Bikepacking, Trails


I’ve lost count of the number of days that have elapsed since I last rode my bike. Way back in August sometime, maybe, but I can’t be sure.

We’re having some building work done at home and earlier in the year when the specification was being drawn up I took out a series of items. Tiling? I can do that. New floor in the bedroom? Sure thing. Decorating? No problem. Well, the tiling is done (at last) and the floor down (finally). Decorating is still work in progress…

But, despite the unfinished state of things its all very live-able in and that means, rain or shine (rain most likely – looking at the forecast), I’m off for two days riding in an often overlooked bit of Wales that is Radnor Forest. The Radnor Ring is a Sustrans route of 80 odd miles of quiet country lanes. Between these, however, is a great network of tracks, bridleways and forest trails that I haven’t ridden for over a decade or more, and certainly never has a nice big loop with a night out under the tarp.

It’s also an opportunity to test out a couple of new bits of kit. Beth has finished a nice Clouded Leopard frame bag for me that fits around my water bottles and still gives me room for a tarp, bivvy bag, sleeping mat and a few other bits and bobs as well. It’s super light too, weighing only 150g.  With sleeping gear up front and food etc in a seat pack, I should have a total weight of around 4 kg with nothing on my back.

Wildcat Clouded Leopard

I’m also excited about my new tarp: 94g of cuben fibreness, this neat tarp is produced by z-packs in the US. Nearly half the weight of my siltarp, it should provide more protection from the rain and increased headroom allowing me to sit up out of the rain and eat my dinner.

Zpacks Hexamid Solo

I’m just glad to be going out on the trails, regardless of the weather, and quite excited about my new bits of gear. It’ll be a great way to end my abstinence from riding bikes.


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