Sunday, 2 May 2010

Practise bivvy trip

Since Ali and I are off to Wales at the end of May for the Welsh Ride Thing I thought it was a good idea to get out and bivvy. Ali wasn't keen saying it was meant to rain, I thought that we really should try it in the rain. To be fair she also has been ill so maybe she was being sensible! So I spent saturday planning, I had an idea we would get a train somewhere and ride home. This only worked with a long ride in the morning or bivvying in Blackburn - not really what we wanted. So I looked nearer to home. Then Ali came up with a fantastic plan, we would go to Barocco's for dinner and then head out onto the moors for the night.

We set out and just 200m from the house I noticed Ali had forgotten something.... her rucksack! So it was back to the house so she didn't freeze overnight with no spare layers. Then it was a quick stop at Asda for essentials, cookies and jelly babies, before heading up the hill. Since we were on a ride it was of course three courses each and it would have been rude not to have wine (are we taking this bivvying lark seriously?) Once we had finished Ali was talking about rolling down the hill to her nice warm bed, but I was insistent it would be fun to sleep outside. So off we set.

It was still light at this point and I was having fun so I suggested that maybe we rode a little further, Ali agreed as long as it was in daylight. Well maybe I thought it got dark a little later than 9:30pm. But we were both still smiling and it did show us that we have to be careful where we put Ali's light if it is going to be any use with her sleeping stuff strapped on the front of her bike. Although the speed she did the descent through tockholes I don't think she needs a light! Up onto Great Hill and I suggested that we should try sleeping in trees, both of us a little scared of the shadows. So we found a nice spot, sheltered by a wall from the noisy and blustery wind and got our sleeping kit out.

All curled up in our bags we drifted off to sleep with the wind howling above us. Waking up the next morning to lambs calling to us across the wall, baaa! As Ali slept on I ate my breakfast and then waited and waited and waited. At half six I was informed that breakfast time was 7am and to shush! Eventually she did emerge to try eating her cereal with powdered milk - I don't think she enjoyed it ;-) In that case she is carrying her own milk in Wales!

So we packed up and got ready to go, just as we got on our bikes a dog walker came past, good timing! So it was back up onto Great Hill. Then time to take layers off, I was wearing all of mine at that point! We dropped down towards White Coppice, Ali had a few steering issues at the start with the ruts but once she was on the technical descent she was flying.

At the bottom she was in heaven, baby sheeps all the way along the track, I had to wait quite a while at the gate as she was busy talking to them. Along Healey Nab Lane and over to Rivington. I then said something like "Lets go up Wilderswood its the easiest way" which it obviously wasn't as we tried to ride up a vertical wall, or maybe it just felt like that to me!

All that was left then was to get home, Ali said no to the Belmont Descent (I was secretly pleased I didn't have to climb up Winter Hill), so it was home via Barrow Bridge. Not quite the 20miles for day 2 I wanted, but not far off and we had done a lot more on saturday evening than planned.


  1. Always nice to slip a bivvy in! Did you get rained on in the end? Coffee and pastry is my favorite bivvy breakfast as it requires minimum powdered milk! We'll have to have a joint bivy with Kate and Simon this year.

  2. My cereal seems to work well with powdered milk! But pastry is a good call! We decided not to carry a stove as extra weight!

    Definetly need another peaks bivvy at some point with you guys! Get earning your brownie points!

  3. Powdered milk? Yuk! If you are working that hard you deserve something nicer.

  4. brilliant! was that ali's first bivvy? as for the powdered milk, a true lightweight'er would eat their muesli dry ;)

  5. @Simon I think Ali is planning a nicer breakfast for next time!

    @Kate No its her third I think, but next time I will tell her to eat her cereal dry ;-)

  6. of course, i forgot your great new years eve bivvy. are you going to try some multi days before, or just trick her into it ;)

  7. We had a tent then! But no she has done two others, one local with bubbles and one that was a long ride out to Gisburn and back.

    No chance for a multi-day bivvy now, I'm sure it will be fine! No need to trick her into it she is so excited she was out training after work tonight!

  8. I could have sworn I left a comment on here. Obviously not.

    This is a really depressing post for me. I was supposed to be bivvying /riding the Trans Cambrian last weekend but ended up missing out due to a cough and cold.

    I'm also rather upset that I will no doubt be missing another peaks bivvy.

    BTW, YHGM.