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First bikepacking trip

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:16 pm
by Callmedave
Hello,

I'm new here and looking for advice on a route to take for my first bikepacking trip. In my mind, I imagine a 1 to 2 night trip with my son who is 14. I plan to go in the warmer weather so April/May time and ride a pretty trail with some stunning scenery. We will camp in a 2 person tent and cook or stop off at pubs/shops. I have a Genesis Croix De Fer TI and he has a CX bike. We live in Essex so would probably use public transport/ride to get to the start of the route and home. I guess the route could be circular or one way, it doesn't matter if there is available public transport. I don't want the route to be too tough as I don't want to put my son off and it will be our first trip so lots to learn.

What would recommend?

Many thanks,

Dave

Re: First bikepacking trip

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:54 pm
by psling
If you're looking to stay fairly local I'd be thinking a trip into Suffolk maybe. Hopefully someone more local will be able to give some route advice. There's a bit of info here: https://www.visitsuffolk.com/blog/cycli ... ffolk.aspx. It may not be the mountains or wilderness but it's a beautiful and scenic county.

Re: First bikepacking trip

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:04 pm
by ssnowman
Whereabouts in Essex are you? How far do you want to ride? How much off-road?

I've done quite a few rides into Essex from NW London and might be able to make some suggestions. I wouldn't have thought it necessary to take public transport.

Re: First bikepacking trip

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:47 pm
by Callmedave
Thanks for your help. Suffolk looks lovely. I don't mind if we have to travel a bit first, adds to the adventure. Although there is something to be said about just riding from the front door too.

Think I would prefer the majority to be off-road.

I'm in Billericay which is near to Chelmsford.

Re: First bikepacking trip

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:01 pm
by ssnowman
Callmedave wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:47 pm
Thanks for your help. Suffolk looks lovely. I don't mind if we have to travel a bit first, adds to the adventure. Although there is something to be said about just riding from the front door too.

Think I would prefer the majority to be off-road.

I'm in Billericay which is near to Chelmsford.
Based where you are, I would suggest using National cycle network routes and add in a detour or two. Your neck of the woods is well served with the network.

Re: First bikepacking trip

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:36 pm
by Callmedave
Thank you, yes I thought about plotting a route and incorporating the flitch way. Staying near to home is probably a good shout for the first trip. Noddy question - how do I find where to camp? Should I just look for campsites in Essex and book in for the night?

Re: First bikepacking trip

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 3:27 pm
by ssnowman
Callmedave wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:36 pm
Noddy question - how do I find where to camp? Should I just look for campsites in Essex and book in for the night?
It all depends whether you are comfortable with wild/stealth camping. On my first trips with my sons, I just did short overnighters in the Chilterns and stealth camped at places that I was aware of from previous rides.

Re: First bikepacking trip

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 3:35 pm
by pistonbroke
I'm in Billericay
Seems you chose the wrong forum name then :grin:
https://youtu.be/0jrkWygIqt0

Re: First bikepacking trip

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 4:42 pm
by Callmedave
Haha - I could have gone with Gavin from Gavin and Stacey too

Re: First bikepacking trip

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:23 pm
by Chicken Legs
Hi Dave,

I live North of Chelmsford and have several routes that would do the job.

If you pm me your email I will send you the gpx files for the routes.

Andy

Re: First bikepacking trip

Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:54 am
by RIP
Reading with interest. While waiting for my porridge to brew I dug out these threads which contain some excellent tips.

viewtopic.php?t=18057

viewtopic.php?t=18193

Have a great time! I wish I'd biked/bivvied more with my own kids :sad: .

Re: First bikepacking trip

Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 5:49 pm
by Callmedave
Thanks for the offer for the gpx's (have msged you) and for the forum threads. Great reading the tips!

Re: First bikepacking trip

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:28 pm
by Borderer
There's quite a lot of routes that would fit the bill on our website, though they are not really local to you. I have been riding with my son since he was 11. If we are allowed by then, a great route to start with is Velodysee (see the European trips section).

https://www.weirdosonbikes.com/

Re: First bikepacking trip

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:39 pm
by Callmedave
Love the trips on your blog, very inspiring. He would love the idea of going abroad and riding. Think I'll start with something closer to home for our first trip.