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  • Organised bikepacking trips? Or anyone interested in small group ride?
  • rockbus
    Full Member

    I know most on here will be well beyond this but does anyone know of or preferably have experienced of organised small group trips?
    I really want to do some bikepacking next year but am still a bit nervous about going out and doing it alone. I’ve no issues with getting myself to the relevant fitness levels and a basic amount of kit but the idea of just heading out for the first time seems rather daunting.

    Alternatively, if there are any others in same boat or just someone/few people interested in heading out with a beginner to help me learn the ropes then please get in touch (I’m based in Midlands but happy to travel).

    Ps won’t be going until next year as want my first few goes to at least have a chance of dry/warmer weather!

    Full Member

    If you’re down south (or fancy the trip) then have a look at these guys. Same people that put on the Gorrick races.

    Not a ‘group’ ride, but usually ~100 people so you tend to fall into groups as the day goes on. Or do what we do, sprint out the first ~1/3 to get the miles done, stop for tea and cake while the pack catches up, then a brisk pace with the gradually increasing frequency of pub stops towards the end so you heckle those still riding from the beer gardens. They’ll even let you put your kit in the support van for a charity donation!

    Full Member

    Remember that you don’t have to travel miles from civilisation on a bikepacking trip. If you just want to test your setup, just find somewhere relatively close you can bail out from/call the cavalry if things aren’t going to plan. Campsites are fine too. Doesn’t have to be on top of a hill with no facilities.

    Full Member

    This popped up on my Instagram the other day - – I have no other knowledge of what they are like though…

    Full Member

    Just ride out to a local campsite then build up from there.
    TBH, staying on a quiet campsite (with nearby pub) is so much easier than staying on a remote hilltop. Although, the remote hilltop brings a feeling that few will ever experience.

    It’s all good!

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    Full Member

    Where in the Midlands?
    I’ll be happy to ride out with you, based in Nottingham


    Full Member

    I’d try not to worry about bike packing. Here’s a few things that I’ve picked up that can help if something goes awry during your trip.

    – Carry basic tools and spares (pump, patches, multi tool etc)
    – Carry enough calories for a days riding (1 or 2 thousands calories of cereal bars would suffice)
    – Carry a spare set of clothes, doesn’t need to be a full set, maybe a spare pair of bibs and socks, and warm and waterproof top layer and hat/buff
    – Carry a basic first aid kit, these can be bought complete or just put one together yourself
    – Carry a sleeping kit including mat, sleeping bag, bivvy/tent
    – Carry a headtorch
    – Make a note of the nearest train stations, shops and bothies
    – Let someone know where you’re going and your route
    – Make sure your phone and GPS is fully charged. You can also take a power pack and paper map as a backup.

    If you’re up in Scotland, then I’d be up for a bike packing trip. You don’t have to go too far north to have a Scottish bike packing adventure.

    Full Member

    There are bothies in Wales too, especially in the Elan Valley area.

    Free Member

    I’d try not to worry about bike packing. Here’s a few things that I’ve picked up that can help if something goes awry during your trip.

    – Remember that there’s nothing around at night that isn’t there during the day*

    *Just that it’s awake and hungry at night.


    Full Member

    Msg John or Jonathan at I can really recommend them for this sort of thing. Tell them ukgravelco sent you 👍

    Full Member

    This lady seems to organise a good few trips each year.

    Full Member

    Join the bearbones bikepacking forum. At each of the BB events there would be someone happy to have you tag along for the ride.

    Full Member

    Remember that you don’t have to travel miles from civilisation on a bikepacking trip.

    Yep,I’d also add it’s supposed to be enjoyable, a camp site or even a hotel , gives you way less hassle of having to manage the washing, morning dump scenario and easy access to the drinking and eating on evenings with out farf. (You can also take advantage of travelling light and fast.)

    You don’t be having to go full on expedition mode.Ease your self in, and choose your niche.

    I’d also say picking location of where your riding makes a a difference, I have easy access to the coast and desserts and plentiful bars in the middle of nowhere so very easy to be motivated and when stuff goes wrong not to much hassle to unfubar.
    (Just having the bike falling over onto the rear mech could turn a nice ride out to a bit of a long trek back),I tend arrange pickup points I’ll get to if it all goes pop for Mrs DOD to rush to my aid in the DoDmobile 🙂

    Free Member

    Remember that you don’t have to travel miles from civilisation on a bikepacking trip. If you just want to test your setup, just find somewhere relatively close you can bail out from/call the cavalry if things aren’t going to plan. Campsites are fine too. Doesn’t have to be on top of a hill with no facilities.


