still not keen on November with all its mists and dampness, prefer Feb/Mar when it's very cold and bright. I counted 11 contestants who managed Jan-October so it'll be interesting to see who survives Nov/Dec and the finishing line :smile:. Then it's girding loins for Jan-Dec '18 presumably :shock:.
"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

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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby benp1 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:06 pm

Nice trip Sean, and a great effort

I haven't done the SDW on the bike but I've walked 40 miles of it over a day and a half with my cousin. Had a lovely little bivvy (his first!) near one of the beacons.

Would be a good ride now you've reminded me about the SDW. We did a slightly different bit towards Eastbourne so we could walk along seven sisters

Must have been a bit slippery with the rain/mud
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby Chew » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:54 pm

RIP wrote:I'm still not keen on November with all its mists and dampness, prefer Feb/Mar when it's very cold and bright. I counted 11 contestants who managed Jan-October so it'll be interesting to see who survives Nov/Dec.

I always found March and November to be the hardest months.
Long nights and the dampness. I'd get out early and make the most of the dry conditions.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby sean_iow » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:02 pm

benp1 wrote:We did a slightly different bit towards Eastbourne so we could walk along seven sisters

Must have been a bit slippery with the rain/mud


The walkers and riders routes are different at the Eastbourne end so the walkers can go along the cliff top. The route went a different way to my gpx at that end as well :???: but it's well signed.


The mud on the way back was a real test. The Winchester end is worst for it and a day of rain meant it was quite wet in places but it all adds to the fun :smile: I think I've finished off my chain though and I re-lubed on the second day.

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RIP wrote: I'm still not keen on November with all its mists and dampness, prefer Feb/Mar when it's very cold and bright.


I don't mind the winter months, I find it easier as there's less people about on my overcrowded little Island, but I'm never far from home if it all goes pear shaped and I end up soaked through, but never had to bail yet.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby RIP » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:28 pm

Sorry Chew yes you're right March is 'orrible like Nov. I probably meant Jan/Feb are nicer. Basically it's horrible every month :-bd.
"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

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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby sean_iow » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:33 pm

RIP wrote: Basically it's horrible every month :-bd.


If it was easy everybody would do it and where's the fun in that :lol:
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby RIP » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:56 pm

Agreed :smile:. Pretty much everyone else I know thinks I'm certifiable.

But then they thought that even before I got into BP :lol:.
Last edited by RIP on Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby BigdummySteve » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:54 pm

RIP wrote:Agreed :smile:. Pretty much everyone else I know thinks I'm certifiable.

But then thought that even before I got into BP :lol:.


If you fancy some company for the 18th I have received notice of an overnight pass and fancy a gentle exploration of Northamptonshire’s delights, otherwise I’ll end up dosing somewhere local.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby RIP » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:23 pm

Hi Steve, yes I really must get up there, it's hardly a million miles away (could get train to N'hampton, 30 mins from here). Looks like a good pub at Tiffield (remember the film "The Titfield Thunderbolt"?!), and some interesting additional bridleway & bivi opportunities west of the A5 near Astcote.

Unfortunately my plan is already baked-in. Wasn't going to mention it yet but we're here now. I've only got one weekend pass this month (it's all agreed, I've officially been given the green copy, she's got the red top copy, and the yellow copy is now in the filing cabinet so I'm covered) due to domestic priorities (hers, not mine :wink:). I could probably do a weekday much easier? w/c 27 Nov? Might get some other takers?

So, I booked a ticket to see The Rezillos (yay!) in a town 40-50 miles round trip away on Saturday evening - I reckon there's still tickets if anyone's in for it - and obviously I''ll be biking there. There's a Common nearby so I'll find somewhere there to kip out. However the venue didn't seem wildly keen on me leaving an MTB and gear in their foyer for some curious reason. But they were prepared to handle something smaller in the cloakroom, so it's gonna be...... Brompton bikepacking weekend! She's 20 years old now and it'll be good test of her stamina, er, and mine. NCN6 goes past my front door and it's old railway tracks pretty much the whole way.

I'm fairly confident this is a stupid idea.

At least I hope it is.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby BigdummySteve » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:26 pm

Sounds like a top idea, watch out for flying saucers :-bd
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby MuddyPete » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:55 pm

Sounds ace Reg! I'd be up for it, too, if I hadn't already arranged to go to ChocFest in Melton Mowbray.
Apparently it's in the same place they hold the annual PieFest in July.
In fact, that sounds like a good excuse for July 2018 BAM :-bd .
May you always have tail wind.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby Blair512 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:48 pm

RIP wrote:I counted 11 contestants who managed Jan-October so it'll be interesting to see who survives Nov/Dec and the finishing line.


