Sunday, 23 August 2009

Black Down Mountain Bike Ride

A short anti clockwise loop on the Mendip Hills taking in some of the best single track. Parking at the top

end of Burrington Combe also means there is surprisingly little climbing to do apart from the lo

ose and rocky climb up onto Black Down from Rowberrow Warren.

More photos from previous rides on this route can be found here

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Thermarest Neoair

One of the biggest and bulkiest items in my backpacking sack is my Thermarest Classic sleeping mat, so it was an obvious target for weight saving. It seems the latest must have mat is the Thermarest Neoair but they seem to be hard to get hold of at the moment but I was lucky enough to be able to pick a couple up in time for our next backpacking trip. Below you can see the Neoair on the left and the Classic on the right.

The specs look good 370g for the medium with an inflated thickness of 6.3cm and a pack size similar to a 1 litre water bottle. The amount of space saved in my pack is enormous as can be seen with both mats side by side in their stuff sacks.

Comfort is also improved with the extra thickness giving a noticeable boost. Its stable as well. I have yet to use them in anger yet so cant comment on the warmth. Considering the weight and pack size it seems remarkably sturdy and feels no where near as flimsy as I was expecting. Hopefully the weather will be better this weekend and we can get out and give them a try.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Chew Valley Lake Bike Ride

Sometimes you don't have to go far to find stunning scenery. People often overlook what's on their doorstep and in our case it was the Chew Valley Lake on a sunny Sunday morning.

Starting from Stanton Drew, an anticlockwise circuit of Chew Valley Lake. Built in 1950 to provide drinking water for Bristol,is the fifth largest artificial lake in the UK and the largest in the South West. Click on the image above to vi
ew photos and a map of the route.