Brother in the Wild

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.

By the time we stopped for breakfast in Southampton ahead of our second ferry of the morning over to Hythe we had already stopped for coffee and the precedent for the weekend had been set! In fact the only data showing on our Garmin’s was the route and our cafes per mile stats.From Hythe we bee lined it to the campsite just outta Lyndhurst at Pondhead Farm where we were met with a super laid back, but well organised Brother Cycles team who got us all signed-in.

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.

The route mostly stuck to the well drained gravel paths the New Forest is famous for, but one section early on (around 9km in) did see us venture way off the beaten track into flooded marshland! Here we found, spills, thrills and a broken mech hanger or two… If you are looking to do this ride post event we would suggest considering missing this 1.5km section out and instead sticking to the gravel path which this detour joins back up with.The full route GPX for Sundays ride can be found here

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