Bivvy a month 2019

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RIP
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by RIP » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:53 am

Appreciated, thanks Colin. We're a funny old bunch here aren't we :smile: :-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

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

JimmyG
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by JimmyG » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:43 pm

Bivvy A Month 2019: March. I got this month's trip in early this time round (3rd and 4th March), once again in East Lothian. On day two of my previous bikepacking trip, having spent the night in a little ruined castle at Gullane, on my way eastwards to Dunbar I’d stumbled across the remains of another late 16th country pile, Auldhame Castle. Despite being in a ruinous condition, it looked ideal for hunkering down against the elements and I decided then that I’d come back soon to spend the night. As forecast, heavy rain arrived late in the evening and continued through until the early hours of the morning. The noise of the rain pattering down on the ivy-covered ruins was quite therapeutic, though, and I had no trouble nodding off. Unlike my previous castle overnighter(!), I assumed I’d not be disturbed. However, I thought wrong and around 8 a.m I was visited by a startled dog and its lady owner. After getting over the initial shock of seeing me sitting up in my sleeping bag having ‘breakfast in bed’, she was very chatty. Turned out she was there to monitor hibernating moths and often visits abandoned buildings to do so. Who knows - maybe we’ll have another chance encounter one morning? :smile:

ImageUntitled by Jimmy G, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Jimmy G, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Jimmy G, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Jimmy G, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Jimmy G, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Jimmy G, on Flickr

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:46 pm

What a cracking spot ^ that is. :-bd
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Ray Young
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by Ray Young » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:59 pm

Must investigate that, looks ace, :-bd . Never thought of exploring castles before, always assumed they'd be inhabited or be owned by National Trust or something with a jobsworth in charge.

JimmyG
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by JimmyG » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:28 pm

Cheers guys. There are some other ancient castles in East Lothian (some better preserved than others) which are well maintained pay-to-enter tourist attractions. However, the two I've visited recently are fairly small and have effectively been abandoned to the elements. Using them respectfully and leaving no trace, etc. (as most bikepackers do) can't do any harm as I see it.

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by ScotRoutes » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:03 pm

Looks great. I've only managed Ruthven Barracks so far, though there are a couple of other ruined castles I could visit locally if I opt for a packraft rather than a bike.

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RIP
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by RIP » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:50 pm

Now that Jim's cracking on with March, what's your official scores on the doors looking like Zip? I did a quick skim and 38 contestants seem to have chipped in for Feb, which is interesting since you said 38 originally said they were up for it, which dropped to 36 for January. So are the "new" two, old new, or new old, or new new, or ....? :smile: Supposed to be out there with MuddyPete tonight but I don't fancy the upturned boat thing again. Wonder where our nearest castle is :wink:. Berkhamsted probably. Bit public though.
"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

javatime
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by javatime » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:42 pm

1/1 – February Done

Late write up, and apologies if this throws Zippy’s stats.

I caught the February heatwave, and the Bridgwater train on a Friday afternoon for the annual trip down to the Somerset Levels to see the mega starling murmuration. A bit lazy but used cycle.travel website for my route this time that found some nice traffic free stretches beneath and along the Polden Hills around Bawdrip.

This evening the birds were roosting away from the path, but threw some good shapes in the distance.

Image

Image

Met an eccentric in a bird hide who pretty much immediately started to bore me with epic tales of his ruptured aorta…so escaped to the pub in Westhay for a quiet pint. Very quiet, the cook telling me that everyone must have spent their money the previous night (Valentines)

Missed the dawn “anti-murmuration” when they all take off again as I had a broken night, kept awake by courting moorhens around my “accommodation”. In the light of day I understood the ritual a bit better whereby the male seems to chase the female around the pond, screeching, until she is exhausted….

I decided to make the return trip “door to door” (no trains involved). Across the graph paper lanes of the levels, lots of herons and egrets fishing in the ditches, then a tasty second breakfast in the swanky deli in Wedmore. Around the Mendips to Axbridge and The Strawberry Line for a bit, leaving it at Shipham and Wrington and a wiggle around the end of the runway at Bristol Airport.

All a bit grey and familiar on a Saturday morning in the sprawling Bristol hinterland but peaceful off road around Bourton Combe, Barrow Court then Long Ashton, the big hill up through Ashton Court and then Clifton and home.

I got my BAM badge last year Jan-Jan, but had a late start this year so will see how things go as the year unfolds.

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RIP
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by RIP » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:02 am

First stab at March, another 'local bivi for local people' with MuddyPete. We'd envisaged a couple of late beers in the pub but just as Pete arrived at the bar for the second one they dinged the bell and said they were now closed! Eh? Surely the bell's for last orders? "Ain't you lot got homes/tarps/bivis to go to?" is for closing time. The world's falling apart. After a detour via Pete's house we ended up in a biofuel willow plantation which I've had my eye on for a while (save that old lorry body for next time Pete?). If we like to use woods as cover this was perfect with its serried ranks of willow saplings. You could either cut them for biofuel or maybe to make tiny cricket bats for Lego people.

