Thought I would write this in 2 parts so that I had the race report separate from all the other crap I wanted to say before the event. If you want to know a bit more about what the BB200 is then check out http://bearbonesbikepacking.co.uk/pages/BB200.html. Although I’m posting this now I actually this one last week. I’ll wreite up the real ride report this week some time.
So the preamble. The build up to this event has not been exactly what I had hoped for. Initially I had planned that after the Manx End to End I would have a week off and then get in 5 weeks of long rides; maybe 4-5 100 milers, resting a week to 10 days before it. The first mistake I made was the date for the event. It was actually 2 weeks earlier than I had thought so this instantly reduced training time to 3 weeks which really isn’t much. On top of this I then spent 2 weeks with some man flu that I just couldn’t shake off. It didn’t stop me riding completely but when I was out there I really didn’t have much energy and it dramatically reduced the length of time I could keep the pedals turning. In total this meant I actually only got out for 3 short rides and one 75 mile ride. Really not enough. However I’m not going to dwell to much on this, we are where we are and I will just have to see how it goes. I had a pretty decent base before all this so maybe being well rested could be a good thing.
I will be riding my P7 and I imagine for the last time for this type of long distance ride. My new carbon 29er is almost built but I’m about 1 week away from finishing it, so it won’t be done in time. Even if I was able to finish it this week I think I would rather go with a tried and tested work horse right now than a bike I would have hardly even had a shake down ride on.
I had the dilemma that if I did stop for a bivy I have no doubt I could finish but this almost certainly will mean longer than 24 hours. I want a proper pushing my boundaries challenge so that will be to complete in under 24hours. However if I get to the stage where I realise I’m not going to get through without stopping then I wanted to make sure I have enough gear for at least a mildly comfortable sleep in the wild. I’m not sure you can really do both so have decided to approach it as I’m definitely not stopping so I have the right frame of mind from the start. Making it more uncomfortable to stop than to keep going is probably a great way to ensure you keep going. Below is the plan, I will mention anything that ended up being different on the day in the race report.
- Vango Venom 300 sleeping bag
- Alpkit Hunka XL bivy bag
Mountain Equipment chalk bag as a feed bag on the stem/bars. Food stuffed in here as applicable so it will be easy to grab as I ride.
On the bars I also will have the Garmin Edge 800 and lighting. I’m taking 2 Magic Shines (probably as the helmet lights) and have borrowed an Exposure Joystick and an Exposure Race light. Lighting may be one place that I’m going slightly overboard but I haven’t really tested my own lights on a continuous run to failure so I’m not really sure how much time I’ll get out of them. At the last moment (when trying to fit lights) I realised just how little bar space I have on the Salsa Bend2 bars when the harness is on so I ordered a Tate Labs The Bar Fly Universal Mount that will give an extra 50mm of bar space.
I have just received a new No Logo Bikepacking top tube bag which will get it’s first run out that will contain:
- Power pack for the Garmin x2 (just in case)
- Few bits of food
Deuter small frame bag containing tools and spares:
- 2 tubes
- Spare brake pads
- Quick links
- Chain breaker
- Hex keys set.
- Puncture repair kit.
- Gaffer Tape
- Cable Ties
1 x 650ml water bottle on the frame. I prefer to carry plain water for these types of rides but I do like to have a bottle available to mix an energy/recovery drink. Also it’s often easier to dip a bottle into a stream than a hydration pack bladder.
BikePack Repack saddle bag – Will contain any clothing I didn’t have on at the start and any food that didn’t fit else where.
- Northwave Celsius SPD shoes
- Seal Skin Socks x2
- Knee warmers
- Dare2B Upshot Bib Shorts
- Endura Water Proof Shorts
- DHB core short sleeve jersey x2
- Seal Skin waterproof cycle gloves
- Arm warmers
- Dare2B Scampered Windshell
- 1227 Saltoluokta Outdoor Rain Jacket
- Buff x 2
- Lazer Nirvana Helmet
- Bag of cashews
- Tray of home cooked flapjack roughly 12 pieces
- 4 bananas
- 2 For Goodness Shakes
- 2-3 slices of pizza from previous nights takeaway
- 2 x Battenberg cake