Sunday, 15 January 2012

DORSET BPC WINTER MEET

PETER CALCUTT BREWING UP A DRINK
This weekend I went to the Backpackers Club (Dorset Group) Winter static weekend. 


Four of us arrived by bike but I was the only one who didn't join the planned walk on the Saturday morning as I wanted to put in the miles on the bike. 
I also wanted to have a go up the Zig Zag hill near Shaftesbury. This hill is reputed to have more bends over a mile than any other in the UK. 


It does in fact have eight hairpin bends over it's length and the sign at the bottom shows a lowly gradient of just 10% although my Garmin did register 12%-13% on a couple of the hairpins. 
It's not so much the gradient that can catch you out it is the length of the whole thing, as even after you negotiate the hairpins the route just keeps on climbing. 


Anyway I had never climbed it, only ever going down it and I must say that I found going up on a bike much easier than going down. The bends are very narrow and you certainly have to keep your eyes open for motor vehicles. 
With my riding to and from the event and my ride on the Saturday plus my rides earlier in the week I was able to add another 320 miles to my 2012 total so far.
HEAVY FROST ON SATURDAY MORNING
GOOD TURN-OUT FOR THE WALKS
 As you can see from the photos it was a cold weekend. 
Following the mild weather that we had earlier in the week, the temperature just plummeted over the Friday night and we all woke up to a very heavy frost on the Saturday morning. 
On the Sunday morning we awoke to another cold day but due to a stiff breeze there was no condensation in the tents and no frost, so we were able to pack everything away nice and dry.


For a winter camping event just a couple of weeks past New Year it was really well attended with 20+ people camping overnight. 
The Church Farm site at Sixpenny Handley has been one of our favorites for a number of years as it has a licensed bar on site and a cooked meal is available in the evening as well as a great cooked breakfast to set you up for your walk or ride. 

SUNDAY MORNING- EVERYTHING IS DRY

ANOTHER SHOT ON SUNDAY MORNING

BIKES AND TENTS

COLD MORNING - CAR WON'T START

PETER'S MAP HOLDER - THE LARGEST I'VE SEEN

ANOTHER VIEW OF THE 'AIR BRAKE' - I MEAN MAP HOLDER


Peter Calcutt turned up with a huge map holder fixed to the front of his bike...I really did wonder what it was when he arrived. 
I told him that I thought that it would make a pretty good air brake, but Peter assures me that at the speeds he travels it doesn't make much difference to his overall speed.


I have never been able to get on with looking at a map as I ride along.....I don't like taking my eyes off the road and I don't like anything obscuring my view of my front wheel. 
I much prefer to just key my destination into the Garmin and let it do the work. The only time I need to glance at it is when it bleeps at me to inform me that a right or left turn is coming up. One quick glance to establish what it's telling me and....job done! 


When I stop for a break is when I take a look at a paper map just to get a broader picture of how I am doing. Indeed that is the method I used for my entire Gibraltar to UK ride and it worked without a hitch. 


Still Peter seems to get some pleasure in doing cycling in an 'old school' way so I should not have been surprised at the front spoiler posing as a map holder.


The whole weekend proved to be a great success and everybody enjoyed the camping walking cycling and gossip....A great first event for our new coordinator Graham Faithfull........
I must admit I enjoyed it all the more now that I have stepped down from the coordinator role  ...thanks for taking the post over and well done Graham.

7 comments:

Andrew said...

Been there,done that..
A wonderful post to read..
Take care.

jeff said...

Looks like some fun winter camping. And I think hairpin turns, even at 10 percent grade are a good workout. It is more fun descending on a route with wide curves instead of the hairpins.

Steve A said...

Looking at that car is one more reason not to get electric shifting gear.

Michael said...

Thanks for the post. Sounds like a fun outing.

Trevor said...

*Andrew*
Thanks for the comment Andrew.

*Jeff*
Your right about the descending Jeff those hairpins are really tight and vehicles coming up often cross over the centre line.

Steve A*
I would agree with that Steve...

*Michael*
Thanks Michael...It certainly was a good weekend.

Gareth said...

Great weekend and for my first time attending I was made to feel seriously welcome! Second your comments on Graham organising, great weekend and look forward to attending more.

Trevor said...

*Gsreth* (of Webtogs)

It was great having you there Gareth...I look forward to meeting up with you again...