Exploring the great outdoors by bike is nothing new, but the popularity of bikepacking has exploded in recent years. It’s easy to understand why. Bikepacking combines the freedom of multi-day hiking with the speed of cycling. But it also offers a pace of travel that allows riders to fully embrace – and appreciate – the surrounding environment.
A lifelong cyclist from the Ashdown Forest in the South of England, Liam is not one to turn down a new opportunity or adventure and has cycled his bike as long as he can remember with everything from BMX to racing Road, Time Trials and Fixed Gear crits, and more recently has been strongly focussed on Bikepacking and a more adventurous way of seeing the world.
The Ashdown Forest is an ancient area of tranquil open heathland occupying the highest sandy ridge-top of the High Weald.
“It has been my home for all my life, giving me not only the freedom to easily get outside and away from people but also the joy of an attachment to nature and the outdoors."
With his father Sean Yates a former Tour de France stage winner and Olympian it’s no surprise Liam feels at home on two wheels. As well as adventures of his own he has also started his own event and cycling team to help give back to the community and encourage bikes and an outdoor lifestyle to all.
“The motivation for Things That Happen came from thinking about different ways I could give back to the cycling community in my area. The goal is simply to just to enjoy the freedom riding a bike gives us.”
What drew Liam to the adventure side was its not so focused on performance and more about getting out of your comfort zone with your friends.
“It's more just, you can go and have a good time and travel and see all these things and do these things that people want to do, but you're doing it by bike. So it's like combining the two, which is sort of a perfect combo for me."
Being around people you care seems to push Liam to go that extra mile. So even if he is in a dark place whoever he is with, they are going to be the in the same situation.
“The thing that motivates me to keep going is sort of it's the, the bad point never lasts forever."
It sort of it peaks and trough. So one minute you can be really enjoying it. And then something bad does happen, like gets really muddy or Sandy, or you have to stop and something annoys you, but it won't go on forever. And you never know, 10 minutes later, you could be having the best time.
Liam goes on to say that being outside of nature gives him relief and relaxation. So when he does go home, he can enjoy being at peace, knowing that he’s done something great.