Anyone who knows me knows that mountain biking is much more to me than just riding a bike. Mountain biking keeps me fit, gives me time to think, provides me with the odd thrill at a bike park or on a steep hill side and it’s my socialising time with friends, friends that I have met because of mountain biking. I also like to take photos and bikes take me places I wouldn’t necessarily go on foot or can reach by car. Getting out doors and enjoying the view, nature and peace and quiet is up there possibly at the top of the list. The other benefits are bi-products of this “hobby”.
While group or club rides are great fun, when riding on my own I can enjoy the peace and quiet at my pace, take as many photos as I like without keeping others waiting and generally slow things down if necessary. This week I took this to another level and introduced a proper cup of tea into my ride.
Some friends of mine occasionally bivvy camp and have camping and cooking gear. Bivvy camping is next on my list of biking activities but first I just had to try the #MidRideBrewStop.
A visit to GoOutdoors earlier this week and a little over £30 later and I had all I needed to make a cup of tea on trail. Now I have been known to take a flask of coffee out on long rides and it’s certainly nice to have a hot drink on a winter ride, however I had been reliably informed that making a fresh cup of tea from freshly boiled water is unbeatable.
Yesterday I rode out for a few hours trying a new 1×10 set up on my Giant and also took my tea making kit. Stopping in a sheltered spot and unpacking the stove and tea bag felt a bit silly to start with, but once the water had boiled, and a mug of tea brewed it all made sense.
Stopping and taking a few sips from a flask is ok – a little boost of caffeine, some warming liquid to take away a chill has its benefits, but taking the time to enjoy a full freshly brewed mug of tea is something else. I thought I was enjoying the sights and sounds of my surrounding countryside when I stopped for a breather at the top of a climb, or when I paused to take a photo; but sitting for 10 mins with a cup of tea is totally different.
I started hearing birds and the sounds of trees, took time to admire the views properly and had a proper time to think. Mostly my thoughts were about my new 1×10 set up and whether or not I needed to get that extender ring, but still it was a whole new experience.
The kit wasn’t expensive and wasn’t the smallest I could have purchased. I was recommended some Alpkit equipment which I may well get my hands on, but this gear from GoOutdoors was cheaper and it’s larger capacity will come in handy for some summer camping with my son.
Now I will be planning some of my solo rides around “nice spot for a cuppa” locations so expect some more tea brewing stories and photos this summer.