After the success of the March bike packing overnighter, and the fact I had got my new bike we opted for another two wheeled adventure! I’ve said before that we are luck where we are, and another great feature is the Kennet and Avon canal less than a mile from home.

We hatched a cunning plan to ride West, chasing the setting sun till we found a pub (just for a change) It was a lovely Spring evening, reasonably warm for the time of year as we joined the towpath and headed west, taking us through the centre of Newbury (which felt odd on a friday night, when many people were setting off on their own adventures in the town center pubs!) As we crossed the highstreet we got several odd looks as disappeared off down an ally way back to the canal.

Once clear of Newbury the countryside opens up. Riding on the towpath isn’t a hardcore ride, it was less than a year since our epic 80 mile ride from Bath to Reading along the same route. Only this time we knew that we wouldn’t be too long till we reached the pub at Kintbury. May seems to also be the start of flying insect season, and the towpath is their favourite place! Thankfully a buff makes a good face mask to keep the little blighters out!

We soon made it to the pub, and enjoyed a few pints sat by the canal, chatting to the locals enjoying a pleasant evening. As it started to get dark we set off again to a spot we knew not too far away. The clear skies and warm air made for a good tarpless night (in fact I had forgotten to pack it) Nick had packed a small bottle of rum, and mixed down with a bit of coke made a great nightcap with a few snacks.

The morning light arrived, below the bivi sight the warm morning light cast onto the old brick bridge over the canal. We boiled some water for a brew, Nick drank a cider and we started to pack the bikes back up. We were soon back on the tow path, retracing our steps east towards breakfast…


I’d opted to take a lightweight setup along, so the British issue goretex bivi bag made way for the Alpkit Hunka XL, The down sleeping bag was switched for a lightweight summer bag and a lightweight inflatable 3/4 length sleeping mat. It felt really good having such lightweight kit for a change, it was a real sign that the summer is on the way!

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Written by Tim

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