My first brevet* is happening next weekend with the 'Sounds Fishy' Brevet starting (and hopefully finishing) in Anakiwa. This event is “aimed at introducing people to the ‘type 2 fun’ of self-supported multi-day navigation that are brevets”. A great opportunity to dip my toes in the water!
*Note: A brevet is a long-distance, unsupported, officially non-competitive cycling event.
I’m not aiming for hard-core bikepacking mode on my first outing. I’m excited to get a taste of what a brevet is all about, and explore some new scenery with great people. It’s all about a high fun factor for me. So I’m opting to sleep under a solid roof, take advantage of the food available for purchase along the way, and compromise extra grams to ensure I have plenty of tasty snacks.
Exploring new scenery with great people – high fun factor!
Nina McVicar and Reta Trotman of Team Hirepool, overall female winners of The Pioneer MTB stage race 2017, are no strangers to overnight and multiday riding. They were my first port of call for advice and here’s what they told me.
Take a complete and fully functional repair kit – a couple of spare tubes (without holes!), patches, pump, multitool, chain breaker and spare link.
First aid kit and medication like anti-histamines.
Even if the forecast looks good put gear in dry bags and/or have a waterproof bag cover.
Take food or recovery powder that is quick and easy to have as soon as you finish for the day. It helps tide you over until dinner while you get set up for the night.
Have food in easy to reach places – top tube bag and handy pockets on your backpack.
Wear your most comfortable shorts!
More adventures are in store for the green machine.
Another great resource for newbies like me is Bikepacking.com and their series of Bikepacking 101 articles. Here’s what I learned from my research there.
Make use of any gear and equipment that you already own, and see what you can borrow. You don’t need to buy all the bags that attach to every part of your frame to have a fun adventure on two wheels.
Take food that is calorie dense and requires only minimal cooking – if any cooking at all. Food that is yummy and you can look forward to will help the enjoyment factor for beginners.
If you’re a seasoned brevet rider and have additional advice I’d love to hear from you! Otherwise wish me luck and stay tuned for more brevet updates.