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Thread: Bikepacking!

  1. #1
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    Cool Bikepacking!

    I just saw this video, and now I'm stoked on bikepacking:
    http://www.bikepacking.com/plog/comes-with-baggage/

    I've bikepacked - where you carry all your food, clothing, and camping equipment - a few dozen times. It's always been here in the Mid-Atlantic, and has never been more than 3 days. I want to expand the locations and lengths that I go. Desert Southwest, California, Colorado, and a whole mess of other places are now dancing in my head.

    My buddy prefers bikepacking on really technical trails in the GW National Forest. Parts with stuff so rocky and steep that I'd have a hard time riding even without the extra 30 lbs of bikepacking gear, that I sometimes end up with blisters because I'm walking so much. The solitude of those areas are great, the downhills are awesome, but I'm usually fried after those trips.


    Bikepacking the GW National Forest by ricky d, on Flickr

    On the other end, I've done several C&O trips. You see a lot more people, the trail is easy, the view is the same most of the way, and frankly, it gets a little monotonous. Not a slam on the C&O at all, but it's not very challenging or technical. It's relaxing and great if you just want to grind out the miles and not think too much.

    Middle of the road trips in difficulty have been ones where I start in Maryland, cross up into Pennsylvania, and end up in Michaux. I probably enjoy these the most because they're not too hard or easy, with a variety of surfaces -- road, gravel, and singletrack.

    I've done a few where we end up in established campsites that have water spigots/pumps, tent pads, and bathrooms. Then there were some where I had to filter water out of the creeks and dig holes to do my stuff

    Many times I've been too cold. I need to get better gear to replace my outdated stuff, especially a new 1-person tent and a warmer sleeping bag. No surprise the good lightweight stuff costs mucho dinero, so I wait for sales. In the meantime, I freeze

    I've got an incredible bikepacking machine, and now have all the proper, custom rackless bags. This was its setup a year ago, but I am replacing the dry bags mounted to the forks with packs made especially for their unique design. I can't wait to try them out.


    Bikepacking the GW National Forest by ricky d, on Flickr

    Any of you go bikepacking? Any stories to tell, places to recommend, setups to show, or advice to give? I'd love to hear them!

    Oh yeah, WSGFABPR!

  2. #2
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    I love Bikepacking, bike touring, bike travel, really any excuse to get outside and away on my bike. Alas my bikepacking has been limited to the around here usuals -- GAP and C&O but end to end and in various bits and pieces, fun overnighters to Sky Meadows, Erie canal etc but that doesn't stop me from dreaming big! I've finally acquired the bags and gear to be able to ditch the rack and panniers. Here is what I use for bags:

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    Those are all Relevate Design bags and include their Sweetroll for the bars, a feedbag, a tangle frame bag and the smaller Pika seat bag. With this and a few dry bags attached to the outside I was able to carry pretty much everything needed for a C&O canal two nighter when temps were going to be in the now thirties overnight (i.e. I was carrying a tent, thermarest, heavier sleeping bag and cold weather gear).

    It ended up looking like this:

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    If you want the details on what all was in the bags on this trip see my facebook post I did on it: https://www.facebook.com/KayakCyndi/...10963889712455. (It is public so viewable).

    (And have I mentioned today that I love my Viaje?).

  3. #3
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    Awesome setup KayakCyndi. Yeah, those Revelate bags are great quality aren't they?

    Your rear pack looks way out there, but it's cool if it works for you. The C&O doesn't require a lot of hard, unseated efforts anyway

    I tried a friend's rear pack (which I think was the same as yours) before getting my own (a shorter Revelate Pika), and when I was mashing out of the saddle on some climbs, the pack swayed so much that it often twisted my seatpost so that I'd have to stop to recenter my saddle after most climbs. I may make a bottom brace like one of my buddies did, who stole the idea from Porcelain Rocket:

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    Another thing I learned when using the packs is to put silicon tape on the frame/seatpost where the velcro goes over. It prevents the packs from moving so much AND it protects the frame from the scratching that you may get from the inevitable dirt that gets under there. I just used this stuff from Home Depot, but it's available on Amazon as well. I guess you could get the "official" bikepacking stuff as well: https://www.revelatedesigns.com/inde...FrameSaverTape

  4. #4
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    During my hikes up to Sugar Knob cabin in GWNF, I've often wondered how people on bikes traverse that rocky uphill section just south of the cabin. Now you can tell me!

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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyRider View Post
    During my hikes up to Sugar Knob cabin in GWNF, I've often wondered how people on bikes traverse that rocky uphill section just south of the cabin. Now you can tell me!
    I remember the cabin, but fuzzy on the details leading up to it. Is it straight up, rocky, and ridiculous, because I remember a few of those climbs as well. If so, the answer to what you are wondering is:
    Pushing my bike, with tears in my eyes

    That's at about mile 5 on my Strava?
    https://www.strava.com/activities/535202673

    Maybe I'm just weaksauce, or my buddy Andy is a beast, but he climbed more and was much faster than me on his singlespeed (in the foreground), than I was on my 2x10. He did do the SM100 faster than me on his rigid fixie though


    Bikepacking the GW National Forest by ricky d, on Flickr
    Last edited by drevil; 04-03-2017 at 04:42 PM.

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  8. #6
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    So, why all those packs instead of panniers? Rockford and I did the ride out to Harpers Ferry, and I thought my panniers front and rear were great. What is it that I don't know? Is it just lighter without the racks?

    Also, half of Harpers Ferry burned down the night after we left, but that's another story.

    Additionally, the place we stayed in Harpers Ferry was featured on Hotel Hell a little while after we left. Also another story.

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  10. #7
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    Here's a topo map, Sugar Knob cabin is on the northeast corner. I've hiked the Big Schloss loop a few times too, and it's a rewarding route but rocky as hell. Even with stiff boots my feet felt all beat up, same story hiking pretty much anywhere in GWNF. I can't imagine trying to navigate those trails on a bike, but then again I'm not a mountain biker (could be the cause-effect are backwards).

    Any means one uses to get up there, that's a beautiful area. We backpacked one time, pitched a tent somewhere along the Tuscarora Trail section, and we were surrounded by a chorus of whip-poor-wills all night.

  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkel View Post
    So, why all those packs instead of panniers? Is it just lighter without the racks?
    Yeah, mostly it's the weight. I've toured a lot with racks and panniers, but I managed to trim down my gear so I've never needed bags on the front. Still, the rear rack plus two large Ortlieb back-rollers weigh over 6 lbs before I put anything in them.

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  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkel View Post
    So, why all those packs instead of panniers? Rockford and I did the ride out to Harpers Ferry, and I thought my panniers front and rear were great. What is it that I don't know? Is it just lighter without the racks?

    Also, half of Harpers Ferry burned down the night after we left, but that's another story.

    Additionally, the place we stayed in Harpers Ferry was featured on Hotel Hell a little while after we left. Also another story.
    Sounds like some good stories. Next time I see you or Rockford I'll try to pry these stories out of you!

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    I remember the cabin, but fuzzy on the details leading up to it. Is it straight up, rocky, and ridiculous, because I remember a few of those climbs as well. If so, the answer to what you are wondering is:
    Pushing my bike, with tears in my eyes

    That's at about mile 5 on my Strava?
    https://www.strava.com/activities/535202673

    Maybe I'm just weaksauce, or my buddy Andy is a beast, but he climbed more and was much faster than me on his singlespeed (in the foreground), than I was on my 2x10. He did do the SM100 faster than me on his rigid fixie though


    Bikepacking the GW National Forest by ricky d, on Flickr
    That looks fabulous!!

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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