#Jennrides 160k Bikepacking Adventure with Katie from Bark + Ride

We caught up with Katie Edwards, our Bark + Ride Ambassador from the Lakes District @katieridesbikes who normally rides with her trusted Kelpie Collie “Rhyder”. Last month she decided to give his paws a rest and embark on a 160k bikepacking adventure with good friend and fellow Bark + Ride fan Kate @itskateoc who enjoys being part of the wider community of women in the outdoors @wonderfulwildwomen.

Long, steep climbs up and over some of the Lake Districts most classic singletrack and techy decents was no mean feat but with a great choice of kit, awesome bike choice up against that Lake District slate and good company, we hear how Katie took on her very first bikepacking challenge. That’s a 100 miles!

” I recently embarked on my first bike packing ride, didn’t exactly pick an easy one for my first. In June, me and my good friend Kate did the Jennride, 160k route around the gorgeous Lake District with 4000m of climbing, over two days. In memory of Jenn Hill deputy editor of Singletrack mag who sadly passed away after a long battle with lung cancer only aged 38. ”

As this was your first venture into the world of bikepacking, how did you prepare for your ride?

test ride

“The first thing I needed to decide on was how to carry my gear, I did a 92k practice ride the week before with a backpack and my shoulders and back were really achy the next day. So decided to it was definitely time to invest in some decent bike packing kit. The mileage wasn’t too much of a worry as I ride most days and with some epic mountains on my doorstep, I knew my fitness levels were fairly good already but its definitely worth building up to if you havent covered that kind of miles x country”

What was your chosen kit for the challenge? and did you feel like it was enough?

I borrowed a handlebar bag from a friend which was great as this allowed me to decide whether it worked for me before investing, this was perfect for my sleeping bag, mat, down jacket and half the tent ( other half carried by Kate).

I ride a 170mm full suspension enduro bike so I am limited to what frame bags would work over our 4000m epic. I opted to double up on Bark and Rides Poochi Pouch. I already had one which I use for riding with my dog, which is so good for easy access to treats and carrying his fav toy.

For bike packing I had one Poochi Pouch by my headset full of all my snacks and another at the seat end of my top tube which I carried other things I wanted easy access to such as a phone charger, suncream, bug spray. And my sandwiches fitted in there too. They are so easy to access while you are riding. Super strong zip too so you can eat on the go and don’t get in your way at all, waterproof too”

“Other items I carried were bike tools/tube in my swat compartment in my down tube and more snacks for day two.”

” In total I rode with around 17kg (my bike) and around 8kg of food, water and camping kit”

That’s great you managed to fit so much into our top tube bags and super handy for when you really need something quickly on the go!

What was the weather like for your #Jennrides 160k Bikepacking Adventure and how did that affect your ride?

“We had perfect weather for the weekend, warm and dry. Even though we knew the weather was going to be great we still prepared for the worst and it was really reassuring to know that all of our kit would have weathered a storm if we had encountered one as all of our kit was extremely durable and waterproof too. We made sure we were properly hydrated and had plenty snacks and food along the way”

We did around 100k on the Saturday in about 12 hours and got to the pub for last drinks orders.(bonus) We then found a great campsite surrounded by hills, got the tent up and enjoyed our dehydrated chilli con carne. We got our heads down for about 6 hours and off we went the next day to enjoy some more Lake District trails!”

Awesome achievement on your first day and what a welcome the pub and your chilli would have been!

Was the second day as breezy or did you come up against any challenges along the way?

“I loved every minute of it, well, maybe not the last 20k as my knee was done by then but most importantly having an awesome mate to ride with and seeing all the other riders who were taking part in the event kept our spirits high”

Did you feel a difference in your riding style or how the bike handled under weight especially on that super slick dry slate you have there in the Lakes?”

” This was the first time i’d ridden on a loaded bike, it felt so different and we all had to keep our wits about us on the super dry and tight or exposed descents but it kept things really fun and interesting, all part of the awesome challenge for a brilliant cause”

Sounds like you had an amazing trip! Now you’ve had time to digest it all, would you be keen to do more bikepacking?

“We were super lucky with the weather and amazing camping spot was beautiful.I reckon it would certainly have been a different challenge had the weather been different but I’ve definitely got the bikepacking bug now and can’t wait to plan our next adventure. Its great to now know what kit I need to bring and that I can plan an overnight adventure with Rhyder over a shorter distance with river dips and cafe stops too!”

Count us in! It sounds like you had an awesome time and really cool that you feel confident to take Rhyder along with you next time too! Thanks Katie!

For more information about Katies kit, click here and see how versatile our adventure gear is
Katie choose to ride with 2 x Poochi Pouch Top Tube Bags with the 2 Cut to Size Velcro Straps
Photo credits thanks to
@katieridesbikes @itskateoc

#Jennrides 160k Bikepacking Adventure with Katie from Bark + Ride
If you would like to donate to this special cause, please click here for the Just Giving link

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