Showing posts from June, 2023

Explore – An Isle of Wight Gravel Bikepacking Micro-Adventure Itinerary

I maintain that the Isle of Wight is one of the best gravel bike riding destinations in the world; it offers outstanding variety in terrain, and outstanding beauty in its backdrops—combining to offer challenging and awe-inspiring riding. In this blog post, I have created an Isle of Wight mixed surface (Gravel) bikepacking itinerary that could be completed by most experienced riders over two days. The route starts and finishes from Ryde, which is easily accessed with a bike from the mainland using the Wightlink FastCat service that operates from Portsmouth Harbour Train Station to Ryde Pier Head. This service is the perfect option for those travelling to the Island without a car, using train or public transport from further afield. From Ryde, the route skirts round the north-eastern shoreline of the Island, before heading in-land over St George's Down towards Newport. These first trails are a mixture of gravel cycle paths, sandy trails, and rougher chalk downs. Newport is the centr

Review – HydraPak Flux 1L Flexible Water Bottle

Flexible soft bottles have been a secret weapon of mine on bikepacking and cycle touring adventures. The compressible bottles are the ideal solution when you need to carry more water on scorching days, or you need to stock up on fluid before heading off for an overnight camp. I remember one time on the #RoadsFromRome trip, when a kind Italian man offered to help me fill up my water bottles at the end of a sweltering day. When I kept pulling soft flasks out of my pannier, he took great delight in the apparent magic trick, and then joyously started to try blowing one flask up like a balloon... he didn't get far—these things are surprisingly robust. Soft flasks have been used by runners for a long time, and feature in many ultra-running vests. Equally water bladders have been used in mountain biking hydration packs for years; offering a way to carry water when you do not have bottle cages on your bike. Flexible bottles like the new HydraPak Flux are something quite new though… This