Talk about impromptu !!
So, I thought 'Sod it' I'm going to do it. I'm going to stick some gear on my bike and just go, sod everyone else, sod the plans, sod the risks.
Then my pal Nige told me that his diving weekend had been cancelled.
The game was on.
We set off from my place in Doncaster and followed the Trans Pennine Trail through Penistone to the Thurlmoor Caravan and camping Site at Carlecotes.
Thurlmoor Campsite: http://www.thurlmoor.co.uk/
Full route here: http://app.strava.com/activities/60474449
The ride along the TPT was very nice indeed. Not overly taxing but it did get a little tiresome near the end. This was partly due to the ride slowly gaining hight along it's length. The camping experience was also very enjoyable and at £3.00 per pitch you can't complain.
The chap that runs the site, Martin, was an all round good egg and was very helpful in pointing us towards the nearest watering hole.
As far as the kit is concerned, the bike ran perfectly as expected save for the trashy Tektro front cantilever brake. I'll be removing this abomination and it will be replaced with a suitable Shimano alternative. Bearing in mind that the Specialized Rockhopper cost me £40 and it's the 1988 model I'm astounded at it's performance. It soaked up the terrain and is none the worse for the weekend. It's been swilled off with water and had a good old spray of GT85, all good for the next outing.
Nigel used his modern Specialized Hardrock. No complaints from him, apart from the ones relating to my snoring and farting during the night, I'd had a chilli Beanfeast for tea followed by four pints of bitter, a Guiness and a Lagavoulin chaser.
The rest of the camping gear was good but the tent was a little lacking. The tent is 'Ok' and is as good as you would expect for a sub £30 item. It was waterproof, warm and had just enough space for me and all of my kit, the bike slept outside. Obviously. One thing I will say about the tent, which was a High Gear Soloista, is that it is a little lacking in strength. The material around the internal zipper split when zipping it up. The poles are also a little weak at the metal joints, my ham fisted companion managed to bend one of them whilst erecting the tent, eeeiiiuuww....I said 'Erecting'.
I'll not write off the tent completely however as it did the job fine as I mentioned above. It kept me dry in a night of pouring rain and stored my kit away from the elements. It's light as well, weighing in at approximately 1.5 Kilo's.
Just a note to all interested, I have so far not breached my £100 budget for going on a weekend camping / touring trip on a Retrobike and that includes the price of buying a bike to do it on !
Now, the pictures: