Bikepacking over the Summer Solstice

It’d be rude not to plan a quick adventure for the longest day of the year. It’s been a fantastic summer in Scotland so far. Therefore a bivy trip was in order to the Southern Uplands on my doorstep.

After work I quickly loaded up just a bivvy bag, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, Soreen malt loaf and a change of clothes into a small Apidura bar bag, medium Apidura saddle pack and onto my Tripster in its 650b setup. I was all set to ride up the highest track I know in the area to get the best sunset possible.

Setting out the light was fantastic with clear skies on the John Buchan way from Peebles up onto the great track across Cademuir Hill (The John Buchan Way is a fantastic short MTB route in the current dry conditions)

Unfortunately the next climb (and playing with a new drone) took longer than expected and the light faded fast. As I passed the last farm house the track climbs steeply. A mountain hare, now in its full summer brown coat darted to my left, above a buzzard circles and the sheep all peer on with bewilderment. This track isn’t on any maps and seeing a cyclist is a rare occurrence up here. The wind got stronger nearer the top of the ridge as I saw the blue post sunset sky merge with the mid summer amber glow on the horizon.

The ridge was drawing me in for a bivy spot with views east and west giving the mid summer vista I was looking for. The wind was now so strong I had to hold onto everything as I unpacked. To avoid it all blowing away I had to get straight in and hope for no pee break in the night and I wondered what would happen if the wind got any stronger! The Terra Nova GoreTex bivy bag is total waterproof but also has space for my kit above my head although I tend to leave my camera bag outside.

The midnight sky was a dull blue with a full moon. With the strong wind and zero shelter up here the wind was compressing one side of the bivy bag so it was a bit chilly to sleep but looking out on the stars on the longest day of the year was amazing.

Finally after a good night sleep I awoke at 8am to the blazing sun – my dream of catching sunrise long gone. I now had to get to work ASAP. Making it in for 9am wasn’t going to happen (it oftern doesn’t these days!)! A flat out 700m gravel descent on the Tripster isn’t a bad way to start the day. Soon after I was powering on my laptop in the office and grabing a quick shower with my loaded bike sitting downstairs!

After work I swapped bikes for my Tripster V1 with 28mm tyres and rode south on road to the Lake district for another adventure – when the sun shines in Scotland we make the most of it!

Sometimes its easy to put off trips like this and you need the excuse of something like midsummer to get out. There’s always adventure from your doorstep and if you reflect have you ever regretted it after leaving the door and heading off into the unknown for a night or more – so why don’t we do it more?




Any thoughts or questions?

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