Bivvy a month 2019

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by ScotRoutes » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:14 pm

When bikepacking is more about enduring than endurance

It's not all lovely sunsets, wilderness fires and #danglemugs you know! There's a side of bikepacking the media keeps quiet about. No snow covered trails, no remote waterfalls, no hipster beards and Crikey, how much jerseys. It's November in the Highlands and it's been wet. Except when it's been very cold. Then it's been very cold and wet. Having not been out overnight for a couple of weeks I needed a fix and decided to ride down to the coast towards Findhorn and Roseisle Forest. It's a favourite spot and was the location of the start of my current streak of 36 consecutive Bivvy-a-Months. Taking the Speyside Way to Grantown and then the Dava Way to Forres makes it almost all off road. 

Yesterdays ride started out OK. There's been a bit of snow at low level and patches could still be found in shaded spots. The rest had thawed out making the trails a bit damp. Still, despite all the gates, Grantown was reached without drama. The first section of the Dava Way was a warning. It was wet. Very wet. Thankfully, I was managing to avoid most of the worst of it.

ImageP1060156 by Colin Cadden, on Flickr


As I climbed higher onto Dava Moor, I entered a bank of thick, freezing mist. Not only was this chilling me, it was also killing the last of the evening sun and it wasn't too long before I was using the light to see where I was going.

ImageP1060158 by Colin Cadden, on Flickr

At a couple of points, I could look up and see clear sky, so it wasn't a thick layer, just enough to make me cold and even wetter. By the time I reached the Half Way Hut I was seriously thinking about jacking it in. If I'd have more food with me, I likely would have but I'd planned to eat in Findhorn. 

ImageP1060159 by Colin Cadden, on Flickr

I cracked on, at least now heading downhill. The trail was just a river at times and everything I was wearing was getting muddier and wetter. 70km after starting out I hit Findhorn and the Kimberley Inn. Fair to say I got some "looks" from the other guests as I grabbed a table and started to divest myself of cold, wet clothing. 

Still, there's always decent food here so after mains and dessert and a couple of pints of Hurricane, it was time to get dressed up again and head along to Roseisle Forest. A combination of planning and careful unpacking got my tarp up and bag out without slathering mud on everything and I was glad to get into the bag to warm up. It didn't take long to drift off. 

6am pee time and it was still dark, so I waited until it was first light before firing up the stove and getting some coffee on. There was a brief - maybe 20 minute - point at which the whole exercise seemed worthwhile, lying warm in my bag, morning cuppa and watching the sky go first pink and then a misty blue, with birds on their morning flights. All was well. 

ImageP1060165 by Colin Cadden, on Flickr

ImageP1060167 (2) by Colin Cadden, on Flickr

After that, it was time to head back to Forres for breakfast and then back to Grantown. This time, I decided to head up the road. It would be slow and boring but definitely drier than last night. Inevitably I hit the freezing fog again. Other than that, load up the next photo onto your laptop and stare at it while standing at the open door of your freezer for a couple of hours. That was basically my ride home (for the full effect get someone to spray you repeatedly with icy water).

ImageP1060169 by Colin Cadden, on Flickr

11/11.
36 in a row.
61/71 (IIRC)

benp1
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by benp1 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:35 pm

Morning shot is good though

Looks like a tough ride, maybe one for pogies and mudguards...!

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htrider
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by htrider » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:58 pm

:-bd
Did you not fancy kipping in the halfway hut?

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Borderer
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by Borderer » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:39 am

htrider wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:58 pm
:-bd
Did you not fancy kipping in the halfway hut?
He says he didn't have enough food with him.

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by ScotRoutes » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:59 am

The Half Way Hut is lovely and I've considered it for an overnighter. Maybe once there's sufficient snow. Need to be prepped though. I had little food with me this time and a winter ride would required a decent amount of water to be carried in as the weeburn could be frozen.

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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by RIP » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:53 am

Excellent. That's the type of ride I like reading about. I know we say November and February are the 'worst' months to bike/bivvy but they're more interesting as a result. I was only thinking the other day that there's a surprising number of sunny photos given recent weather :wink: . I know I know, cue all the discussions about "what's the point of choosing to have a 'miserable' time?", "stop being elitist" (as if there was anything elitist about pitching a tarp in the rain!) etc :smile: .

Oh and of course there's a certain vicarious and unashamed pleasure armchair-reading about another BBBer's sufferings :lol: .

