Get Lost in Bikepacking

Bikepacking – S2:E2

Get lost in the endurance sport of Bikepacking by explaining how it works, what gear you need, and where you can go to get lost racing it.

What the heck is Bikepacking?

If you mixed backpacking, hiking, orienteering, and endurance mountain biking into one sport, you would have bikepacking.

Bikepacking is a form of outdoor exploration and camping where you travel only by mountain or road bike over an extended distance for several days.

In fact, some mountain bike enthusiasts claim that growing interest in bikepacking is what brought fat bikes out of obscurity and into the mainstream.

Bikepacking has the unique characteristic of requiring a rider to travel under their own power, carry everything he or she needs to survive, and camp for at least one night.

This can include a route as short as a two-day, 20-mile out and back, or a long as the 4,700+ Trans America route across the United States.

Each rider is responsible for carrying all their own gear.

No, this does not mean some water, a few granola bars, and a spare bike tube.

Bikepackers go out for the long haul.

Their common gear load-out consists of camping gear, change of clothes, food, water, bike repair tools, communications, navigation, and safety gear.

All evenly distributed among a group of strategically placed body and bike mounted bags.

The end result is a bike covered with seat, handlebar, frame, and fork bags, and a rider with a backpack and lots of pockets.

Over time, bikepackers fine-tune their logistics and only carry what they need based on the kind of route they intended to ride.

But what starts with just a backpack and a destination can quickly turn into an expedition into some of the most beautiful but remote areas of the world.

 

Why do Bikepacking?

To become a bikepacker, you have to be into it for the long haul.

Where completing a route for your own personal challenge IS the goal, and not making good time or going fast.

This is why bikepacking is not for sprinters.

It is a methodical journey where you have to be comfortable with:

  • Riding alone with your own thoughts
  • Walking your bike for miles before you get to ride it again
  • Learning how to survive a long, long way from any help

These are epic “self-supported” adventures.

Sure, you’re going to see things that 90-percent of the country will never see.

And you’re going to do it with just your trusty metal steed of a mountain bike, and what you carry with you, to keep you alive.

Nobody knows how hard bikepacking is until they have ridden into the wilderness and had to sleep in the dark.

Only to find out they’ve only traveled a fraction of their route, and now they have to start riding for the second day.

It can be a greatly rewarding experience.

You can carry yourself to locations and vistas that no motorized vehicle can get to, and backpackers only dream of.

But don’t come to bikepacking on a whim.

You have to want to do this sport, and be good at logistical planning, if you want to survive it.

And that is the endurance sport of Bikepacking.

Time to go pack your bike for an adventure!

 

Bikepacking Links

Bikepacking Racing Links

Bikepacking Gear Links

Until then, I hope you Get Lost Racing!

Outdoor Reckoneering Links

Reckoneer – Business School for Race Directors
Merchants of Dirt Podcast – Outdoor Event Management

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