    But TBH stop worrying and just do it.

    Earlier the year I decided I fancied bikepacking. Watched a few vids, bought some cheap bags (Planet X) and rode from home for a night out. Had a rejig of gear etc, did another night out. All seemed ok.

    Then booked a few days off work and a train north, did the Badger Divide.

    Learned and then bought a new tent, cooking stove, sleeping bag, bike bags etc and had a couple of other local nights out. Pretty much there with the gear now but I’m tempted for the winter to do some overnighters using B&B/hotels, nights are just too long to be stuck in a small tent.

    One thing though, finding someone else who wants to ride at your pace all day will be a problem. I’ve a pal who also backpacks, but he just wants to go as fast as possible, whereas I’m more than happy to plod. We cover the same distances, just he’s a lot quicker than me – he’s also 20 years younger than me with young kids, as the phrase goes “he’s got the watch, I’ve got the time”.

    Full Member

    The Bear Bones Welsh Ride Thing (a relaxed event over a weekend) has a “lonely hearts” group which is for people new to bike packing.

    A couple of more experienced riders lead a group of newbies. Sounds exactly what your after.

    Have a look at the forum and get entered for next year when entries go live. It’ll go up on here when they do:

    Here’s part one of a video taken by one of the leaders of this year’s event.

    You could also just do what I did… Pick an event or random weekend and just go for it.. you only learn by giving it a go.

    Full Member

    Also remember that bikepacking doesn’t need to be with people you know or even with anybpdy else. The last bikepacking trip I did was only about 5km before me and my 9 year set up camp. He loved it and felt pretty remote but was only really an hours walk back to the car if there was an emergency.

    Full Member

    I did this event last month which was great. Had the option for camping kit transfer to the campsite for the overnight too if you wanted (though we ended up carrying all our kit ourselves).

    Perfect kind of event to ride with others and meet at the campsite, there’s a decent pub 10 mins walk from the site too so no need to worry about carrying lots of food. I’ll be signing up for 2023 as soon as it opens.

    Full Member

    This is a nice thread, well done all!

    Full Member

    I can see that organised bike packing trips through a company could appeal to some people but for me you’d lose some of the self reliance buzz that you get when doing it all solo. and would also goes against the ‘keeping it cheap’ angle.

    I like the idea of staying at B&B’s in the winter, but I’d feel guilty about inflicting my filth and stench onto a nice clean B&B. Maybe good as an emergency backup. I wouldn’t plan to stop riding just because it got dark, in Scotland in winter you’d be stopping at about 5pm. just be well practised at putting your tent up. You can prep your sleep kit to miminmise faff. I put my liner inside sleeping bag and that inside my bivvy bag (if bivvying) next to my dry sleeping clothes. Or if I’m taking my tent, then I have the inner part already fastened to the outer. It all saves time when you’re setting up camp, which is especially handy when the midges are about or if its chucking it down.

    You want to enjoy bike packing (same with all camping) so knowing your kit and how to use it is deeply satisfying, been able to setup camp quickly with little faff and then being away in the morning leaving only some flattened grass can be a truly lovely feeling, almost like we are meant to live tbh.

    October is great month to practice your first bivvy/wild camp, before it gets too cold at night and dark in the evenings. The autumnal colours will create a great impression I’m sure. If the is looking fairly dry over one of the next couple of weekends then I’d recommend that you try a local wild camp out.

    Full Member

    I gave this a go last year & wanted to do a few trips this year, but never got round to it & am not sure I’ll bother now the nights are drawing in & it’s getting colder.

    I went with a few mates last August & just mapped out a relatively local route that included a pub stop near our camping location, so that was dinner sorted.
    There was also a co-op round the corner from the pub, so we stocked up on some camp essentials (beer & chocolate) before heading off.

    We were so close to home, that if anything had changed with the camping situation we could just cycle back home again.
    Even though we were barely any distance away, it still felt like an adventure & enabled us to try all our gear out. Top-Tip – don’t take all the provisions required for a morning coffee, but forget the actual coffee 🙂

    Virtually every ride I do now (road or off-road) I am scanning the landscape for suitable looking discrete camping spots.

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