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How not to plan a bike tour - The Random Weekender
Posted by Jon Hicken on
There’s something refreshing about an impulsive trip away. Setting off without a plan or destination is one of the best parts of cycling. At the beginning of March we set out to prove how easy it can be once you have the kit you need.
We printed off a map, with a distance limit of 60 miles and threw a dart. Where the dart landed is where we would go. You can set your own distance, of course. We think 60-70 miles is the perfect daily distance for a day’s bike touring. This gives you enough time to see the sights, stop for food or a few beers, and find somewhere to sleep for the night. Some of you might want to do less miles off road, or really push yourself to ride as far away from home as you can.
The kit we carried was lightweight, compared to a normal bikepacking trip. This makes these kind of trips an ideal way to get into bikepacking, as you don’t need to go all-in on the luggage set up. Once you have the bags, you can then throw them on the bike and head out at the drop of a hat (or throw of a dart)!
After throwing our dart at the map - it landed on a small village called High Bradfield, on the edge of the Peak District near Sheffield. We then planned our route on Komoot. Komoot is the perfect tool for this kind of trip, as it makes planning the route a doddle, especially if it’s somewhere you would never normally ride. Four clicks and the route was loaded onto our cycle computers. We were away.
We decided that we would book our accommodation en route. After 20 miles of riding, we stopped at a pub for lunch and scrolled through Booking.com for cheap B&Bs in Sheffield. Aiming to spend as little as possible, we picked a pokey B&B called the Alara, which was in the perfect location to head back home the next morning. During the warmer spring and summer months, you could easily forego this process and carry a bivvy or a tent, which opens up the possibilities even more.
The next morning saw us leave Sheffield quite early, for a steady ride back to Leeds. Having been quite lucky with where the dart landed, we weren’t too far out so the 30 mile return leg took a mere two hours. The final tally for the weekend is as follows:
Food Stops - £25
Accomodation - £33
Gold Bars - £1
Coffee - £3
Beer - £23
Final Total for the full weekend: £85
We hope this has given you some inspiration to get out on your own Random Weekenders! You can see the video by clicking below:
We love hearing your plans and seeing your photos from your bikepacking adventures - be sure to tag us on Instagram: @restrap or use the hashtag #randomweekender