A Welsh Overnighter – In Photos
If you’re a regular reader of this blog or you subscribe to me on Youtube, you may have already sent the video that I made in mid Wales a couple of weeks back. But if not (actually, even if you have), allow me to explain a little more about our trip and share this lovely photoset by Tom Farrell.
The trip was fantastic but pretty random, haphazard and quite the leap into the unknown (as the best bikepacking trips often are). Here’s why:
> I had never met any of the people I was going with, save a very short chat with Tom Hutton who it transpired wouldn’t actually be coming.
> I didn’t have my own tent and was relying on borrowing on someone else’s. I tried it in the campsite before we set off and it had a huge hole in it that meant I got my stuff wet before we went. Therefore….
> On the spur of the moment, I decided I’d try either sleeping in a bivvi bag or a bothy, neither of which I’d done before.
> We had a very short amount of time in which to complete the trip and little idea how quick/slow we would be. Gravel riding and mountain biking on fully loaded bikes can be bewilderingly slow sometimes so we just had to take a punt on when we would get back.
> We neglected to bring compasses or a full size map
> Our GPS route had some random dog legs in it
> We decided to do the route back to front and I only figured out how to reverse the route on Komoot once we were nearly back
> Will’s GPS ran out
> Someone told us the wrong place to find the bothy
> One of us didn’t bring lights.
All in all, it turned out to be a fantastic trip, even one of the year’s highlights so it just goes to show that a little randomness isn’t bad and is even to be expected on rides of this nature. Riding bikes is a terrific way of bonding with people you’ve never met before, whether they’re folks who might immediately appear similar to you (I suppose all of us could probably fall into the hipster category – sorry Will & Tom) or whether they’re miles older or younger and living a wildly different life to you (I’m thinking here of some of the people I met on Haute Route).
To go off on a random tangent here, if you are feeling lonely (and may I just state here for the record that I get lonely too – my life is not just one great big carnival), one of the best things that you can do is to join a cycling club, search out a cycling group on Facebook, join a Breeze ride or go on a Sportive.
There are cycling groups for all kinds of riders, from novice to pro and in a variety of disciplines. In particular, women specific rides and events are generally super friendly so don’t be afraid to show up on your own.
In short: get out, get the endorphins going, maybe feel a little better, perhaps exchange a few words. Cycling is very much not just about riding bikes, it’s a real leveller and unifier. Here’s to fun adventures, happiness and new friends!