I believe I forgot to register my October bivvy Reg so make that 12 contestants! Spent a lovely evening in a wee glen all by myself enjoying the peace and quiet! Pics to follow. I'm off out with HTrider on Saturday for bivvy number 11 this year then looking forward to the Scottish winter bivvy which has always provided a great couple of days out despite me struggling to keep up due to all of the ipa stashed in my seat pack!
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby RIP » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:12 pm

Probably a lot more scenic than Hertfordshire, although there will be at least five Scots people where I'm going of course :smile:. My BaMmers count there was just out of interest to see how many nutty riders were going for it, I'm not sure what I expected to see. It's nice. Feels like a cosy sort of London club, albeit none of us are in the same building :smile:.

So Steve, are you usually in Bugbrooke during the week then? Maybe, say, M-P and meself could toddle up one night, if Pete was able to fit it in? And anyone else for that matter of course. Pete will need to burn off some of those chocolate pork pies or whatever they are :wink:. "flying saucers" - yep with the spies who have no flies on :-bd.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby BigdummySteve » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:25 pm

Yes reg, normally working in Bugbrooke but I’m increasingly in the west end now for work.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby RIP » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:59 pm

Ta Steve will check diary if I'm still in one piece after the Rezillos moshpit :wink:. Poss Tues 28th.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby MuddyPete » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:05 pm

RIP wrote:...chocolate pork pies or whatever they are...


Ta-dah! :-bd
https://www.porkpie.co.uk/news/latest/chocfest-2017

Many, many, many calories consumed...
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby RIP » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:03 pm

I was right, my Brompton BaM was a stupid idea. But a brilliantly good fun stupid idea. Somehow managed to ram full winter sleeping gear into the front bag, stove and breakfast into one side pocket, and water and patented frozen milk into other side pocket. A fast ride but a slippery one because of the poor girl's tiny wheels. I don't think Maxxis make 16" Swampthings or I'd've bunged some on.

Spooky woods on NCN6:

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Luton-Dunstable busway (bit of a barmy concept to me):

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Bit of sculpture near Harpenden on NCN6. Eric Morecambe on the left, Capability Brown in the middle, and who knows on the right:

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Couple of beers to get in the mood, then off we go. I've just about got my hearing back. Very boring audience though, I was the one-man mosh pit:

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Midnight, time to find a spot. Wandered up to the Common and eventually found a place which seemed OK, although I never enjoy pitching in the dark. It was less OK at 6am when all the Luton planes started taking off. Woke to a frozen tarp, with my tiny thermometer showing -1c minimum overnight. Glad I didn't take the summer bag this month unlike October :wink:.

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Nice sunny morning though, usual porridge and ovaltine, and wobble home.

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In case anybody pulled me up for dossing on the Common, I was going to explain that I was exercising my Commoners Rights to graze my livestock. They left a right mess in my Brompton bag during the journey, but here they are enjoying their own breakfast:

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Cheers, "Reg"
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby Borderer » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:12 pm

:lol: Brilliant.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby sean_iow » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:14 pm

That's epic Reg :lol: do you take a max/min thermometer with you? I'd thought about doing that and then I'd be able to list the minimum temperature I'd used various setups in and how it was :geek:
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby Bearbonesnorm » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:25 pm

Loving your work Reg .. Gigpacking, I'm liking it.
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby benp1 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:19 pm

That's excellent Reg.

Did you really fit everything in the front bag only?

I'm planning to do some Brompton bikepacking one day, needs the right sort of track/trail though. It's perfect for impromptu public transport use
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Re: Bivvy a Month 2017.

Postby RIP » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:57 pm

Thanks peeps. Yes Sean it's a little thermometer with two little needles in it.I can't remember where it came from now. TBH I'm not convinced about its accuracy but the tarp did have ice on it. I nearly bought an electronic one recently which also had a barometer, altimeter, compass, and gawd knows what else but managed to get a grip before I hit the button or that would have been years of Luddite cred destroyed in a fleeting moment.

Gigpacking - I like that. I believe the next Rezillos gig is in Kilmarnock on 23 Dec. 800 mile round trip on a Brommie?!

Yep Ben it all went into the tardis bag somehow. No backpack. At the risk of a 'kitlist' post I think it was: left pocket: 650 mug containing 22g + 60ml bioeth + windshield + old porage pot + spork + porage + ovaltine; 175ml frozen milk. Right pocket: 500ml water; sheep; can/bottle opener; keys. Front pocket: chewbars. Main: 9×7 tarp; poles etc; tyvek gsheet; Winterlite; pillow+pump; U/L drybag with workshop n spares; U/L drybag with bathroom n 1st aid; 8L drybag with Hispar400 and downhat. Normally have sbag in 13L for loft but 8L fitted Brom bag. And I know you're gonna ask about fleece pockets ;). They had light battery pack and cash and Rezillos ticket :).

My Brom is a basic 3 gears job so fairly highly geared - I could do with more lower ones. They flog a smaller chainring so I might get one of those. As mentioned the slick 100psi tyres are obv not ideal on bridleways, and I had a number of stops to de-clag all the mudbergs (copyright: your good self Ben :-bd).

As I've bored you all endlessly with, yes I believe bike+train is an ideal combo for 'utility' and leisure for all sorts of reasons. So, look forward to hearing about a similar adventure Ben :-bd.
Last edited by RIP on Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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