The WRT has moved. If you're looking for info, entries or anything else bikepacking related try Bear Bones Bikepacking, the Bear Bones blog or the Bear Bones forum - ta.

Yea, yea, yea, but what is it?

The WRT is a 3 day and perhaps more importantly 2 night ride through and around mid Wales. You'll be expected to be self sufficient, carrying everything you need and sleeping out in or under whatever you think best. It's not elitist, entry is open to anyone who wants to try it. All the money raised by the WRT goes to the Wales Air Ambulance charity ... an organisation I hope you'll never need.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

If you ride all year ...

Winter's a time for the hardcore, a time for those who can't or won't wait till spring. The misery and suffering won't kill you but it'll toughen you up and hone you down, so when the snow, wind and ice go you'll be ready ... sounds great doesn't it? and those clear, crisp and sunny days are but the rain, cold and wind isn't quite so nice. I've enjoyed riding through this winter more than ever before. Even though there was snow (lots of deep snow) and the coldest temperatures ever recorded since the last time they told us the same thing, I enjoyed myself ... why did I enjoy myself? I'll tell you why, because for the first time ever, I could finish a ride and still feel my fingers, my hands weren't soaking wet, nor had my gloves tried to freeze themselves to my grips ... I didn't have to endure the usual winter misery because I discovered Bar Mitts!

Bar Mitts are like gloves for your handlebars. Your hands go inside where you can still do whatever needs doing, change gear, brake, etc but the nasty outside elements can't get to you.They're made from Neoprene (to a very high standard) there's a small zip and velcro loop for your bars to pass through and on the other end (inside) there's a simple sleeve with a velcro adjuster that fits over the end of your grip ... so, as you can imagine fitting is a straight forward job of around 3 minutes. Once on they're very secure and obviously the fitting makes them universal too.

You could be forgiven for thinking that they might somehow interfere with your riding or perhaps you might get your hand stuck inside in an emergency ... these fears are unfounded. You only notice them because your hands aren't in pain! The first outing I had with them convinced me of their worth. My hands really don't like the cold, swollen joints, split skin and fingers much larger than they ought to be. So a ride in temperatures down towards minus 10 would usually involve the biggest, thickest pair of gloves I can find. With the Mitts fitted I chose to wear my lightest summer gloves (that could have been a really bad idea) ... the outcome was, warm and dry hands. At one point, on a long climb I even took my gloves off!

If you think, great idea but are a little worried about what the cycle fashion police might say, then if were honest, you don't really ride in winter do you? If on the other hand you think, great idea, I'll get some in September, my advice would be ... get some now. I can see these being on everyone's list and once the first signs of winter appear they'll be sold out ... remember, book early!


  1. love my bar mitts, bought more for wet days riding on the beach when its that bitter damp weather,we get alot of that even in April on the East Coast and thse are a godsend!

  2. It really is difficult to understand just what a difference they make until you try them ;o)

  3. Knowing Wales in May, the wind, rain, hail, gales, snow and slim chance of sun. I've ordered a pair. Plus, my hands froze in five hours of torrential rain and wind yesterday :o(