A few weeks back myself and a good buddy, Alistair, headed into the North Pennies for a spot of cycling. Now I'm no cyclist and living in Cambridgeshire doesn't really give me an opportunity to climb too many hills. And with Alistair, while an accomplished cyclist in his own right, he was still looking to get his full mojo back after the donation of random body parts to his brother.
As we took a walk out of our campsite on the first evening it only took around 50 meters to start climbing. We walked up for about 20 minutes and I soon realised the task over the next few days would be interesting to say the least. Still there was a bottle of whiskey back at campsite which would help get us in the mood. That's how the professionals do it? Right?
Alistair had planned a couple of days cycling and one day of trail running. As I perused the map I noted he had kindly marked some loops, including a few bonus (bastard) loops as he called them. On how nice of him. With friends like this eh :)
Heading out the next morning felt great, after several cups of coffee boiled up on my brand new JetBoil. First time using it and I have to say I'm mighty impressed. It also sounds like a Hurricane fighter jet if you really let it rip. Will boil enough water for several cups of coffee in about 2 minutes. Top stuff. Looking forward to using this more on my adventures.
The plan was, well we had no real plan. No need to rush through. We would cycle. We would climb (a lot). We would stop and take in our surroundings (once I could see them through the sweat). And yes, we would eat cake. Turns out the cycling community love to eat cake and we certainly fitted in very well with that manta. I think at one stop Alistair managed to eat something which actually was a combination of 14 cakes or something. Took me 3 minutes just or order it had so many names. Personal cafe favourite was Chatterbox in St Johns Chapel. If you are in the area then you have to stop in at least once.
I have to say I absolutely loved the trip away. Was just the right mix of adventure, pushing ourselves physically and also a ton of fun. The 2nd day when we were trail running we headed out along the Pennine way for a bit, meeting up with one of the long distance path walkers. This is something I'd really love to do at some point in the next few years. In fact there are a lot of long distance paths around the UK just waiting to be explored.
I had my Fuji XE2 and 35mm lens with me and a few photos from the trip can be found below. A trip like this already has me gazing longingly at the Fuji X100T. Perfect size for touring and of course, as usual, top stuff in regards to IQ and features.
A huge thanks to Alistair for putting the plan together. We already agree its something we would love to do again before long. I even like the though of more of those bonus bastard loops.