- - "Bikepacking to a Bothy: A Silent Adventure in Wales"

“Bikepacking to a Bothy: A Silent Adventure in Wales”

words and photos by Avery Caudill

I’ve been on the bike for about four weeks now in the UK, starting from Land’s End, with another 10 days or so to John O’Groats. Since this bike is set up as essentially a world-tourer, it’s very heavy and has been slow going with lots of climbing, often over 1,000 meters a day. Aside from the weight and a rear hub failure that resulted in running a 27.5 up front and a 29er in the rear until I can get new wheels (the new trend, a reverse mullet!), it’s performed really well. I’m planning to head across to mainland Europe this summer and ride east through as many mountains as I can. An off-road-focused world tour is the end goal, though I have no real timeline and may end up completing it in pieces.


Bothies are free-to-use shelters with very simple facilities, but stumbling into a dry stone cabin after a long day pushing a heavy bike through rivers and carrying it over big rocks, everything feels okay. After drying off and starting a fire, time seems to slow. Stop even. It’s so quiet inside that it becomes easy to quiet the mind too. This Bothy is called Moel Prysgau; I’ll leave it to you to find out more if you want to visit, but of course, please respect the shelter and the volunteers who help maintain it (leave no trace, besides signing the log book!).


The weather has been far more challenging than I expected. The UK’s wettest and coldest spring in recent years, mixed with a lot of wind, has made me reconsider this ride more than a few times. It has snowed more than once now, but it always melts quickly and turns back into freezing rain, to which I’d much prefer the snow. The other day, it took seven hours to ride 35 kilometers: a gale-force headwind and rain hail forced me to a walking pace most of the day, and this was even on pavement!

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