Bivvy a month 2020.

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Landslide
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by Landslide » Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:12 pm

RIP wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:59 pm
H.O.T.'s would be a nice T-shirt actually!
Seconded.

benconnolli
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by benconnolli » Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:55 pm

So I will check in for this month as having been out. I'm not so convinced by the it's better than nothing mindset. I've tried different set ups ranging from just a bivi bag and quilt, to 3m x 3m tarp with groundsheet and duvet, but my heart just has not been in it.

These tastes just make me hungry. It's like when you itch a midge bite, those glorious 0.2 seconds of bliss before the unrivalled discomfort returns, worse than ever, but you keep at it anyway.

I'm enjoying many aspects of lockdown lifestyle, just not biving in the back garden.

JimmyG
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by JimmyG » Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:51 pm

Despite the current restrictions and despite not having my own private garden, I’ve been determined not to interrupt my run of BAMs (27 in a row up to March). After much thought, I decided there was nothing else for it but to use the small communal garden in my development. A couple of complications, though - the area is overlooked by far too many houses and partially illuminated by lights from the buildings’ stairwell windows. To increase my chances of ‘setting up camp’ discreetly and remaining undiscovered, I waited until well after midnight before leaving my house. After a token spin around the block I found the ‘approach route’ to my chosen spot was far brighter than I’d expected but decided just to go for it (whilst hoping no nightbirds happened to be looking out their window). Once settled into the shadows next to the bushes, though, I was fairly well concealed… or at least would be until daylight arrived! The weather has been pretty good here in recent weeks and the forecast was for another dry night so sleeping mat and bag, bivvy bag and a down jacket for my pillow was perfectly adequate, all of which fitted nicely into my daypack. I delayed getting my head down down until I felt sure no uniforms had been summoned and in the meantime got on with drinking my one can of beer (on this occasion). Despite the offbeat location, I had a surprisingly good sleep and all too soon it was 5 a.m and already daylight. I suddenly felt very conspicuous indeed and it was definitely time to make myself scarce. Fortunately nobody was up and about and after a couple of hasty pics I was out of there. I chucked my daypack in my house (I cannot lie) and, fortified by coffee and a wee Soreen lunchbox loaf, at shortly after 6 a.m I headed out for a twenty-mile on/off-road ride. All within Edinburgh’s city limits, I might add. :smile:

I can’t pretend last night was a bundle of laughs so here’s hoping we’re able to venture a bit farther afield by the time the end of May comes round. That, of course, remains to be seen.

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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RIP
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by RIP » Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:32 pm

Impressed with that. Hidden in plain sight indeed :smile: .
"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

JimmyG
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by JimmyG » Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:51 pm

RIP wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:32 pm
Impressed with that. Hidden in plain sight indeed :smile: .
We'll see. There's probably a letter of complaint from the property Factor's office winging its way towards me now! :wink:

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RIP
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by RIP » Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:47 am

benconnolli wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:55 pm
I'm not so convinced by the it's better than nothing mindset.... I've tried different set ups..... my heart just has not been in it...... these tastes just make me hungry..... Im enjoying many aspects of lockdown lifestyle, just not biving in the back garden.
Can't disagree with you Ben really. Been battling with a few thoughts meself. I feel I need the monthly commitment to ensure that I keep bivvying, so the garden it has to be to maintain continuity. No that's not right, obviously I love bivvying but I worry if I miss a month I'll never get going again. No that's not quite right either, of course I would. Hmm.

My heart's not fully into the garden idea, hence my attempts at adding some quirky extras - maybe you could try that. Contrived maybe but nowt wrong with that. I vaguely remember a post from you where you actually appreciated the constrictions of the format and enjoyed the morning breakfast situation. Your outings are always nicely unusual, also appreciating small things, so you've a head start there :smile: . It must be better than nothing - you have the power to make it so.

I'm enjoying some lockdown aspects too, and sometimes feeling guilty about it when many people have no choice or are in dire straits. Same thing, just have to make the best of one's own situation - including bivvying.

Anyway, selfishly speaking I enjoy reading your stories so stop wibbling and get on with it :wink: :grin: .
"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

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JohnClimber
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by JohnClimber » Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:50 pm

benconnolli wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:55 pm
So I will check in for this month as having been out. I'm not so convinced by the it's better than nothing mindset. I've tried different set ups ranging from just a bivi bag and quilt, to 3m x 3m tarp with groundsheet and duvet, but my heart just has not been in it.

These tastes just make me hungry. It's like when you itch a midge bite, those glorious 0.2 seconds of bliss before the unrivalled discomfort returns, worse than ever, but you keep at it anyway.

I'm enjoying many aspects of lockdown lifestyle, just not biving in the back garden.
Agreed, it us hard to get motivated.
I bailed when it was a cloudy windy night the other week simply because my bed upstairs was warmer and much more comfortable.

I got out last weekend (2nd time this month) as it was getting dark to bivi in the back garden with one simple aim.
To get up extra early without waking the house up and to get out for a sneaky pack raft before the weekend warriors get out on their bikes.

Just find your excuse and go for it

A short film of the trip
https://youtu.be/kYbIRVR6P9w

benconnolli
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by benconnolli » Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:36 pm

So I was in no mood to write this up as it was just not a fun time. It reminded me of what I was missing, and the ridiculous lengths I was going to in some vague attempt to stimulate something, anything, my normal is that dull. Also I felt that it was a failure as I bailed before dawn.

Anyway, bad times can lead to good stories so I hope you can enjoy it, even if I can't.

While deciding what to pack, a conversation with a fascinating home schooler flashed through my mind. It was about zero camping. She would go out with the kids and absolutely zero camping gear then build their own den with a bed of moss and blanket of leaves.

Wanting to extend my ride as long as possible, while also practicing safe stunts away from mocking eyes, I set off with a track stand. I wobbled, hand on the wall, other wall, steady, elbow dab, inched forward, turned the wheel, found my balance point, held it for an integer number of seconds.

As this went on I remenised about the track stands I had attempted in the past; painted face and skinny jeans in a Halloween alley cat in Leeds, wailing and whooping as we owned the night in our masses, then stalling at the one set of traffic lights on my deliveroo circuit. Those moments were lived as they were, part of daily life, it was only now that they blossomed into treasured memories and whistful dreams.

I propped my bike up and didn't unpack. This was lighter than ultralight, cheaper than a bargin, taking even less than TLS, maybe those inquisitive kids were onto something.

It was a clear forecast so my priority was some form of sleeping mat. I gathered up the fresh grass cuttings and foraged a torso of cardboard from a box that had conveniently been left outside. Then I set about insulating myself as best I could. The box also provided a newspaper which I layered beneath my top and scrunched into balls along my trousers. There hadn't been rain for a week and I backed my chances, so called it there and tried to get an early night before the last whisps of heat from the sun evaporated.

Now my mat did not have a 7cm of sprung insulation, but I was able to mould the grass around me and my body was imprinted on the cardboard. Similar to memory foam if you think about it, NASA I'm coming for you. There really isn't much positives I can say about my insulation system, it was about as warm as a brown paper bag, only grey. Still, I did some more press ups and curled up tighter.

Time passed too quickly for me to not have slept, but by 2am I was over this daft suffering and stropped inside. What had I proved? Did I actually enjoy any of it? Why couldn't I just accept that being comfortable might win over masochism?

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RIP
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by RIP » Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:05 pm

:-bd . The ultimate in TLS. You've transcended to bikepacking Nirvana :grin:.

I think you know the answers to those questions too...

I reckon you could give the great James Acaster a run for his money. In fact I remember one of his stories actually did involve spending a night in a bush in Basingstoke.
"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

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TheBrownDog
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by TheBrownDog » Sun May 03, 2020 9:53 am

My heart's not fully into the garden idea,
Have to say I'm at the other end of this particular spectrum. Spending so many hours starting at my computer screen working from home is as much fun as you might imagine (not complaining: consider myself lucky to still have a job). I've spent at least one night a week sleeping in the garden, normally after a decent-ish ride. I can have a little fire, cook something, sit in a comfy chair and just decompress for a couple of hours. It sure ain't bikepacking and I'm not even sure it counts as camping, but it gets me outside and I'm very thankful for that.

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I'm just stepping outside ...

Landslide
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by Landslide » Sun May 03, 2020 10:09 am

Is that a dangle-watering-can we can spy...?

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TheBrownDog
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by TheBrownDog » Sun May 03, 2020 2:29 pm

Landslide wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 10:09 am
Is that a dangle-watering-can we can spy...?
Cracking idea. Coming soon to a bivvy near me. I could take some Spring flowers and use my toilet trowel to plant a garden bed in the woods.
I'm just stepping outside ...

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JohnClimber
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by JohnClimber » Sat May 09, 2020 11:00 pm

The Virtual WRT 5/5 for me.
Riding again tomorrow morning, hope I sleep better tonight than last night, what with the first night of a trip bivi nerves.... And all the fecking dogs barking and cats calling each other while I was trying to nod off....

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Last edited by JohnClimber on Tue May 12, 2020 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Charliecres
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by Charliecres » Sun May 10, 2020 7:13 am

Virtual WRT takes me to 3/3. Here’s a couple of pics of my luxury pitch and breakfast fry-up.

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RIP
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by RIP » Sun May 10, 2020 8:48 am

Naan bread for breakfast? This could only be WRT :smile: .

Yah, V-WRT, two-nighter

5/5, 5/12, 52/52
"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

benconnolli
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by benconnolli » Sun May 10, 2020 3:52 pm

After reevaluating what it was that first attracted me to sleeping out, I went with a back to basics set up. I hoped to relight my connection with nature and clear my head of complications.

Part of this nature connection felt appropriate to cook by fire. I cheated and made my chilli lentil burger mixture in civilisation, but did mix some dough for the buns as the flames danced to their final song before fading to my culinary ashes. I felt suitably primal as I ate with my hands, freed from electricity, if only for an evening.

In true BBQ tradition I kept cooking and eating burgers as long as it was burning. This resulted in me eating a lot. Being outside for the entirety of sunset, now complete, my body clock was telling me it was bedtime. I lazily rolled into my bags without even taking a step. There were comfier spots with better views to trace the full moon, but I was content where I was and soon nodded off.

Nothing to get the mind spinning or the pulse racing, but this did tip the balance back from dull lonlieness to calm solitude in the perspecive battle inside my head and that is a fantastic journey have completed.

frogatthefarriers
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by frogatthefarriers » Sun May 10, 2020 8:06 pm

WRT weekend double BAM. A Road to Nowhere. 5/5. Pic heavy, sorry.

Two nights bivvying at home. Day 1, in true WRT tradition, The weigh in....
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Left home after lunch of - a bacon butty of course.

Then riding..
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...and a Spar...
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Day 1 bivvy. A comfy night in my hammock.
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Day 2 riding. Soon after leaving home I came across this extraordinary machine..
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Well I had to stop and quizz the old guy standing by it. EV4 Electric trike with tilting front, made in a garage in Poland, he said. Made to order with an extra battery pack to give him a range of 100 miles or so. So much engineering on that thing - so many linkages and connecting pieces. It must have cost a fortune. I didn't like to ask, but I'll bet you could buy a car for the same money.

Day 2. Riding was hot and, well, a bit boring really. Mostly tarmac lanes with a few bits of the Bishop Bennetts Way. Even this pine tree was fed up and gave my the finger. :shock:
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I took lunch at the lovely St Ediths churchyard at Shocklach (Cheshire) where the wifes' Great Granny & Grandpa are buried.
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Day 2 Bivvy:-

Dinner:-
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Not very successful- the potatoes did'nt want to cook - took ages and burned to the bottom of the pot. Hm! Back to spaghetti I think..

Camp. You can see my house from here...
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The more sharp-eyed among you will have spotted a camp chair in the foreground. I didn't cheat. I carried it around with me on the bike

Last days' riding. Everywhere is so dry, but not far from home on a bit of bridleway that I've ridden dozens of times was a ford and a muddy section. I didn't want to have to wash the bike when I got home so I was pushing it through, keeping to the dry bits. This gave me time to look around and to my amazement I spied some fallen-down brickwork that I'd never seen before because I'm normally picking my way through the soggy bits.
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I went exploring and found a pair of mill-wheels and thought, "This must be a clue!"
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More exploring and:-
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I thought of Reg. Dunno why :roll:

Then more riding...
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I love this time of year..

And finally a little piece of BW that I've passed lots of times but never been down.
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Now I don't have to wonder, "What's up there?" when I ride past.

