Shakedown S24O

I’ve not managed an overnighter since last summer – a combination of lockdown, lack of fitness, winter and general laziness all playing their part – but a spell of glorious spring weather (and the arrival of a new tent) prompted me to get off my arse and head out for a Monday night overnighter.

Accepting that although I’ve put in a reasonable amount of time on the bike this year, I hadn’t ridden a fully laden rig for well over 6 months, I picked an achievable 20km loop with the intention of riding a good chunk of it before pitching for the night, leaving just a short hop to home in time for work.

I loaded up my Longitude during my lunch break (one perk of this pandemic being home working) which meant I was straight out the door as soon as I’d switched off the laptop.

15km of mixed country roads and bridleways (and a fair few hills) saw me arrive at my intended camp in time to witness a glorious sunset.

As soon as the random paragliders overhead drifted past, I pitched the new tent (Naturehike Taga) which proved to be a doddle. I’ll add some thoughts on the tent once I’ve had a few more nights in it but after one night and considering the price I think this will be my go to shelter for bike based adventures for the foreseeable.

The actual camp was great, a spot high up on the North Downs but handily sheltered from the prevailing winds, the night largely peaceful if a bit chilly, made worse by my inflatable mat deflating at about 3am. Guess I’ll be researching a new purchase.

An early sunrise and frigid misty morning prompted movement before I was really ready but fortunately the ride home was just a short hop and I was warming up with a coffee by 6:30.

So, a very micro “Microadventure” (I’ve ridden further during lunch breaks this year!), it wasn’t big, certainly wasn’t epic but compared to a Monday night watching crap on TV it was clever, even if I do say so myself.


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