Buying for Bonnie

This time next week I’ll be well dug in to a 2 bed cottage all to myself in Aberfoyle, Scotland. I’m there for a week in gravel heaven, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park which is about an hour north of Glasgow. It’s so good apparently they’ve nicknamed it Gravelfoyle.

A 5.5hr drive awaits
my digs for the week

It’s my treat to myself for my 50th birthday this year. Originally I was going to drive to the Ardennes in Belgium and have a play round there but I watched a random Cycling Weekly video on YouTube about Aberfoyle and the area and I think I literally got on it, found somewhere to stay and booked it on impulse. The scenery looks breathtaking.

With less than a week to go and I’m going through the list (in my head of course!) now of what I need.

The plan is to take as much food as I can with me. Breakfast is easy, just toast and cereal. I’ve batch cooked some meals and frozen those so they’ll be easy to reheat when I get there and later on in the week. I just need to do a bit of a meal plan for the rest of the week and stock up on beer of course!

I’ve decided to take both of my bikes. My Dolan GXA will be the designated gravel bike and my Ribble CGR will be the ‘road’ bike for maybe a change one day and it’s also a backup if I have a mechanical or something. Sadly, it doesn’t look like the new Dolan GXC I ordered is going to rock up before I go but it’ll be another treat for when I get back.

I’ve also treated myself to a bit of kit. I already have a big saddle bag, a frame bag and a top bar bag which should be enough to carry spares, food, power bank etc each day. I have to be realistic though. I’m on my own. I’ll be in the middle of nowhere at times so I need to be careful and be prepared too and if that means carrying extra kit, then that’s the compromise. What I don’t have though is a really packable rain jacket. I have one but it’s too bulky to get in a bag or pocket really so I’ve bit the bullet and bought a Galibier Tempest 2 Pro Jacket today. Does exactly what I need it to do. I’ve bought a lot of kit from them over the years so I know it will be great.

Tempest 2 Pro Jacket by Galibier

The other kit I’ve bought today is a new pair of offroad shoes. I don’t need a pair really I have a decent pair of Northwave’s but they’re old, filthy dirty still from last weekend and I’m just a ponce so why not? I bought a pair of Carnac road shoes from Planet-X this year and I have to say they are really, really good so I’ve gone all in on a pair of ‘Olive’ Carnac Grit offroad shoes. Not expensive as cycling shoes go. What I particularly liked about them was the dayglo orange logo which will go with the handlebar tape on my bike. Total ponce, told ya!

Carnac Grit shoes

The only other stuff I will take will be my chain bath, degreaser and lube to keep my transmission running sweet and I just need to check my pads, take spares and take a set of basic tools.

I might plot a first route to break me in next Sunday then I’ll probably spend my down time researching and plotting the next day’s ride and writing my blog so standby, lot’s of blog post’s of the week incoming!


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