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A Weekend Adventure

Finding out how equally great the Cairn E-Adventure 1.0 can be as a non-electric bikepacking rig

4 September 2020

Early in September, while we still had decent sun and long(ish) days, me and my girlfriend, Summer, went to visit some friends in Cambridge. The idea was to ride our bikes there by avoiding tarmac as much as we could and sleeping in a tent at night. Thankfully, down south, we are blessed with a network of gravel paths connecting AONBs so creating a nice route and finding a campsite wasn't an issue.

The only catch was that this was Summer's first long distance adventure. Having ridden a max of 32 miles on her MTB once before, she was initially worried we wouldn't make it. I, on the other hand, was convinced she had the fitness and the fact that the route was fairly flat along the way helped me to persuade her to do it.

This was also a great opportunity for me to find out how the Cairn E-Adventure behaves as a non-electric bike by swapping the Fazua motor & battery with a downtube cover which neatly fitted 3 spare inner tubes and some tools.

The Route

We decided to split our adventure into 3 days, with the last day returning to Harlow where we would catch the train back to Brighton.

First leg was from Brighton to Merstham where we found a really nice campsite to stay for the night. The route took us onto the Downs Link which is a 100% gravel path connecting the South Downs and the North Downs. Once the Downs Link ended we joined the North Downs all the way to our campsite.

For our second leg of the journey, we decided to jump on a train and skip the majority of London as riding wouldn't have been as enjoyable and we wanted to make sure we got to Cambridge before dark. We took a series of gravel paths across endless fields and through some small forests.

The third day saw us ride along one of the routes of the National Cycle Way until we joined a canal path from Bishop Strotford to Harlow.

Click on the images to see the full details taken from Komoot

A Weekend Adventure Pt 1
A Weekend Adventure Pt 2
A Weekend Adventure Pt 3

The Route

We decided to split our adventure into 3 days, with the last day returning to Harlow where we would catch the train back to Brighton.

First leg was from Brighton to Merstham where we found a really nice campsite to stay for the night. The route took us onto the Downs Link which is a 100% gravel path connecting the South Downs and the North Downs. Once the Downs Link ended we joined the North Downs all the way to our campsite.

For our second leg of the journey, we decided to jump on a train and skip the majority of London as riding wouldn't have been as enjoyable and we wanted to make sure we got to Cambridge before dark. We took a series of gravel paths across endless fields and through some small forests.

The third day saw us ride along one of the routes of the National Cycle Way until we joined a canal path from Bishop Strotford to Harlow.

Click on the images to see the full details taken from Komoot.

A Weekend Adventure Pt 1
A Weekend Adventure Pt 2
A Weekend Adventure Pt 3
Downs Link 1

The Start