Posts

Showing posts from 2021

Top 10 Bikepacking Camping Accessories and Gadgets 2021

Image
2021 is set to be the year of the staycation—a chance to explore those places a little closer to home. Camping and cycle touring or bikepacking are the perfect ways to do this—offering a sustainable, hassle-free, and low-cost adventure.  From my experience on past bikepacking tours and camping trips, I have compiled this list of my Top 10 products for both outdoor pursuits. It is a mix of compact gadgets and more luxurious accessories—all of which can help make your camping experience that much more enjoyable.  1 – Voited CloudTouch Camp Blanket  This is the ultimate camp blanket—if I had one as a Scout, I would have been the envy of the entire troop. It is insulated, water and stain resistance, machine washable, and made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles.  The CloudTouch 4-in-1 PillowBlanket is a luxurious outdoor blanket that is built to last. It uses recycled 50D Ripstop REPREVE® on one side, and luxurious CloudTouch™on the other. CloudTouch™ is a 100 percent recycled high-

Introducing The Wight Gravel Prestige — A Weekend of Gravel and Gourmet Food on the Isle of Wight

Image
Fancy joining me for a weekend getaway of the best gravel riding the Isle of Wight has to offer? Fancy tasting the best gourmet food on the Island and experiencing a weekend stay in a beautiful yurt on the grounds of the famous Garlic Farm? Welcome to the Wight Gravel Prestige... 24th to 26th September 2021 The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight This September, make an Island escape. I have set up an incredible all-inclusive* weekend of riding, relaxing, and fantastic food with The Garlic Farm. Here's what is on offer… Groups of four will be welcomed to a cosy yurt at the Garlic Farm. Fuelled by fully-catered (garlicky as you wish) meals, we then head out on two days of fully guided and supported rides on the trails and country lanes of the Isle of Wight. Accommodation, mouth-watering restaurant meals, luggage transfers and support from local experts are all provided within the package. Gravel n Garlic... Let's Ride! What is Included? Accommodation  Accommodation in luxury yurts

Explore – Top Ten Cycling Cafés on the Isle of Wight

Image
In this ' Explore ' blog post, I have picked out my Top Ten Cycling Cafés on the Isle of Wight. These venues are spread across the Island, but all serve up great homemade cakes, freshly ground coffee, and light lunches. They are welcoming to all riders—whether you are a muddy mountain biker or road cyclist. For route ideas to link up these great cafe stops, check out: 5 Best Gravel Cycling Routes on the Isle of Wight 5 Best Road Cycling Routes on the Isle of Wight 5 Best Mountain Bike Routes on the Isle of Wight 5 Best Family Leisure Cycling Routes on the Isle of Wight Caffe Isola – Newport (Central Wight) Located in the heart of the town, Caffe Isola is set in a converted and beautifully refurbished church. The Italian themed café is famed for its great coffee, freshly made cakes, and splendid lunches. You can see the Island Roasted Coffee being freshly roasted in the atrium above the main café and browse the superb range of local produce on sale. The Garlic Farm Caf

Explore – 5 Best Family Leisure Cycling Routes Isle of Wight

Image
The Isle of Wight is the perfect place to explore by bicycle — with traffic-free cycle routes, quiet country lanes, and wonderful places to visit. For family bike rides and leisurely tours, it is tailor-made. In this blog post, I have picked five of my favourite Isle of Wight cycling routes for families and casual cyclists. Wight Family Leisure Cycling Route #1 — West Wight Wander Difficulty – Easy Distance – 71 kilometres (6.3 miles) Elevation Profile – Flat (50 metres elevation gain) My first route is suitable for even those with young families or for those inexperienced on a bike. It begins in the town of Yarmouth — a great starting point; with a large car park and plenty of cafés and restaurants in the town. From Yarmouth, the route follows the disused railway line alongside the Western Yar river through to Freshwater. This is a traffic-free and shaded route, which is perfect for a summer cycle. Look out for the wildlife and enjoy the views. When you arrive in Freshwater

Island Life – The Best Isle of Wight Takeaway Coffee Stops

Image
On long days in the saddle, a cup of coffee can go a long way to reviving your engine and keeping you riding. The rich dark drink is so much part of cycling culture that last year I wrote a post entitled: Coffee – The Life Blood of Cyclists .  The cafés are open again on the Isle of Wight now (check out my  7 Best Cycling Cafes on the Isle of Wight  post); yet there can often be limited seating capacity inside. So, for when you need that caffeine fix mid-ride, here are the best takeaway coffee stops around the Isle of Wight...  Caffe Isola is still a favourite cafe on the Island If you can, use a reusable mug like these great non-breakable silicone ones from Island Roasted

Good Reads – 'The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold' by Tim Moore

Image
The Cold War has always fascinated me. As a historian and a behavioural economist, it presents one of the most turbulent and captivating case studies of human interaction, economic systems, and cultural polarisation. Last year, I read and reviewed Herbie Skyes' ' The Race Against The Stasi ' – it was a great read and a real insight into the cultural and sporting differences imposed under communist control. Tim Moore's 'The Cyclist Who Went Out In The Cold' provides a post-communism view of the countries on the Iron Curtain divide; all from the seat of a communist produced shopping bicycle. His 10,000 kilometre journey along the Iron Curtain Trail (EuroVelo Route 13) is a humorous yet also historically interesting tale of discovery. From his start at the most northern tip of Finland, Tim Moore rides south; through endless snow-covered pine forests, battling with hypothermia, and becoming an expert in the art of sauna meditation. From Finland to Russia

Review – Hutchinson Cycling Tubeless Tyre Fitting and Repair Kit

Image
Hutchinson Tires were a pioneer of tubeless tyre technology—creating some of the first tubeless road and mountain bike tyres in the industry. They have continued the strong brand position with an ongoing range of superb tubeless road, gravel, and MTB tyres. Now, they have branched out into an accompanying range of tubeless kits and accessories—to complete the offering. Many riders are cautious about making the switch to tubeless, having heard about tight tolerances that can make tyres a challenge to fit and seal, the setup being a messy process, and the difficulty to repair a tubeless tyre mid-ride. Keen to address each of the above concerns, Hutchinson Cycling has developed a new range of tubeless tool kits and accessories. Hutchinson Tubeless Valves and Tubeless Rim Tape Hutchinson have released a new tubeless rim tape in 20, 25 and 40 mm widths, as well as universally compatible black conical tubeless valves with the option of 20 mm and 40 mm valve extenders. The rim tape and valve

Explore – 7 Isle of Wight Accommodation Options for Cyclists

Image
In this Explore blog post I consider my lucky seven pick of the top accommodation options for cyclists on the Isle of Wight—from yurts and campsites, to hotels and pubs. These are my seven favourites that will welcome cyclists with open arms and provide you with a great base from which to explore. The lucky seven includes two farms, two hotels, two campsites and a country pub... The Garlic Farm, Newchurch The Garlic Farm offers a wide variety of fantastic self-catering accommodation; from cottages and converted stable blocks, to a cluster of five family fun yurts. All the options are beautifully maintained and spotlessly clean, with private parking and easy access. The on-site restaurant serves exceptional breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and there is plenty on the farm site to keep children (and adults) amused. This centrally located farm is a perfect base for couples, groups, and families. thegarlicfarm.co.uk Tapnell Farm Park, Freshwater Another converted farm, b