|Jenny loaded up with camping things. Bloody Alpkit fanboy...|
We took the road through Linton to Grassington and then the back road all the way up through Conistone to Kettlewell, this last bit proving especially quiet which allowed us to ride side by side and chat.
Tim (Full Of Win) had pointed us to the campsite in Kettlewell just behind the church on the back road, saying it had the poshest toilets he'd ever seen on a campsite. He wasn't wrong; nice sinks, underfloor heating and in very good condition! For the princely sum of £7 each we had a pitch for the night at the top of the field.
|The Travelling Circus: Chris, Jonny, me, Adam|
|Tarp for two.|
We meandered off to the Blue Bell (on another hot tip from Tim) in the search of pies of legendary status. We found them.
The meat and potato pie, which we all ordered, was marvellous. As were the pints of local ale, even the one we liked the least was pretty good. No room for pudding afterwards
It was drizzling outside so, tired and full, we quickly settled down and fell asleep, our tents and tarps resounding to the various sound effects that accompany a big tea and a few pints...
The rain kept me awake a far bit through the night, and I occasionally had to push the tarp to remove the accumulated puddle to stop it pressing on me. I got a the odd splat in the face which wakes you up very suddenly!
Adam left early to meet his family for his daughters first birthday, I unashamedly pulled my buff over my eyes and got a another hour's kip ;) It wasn't long before Chris and I roused ourselves, packed up, then stood around whilst Jonny faffed around a bit (plus ca change...) before we headed into Grassington to find a cafe for breakfast.
The roads were still damp but it was warming up and drying off quickly.
Grassington furnished us with a small bakery with some fab looking cakes but a bacon butty and tea was high on the agenda. We sat in the square, squeaky styrofoam cups of life giving tea, rustling paper bags with baked goodness inside, swallows singing on wires.
The ride back to Keighley was punctuated (ha!) by a shard of glass from a broken mirror by the roadside making it's way through my rather underinflated Conti Gatorskin tires. New tube, a higher pressure and we were off rolling again, back through Skippy town and down to Keighley.
We stopped in the cafe by the bus station for toasties where I bade Jonny and Chris farewell for their return leg to Huddersfield. I headed home, unpacked and promptly fell fast asleep on the sofa for a couple of hours, the lack of sleep the night before taking it's toll. Louise tried to rouse me to no avail, the cup of tea and apple went untouched!
A most enjoyable adventure.
Bikepacking Lessons Learned
- The tarp needs to be tensioned enough on the edges to ensure it sheds water and doesn't accumulate a massive puddle. By the time it was wet the tarp weighed about twice as much
- Try the bivvy bag outside of sleeping mat so I can sleep on my side, I cant sleep properly on my back!
- Tire pressures, make sure you've got enough in there youth!
- The Alpkit Koala setapack does woble around a bit unless you pack it super tightly and cinch the straps up really well. Once packed properly and strapped down firmly it's brilliant.
- Packing the sleeping bag inside the bivvy bag, whilst very easy to get everything out and set up, makes for a larger pack size. Sort it.
- Smaller tarp for solo adventures would be a good purchase.
- As would a comfier saddle for longer adventures, the stock Genesis one is a little hard on one's posterior