Long bank holiday weekend pushed me outdoors. Initial plan was Dartmoor (possibly Project Eden) but I’ve ended up just touching outskirts of Dartmoor.
Anyway, as always lack of planning is a plan for disaster. The links to bikemap.net with routes are just as an example, I’ve done each day from 110-120km circling around towns or trying to find better way, or trying to find shops etc..
I was in rush as I ended earlier on Friday and still had to change tyres, change pedals, tighten crank buy a food etc, etc… Effectively I forgot couple bits and pieces and climbed quite a hills on National Cycle Route no 2 on the way back, plus insane hills just before Cerne Abbas itself. In some places the road is insanely steep reaching (from my Garmin) 18%. Not funny with trailer and panniers, but what won’t kill you will make you stronger.
Between Devon and Dorset Route no 2 is in some places just magic…
… but very steep in some places which makes problems with climbing, but as the rule no 2 saying: harden the fuck up. On the other side you can reach easily 70kmh going downhill. Not good at all… As a result after Alps and this trip brake blocks are not existent.
Started with brill weather as you can see…
… and then gradually was darker, and darker and of course started pissing. I thought will be worse so turned back and decided to shorten whole trip one day and get back on Monday.
On the way back I took ferry which saved me probably an hour or so. Ended up, after painstaking hill, on the posh camping near Sidmouth feeling slightly strange between campers worth 50k quid ;-).
The steepest and probably hardest hill on the last day Eggardon Hill, but the view was rewarding. On top, one guy just asked Don’t tell me you cycled all the way up?!
Gear camping and some thoughts.
I’ve tested couple of things as always. At first of all what works.
Coffee maker – coffee sack ;-). Basically I’ve made simple method for coffee on the go. I made small sack made of synthetic (polyester?) fine netting fabric. Whole procedure is similar to making tea from leaves and the sack can be used for that purpose as well. Weighs nothing can be squeezed and stored anywhere. Quality of coffee is more less same like from french press.
New sleeping bag Vango F10 Catalyst 250 goose down (95/5). Just delighted with that thing. Spent 120 quid (RRP £200!), quite a money for me, but I’ll be sorted for early spring and autumn. I must admit was slightly too warm, as in the night was about 14C. Only one night been col enough to zip it up.
New tent Terra Nova Zephyros 2. Seems to be quite ok tent for the price – double skin, under 2kg, spacious tent for around £100. I’ve made two mods: replaced lines with dynema and line-loks and replaced 60cm end masts with foldable ones same length as main pole (43cm) which effectively reduced whole package to almost half size. Terra Nova is claiming that is two person, but really you need to be close with someone to count it as 2 person tent ;-). I’ll call it man-with-a-dog-tent. Plenty of space inside for one person, and in bad weather I believe will be able to cook inside. I’ll post some pictures in the future.
Gearing in front double 46-34 on the back (10 sp) 11-36. Basically mix of Deore DynaSys with FSA Omega crankset SLX Cassette. Works really well with trailer, quite happy with that setup. Can’t see any reason changing to anything else.Allows me to climb even steepest hills (the 36T cassette looks absolutely ridiculous ;-))
What wasn’t work
Pegs from my new tent. Fucking joke! Almost half of them bent after first use.
Bloody Garmin and 705 calculating route 2o minutes, soooo annoying.
My planning skills sucks. No major mistakes but plenty smaller quite annoying (that’s why I haven’t got output from GPS- batter died and I didn’t have cable to charge it…).
Keep them rolling.