We’re always keen to hear how customers get on going on adventures with our gear, so we were thrilled when Mark offered to write up his trip bikepacking in Wales. Take a read below on how he got on…
I had traveled with panniers before and a rack system when going on multi-day trips but never with these type of bike packs.
The first thing I realised was that I had to get a smaller sleeping bag because my old one filled up the rear bag. Not a problem doubled up with a liner it was okay for a June ride.
I was immediately impressed with how well made and tough the bags were. Plus the strapping positions and anchor points.
The plan was to travel from Upper Corris 7 miles north of Machynlleth – through Mach and up over the mountain road to Staylittle on a beautiful June day . It was the coldest day I’d climbed up there this year with the fantastic views not present as a thick mist had enveloped the pass. I got to the highest point on the whole of Sustrans Route 8 and with a quick picture and not even time to catch my breath I was off.
I dropped into Staylittle and did a right taking me through Hafren forest and continued following route 8 all the way to Llangurig. The roads were deserted and void of cars… Paradise.
After a bite to eat in Llanguing I had to cycle up the busy main road for about 1 mile and pick up route 818 up a climb through more forestry. On the decent down to Cwm Ystwyth and to pick up route 81 the road had been washed away in recent storms leaving a slither of tarmac in the middle, quite hairy in some places.
This part of Wales has to be seen to be believed, absolutely stunning and a step back in time. With it’s long decent’s and the odd car ( but not many) and sharp smaller climbs it was like cycling heaven.
I followed route 81 all the way to Pontrydygroes and climbed up through the village to the top plateau were the road rolls over small hillocks all the way to my camping destination of Ffair Rhos.
I had travelled over to have a look at the abbey if Strata Florida about two miles from the camp. I left early in the morning leaving the bags and everything in the tent while I popped down the road and also left my phone in the tent. So no pictures of the Abbey.
The night had been horrendous with gale force winds rattling the tent all night, so I had no plans to go and get the camera.
I packed up and headed home cycling over to Devils Bridge and onto Ponterwyd and up over Pen Y Dam with a fantastic fast decent into Penryncoch (By Aberystwyth) and then along the back lanes back to Machynlleth and home.
The bags travelled brilliantly the only gripe is and because I’m new to the bikepacking you suddenly realise you can’t stand up to climb as much as you would do because of the seat bag. But I have noticed somewhere there is a thing i could make or buy, a bar that comes off the back seat to stabilise the rear bag.
Would thoroughly recommend the bags, I didn’t have constant rain but I did go through a couple of fords and found that the things inside were dry, but perhaps another review when I’ve been caught out in a storm.
Our thanks to Mark Wells for his thorough review of our Ventura range, and for taking the time to write it up. The Ventura range is available to purchase here.