I’ve been eyeing up the Fred Whitton round for a while, and decided it was time to go and ride the thing. I wasn’t that keen about getting on a train, so decided to ride it from home in West Yorkshire, and stay at some friends who live at the bottom of Hard Knot Pass. Covid scuppered that plan, so I decided to pack bivvy kit and go for a big one! The weather was pretty good for the first twelve hours, given the 4am start in the rain, however it did get pretty grim later in the day. I was very pleased to be offered a bed by Bryn, one of the Peaty’s Products guys who lives in Arnside. This really was a fantastic adventure from the door, and one I really enjoyed. Below is a kit list of what I took, hopefully this will help those ‘want-a-be' big mile hunters. I’m no pro at this, but learn more with every trip I go on.
My advice, start smallish, then go bigger each ride. Simples.
Helmet with Exposure joystick, POC glasses, Garmin 530 (loaded with Komoot mapping)
Handle bar bag (8l dry bag from Alpkit, held on with 2 voile straps)
Alpkit Numo sleeping mat - with a hole in it, so its lighter…….
Electric’s - Battery pack, cables for charging, Spare Exposure light, Bose Headphones (3l Alpkit dry bag, yellow)
Tooth brush and paste
Alpkit Down Hoody
Tiny rucksack (Just incase you need to carry more than you can fit in your bags. Crushes down to the size of an apple)
British Cycling Water proof Jacket. (eVent)
2 x 900ml GB bottles
Alpkit Koala 13l saddle bag, with tapered 13l dry bag inside.
Alpkit Pipedream 200 down sleeping bag
Alpkit Kloke bivi bag
Alpkit Viper Head Torch
Spare tube and micro pump
Tool Pouch - Tube, multi tool, tyre levers
Exposure rear light
Spare energy bars
Carried on me
Credit and debit cards, drivers licence (I know! good for ID) £20 cash
Phone in waterproof case - this died half way around, so lost photos :(
Exposure Joystick (when not in use)
Endura insulated gilet when not wearing
What I wore
Rapha Core Cargo shorts - pockets stuffed with Veloforte bars, Tribe bars, Outdoor Provision bars. I took 4 gels, used 1.
Hunt Castelli Short sleeve jersey
Rapha knee and arm warmers.
Icebreaker merino socks
Giro Empire Reflective shoes
Laser Helmet, with flashing red light in the rear (very useful!)
Sonder Colibri Ti
Shimano Di2 Ultegra (53\39 - 11-28)
Hunt Limitless 48 wheelset, running WTB exposure 30mm tyres @80psi (Tubeless, Peaty’s Product Sealant)
Some after thoughts:
- I forgot to take sunscreen! Thankfully got away with it.
- Same with chamois cream! I’m pretty comfortable in the saddle and had no issues, but should have taken some incase.
- Didn’t have anything covering my feet. I’m a fan of my Spatz Roadmen, but I think they are to bulky for bike packing if you are not wearing them. So looking at the Spatz silicon toe covers, obviously your feet will still get wet, but these might take the edge of it, and they are not too bulky to carry when not in use.
- POC glasses don’t work on my face. They keep sliding down my nose and it’s a pain in the arse to keep pushing them back on. POC sun glasses for sale with a number of new lens (5 leans?)
- My phone died during this ride, which was a real bummer as I didn’t take my GoPro. My plan was to share the journey on Instastories throughout the day but that plan came undone pretty quickly. So I’ll take my GoPro next time even if it’s just for a back up, as it doesn't take up that much room.
- I didn’t wear a heart rate monitor, as I was using power to keep a gauge of how hard I was going up hill. This disconnected before Hard Knot pass while I stopped for a break with friends. It wouldn’t reconnected without stopping my Garmin (I’ve had this happen before) so I just rode from there on feel…….after 200km’s all the climbs felt hard :)
Thats about it I think, well done if you have read this far! If you want to know anything else drop me a message and I’ll get back to you. Thanks for reading, hope this helps you plan your next big one.