Three days through three national parks in the north of England, the weather can be somewhat unpredictable! The long term forecasts for the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors looks encouraging (i.e. not torrential rain!) but I am doubtless going to see some precipitation… When it comes to kit, in some potentially exposed and bleak places, I am a definite believer in you get what you pay for and there is a different requirement for 10 hours in the wilds compared to an hour blast about a trail centre.
Like I did with my bike check, below is some of my kit and the reasons I have chosen it. Yes, I have been generously supported by Odlo, Dirt School and Sweet Protection, but for those that know me or read my Singletrack review of the Canyon I have been riding, I say what I think and if I did not want to use bits of kit I wouldn’t!
A – Sweet Protection Bushwacker Carbon MIPS; my head is pretty important to me therefore I protect it with one of the best, and safe, helmets on the market. I know people that complain at the price of helmets; their choice.
B – Shimano Windstopper gloves; even though it should be warm(ish), the windstopper back helps keep the windchill off it they get wet.
C – Chamois cream & Sudocrem; try and make this a vaguely comfortable 200 miles….!
D – Smidge, High 5 Zero Electrolyte and natural Stoat bars – all field tested for years and work.
E – Quality bib shorts; Primal, Pearl Izumi and Castelli – all designed for comfort and long days in the saddle.
F – Odlo wool socks; these are simply awesome. So comfortable, warm when wet, stay up to keep ticks off my lower legs, proper sizing choices. #bestsockever
G – Odlo base layers; this is a recent find after having a chat with Gareth but what a difference it makes to wicking sweat away and helping regulate my body temperature. That’s not sales patter, that’s what I have experienced in the real world.
Nice (ish) weather.
H – Odlo Molina Active Goretex Jacket; lightweight and fully waterproof but highly breathable. Will be perfect as packs small but will take on the worse of any showers that I might get but still generally warm.
I – Sweet Protection Hunter shorts; uber comfy shorts with good vents if it does get sunny and warm.
J – 5Ten Maltese Falcon race clipless shoes; stiff yet comfy so get all the benefits of clipless riding but the firm platform of a flat when descending combined with the Crank Bros Mallet E pedals.
K – Sweet Protection Jailbreak Active Goretex Jacket; proven in Torridon on the wildest of days, this jacket will help me stay dry and warm with the added benefit of a big hood to pull over the helmet.
L – Sweet Protection Mudride waterproof shorts; these are two and a bit winters old and are still going strong. They have been washed and treated properly hence they still work but the seat shows no sign of wear even now!
M – Knee-length waterproof socks; the best find ever after a tip from my mate Rod. All water that splashes up just trickles down the front and keeps the feet dry rather than ankle waterproof socks where the water goes into the cuff! Held in place by the 3/4 bibs means I have a sealed leg system 🙂
N – Mavic clipless shoes; as you can tell these get a lot of abuse! Combined with the waterproof sock these are an awesome wet-weather combo to keep feet dry and warm.
My journey starts proper at 7am on the 1st July; you can track where I am here or keep an eye on Facebook / Instagram for regular updates! So far I have raised £2084.50 for the Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team and Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance – thank you to everyone who has donated, it will make a difference and help save lives. Let’s hope as mountain bikers we never have to see them in anger.
See you in the saddle!