In conclusion, this ersatz WRT was better than nowt, but roll on the real thing in August.
Konia kują, żaba noge podstawia...

mfezela

Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by mfezela » Sun May 10, 2020 8:32 pm

frogatthefarriers wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 8:06 pm
Not very successful- the potatoes did'nt want to cook - took ages and burned to the bottom of the pot. Hm! Back to spaghetti I think..
Try parboiling them at home first. Partly cooked they're no heavier than raw.

frogatthefarriers
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by frogatthefarriers » Sun May 10, 2020 8:42 pm

mfezela wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 8:32 pm

Try parboiling them at home first. Partly cooked they're no heavier than raw.
A good idea. It would save on fuel too. I'd have to be a bit careful how I carried them though - thinking they might turn into par-mash.
Konia kują, żaba noge podstawia...

mfezela

Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by mfezela » Sun May 10, 2020 9:01 pm

frogatthefarriers wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 8:42 pm
mfezela wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 8:32 pm

Try parboiling them at home first. Partly cooked they're no heavier than raw.
A good idea. It would save on fuel too. I'd have to be a bit careful how I carried them though - thinking they might turn into par-mash.
Take a couple on your next ride. See how they fare.
For me parboiling whole potatoes works best. Then cut into quarters for final cooking.

Another option is to take home cooked mashed potato for frying later. Roughly mashed is better than smooth mash. You can always mash further, but I've yet to find a way to unmash ;-)

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K1100T
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by K1100T » Mon May 11, 2020 8:47 am

Utilised the emergency BaM regulations again this month. While I originally had the WRT in my diary, I'd decided not to do it, as the cost of the petrol would've impacted my ability to buy all the kit I needed for the now cancelled Frontier 300. Instead, I'd planned a two night adventure up and down the Icknield Way and Peddars Way riders routes, with the plan for two nights out, one of which would be a kip on the beach.

I was tempted to join in the Virtual WRT, but my mental health took a nose dive last week, so decided to do my own thing. In the spirit of adventure, I decided to head off and find some new local(ish) bridleways and byways, but first I followed my original plan and headed South on the Icknield Way.

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Last time my route involved this field, I was coming in the other direction on February's BaM. I declined to ride it then, but was happy to ride it on Friday.

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After that field, it was time to link up some new to me bridleways and byways. A few I wouldn't like to do in the wet, but some were the reason I bought my gravel bike. 😍

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Definitely going back to RAG+ it on these gravel tracks at some point in the future.

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This is one of my favourite bridleways, it can get clarty in winter and sometimes takes ages to dry out. When all the cow parsley is out and the sun is filtering through the trees and bushes, it's pure magic.

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This is Fox Rd, part of the Icknield Way and my local byway. It was sanitised a couple of years ago, when the land owner and the council dumped tarmac cuttings over most of it, without warning. It's gone from requiring Danny MacAskill levels of bike control, to being perfect #GravelWanker fodder.

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Once home, I cut the grass, then setup my 2007 World Scout Jamboree dining shelter as a tarp. The plan was to sleep under it for two nights, but just in case, I also put up my tent. I tried to get the kids to sleep in the tent, but they (as of this morning) are both teenagers and seem to exist solely in their rooms with the curtains closed...

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After a rowdy Zoom call with friends, I inflated my mat, stuffed it into my GoreTex bivvy bag along with my RAB sleeping bag and headed for the garden. My head wasn't in the right place and I'd nearly bailed straight to the tent, but managed to persuade myself that I would regret not at leats trying the tarp. As soon as I wiggled into my bag, I knew I wouldn't last, mostly as I was too hot.

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After an hour of lying there waiting for sleep, I was feeling totally constrained and overheating badly, so I caved and headed for the tent. My sleeping bag was just too much, even in the tent and using it as a quilt, I was borderline too hot. The view in the morning didn't do much to lift my mood either.

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I couldn't get any motivation up to do anything on Saturday, except scowl, which gave me a stress headache. I half heartedly tried to persuade the kids to go on a ride, but they weren't having any of it. I went on a long evening walk instead and spent some time watching a deer in one of the local woods. Once back at the house, I dug out the OEX Roam 200 two season bag we'd bought our son the other year for a school trip and headed for the garden again. It was hedgehog awareness week last week, so I was pleased to see this one in the garden when I went out.