PS. Just noticed the jolly (or eerie depending on your view) coloured lights in the hut - what's going on there then?!
"My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

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"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster

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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by ScotRoutes » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:46 pm

The hut has a wee solar panel and a battery in the loft. There's a PIR sensor inside, with some LED strips. Someone obviously decided to give it some festive cheer 😊

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htrider
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by htrider » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:50 pm

Borderer wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:39 am
htrider wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:58 pm
:-bd
Did you not fancy kipping in the halfway hut?
He says he didn't have enough food with him.
Oops so he did. That's what comes of have one too many beers before posting....

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Borderer
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by Borderer » Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:13 pm

htrider wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:50 pm
Borderer wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:39 am
htrider wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:58 pm
:-bd
Did you not fancy kipping in the halfway hut?
He says he didn't have enough food with him.
Oops so he did. That's what comes of have one too many beers before posting....
Pay attention back there...

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metalheart
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by metalheart » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:55 pm

If you had given me a shout, I’d have joined you. ....in the Kimberley that is, feck cycling the Dava Way in the wet :grin: I remember it being pretty grim three years ago....

I’d have been able to give you lift home too... :lol:

Character building I believe...
Give the dirt a little room.

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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by ericrobo » Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:45 pm

Set off Monday afternoon, and set up the trailstar 8.5 miles away, on Darwen Moor, after 1400 feet of ascent.
It was cold and by 5pm was probably down to zero.

ImageIMG_2934_preview.jpeg by Eric Robinson, on Flickr

A fairly comfortable night even though it reached minus 6 at 4:30am.

Trouble is you spend 12 hours plus on your back at this time of year, and it wrecks my back.

Up at 8 (not earlier note, it's all about logistics... and cold !)
Made a monster brew with sugar,
ImageIMG_2937_preview.jpeg by Eric Robinson, on Flickr

and started all the pfaffing involved in packing up... God it was cold out there, a frost and mist everywhere...
ImageIMG_2941_preview.jpeg by Eric Robinson, on Flickr

Was away by 9 but the track was very icy, didn't stop me riding though. A bit of effort on the icy slightly uphill track, then a delightful mile over Nige of Darwen's shale ST (thanks again Nige :-bd ), then downhill to Vaughan's cafe at Tockholes.

It was warm in there... my fingers were still frozen and wouldn't undo my helmet, so I ordered tea and beans on toast and sat there waiting for the fingers to come back to life !
Then I felt as if I was going to faint ! so went outside before my legs began to buckle !
5 minutes of fresh air and I was back to normal.

Anybody else experienced this ?
All I can think is it's a frozen body's reaction to too much warmth.

Headed off and next stop was BG Cafe at Rivington for a pot of tea and toasted teacakes.
Trouble is I then have over a 1000 feet of climbing in 4 miles.... (and more climbing before I'm up and over on easier ground)

My Garmin Edge 530 has a Grit factor, the higher the harder, and for this ride it recorded 212.

A full on BAM that !
About 32 miles and 3500 feet ascent...
(I'm coming up to 2 years of this.... 2 years after the December BAM)

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Borderer
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by Borderer » Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:16 pm

Yeah I have had that light headed thing when going from cold outside to warm indoors.

JimmyG
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by JimmyG » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:36 pm

That's November ticked off and I'm 11/11 and 23 months in a row. I got up early on Sunday morning to head north to Laggan. There I met up with the Fat Bike Highland group for the first of their series of monthly meet ups over the winter months. After reading their ride reports with interest last year, I was looking forward to exploring with a bunch of riders who know the area well. I received a friendly welcome and then thoroughly enjoyed a ride featuring a mixed bag of forest tracks, singletrack and even a beach. Oh and a few hills (Thanks ScotRoutes!).

Since I was up in the area I’d decided to kill two birds with one stone and fit in November’s overnight bivvy in Rothiemurchus Forest, near Aviemore (around 25 miles farther north) that same night. After refuelling on pizza and a couple of beers in Aviemore, I reluctantly tore myself away from the pub’s warmth and set about loading up the bike. I finally got going around 8.30 p.m and rode into the darkness up the estate’s Old Logging Way, heading for an ideal little spot I know from camping there a few years ago. As forecast, it was a cold night but not unpleasantly so. It was dry and there was no wind to speak of but as I descended towards the site the temperature dropped noticeably and when I arrived there was already quite a thick frost on the ground (cold air sinks and all that!). I decided to head back up to slightly higher ground to another spot in the forest that I know well. I’d opted to trust the overnight weather forecast of -3 to -5 degrees with no rain so had dispensed with any overhead cover and brought only my bivvy bag, winter sleeping bag and sleeping mat. In the event that proved to be ideal and I managed a pretty good night’s sleep. When I checked my phone in the morning the current temperature was reading -4 which surprised me because it certainly didn’t feel that cold. However, once I stepped out of the shelter of the trees I saw that everything was covered in a coat of white frost and even the moss was frozen solid.

