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Adventurous bikepacker Josh Ibbett

04.10.2018
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The EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference’s morning plenary session featured 4 speakers, who gave three presentations all very different from each other. Josh Ibbett gave the attendees some tips in case they would like to start their own bike packing journey, explaining how he does it himself.

In his well-illustrated presentation, Josh Ibbett explained what bike packing is, what he packs for his journeys, where he rides, what he eats and where he sleeps. He showed the diversity of forms that a bike packing journey can take, going from rather comfortable trips including stays in hostels and meals at restaurants, to hardcore ones with as few luggage as possible. When he won the 3rd Transcontinental Race, cycling from Flanders to Istanbul in just under 10 days, Josh brought only 12.5 kg of luggage and used to sleep in dumps with only his sleeping bag, and to eat at gas stations. But he doesn’t advise anyone to go for such extreme traveling!

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“You can pretty much survive for 10 days with that amount of stuff… But it’s not the most hygienic, you smell rather bad at the end of it.”

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“This is probably the most common view of me cycling: standing outside a gas station or local shop and shoving cookies in my face.”

Josh Ibbett also did a 5-month bike packing trip around the world in 2017, which took him through Europe, Canada, North America and Mexico. This was another experience altogether for him, as you cannot approach a 5-month journey the same way you approach a 10-days race – it becomes a way of life, rather than an exhausting and quick journey. Josh had brought on stage the bike his used on that trip, to show us how he had packed for 5 months. He was full of stories and anecdotes about the places he visited and the people he met.

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“When you cycle everywhere, an important factor is eating. I quite like eating… It’s quite nice to experience the local cultures, to eat what local people eat”.

His presentation was full of humor…

“I spent 4 months in America, cycling every single day, and I came back from America the heaviest I have ever been.”

He also cycled in Morocco and witnessed amazing views:

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“We arrived there in the dark. When we woke up we saw the mountains in the morning. It’s a very rewarding experience.”

Many good memories, but some hard times as well!

“One time, I ended up in the middle of the desert, which was… interesting. I didn’t have enough water with me. I survived, but it was an interesting experience.”

Plenary 3_Josh Ibbett (3)

The full presentation of Josh Ibbett at the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference will soon be available on the Conference’s website.