They say the hardest part of doing a microadventure is getting out of the house, and on a chilly wet and windy November night we were tested.. It would have been so easy to knock it on the head.
Instead we made the decision to get the bikes loaded up again and head out for another bikepacking trip out into the night. Bikes suited with the bright headlights, rear lights and flashing lights. We headed past the inviting pub and onto the muddy canal towpath, the bumps and tree roots seem twice as big in the dark! We headed up the hill, the same hill that earlier in the year would have had me walking the bike up and panting like a hot dog.. Thankfully the 1000miles I have covered over the summer paid off and I probably made a personal best up the hill!
For the 1st time in a few months of Microadventures this felt like a proper adventure. We had some idea of where we wanted to stop for the night, but it had been quite wet over the previous days so we had no clue if the ground would be wet or not.. We were only 3 miles from home but felt like we were a long way from anywhere. The rain was spitting, so we got the tarp up quickly, and secured the bikes for a night in the rain.. This is where lots of dry bags come in handy 😉
It was a case of climbing straight into the goretex bivi / sleeping bags, over the winter we opt for the heavier, bulkier British Army bivi bags, their size is also a bonus, with lots of lid to close up. The rain was smashing down on the tarp above our heads. This is the stage where you just can’t help to be very very smug. Your warm and dry as the rain falls, the ground all around getting wet, the bikes getting a well needed clean down after the muddy tracks.
The night passed quickly, with only a few wakes in the night. At this time of year, when the ground is cold and damp I could really do with a full length sleeping mat, my 3/4 is great for the summer and autumn, but now I did wish for warmer feet. I managed to bunch some excess sleeping / bivi bag up under my feet to keep them a little warmer.
Shortly before dawn, which at this time of the year was around 7am we heard a familiar noise, looking out we had been joined quite closely by a heard of cows, thankfully none of them decided to take a route through (or over) our bivi.
We satup and raised the bivi a little higher to allow us some space to get a brew on and start to pack away. This was also the perfect time to test out the bargain decathlon £30 insulated jacket (I’ll post a proper review later) We drank warm coffee, skipped the porridge and cleared our kit away, loading the bikes back up. Just as we were setting off we spotted a walker, who looked a little bemused why two guys with bikes were in the woods. He must have known that we had camped. We simply set off and headed home the scenic route.
It was great to head out on a bit more of an adhoc bike trip, there was no worry of where to leave the car, it meant that we took less kit, used group pooling to make sure we didn’t duplicate what we carried. Again I would absolutely recommend taking the bike along for a micro adventure. You can really set yourself free!