Team bikeUlike joined up with some 170 riders for the recent Brother in the Wild 2018 campout held just down the coast in the New Forest. The event consisted of 2 awesome days of gravel riding, coffee sampling, food munching and bikepacking fun!
Saturday had us rolling out of Southsea in the early hours and heading west on the Gosport ferry.
We followed much of NCN2 on our way towards Southampton and picked up our first taste of gravel and dirt as we approached Hamble.
After pitching camp and stashing most of our gear we headed of on The Woods Cyclery ‘Beach Ride’. This was a casual 40km route south through the forest to the coast. This is not a group ride as such as everyone was turning up at different times throughout the afternoon. However, it was great to bump into different crews throughout the ride plus we got to discover some new roads and a hidden beach! The majority of the route was very quiet country lanes, with more tarmac then gravel.
The GPX route file can be found here and we would highly recommend it as a nice easy day ride easily within reach of a road bike ridden with a sense of adventure.
Saturday night saw the bright sunshine of the afternoon morph into an epic thunderstorm, but not before we tried and failed (multiple times) to score a goal at the Restrap skid penalty shootout. However, it would take more then a biblical storm to dampen the mood and the good people at Velo Domestique, Wild Bear Ale, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee and Wild Isle Kitchen kept the party vibes flowing throughout the evening!!
Sunday saw the main event, a 80km ‘figure of 8’ route through the New Forest – highlighting some of the best sections of the off – road trail network.
There was also an option to cut it down to 60km if you chose not to ride the loop into the northern section of the park. Obviously we rode the whole lot, although we did somehow manage to ride the northern loop in the wrong direction where Dan suffered 3 flats within just half an hr!
It was great to see the guys from Jimmy’s Iced Coffee out on course handing out free samples. Their diary free oat milk option has totally got us hooked! If you’ve never tried it keep an eye out in the shop as we are getting a few samples in for you guys to try out, so watch this space.
Overall we had a supper chilled and enjoyable time hanging out and catching up with old friends and new. It felt great to get our first campout of the season in and despite the storm Saturday night we totally lucked out with the weather. Big thanks to Brother Cycles for putting together such a rad event and setting us up for a summer of bikepacking and gravel riding!
Riders and Bikes:
Dan – All City, Macho Man
Arunas – All City, Space Horse
Andy – Surly, Troll
Jesse – Tifosi, Tempo