Image
20190307_011404

Me looking up at the stars. Except I'm a rubbish photographer so you can't see them. Ho-hum.

Image
20190307_012125

'Reg'

3/3, 3/12, 38/38
"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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MuddyPete
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by MuddyPete » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:50 am

Yup, pub was was a bit of a surprise, Reg. Thankfully beer and crisps at home allowed continued refreshment.
Conversation drifted to the stove thread, then onto a possible "Chilterns Retrotastic Bivi Night"...bring your fave item of old kit and celebrate the quaint charms of olden times (1985). :lol:
Biofuel willow plantation bike bivi with LNT and TLS... :-bd . You can't get more eco-friendly than that :ugeek:
3/12
May you always have tail wind.

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:39 am

Bit disappointed you didn't weave a basket Reg.
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RIP
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by RIP » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:09 pm

:wink: . I am indeed a basket case it has to be said....

Reckon a wicker bar basket instead of bar bags would be pretty retro.
"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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TheBrownDog
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by TheBrownDog » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:35 pm

"Chilterns Retrotastic Bivi Night"......
In.
I'm just stepping outside ...

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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by mountainposture » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:57 pm

I’ve managed two BAMs so far. Some gentle gathering in mid Wales in Jan, and then a glorious short trip in the Dales on the last weekend of Feb. Think it’ll get to the last weekend of the month in March too. Pleased with the two trips out we’ve had so far. Much fun.

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Borderer
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by Borderer » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:33 pm

JimmyG your trip looks great. I used to ride a lot in East Lothian before I moved to the Borders. I must check out some of those places sometime.

JimmyG
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by JimmyG » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:49 pm

Thanks Borderer. I can highly recommend it. I've been exploring out that way for a few years now and still come across new trails and potential bivvy sites.

redefined_cycles
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by redefined_cycles » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:38 am

I managed my first BAM2019 and hoping to complete it by Feb next year (and get a badge or whatever it is that one manages to win... kick in the teeth?? :-bd ). Whats encouraging me is that if I manage it then hopefully I might be more confident to go do the Dales Divide which isnt too far from me...

So, was supposed to be doing parts of the PBW but that ended up on hold. After much fettling with gear and bike I finally decided it was much too heavy and removed the water bladder onto my back and dropped some more weight. Googled how much it should weigh and the answer was, "how much can you shoulder". 17.5kg it seems and whilst laying in my bivi earlier tonight I checked how much a decent but cheaper end DH bicycle is and its almost 17.5kg on the dot (not sure how some DH rigs end up with extra gear on for BPing :roll: ). WIthout further ado

Image Set out just before midnight with the plan to do a 15 mile loop with a bivi in between it all but as soon as I got down the road I realised I need to just get my head down and get it ticked off. Found a site strewn with litter but managed to find an empty spot (just had to move 1 burger box which looked a bit green)... What a sad state of our even the greenish cites of our towns/cities.

Managed to get to sleep straight after ordering a couple of WildCat Ocelots in L and XL as I figured they'd be lighter as well as not encourage me to try carry extra weight on frame triangle with the added benefit of being able to take an extra bottle for coffee/wudhu (ablution for prayers) duties. About midnight this was whilst I considered why Stu doesn't enjoy bivi bags without a tarp, I nodded off...

Then around 3am I woke up either due to getting rained on or the bag sitting on top my face and not being able to breath (the brain/nervous system is such an amazing thing as it forces you to awake due to O2 deprivation!.. ThankGod for that).... So for the next 45 minutes or so - whilst trying to combat the rain by ingeniously hooking the bottom bivibag layer into my cap so the top would save me and the sleeping bag from rain as well as having a nice ventilation hole for breathing - I managed to answer my own Q of why SirStu does not enjoy the abovementioned...

Image In the end I couldn't balance hat with bivi layer no more so decided I need to make a dash for it and out of this drizzly rain. Popped the mats air screw thingy and let everything deflate beneath me and devised the plan of just rolling everything up as it was and squishing into my backback (which I originally wasn't gonna bring as thought I was managing everything and water on my bike), jacket on, Wahoo on and recovered ride and off I came home.... Still made it a loop...Image

Image Back where we belong at 0345

Image Thankyou O Allah for my 30L Deuter

Image Drying out

Image The end (for the record, and from the look of the ginger beer can on brief inspection, I dont think the AcePac let any water in and am sure the speaker that was left in there survived the ordeal)...

:-bd (Did I already say to count me in for the BAM2019 :lol: )

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TheBrownDog
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by TheBrownDog » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:03 am

March done and dusted and that's 3/3 for 2019. Ignoring the weather warnings, I packed my bike and rode over to Lotts Wood for our Saturday GoRide coaching session. For shelter, in my backpack was my son's MSR Elixir 2 - a big dual skinned tent that I knew would stand up to the expected wind and rain, but at over 2kg is a big old lump of a thing. Coaching done, it was off to the Plough at Hyde Heath for a late lunch and to watch Wales v Scotland, and then the first half of Eng v Italy.

