If you’re getting a bit depressed that summer is drawing to a close, then here’s something to look forward to for the autumnal months. The Alpkit Big Shakeout is returning to the heart of the Peak District for a long weekend of outdoorsy activities, demos, camping, beer and music. It’ll take place from the 12-14th October and will once against be set in the picturesque grounds of Thornbridge Outdoor centre, near Bakewell.
There will be loads of on-site activities with everything from bike maintenance to bushcraft to dry stone walling being demonstrated during the day, with the evenings packed full of films, lectures, live music and no small amount of relaxing around campfires.
As part of the School of Adventure, Singletrack’s favourite bearded guide, Ed Oxley of Great Rock, will be taking people out on guided rides around the area, regular Singletrack contributor Benji will be running mountain bike photography courses and the folks from Campbell Coaching will be giving skills tuition sessions throughout the weekend, so you can learn how to ride and look good over the same weekend.
Here’s what Benji had to say: “Last year’s Big Shakeout was great fun. Great trails, good company, pleasant vibe, rewarding tutoring and sunny weather. The format of my photography courses involved going for a ride on a modest but entertaining route and stopping on certain sections to practice an aspect of action or outdoor photography. A lot of my tutoring involves ‘what not to do’ as well as the practical ‘how to’ side of things. The courses are aimed at keen amateur mountain biking photographers who wish to improve their results. Equipment-wise it’s better if you have a digital SLR or a Compact System Camera, something you can do a nice bit of tweaking with. Leave the flash guns and carbon tripods at home. This is a ‘real world, real riding’ sort of course. Last year’s pupils managed to get some great shots and hopefully left the weekend suitably inspired and confident to keep experimenting and learning about image-making.”
If you (or other members of the family) fancy doing something off two wheels, then there will also be courses on everything from rock climbing to kayaking to suit the complete novice or the more experienced.
We attended last year and had loads of fun with a big group of like-minded people; think of it as a laid back festival of everything outdoors followed by good music, food, people and fires, washed down with the odd beer in the evening.
Tickets are available from the Alpkit Big Shakeout site and cost a very reasonable £45 for an adult, with under 16s costing £20 and kids under 3 going free. You can book yourself on any of the additional courses on offer here too.