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Bike packing = Trout cookies
Last Post 07/10/2021 04:47 PM by Dale Dale. 10 Replies.
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06/17/2021 04:24 PM
Well, that was horrible.

I like fried trout. I like cookies. I doubt I’d like trout cookies.
I like cycling. I like backpacking. I discovered I don’t like bike packing, it’s an ugly amalgam.

Four days, three nights, 250 miles, 18000’ climbing, 65 pounds of bike and gear, 20% gravel climbs, and white-knuckle descents, camping with mosquitoes, trying to avoid the poison ivy of Arkansas. Some amazing sights, cool cafes and general stores out in the middle of nowhere, great overlooks (at the top of a 25 mile/ 4000’ climb… part of a 68 mile/ 6200’ day).

Midway through day two if I could have gotten cell reception I would have called Uber and paid whatever it took to get me back to my truck parked what seemed like a million miles away.

The guy who organized the ride cramped up so badly on day one that he had to call his cousin to pick us up 15 miles before our destination; her very rustic cabin with no electricity or running water but a roof that kept us dry during an early evening rainstorm.

The third guy had his bike fly sideways out from under him midway through a stream crossing. Nothing broken but he was soaked.

Things I discovered:
I like riding a responsive bike, one that you can rail with confidence into a corner or stand hard on the pedals to get over a climb. No matter how you slice it a 65-pound rig is a tank.
Camping is fine for a night or two. More than that and the tent set up and take down gets to be a jumbled-up mess.
Cooking over a Jetboil is great for no more than four meals.
Rides from 2 to 4 hours are great… six is pushing the limit. Ten hours in cycling gear stinks in more ways than one. No amount of chamois cream or axel grease can compensate for that amount of time or sweat. #nuclearchaffing

My plan for a thousand-mile, three-week Continental Divide Trail ride just got thrown out the window.
As one of my buddies said, “I’ve pretty much resigned myself to activities where the fun outweighs the suffering.”

Preach it, brother!
Orange Crush


06/17/2021 08:01 PM

As I told a club mate who likes to bike pack last year, I’d rather ride 200 kms one day with minimal gear than two 100 km days having to haul all the camping fixings.

That said my one three week bike packing trip in college was awesome but it was on tertiary roads in France, breakfast lunch and dinner in cafes and restaurants with the locals and minimal overall gear. 80 km days composed as 60 k in morning then after a lot of wine for lunch we hit the remaining 20 or so. No wonder it took so long lol.
Orange Crush


06/17/2021 08:03 PM
Oh I did also look at Continental Divide but strictly whether it could at all be ridden lightweight from town to town. Negative so no go.

I’ll stick to local variants on Kettle Valley Railtrail, Columbia and Western Rail trail etc.


06/17/2021 08:27 PM
Good ride summary.
One advantage of getting older is you know what you like.
Orange Crush


06/17/2021 08:41 PM
Posted By Frederick Jones on 06/17/2021 08:27 PM

One advantage of getting older is you know what you like.

Apparently Dale is still a young one and in learning phase lol. Let’s call it young at heart.


06/17/2021 09:16 PM
Posted By Orange Crush on 06/17/2021 08:41 PM
Apparently Dale is still a young one and in learning phase lol. Let’s call it young at heart.

Hahaha…. I went to renew my USACycling race license and they had my birthdate as 1-1-1900 I told them I’m old, just not that old!

Anyway, I thought I’d give bikepacking a try since all the cool kids seem to be reveling in it. Glad I discovered it isn’t my cup of tea on that trip instead of 1,500 miles from home with no real good exit option.


06/18/2021 03:39 PM
Couldn't agree more with the report. Same reasons I've never done 24hr races of any kind. Comes sunset I'm done riding, unless I'm lost or have sustained some mechanical or injury.
Cosmic Kid


06/21/2021 09:07 AM
As I noted on the earlier thread, my idea of "roughing it" is a Courtyard by Marriott.

There is nothing that sounds appealing to me re: bikepacking. Loading down a bike with a crapton of gear so that it becomes a lumbering tank sounds horrible. Days on end sleeping on the ground sounds horrible.

i did a fair amount of camping back in my high school days and at some point realized i just didn't enjoy it....don't think i have done it since then.

And as eurochien notes, 24 hour races hold the exact same lack of appeal for me....

But to each their own...I know plenty of people (and some right here on the forum ) that think doing an Ironman or Unbound Gravel sounds horrific. *shrug*
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Nick A


06/27/2021 03:24 PM
I did self contained AYH trips as a kid, pre-racing. One was NYC to Montreal. I had fond memories. About 10 years ago, I did a tour in Colorado, where they carry your camping gear for you. On the third day of about a week long trip, I rode my bike to a regional airport, rented a minivan, swung by for my stuff and headed home. One day they threw my stuff in a mud puddle. Another day, some a-hole cut in front of me for the shower. I had Speedplay pedals at the time. My aerosol can of dry lube sprung a leak and emptied itself.
Orange Crush


07/10/2021 10:27 AM
Was thinking about this post yesterday. Did a ride climbing about 700 m up over distance of 40 km on tarmac. Then down over similar distance on rail trail. Even though it was down the initial section was a massive amount of work in loose sand and heat. Still travelling light so it only gets so bad and one can keep spinning. Then I came across a couple slowly working their way up fully loaded bike packing. Ground for divorce me says hahaha. Anyway I spent three awesome days of gravel and living out of an Airbnb rented trailer with all the fixings.


07/10/2021 04:47 PM
A zillion years ago I organized a siblings adventure- one of my brothers and all four of my sisters. Telluride to Moab mountain biking hut-to-hut. Huts were fully stocked with food, beds, sleeping bags, and cooking facilities. All we had to carry was a sleeping bag liner and a small amount of clothing. A total blast and I'd do a trip like that again in a heart beat but still adamant opposed to playing tortoise carrying everything I need for a week.

OC, that's what interests me... Airbnb or the like.
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