Monday, 10 September 2012

TAKING ADVANTAGE OF SOME GOOD WEATHER

HELINOX CHAIRS WAITING FOR SOME SERIOUS LOUNGING ABOUT
After my Friday ride with JD (which I will tell you about in my next post) the plan was to spend a weekend camp with Mike and Chris who are friends of mine from the Backpackers club......

Over the last eight years or so we have spent many an hour lounging about together at various campsites while we chew the fat and attempt to put the world to rights......
I have been backpacking and wild camping with them on Dartmoor and other places and also they have been part of our cycle touring group on two trips to France in the recent past, so it is always a pleasure to spend a weekend camping in their company.......

During this weekend we were able to do some very serious and professional 'lounging about' as we each had our new Helinox chairs to assist us in this very non- active activity !!! 
I must say that these chairs have really transformed the comfort of time spent in camp......

We obviously must have appeared very comfortable whilst using them as we were asked by a guy camping near by where he could obtain one.....
These chairs are at just the right height to enable you to prepare your meal...cook your meal.....eat you meal and even wash up without having to move from the comfort of the chair.....

If you are an active person these chairs will help you become lazy and if you are already lazy, these will help you turn laziness into an art form....
From sitting down to have breakfast on the Saturday morning we hardly moved till about 14.30 when we felt that we should at least try and get some miles under our bicycle wheels.......
THE TIFOSI WAITING TO BE RIDDEN
 Mike and Chris had ridden their touring bikes over to the site at Sixpenny Handley. 
For them it is only just over an hour on their bikes from home......
In the past I have cycled over myself, but for this trip because I had ridden a training  ride with JD on the Friday morning I decided to load the Tifosi on the back of the little Peugeot 107 and drive over......

It is not often that I use the car....indeed my annual mileage since I bought the 107 is only 2103 miles per year, but I just couldn't face riding a fully loaded tourer out through the Bournemouth area in Friday rush hour traffic.....
The roads are narrow enough and it can be a real hassle on a tourer with the extra width of the panniers.  
You end up just becoming part of the traffic jam as there is no room to pass any of the vehicles on either side due to the narrow roads... 

Anyway as I was saying.......after we had all achieved our diplomas in 'Lounging around as an Art Form'  we thought that a ride would be a good idea....
As I had brought the Tifosi I planned on doing a loop I had come up with that was based on hills whereas Mike and Chris on the tourers opted for a more leisurely route that was also based on hills.  
My route was planned around going up and down them....
The route Mike and Chris chose was planned around avoiding them..!!   

I really enjoyed my ride....the hills varied in gradient with a number of 16% and 20% lovelies, which although I had done them in the past on my tourer had never done them on the Tifosi. 
It's always a bit more of a challenge with a 34/25 gear compared to the much lower gearing of my touring bike.

On the road back to the site I stopped for an energy bar and a drink before going up the 'zig-zag' hill near Shaftesbury. 
As I was munching the bar a young roadie went by on his Madone and started riding the 10% of the zig-zag so I set myself the challenge of riding him down before getting back to the campsite.....
I  gave him between 5 &10 minutes and I knew that so long as he didn't turn off the route I had about eight miles in which to catch him..... 

Although not a huge gradient the zig-zag hill is a bit of a pull up due to it's length and very sharp hairpins....I found the right gear and spun up the hill nicely....
The view that opens up as you reach the top makes the effort more than worthwhile and I could also just see way over in the far distance the red jersey of the young guy that had passed by at the bottom of the hill......

Well I did manage to catch him about a mile from the campsite entrance but it did take some major effort to do so as he certainly wasn't hanging around. 
It just added an extra bit of fun to the last few miles of the ride....anyway....I have never grown up...
I know that for a fact, because my wife often tells me! 

As it was I got back to camp about fifteen minutes or so before Mike and Chris. They too had enjoyed their ride having headed out on a loop to the south of our location. 
They had seen me go by a few miles further back and had called out to me, but I was 'on a mission' and hadn't heard their call.....
THE TOP OF ONE OF THE 16% HILLS
Following our rides, we felt that we needed to sit down and do some more serious lounging around. So that is what we did for a few more hours...... 
I have to say that it was pretty entertaining watching Mike cook a curry with rice all from the comfort of his Helinox chair. 
Mike belongs to the school of cooking which states that you should use as many pans as possible during food preparation whereas my system is to use as few as possible.....probably down to the fact that I was cooking a dehydrated meal. 
I had an Adventure Food's Goulash which was supplied by Outdoors Grub and I can happily report that it was very tasty and filling.....I have no hesitation in recommending it...
MIKE & CHRIS ABOUT TO HEAD BACK HOME
All in all we had a very enjoyable weekend camp and the weather was pretty much perfect for it......
Due to the very wet weather that has formed the basis of our summer this year, none of us has done as much camping as we usually manage to, so a weekend with the promise of good weather just couldn't be allowed to pass by........

12 comments:

Melanie Suzanne said...

Sounds like a dream weekend what with the competitive lounging and competitive hill climbing. Kudos!

Greg said...

Like the look of those chairs. When we did the tour in the Netherlands in summer it is what we missed. In fact an old couple in a caravan came across and lent us a couple of camping chairs. Will have a look for them.

Greg said...

Bloody hell I'm back they are nearly £70. That'll take some saving for!

Trevor said...

*Melanie Suzanne*
I like that...competitive lounging...perhaps we can create a new olympic sport. I reckon that I would be able to compete at a pretty high level......

*Greg*
Your 4 minute return did make me laugh....Gave me a real good chuckle.
Yes they are pretty expensive- but I would also say worth every penny....
However I did try and warn everyone about the price at the end of my post on the 30th August. In the full review of these chairs I showed the price in the specification list...but as I said Greg, they really are worth the steep outlay.....

rlove2bike said...

I enjoy reading your posts. As others, I too looked at the chairs with the price in mind. I don't know how much I wish to spend for lounging. I have a cheap little tripod chair I am using now.

Thanks for the great narrative and pictures!! Very interesting.

RL

Chandra said...

Loaded tourer up a 16% hill - wow! Trevor - you rock! BTW, I like the mini bike stand you have used to park your bike next to the car. Nice touch!

Peace :)

limom said...

PRO lounger.
Now I really want to grow up and be like you.

Trevor said...

*rlove2bike*
On a long cyclo tour I find that something decent to sit in at the end of a full day on the bike can transform the entire trip...
I am really glad that you enjoy your visits to my blog...your comments are much appreciated.

*Chandra*
I must point out Chandra that my touring bike has a 48/36/26 chain ring coupled with a 11-32 cassette.
I have found that with the range of gears that gives me I can pedal the loaded bike up everything I have come across...
The Tifosi on the other hand, is currently running a 50/34 compact chainring with a 12-25 cassette.

*limom*
I have a degree on the subject...A Diploma in PRO lounging........With a distinction too....

Betty Manousos said...

i am glad you all had such a great time over the weekend.
i totally enjoyed your post and your wonderful narrative.

thanks so much for the lovely shots as well.

i do love camping:)

J_on_tour said...

Everyone's caught the bug ... Helinox heaven ! This time next year, campsites will be full of them ... Trevor, you are an inspiration :-)

The bike shed said...

Sounds like an ideal weekend.

I fancy one of those chairs now

Trevor said...

*Betty Manousos*
Glad that you enjoyed the post Betty...Camping can be a lot of fun..

J_on_tour*
My sporting legacy following the Olympics...PRO Lounging - next year everyone will be doing it...

*The Bike Shed*
It was good Mark....The chairs are really worth having..