A little bit of camping on my bike - advice please.

grayo59 Posts: 722
edited July 2008 in Road beginners
Monday week the family are all driving to North Devon for a few days camping with friends. But half a dozen of us want to cycle. Easy stuff and here's the plan.

Cycle to Bristol Temple Meads (10 miles)

Catch train to Taunton.

Cycle from Taunton to Porlock (35 miles)

Camp overnight

Cycle from Porlock to Croyde (40 miles) Bit hilly I know!

What do I need to take?

I thought - light tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat. Personal washing stuff, change of gear. Cutlery and crockery. Cape or waterproofs?

Sharing cooker, matches, teabags, food, and tools.

I'm not using my specialized allez, but my old half**ds alloy framed £200 3 yr old "transition" hybrid hack because although it weighs 6kg more it's got a triple and is more robust. As the mileage is low (per day) I wondered if I could get away with my 25 litre walking back pack or should I get some panniers?

It's got mountain bike mudguards - does that matter?

......heading for the box, but not too soon I hope!


  • geoff_ss
    geoff_ss Posts: 1,201
    Do not use a back pack! The bike is there to carry the weight - don't be tempted to carry it on your back.

    If you were intending to do more camping then I'd recommend you fitted both front and rear small/medium panniers to distribute the weight better. However as this is a short trip then medium sized rear panniers should be sufficient. I always tried to put everything (including the tent) into a pannier bag and have nothing just hanging out in the breeze and that was easy with 4 panniers (front low riders) but you should get away with 2. Can you borrow a pair?

    I don't see why mudguards should be a problem. Except on one occasion we always had mudguards. The only time we left them off (to make flying the bikes/camping gear easer) it was the wettest Pyrenean tour we ever had. Served us right:) Actually, it wasn't too bad as the panniers kept most of the wet off us.

    Does your route include a climb of Porlock Hill? I've only tackled it on my 500cc BSA competition sidecar outfit some years ago and it made that cough a bit. It's very steep.

    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    Def get panniers, riding with a back pack is torture (if it is of any weight), it also makes you a bit unstable, and will give you a sweaty and aching back. If you don't buy waterproof panniers (Ortlieb are the best but unless you plan to tour they are a bit pricey for a one-off) then get some rubble sacks (heavy duty plastic sacks) from B&Q or similar to line the panniers and keep everything dry.
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    You may get better responses in Tour & Expedition
  • FCE2007
    FCE2007 Posts: 925
    ... and the thread title is a little misleading :wink:
    Buy a pink bike? :lol::lol:
    Powered by Haribo. Zwift convert P.aul Laws [x]
  • grayo59
    grayo59 Posts: 722
    Thanks folks - no pink bike here! LOL

    Today's been fun -

    I needed some tyres so I've dropped the tyres from 26 x 1.95 to kevlar reinforced 26 x 1.75 with a more road suitable tread.

    Borrowed and fitted a pair of medium panniers off my bro. who gave me some gurly thing that hangs off the handle bars too!

    So what to take? We're sharing tools so it's just me to think of:?

    Thanks Geoff SS I've done porlock hill on a variety of m/cycles ranging from a 1963 500cc twin meteor minor Royal Enfield, a 1976 Honda 400/4f1 and Suzuko GT750 2 stroke triple. (Not done it on my current bike 1979 Suzuki GS850 yet tho'!)

    The young guys and gals I'm going with reckon they can do it but I'm going for the Toll road as a steady 1 in 14 is better for old me than a 1 in 4 with a 4x4 and caravan intimidating me!
    ......heading for the box, but not too soon I hope!
  • geoff_ss
    geoff_ss Posts: 1,201
    What to take?

    Lightweight tent - we have a Hilleberg tunnel tent big enough for 2 and the bikes which weighs IIRC 3kg but it cost a small fortune when we bought it in 1990.

    Small sleeping bag - about 1kg. Don't bother with a super one for Summer - wear clothes if you're cold.

    Sleeping mat - karrimat or, best of all a Thermarest, but they're a bit expensive for one trip.

    Mug and cutlery.

    Spare clothes. Shoes are bulky and heavy - in the past I've got away with a pair of sandals and my cycling shoes provided they're not 'racing' shoes you can't walk in.

    Waterproof jacket usable off the bike. Helly Hansen (or similar) thermal vest - light, small and warm.

    I can't think of anything else offhand.

    btw my BSA was a 1947 ex-works trials outfit I used for the Land's End trial. Actually we must have ridden up Porlock lots of times - always in the dark on Good Friday on our regular Easter trials event on the way to throwing ourselves at Beggar's Roost in effort to get through all the big rocks whilst avoiding the spectators :lol: Oh reckless youth where are you now.

    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster