Wednesday, 1 August 2012

England-Wales-England 2012, A Quick Round Up

All smiles as I passed Steve and Aidan's
marker, but it was hard work getting there!
2012 saw the running of EWE, the UK's first multi-day bikepacking race, through the national parks of England and Wales. The race was a brilliant experience (helped by the fact that I finished in sunshine!), and once I've caught up with real life, I'll be able to make the time for a full write up of my 10 days of super tough racing. For now, a much more concise review will have to suffice:


Before I sit down and write any more, I must pause to say a multitude of HUGE thank yous to the lovely and amazing people who got me and my equipment to the start and who helped me keep going along the way, without whom, I'd have been stuck at home watching the last week of the Tour de France on telly while it rained outside instead:

  • Aidan Harding - Organiser of the event and the man who made it all happen
  • Grace Henderson - Not only infinitely patient and supportive, but also drove me to the start and put up with all my fretting during my preparation
  • The North Face - Supplied the kit to keep me dry during the day and warm at night
  • Santa Cruz Bikes - Provided a Highball Carbon bike which devoured the miles and proved the perfect tool for the job
  • Alpkit - Made me a custom Stingray frame bag to enable me to race without the need for a rucksack and keep everything safe and dry in the frame
  • Reines House B&B in Porlock - Looked after both rider and bike when my GPS failed and set me off with a plan to get a new GPS and back racing again
  • Taunton Leisure - Sorted a new GPS, loaded with full UK maps and EWE route
  • Biped Cycles, Brecon - At no notice sorted out a new tubless 29er tyre, jockey wheels, bottom bracket and even fettled my gears to keep me rolling at the end of the first week, working on my less than 100% clean bike!
  • Borderers B&B, Brecon, When I'd been pushed into a tree by a car on a coutry road, provided a refuge, and a huge breakfast, for rider and bike and somewhere to clean my wounds before setting off again
  • Reynolds Wheels - Provided a special pair of 29er XC 32h rims for my dynamo setup, and even colour matched the graphics to my bike, to give me a lightweight, super stiff set of wheels for racing with my 32h dynamo hub
  • SP Dynamo - Provided their PD-8 dynamo hub that powere my main light for racing into the night, but also charged my head torch, GPS and phone for the entire trip, absoluely invaluable
  • Exposure Lights - provided me with their new Revo 800lumen dynamo light, enabling me to race into the night without worrying about battery burn times or turning my light down to a low power setting every evening
  • Leyzyne - Whose tools, particularly their wonderful patch and tyre boot kit, kept me rolling despite everything the course could throw at me
  • USE - Providing lightweight and reliable, stem, post and wide, flat bar for my effort
  • Juice Lubes - Whose Viking Juice kept the chain going round and the gears clicking away despite torrential rain, hideous mud and baking sunshine throughout the event. Incredibly, it also lubed my jockey wheels, when they seized mid-way!
  • Kask - Supplied the Kask Mojito helmet, that sacrificed itself between my head and a tree to keep me in the race when an oncoming car had other ideas
Kask helmets - Good for your health!
So a huge, very special thank you to all of the above to whom I am extremely grateful, and the many people who smiled cheerily at me and with whom I exchanged pleasantries with on the way who kept me smiling, as well as everybody else I've forgotten!


  1. Chapeau Rob !

    Sounds like you had a very eventful trip, looking forward to your full write up !

    Chapeau !

  2. Thanks David, it was a fantastic experience and, now I've finished and had a good meal and a wash, I've not stopped smiling about it :-)