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Showing posts from July, 2019

The #KayakRTI — Non-Stop Around The Isle of Wight

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It began at 04:30. The low morning light rising on the calm waters of Bembridge Harbour. Sat eating a bowl of porridge the size of Jupiter, I have a thousand thoughts running through my mind: did I check that? did I charge that? what if…?

The arrival of my support boat crew — two lifelong friends that will accompany my parents aboard the escort yacht, snaps me back to reality. I finish my pint sized mug of coffee, and crack on.

06:00 and the boat is in the water. I position myself into the tiny seat that I have modified to try and make comfortable for what will be a minimum of twelve hours seated in this little capsule — that in itself is a challenge, for someone that is normally jumping in and out of a saddle, or climbing up mountains.

Sealed in. Watch started. I paddle quietly out of the harbour.

My route from Bembridge cuts close inshore, around the lifeboat station and over the ledge. Despite being high water, there is no way the support boat can follow me here; they need to go…

Expedition Plans – #KayakRTI Kayak Round the Isle of Wight

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Last November, I rekindled a past passion of mine—sea kayaking. I purchased a 17.5 foot expedition level sea kayak and began paddling; reacquainting myself with the freedom of skimming along the surface of the water, using just your own willpower and strength for propulsion.

There was one objective, one thought, which lay in the back of my mind from the moment the first paddle stroke cut through the water… how far can I go? Much as my bike expeditions have previously taken me over many new horizons, I wanted to see where this new horizon would lead.

I set myself an objective… to kayak non-stop around the Isle of Wight during the summer of 2019. I have cycled and sailed round the Island more times than I can count, but the 95 kilometre route by kayak would be a whole new challenge, and the first of many new all-day horizon explorations.

I began training in the depths of winter; layered up like an onion, using a rag-tag bunch of cycling kit and sailing kit to try and provide protectio…

Kit Focus — Expedition Foods Freeze Dried Meals

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Freeze dried meals should be taken on all back of beyond adventures, even when you plan to stop in local stores to get fresh produce along the route. The range of freeze dried meals from UK brand Expedition Foods has fast become my preferred option for 'Pack Light Ride Fast' adventures, as well as for back-up meals on long distance tours.

On the 'Coasts and Cols' trip I carried a freeze dried dinner and porridge breakfast from Expedition Foods. These were a godsend when on Day 5 of the tour I had to camp at the top of the Col de Portet d'Aspet and got caught out by Sunday shop closures in France; the hot dinner and hot breakfast were incredibly reviving. Since that trip I have used meals from the brand on numerous occasions, and have always enjoyed them.

My preferred option for meals when touring and on expeditions is to eat local, and buy lightweight dinners such as noodles, pasta, or rice along the route; accompanied by easy protein sources such as tinned beans.…

Kit Focus — Nathan Sports VaporKrar 4 Litre Hydration Running Race Vest

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I ran my first trail marathon last month, and that necessitated an investment into a hydration solution; even in mid-July, at night, it was warm enough to need constant re-hydration. The Nathan VaporKrar 4 litre Men's Race Vest was my chosen ultra-running hydration vest, and it performed faultlessly.

The Nathan Sport range has been my turn-to option for previous hydration needs; in 2016 I tested, and now frequently use their TrailMix Insulated Running Belt. However, with the increased distance of the marathon event, and plans to do more future ultra-running events, I wanted something with more storage capacity.

The Nathan VaporKrar 4 litre is a lightweight race-ready ultra-running hydration vest. It has a close-fitting apparel like fit, a large amount of adjustment, a rear pocket that will hold a 1.5 litre hydration bladder, as well as two soft flasks on the front of the vest, and multiple stash pockets.

An empty VaporKrar 4 weighs a miniscule 181 grams (size small, with no fla…