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While I still felt constrained in multiple bags, at least I wasn't overheating.

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After a fitful nights "sleep", I headed indoors at around 06:30 for some coffee. About an hour later the wind arrived, and I was glad I wasn't still under the tarp, or outside.

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People in the village have been painting stones and leaving them dotted around the village and local footpaths. On one of my darkest days last week, seeing some of these stones helped to bring a sliver of happiness to an otherwise horrible day. So I decided to join in, and spent Sunday afternoon painting stones.

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I then wandered around the village in the evening and placed a few in areas that were lacking. I hope that they can do for someone else, what all the others did for me and bring a sliver of sunshine to an otherwise dark day.

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So it wasn't the weekend I had planned, either originally, or for lockdown. Only one ride, rather than three, but I'm glad I stuck with the tarp for a second night, as it's convinced my that I'd be better off in a tent.

2020 BaM: 5/5
I like beer. 🍻

Raggedstone
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by Raggedstone » Mon May 11, 2020 5:00 pm

I am with you Where you ride folks in spirit, Friday i went on a Magical mystery tour around the lanes and tracks on a route planned to avoid the crowds .The first place of interest was part of the movement that helped get us where we are today ,
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A few more miles of pleasant riding including a mile or so of a busy main road (usually) not one car from either direction took me to a little church with a unique Tudor wooden tower .
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Onwards to the driveway of the house of one of Boris's predecessors who was quite keen on a walk with his four legged companion and a little further along his route .
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It was now time to press on as the cafe i had in mind has a grumpy old bugger running it and if no one turns up he is likely to close early but still time for a gratutious wild garlic photo.
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My luck was in and he had baked according to the National Trust one of Winston Churchills favourite cakes so i thought i better try some .
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Raggedstone
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by Raggedstone » Mon May 11, 2020 5:10 pm

5/5 17/17
This has been an excellent way to spend the weekend in isolation i didnt get onto the grid reference idea but it was a great one well done Reg and John .
Saturday after my best nights sleep bivvying i decided to pick up the Hill Fort theme which was going to be the motivation for this years BAM and headed of to Bredon Hill at 7.30 very pleasant ride most of the way in glorious sunshine . It took a while to decide which way to get up the hill but got to the top 9.30ish to find a few people already up there so took a few photos and headed down the other side to Beckford on what is known as the yellow brick road a long track to the village i reckon i passed between 40 to 50 people on the way down who were on the way up i was expecting to find a coach at the bottom !
The inner defensive ditch and Parsons Folly
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The Folly again
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It was hot by the time i got to the village so popped into the shop for a cold drink and something sweet !
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Very pleasant riding around lanes and gravel tracks took me to Deerhurst to have a look at Odda's Chapel
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Then home for tea and cake followed by
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Sunday i had a look at the map of the Malverns and the area to the north west i havent really explored so i did my own grid reference thing , as Stu said earlier it is amazing what is on the doorstep still undiscovered .
I set off again around 7.30 after a bad nights sleep, as i had to get to the far end of the hills i went via the highest point around these parts
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In the haze in the background is Wales so at least saw it , had a fun descent down to the road to the chosen bridleway which was nowhere to be seen so had to consult the map and take a different route which took me past the bottom of the missing bridleway on to the first surprise of the day some almost perfect lime kilns
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A bit further along the track i was introduced to a new word for my cycling vocabulary
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And then
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Time to head for home only one problem just like the real thing :smile:
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A thoroughly enjoyable weekend and love reading everyones tales .

bluebus200
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by bluebus200 » Tue May 12, 2020 5:52 pm

April.... Cheeky bit of social distancing tucked away in the woods at kingly vale after a bone rattling spin from emsworth.. Only 7 miles but well I thought I was already taking the piss... Woke up to some cheery walker admiring the hammock. Honestly what are people doing out walking at 6am on a rainy Sunday... And what was he doing a mile into a woodland.. Probably thinking the same about me though.

Image451F39BC-F8B1-428A-9751-7E2654F05E27 by Chris Harris, on Flickr

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sean_iow
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Re: Bivvy a month 2020.

Post by sean_iow » Wed May 13, 2020 5:35 pm

My May was the WRT (Virtual) and I've put the film in that thread but posting here for the statistician :smile:
Adventure without risk is Disneyland - Bikemonger

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