28th November 2017 / Comments (0)

Beginner’s interview: James Pearson

With bikepacking and adventure riding becoming increasingly popular, we thought we’d ask a recent convert what it was that attracted them away from the trail centres…

James Pearson in the Lake District
Hi there, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is James Pearson, I’m (whisper it) 40 years old, and live in rural part of Norfolk, just south of Norwich.

What’s your cycling experience so far?

I’ve enjoyed bikes from a young age, having had a plethora of examples through my childhood; dabbling with BMX’s, and of course in the early 90s a very fluorescent green, yellow & orange mountain bike and a steel (natch) Raleigh 10 speed Racer to name but a few.

The last two years have seen me riding more seriously, usually road bike sportives in the summer and then XC mountain biking in the winter. To keep my fitness levels up I also commute 20 miles,  3-4 days a week and aim to get a decent ride in at the weekend, and doing the Strava Gran Fondo is a must!

Why do you want to try bike packing?

Well, I love biking and I enjoy camping, it seems a natural next step to combine them, right!?

What are you most looking forward to?

Wild camping, the freedom of being surrounded by nothingness (unplugging from the norm, I work in IT!) and exploring new places.

What do you see as the biggest challenge?

Keeping warm in harsh conditions and having (carrying!) enough food for my massive appetite!

Tell us about your bike:

I have a choice of two suitable bikes, either a Whyte MTB hardtail with larger nobblier tyres for the rougher stuff.

Alternatively I have a lovely bright red Genesis Datum Adventure/Gravel/CX bike that will be quicker on the roads, but happy enough for some light off-road duties as long as it is not too wet!

What other kit choices have you made?

I’ve made a really big list, mostly consisting of Alpkit gear. My first purchase arrived today and its a very large Podsacs saddle bag that will hold plenty. I’m also looking to order a top tube bag and handlebar bag… and then all the gear to fit inside!

Where next for you, either concrete plans or dreaming?

After seeing it on here my first first bikepacking trip is going to be the Barebones Cafe Racer event in January. The conditions of a Welsh Winter bivi could be a real baptism of fire (rain/sleet?!) I really want to do some Bothy Touring in Wales and Scotland too. Of the various established routes I also really want to do the Coast 2 Coast ride. Lets see how I fare in Wales first!


Last modified: 14th February 2018

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