I wanted to get back over to Hodgemoor Wood so I was close to home in the morning, so I rode back down through Lotts, up the hill to Penn Street and then took a few lanes, passing the Harte & Magpies around 7pm, I think, and up in Hodgemoor. I had a spot in mind - nice and flat and not too many trees to shed their branches onto my head in the night. The tent may be chunky, but it's a doddle to pitch and I was set up in about 10 minutes.

Another 10 minutes later I had a nice little fire going in my wood fire stove, dinner of rice and beans was simmering and I settled back in my chair (once I worked out how to stop the legs sinking into the mud) to watch the fire, eat and relax. Getting the fire going was easy - I had wrapped four cotton balls daubed in Vaseline in a piece of kitchen paper. Set that on fire, dropped it into the stove and put a load of kindling on top. With all the rain we've had, everything was quite wet, but I used branches that had fallen and got caught in lower trees before they hit the ground. They were dry enough. Bedtime came around 9pm and I read for a bit before falling to sleep.

I woke at 2am with heavy rain on the tent and could hear the wind banging the trees about. I managed a few more hours of fitful sleep during which time the weather didn't improve at all. The idea of getting up didn't appeal, but I had to make a move. Not before brewing up a coffee on my little meths set up though. It took me a while to pack up with everything so wet, but I was still up and gone at 7am and home 30 minutes later. It has now taken me another hour to unpack and clean everything. My God - the mud - it's as if we didn't have that lovely dry warm spell at all.

Fingers crossed conditions improve for later in the month. I'm determined to get out again in a couple of weeks and get back into a hammock.

Big tent. Little fire. Nice comfy chair.
Image

The washing ...
Image
I'm just stepping outside ...

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RIP
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by RIP » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:08 am

Top effort with the rain there Tim. You and your chair, heh heh :smile: Google 'bikepacking chair' and it almost comes back as a googlewhack :wink: .
"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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RIP
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by RIP » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:26 am

and nice one r_c too of course, sounds like you enjoyed some good 'learning outcomes' there :smile: . S'great this BaM business in't it :-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

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

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TheBrownDog
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by TheBrownDog » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:40 am

You and your chair, heh heh :smile:
Cheers Reg. For some reason (probably laziness) I left it out in the rain after going to bed. Not a big issue, as it's not made of tissue paper. In fact, the chair had collected about 400ml of rain water by the time I emptied it out, which would have come in handy had I decide to also make up the dehydrated breakfast i'd toted along.
I'm just stepping outside ...

redefined_cycles
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by redefined_cycles » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:07 am

Thanks RIP (is it Reg??) and well done TBD... you've just reminded me that i don't need to go buy a Trekkertent just yet as i have an Ordos Alpkit 2 man thingy in the shed... Its only 1.2kg or a few tads (lets call em 100g each) over that...

Lovely learning ofc course

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by ScotRoutes » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:43 pm

March.

Loch Insh Boathouse for food and beers.
Drakes bothy was empty so we commandeered that (top bunk for me).
Early morning snow made a fantastic ride back to Aviemore for breakfast and to induct Ross to the Four Season Legion.

ImageDSC_0231 by Colin Cadden, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0234 by Colin Cadden, on Flickr

ChrisF
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by ChrisF » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:53 pm

March BaM 3/3.
I rode in to work on Friday with my bike loaded up and managed to escape mid afternoon. The plan was to do a shortish ride so I could find a spot to pitch my new Lunar Solo for the first time and have enough daylight to faff around with it if I couldn't get it right. I found a good spot at the side of Fernilee reservoir in the Goyt valley. The tent went up fairly easily, all looked quite good.
ImageMarch 19 BaM Lunar Solo by Chris Farley, on Flickr
The evening was nice, the moon and stars were out. Just after midnight the forecast bad weather hit, strong winds and heavy rain, so not much sleep after that. The tent held up perfectly so I stayed dry. Next morning was showery and very windy. Signs of spring:
ImageMarch 19 BaM Lunar Solo by Chris Farley, on Flickr
Looking back up the reservoir from the dam, I camped in the trees on the left shore
ImageMarch 19 BaM Lunar Solo by Chris Farley, on Flickr
Only 7 miles home, part along the Peak Forest canal. I found where Del Boy has retired to:
ImageMarch 19 BaM Lunar Solo by Chris Farley, on Flickr
ImageMarch 19 BaM Lunar Solo by Chris Farley, on Flickr
ImageMarch 19 BaM Lunar Solo by Chris Farley, on Flickr
Back home before the hail and sleet started.

Landslide
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by Landslide » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:00 pm

That's horrendous.

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