Rookie Lessons in Bike Packing Part Two
Even though we’ve been short on spare time this summer, we still managed to check a few more bikepacking adventures off the list. Since the last trip over the hill to Boulder, here are a few more bikepacking trips we did:
The Summer Bear Endurance Ride: A 200 mile brutal adventure in Northern Routt County, CO. 4 of 19 starters finished the “suggested course”. I have no shame in the fact that I completed only 130 miles of this route. I did go back and ride the last 70 a couple of weeks go. It was super brutal and beautiful and amazing all at the same time.
Pikes Peak Circumnavigation Ride Day 1 and Day 2: A sweet weekend route utilizing some quintessential Colorado Springs area dirt roads, Gold Camp Road, Rampart Ridge Road, Shelf Road, and Phantom Canyon road.
Gunnison to Kremmling Day 1, Day 2, Day 3: This one I did as a solo tour. Knocked a couple of passes off my bucket list, Schofield Pass connecting Crested Butte & Marble and Hagerman Pass connecting Basalt and Leadville. I also really wanted to go to City on a Hill Coffee 😍.
Without further ado, here is Part 2 of rookie bikepacking lessons learned this summer:
Rookie Lesson Number 6: Fix your shit.
You heard it here. Sometimes I am stubborn, not wanting to take a minute to stop and fix simple things. Like stopping to lube the chain, put a jacket on, take a layer off, put sunscreen on, tie up a dangling strap, or move a bag over a bit because it’s rubbing the tire. Things like this add up over long days. If you don’t just stop, take a minute and fix it, there’s a good chance it will lead to bigger issues down the road, or ruin your trip for that matter.
Rookie Lesson Number 7: Bikepacking is unpredictable.
Anything can happen when you’re on your bike all day and/or all night. Being prepared for everything is impossible. Being prepared to roll with the punches, even if you’re unprepared, is a good way to think about it.
Schofield Pass, near Crested Buttle, CO.
Rookie Lesson Number 8: Other people’s gear.
It’s cool to check out other people’s setups, but don’t get too caught up in comparing your own gear or set up to theirs. It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of overthinking gear choices, especially an hour before you set out on an adventure. It’s not worth the mind space.
Rookie Lesson Number 9: Generator hubs.
They are an ingenious invention. I highly recommend one. I use the Sinewave Beacon, which is awesome. However, you must be moving fast enough in order for it to power a headlight. I.E. Long hike-a-bike in the middle of the night requires a different method for lighting. I learned this one the hard way.
Rookie Lesson Number 10: Leave enough room in your gear.
I’ve been packing my gear so tight lately it’s been difficult to grab anything out of a bag without everything all spewing out. Stopping to turn around to grab something I dropped while trying to get a Granola bar isn’t ideal. Get a bigger bag or pack less stuff.
Look Closely – the bottom right sign says “you may die on this loop 4×4’s only” they were right, Schofield pass on the Marble/Crystal side is unbelievable. You would be crazy to even consider 4x4ing on this route.
There you have it, ten important lessons I learned as a rookie bikepacker this summer. I look forward to learning more next summer and this coming fall. We have a very cool 8 day bikepacking trip planned for the end of September. Stay tuned to see where we’re headed.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about our routes, gear, or anything else.
Until next time!