HTBC Bikepacking Events
HTBC events facilitated with Gorrick are two day self-supported bike packing events, suitable for both gravel and mountain bikes, where everything you need for a great weekend is included in one entry fee. The weekend circular route will include a choice of distances on the Saturday to ensure these events are enjoyable for all levels of rider - see specific event details for distances. Our event bases are chosen for easy access to great routes, will have plenty of private parking as well as the convenience of a local train station if you would rather leave your car at home. From the start venue you will follow a GPX route which will be mainly offroad, avoiding main roads but using short lengths of linking roads, to a delightful overnight stop where you will be able to camp, bivi or hammock in grassy glades or under the trees where there will also be toilets and water.
We'll provide your evening meal, teas and coffees, some real ale and cider & soft drinks with time to socialize around a roaring fire. After a peaceful night sleep wake up to breakfast before packing away, loading up and setting off on a different route back to the start. The events are self-sufficient, which means you need to carry everything with you - tent or bivi bag, sleeping bag, mat, clothes, bike bits, first aid kit, snacks and water. However we do offer a popular camping kit porterage option where your kit is carried for you, with all monies raised donated to My Cancer My Choices.
Once you have entered, we'll keep you updated on the route and email some helpful tips to get the best out of the event. We’ll provide details of shops, cafes and pubs along the way to keep you refreshed and stocked up. One week before the event we'll send out a GPS of the route to download to your navigation device together with a Final Instructions email including the details of the start venue.
Depending on the event base we may also offer optional Friday night camping at the start venues, where suitable, at a small additional cost, this allows you to arrive early, meet up with friends and check out a local pub. See your chosen event for full details.
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New to Bikepacking
For those new to Bikepacking #1 - suitable bikes and equipment
Pretty much any bike is suitable that can cope with light offroad terrain and mixed surface riding, the ideal is probably a gravel bike or hard tail mtb or you can just ride whatever comes to hand first in the garage! You’ll need to be able to carry your equipment on your bike, so a simple roll up attached to your handlebars and top tube together with a back pack will do.
For those new to Bikepacking #2 - carrying your kit
There's an adage, which suggests that you use what you have before buying kit, then you'll know what you need not what you want. This is clearly good advice, but you will still need to bag up your kit in some way, so strong carrier bags are a starting point, doubled up for strength and secured to your bike with bungee cords or Velcro straps.
Dry bags are cheap and can be more easily secured with many having built in straps, particularly those for mounting on handlebars or secured under the top tube. Remember to leave enough room for your knees when pedalling. Specialist shaped bags can be purchased relatively cheaply for these areas as well as saddle bags of various shapes and sizes, which will always need securing firmly to avoid swaying as you ride.
Then there is water, and depending on the weather, you may need plenty. Backpack hydration systems are good and you can, as an extra or instead, place a bladder in your frame luggage, but keep this low down. Water bottles are always great as long as you have places to fix holders to your frame, but again there are also some great fixing options to fit these in places you never expected. For inspiration check out these brands: Alpkit, Ortlieb, Blackburn & Planet X.
Finally, two things to remember - think about double bagging everything in case of rain, there's nothing worse than a damp sleeping bag and also, test your bike set up before the event by riding offroad somewhere to check that nothing moves about, it’s so much harder to sort something out on a route rather than at home.