After a quick breakfast I packed up and headed downhill towards Loch Morlich to find the loch covered with a thin layer of ice and the Cairngorms looking majestic under a blanket of snow. I then had a leisurely spin round a few nearby trails and headed around the loch and back to the mother ship in Aviemore.

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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ScotRoutes
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by ScotRoutes » Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:51 pm

Nice to finally meet up. There's a few others still to do on my BB ticklist but I suspect I'll need to make a few more trips South for that.

-9c Monday night/Tuesday morning....

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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by JimmyG » Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:02 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:51 pm
Nice to finally meet up. There's a few others still to do on my BB ticklist but I suspect I'll need to make a few more trips South for that.

-9c Monday night/Tuesday morning....
Likewise Colin. See you at GFBD!

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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by TheBrownDog » Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:50 pm

Live Bivvy in progress ... in an hour or two. Heading out later. Sat in my car outside my daughter’s tutor’s place till 8pm. Home by 830, quick bite then up to a bit of a wood in Gerrards Cross I’ve been passed a million times and always wondered: “Will I get away with it?” GX is the quintessential representation of the soft underbelly of the British middle class, the self-entitled arse hats who will be most unimpressed to find me curled up in my Bivvy bag when they wander past with the cavapoos ..... hang on. I think I just described myself 🙄 just without the salary. Looks like a nice clear cold night.
I'm just stepping outside ...

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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by gloryhallelujahAl » Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:12 am

TheBrownDog wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:50 pm
Live Bivvy in progress ... in an hour or two. Heading out later. Sat in my car outside my daughter’s tutor’s place till 8pm. Home by 830, quick bite then up to a bit of a wood in Gerrards Cross I’ve been passed a million times and always wondered: “Will I get away with it?” GX is the quintessential representation of the soft underbelly of the British middle class, the self-entitled arse hats who will be most unimpressed to find me curled up in my Bivvy bag when they wander past with the cavapoos ..... hang on. I think I just described myself 🙄 just without the salary. Looks like a nice clear cold night.
Cool! How was it?
AL
Sanguis et Ignis

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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by TheBrownDog » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:27 pm

It was remarkably dull. Kit in a backpack. A desultory 15 minute ride up to the spot I picked out last weekend. It was 11pm by the time I got my head down and I had a fitful sleep with traffic whizzing past. Woke at 4am needing a pee and decided that once up I may as well go home. So I did. The cat was glad to see me.

Roll on December as I’m looking forward to the Chilterns Winter night out. Have to say this is gonna be my last BAM. Three years in a row will do.
I'm just stepping outside ...

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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by TrepidExplorer » Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:18 pm

I was so tempted to make a Novembivi in Southern Spain after a stomach bug helped write off the first two weekends of the Month but by the time Sunday 10th arrived I felt a need for adventure, solitude and calorie levels were nearly normal.

Stanage was coppery as I silently slipped through remembrance.
Image

Win hill was dreamyImage

In Hope the Adventure caf was closed so I joined everyone else in alternate establishments where the CTC were taking over. They did me a favour as going inside might have done in any resolve I had to stay out.

My plan was now to mess about in the valley till dark but instead I took forever to do a loop and timings worked perfectly.

The moon made it's appearance as I topped out on Jacob's Ladder, wishing goodbye to the last of daylight. Image

Hayfield, Rushop and down the broken road to Castleton to the pub where I force fed my shrivelled stomach whilst trying to warm it with tea till the staff put the heating back on.

For a moment I considered an outdoor bivi but remembered the forecast rain and light pack (no tarp) and headedup to Ladybower gritstone slabs and the sheep/walkers' hut.
Image
Thankfully no ovines or humans were in residence and at 10pm I didnt need to wait for bed time. Shame, as a perfect Evo-sized nook made the best reading light.

I woke up at 5 to the happy news that I picked the best spot, a small trickle of mountain side now seeping down the uphill wall of the hut. I brewed up to a gentle lightening of the sky and rode straight home down the road to pack for a week in Guildford with work.

Making the very best of a bad job in many ways.
Trepid Explorer: Warmth with less bulk

paramart
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by paramart » Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:33 pm

well that's me done a fully fledged member of the 4 season legion, set off in the rain at 21.45hrs rode up to the chase found the dry side of the outdoor school, I had left the army doss bag out for a few days to loft up and with my fibre pile inner slung in the bergan I had a nice warm night, just a shame some peacock started screaming and found a reply near to me, had to go last night as something cropped up for next w/end, so a bit of a rush job, got home about 07.30hrs and swapped the front wheel for the +size and went back up with a couple of mates mtbing, also bumped into tony at the lbs, apparently he'd been dogging somewhere in his van had a chat and brew then home.12/12 for me fairplay to the long termers I nearly cocked up on 2 months
Image
Image
Image
it's not that I can and others can't, it's that I will and others won't.

