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Bike packing
Last Post 05/02/2021 09:34 AM by Dale Dale. 9 Replies.
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04/29/2021 10:43 AM
One of my buddies talked me into a three week 1,000 mile bike packing trip from Flathead Lake, MT to Ralins, WY in July.

This, of course, necessitates a crap load of new stuff and an introduction to a completely new style of cycling. Today and tomorrow we're doing a S-24 overnight to a state park 60 miles from here. Packed the bike yesterday with borrowed panniers and a few other things that I cobbled together while waiting for my new bike, new tent, and a couple minor things.

Good grief! I about hurt myself lifting the bike out of the stand but a test ride around the area was pretty much ok, the weight is balanced nicely.

Rained like stupid yesterday so the gravel road will be a royal mess but we've allotted plenty of time to get there and back.

Using my Ritchey Breakaway Ti gravel/ CX bike. The gearing isn't low enough for this so my riding partner will just have to wait at the top of the hills.

New bike (if it ever shows up) is a Kona Libre CR/ 650b
Orange Crush


04/29/2021 12:12 PM
That a serious distance trip. Is this gravel or road?

Never been into bike packing although wife and I have a cross-Europe trip planned (or may be two, one N-S and one W-E). But if it happens that will be with all the luxury fixings carrying only some minimal amount of clothing and a credit card.
Cosmic Kid


04/29/2021 03:39 PM
I have zero interest in ever doing a bikepacking idea of roughing it is a Spring Hill Suites.

When does the new bike arrive?
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!


04/30/2021 12:36 PM
Rawlins WY... Sounds like it's part of the CDT (Continental Divide Trail). Ryan Van Duzer's got a solid bunch of episodes on YouTube about the CDT. His bike runs a Gates belt instead of a chain and internal gearing.
I've daydreamed about doing the Colorado Trail (From Littleton to Durango), but I don't know if I'll ever pull the trigger. Another bike, a bunch of panniers, special lightweight camping gear to walk the bike on steep singletrack at altitude sounds like almost too much of a challenge right now...


04/30/2021 02:09 PM
Bike packing. Saw that title and thought "boxing a bike to fly?" or "loading a bike to tour" or "carrying a weapon while riding?" Or just fly to Colorado, ride the divide and protect yourself from bears. All three.

My bike packing is going to stay with riding light and giving the Cycle Oregon semi my 60 pounds max bag to be waiting for me at the end of the day. Eat like a king and mot prepare (or carry) the food.


04/30/2021 08:05 PM
Fatter tires, lower gears, maybe some suspension up front, and a major reset of what riding a bike means are essential. Good luck!
Orange Crush


04/30/2021 09:47 PM
The only proper bike packing trip I ever did was Netherlands to southern France on an old Dutch 3 speed with some of my out of shape college friends. They were in shape by the time we got their and we had a lot of good food and wine. The bikes, well they’re probably still somewhere in France.


05/01/2021 10:00 AM
eurochien- correct, we're doing a section of the CDT.

Not much of the 120 miles was gravel but there were several miles of chunky/ busted up rocks that you had to pick a good line and dodge the sharp looking ones.

Ran 35mm tires at about 30psi. Zero issues. My bike backing buddies think these are way too narrow but I remember the early mbt days when a 1.5" tire was about the norm.

Beautiful campsite next to the lake, heard owls hooting early morning, fireflies were out at dusk, and about 200 yards away there were hot showers.

Good times


05/01/2021 08:17 PM
Sounds like it'll be an adventure, which is always great. Pack some bug spray and a bear bell up in MT...


05/02/2021 09:34 AM
Yes to both bear and bug spray for the trip.
Hopefully I won't get the two mixed up during application.

Some greenhorn friends went camping just after they were married and she thought bear spray was like insect repellant and had her husband spray the tent with it. Must have worked, they weren't attacked by bears

CK, the bike is supposed to show up this month. If it's delayed I'll just use the Ritchey and add some fork mounts, different set of bars (wider and flared out at the bottom), as wide of tires as will fit, and call it good. It might be a bit more twitchy as a true bike packing bike but I've done dumber things in my life.

And the roughing it at a Spring Hill Suites reminds me of a time when a buddy blew it on hotel reservations. We're used to Super 8 and packing three guys with all the gear for a CX weekend and he booked a weekend with his wife where he could jump in on Saturday morning Masters race and have the rest of the weekend with his wife. He admitted to me that he booked a CX race hotel rather than a 'weekend with the wife' hotel. She was unimpressed.
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