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RIP
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by RIP » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:38 pm

Ah yes the outdoor school. That was fun when we came up to see you. Guess a bad idea to have a lie-in, goodness knows what the little cherubs of Year 1 would think when they turned up for assembly next morning. You Salopping with us ne'er-do-wells in Dec then matey?
"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

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster

Raggedstone
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by Raggedstone » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:07 pm

11/11
Another ride from home BAM last saturday 17th, i didnt have much choice as a very large moat appeared around the area and as a result getting out wasnt easy so went up the Malvern hills to one of the off the beaten track bits i know at about 10pm.
Going out into the cold and rain from a nice warm house wasnt easy i had to have a strong word with myself the rain was forecast to stop which it did . After about 5 miles and one long climb some of which was walked i arrived and after a bit of wandering about found a good spot and with perfect timing the moon broke through the clouds so i was able to get the tarp up and bivi arranged by the moonlight . i went straight to bed slept quite well for a while but for the first time i woke up feeling cold and it was a fair bit warmer than last months effort so can only think as i didnt have to put much effort in i hadnt got warm and didnt eat or drink before getting into the sleeping bag exactly the same set up as last month .
Image
I had an early morning alarm call from a very determined pheasant so packed up and with one small exception freewheeled all the way home

paramart
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by paramart » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:16 pm

RIP wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Ah yes the outdoor school. That was fun when we came up to see you. Guess a bad idea to have a lie-in, goodness knows what the little cherubs of Year 1 would think when they turned up for assembly next morning. You Salopping with us ne'er-do-wells in Dec then matey?
Should be reg don't think the wwb is happening this year
it's not that I can and others can't, it's that I will and others won't.

frogatthefarriers
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by frogatthefarriers » Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:00 pm

BAM 11/12 Mortimer Forest, Ludlow

A (sort-of) gig-packing bivvy this, at the Medieval Christmas Fayre in Ludlow castle.

So - ride to station, train to Ludlow, arriving just before 10 o'clock. Ride to Mortimer forest
Image

to scope out a good hammocking spot because I didn't want to be looking for one in the dark and rain.
Then, having found 3 possibilities, it was back to town and the medieval fayre. Was a bit put out when they wouldn't let me bring my bike into the safety of the castle. the message was,
"I don't know where you can put it, but it ain't coming in here"
I took the electronics off and locked it to the signboard just outside the gate. That still left some hundreds of pounds still on the bike and me a bit nervous.

Anyway, in to the fayre. There was medieval music, mummery, singing and storytelling...
Image

...and a huge reduction in my cash. Boy, oh boy can you soon spend money in there. I didn't buy anything except food, but a pie, a bun full of stew, a pint and several cups of hot mulled wine, (I was cold and wet), soon saw off 40 quids.

This bike stand was in the gateway so he obliged me by posing.. :smile:
Image

The bivvy...
Image
Image

In 't morning, out along what bridleways I could find (not many) to Stokesay Castle ...
Image

...for lunch (keeping the medieval theme going).

From there I'd planned to go up over the Long Mynd, but it was such a grey miserable day, I cut straight to Church Stretton to catch my train home two hours early.

I got home ,cold and wet, to the smell of a hearty beef stew just at tea time. I swear, that woman of mine is a saint... :grin:
Konia kują, żaba noge podstawia...

redefined_cycles
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Re: Bivvy a month 2019

Post by redefined_cycles » Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:56 am

Pre winter Peaks Bivvy in progress. Lets call BAM Nov for me.. Karl's asleep somewhere closeby (or pretending to be)...

Anyway, the weather has been (by the grace of God) good to us and we almost considered cancelling the name of 'pre winter'.

Anyway, its well drained trails which Karl chose carefully for us so we dont get the bikes dirty before winter proper kicks in. He also doubles nicely up as a human coffee dripper machine. Maybe Mike should invest in him instead of trying to find a collapsible coffee dripping cone. With Karl you actually save that wieght so technically 0g.

So (cos I can't write 'anyway' to start the paragraph again can I !), errrm, anyway... In pics...


Image

Image

Image

Btw... the coffee grounds fell through but this is 'Karl the human coffee dripper mark 1'... So its only ever gonna get better

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