March 28, 2016 at 9:55 pm #809901
That route looks like a load of fun!April 1, 2016 at 11:24 am #809927
Hey @cyclesolutions, thanks for this great outline of the next possible routes. I fixed those links so they are clickable now. Thats a great, direct, route which makes the best use of our time and energy. There is more road than I would like but it’s still awesome.
The best part of the first stage of our route for me was that, while we rode a tad hard, we were able to socialize and ride side by each the whole way up. Was really only that section of road, to avoid the mud on the way back, that sucked. I’d like to avoid more of that and focus on the fun side of this. No head down, suffering alone like a strip of bacon in the sun. mmm bacon.
Here is another option that, while not as direct, uses the whole path north as well as more gravel. It also has us go through Mono which would likely be our first camping location. From there we can jump back on the rail trail for the next leg.
Seeing as the camping and ‘apres’ is the reward for the suffering, I would really like to see us stretch this out into a 3 day 2 night mission. 140km with gear on day 2 will be a tough haul for me and I am perfectly happy to make this two shorter days if that means more chill time.April 3, 2016 at 1:39 pm #809947
Yep this looks amazing. Wherever the trails goes the adventure will be amazing.
Interesting to note, are we planning to carry all our gear? If so the list should be made sooner rather than later. And a discussion about bikepacking gear should be started.
After seeing the trail conditions of Etobicoke Creek and planning for a little more trail on the second leg of the Journey I have started the build on a pair of 29er + wheels for the Salsa Beargrease. The Toughroad was great and could probably soak up all this ride has to offer however, I have been told that panniers are not suitable for bikepacking and are tantamount to tweed suits and penny loafers. Additionally, if we are planning on having more trail riding sections having the weight centered over the bike will add a lot more stability in the tight twisty sections. Additionally, the 29er plus tires will add more cushion.
Does anyone have experience with bikepacking gear? I have been doing a ton of research on the Blackburn Outpost vs Revelate Designs bikepacking gear, tents, cooking supplies. Should be interesting to see how it all fits together.
Also, there be some thought given to total weight of the bike. Are we going to be stopping for food? PAcking our own cooking supplies? Tents, sleeping bags etc etc? I would expect this to add a substantial amount of weight with total bikes weighing in around 40 – 50 lb…April 4, 2016 at 9:20 am #809950
Good call. Let’s start to consider dates and get a packing list going. We also need to have an idea of numbers.
I’ll likely run the 3 Blackburn Outpost bags and will try to equipe @fietser with the same. I assume these fit Cross bikes ok? Unless you want me to get you a Giant Tough Road @fietser ? I am trying for 4 full bag kits but am still waiting to hear from Blackburn on what they can get us. It might be nothing so everyone should have a plan for their own gear until this is finalized. I’ll have camera gear so that will be the heaviest part for me. I’ll maybe need some help to spread that across a few of our packs. I’ll pack light but none of it is ‘light’.
Here are the three main Blackburn bags:
Seat Pack and Dry Bag
Handlebar Roll and Dry Bag
Given that we will be getting a ride back, it may just make sense to have a support vehicle track us on the way up. If we have to, rent a big van and get a bud to drive up. Do we have a friend who would do this for us? Free beer?
If anyone has any experience with solid gear please help us out here.April 4, 2016 at 9:37 am #809954
I suppose I’ll tag along for this one, provided the date works for me. I’ll probably just use my rigid steel 29er commuter bike.
Arkel make the best panniers/bags/touring gear around. Lifetime guarantee on all products, and they’re all made in Quebec. We keep a bunch of stuff in stock at CS-Parliament. http://www.arkel-od.comApril 4, 2016 at 10:12 am #809957
Also be great to hear from anyone who has experience with solar chargers. I have a few battery sources but they are heavy.April 4, 2016 at 10:49 am #809958
I’ve been looking at the Blackburn stuff myself.
I can also vouch for Arkel, but they so far aren’t on the latest bandwagon in terms of types of bags.
For solar chargers – it depends what kind of batteries you need to charge, how many, and how often. For three days my suggestion would be to just bring enough batteries! If you are looking for a panel, Goal Zero is the way to go. I have the Nomad 7 + Guide panel and charger, and have used it in the past to charge my phone, camera batteries, and AA batteries daily for months in a row.April 5, 2016 at 12:56 am #809961
So long as it’s not the last Saturday of a month, or June 4th I’d be in. Not much sense in having an “adventure bike” if you’re not going to adventure with it.
Those blackburn bags are sweet for sure. I’ve had a good look over them and agree with @cyclesolutions that having the weight centred is going to be a lot more enjoyable to ride with. That particular size of blackburn frame bag however seems to be a bit of a trick to get your hands on currently. I can’t add much about Arkel that @matty-f hasn’t said… It’s legit gear for sure and worth checking out if you haven’t.
It might be worth mapping out where there are “refill stations” for additional water. Not sure about anyone else but 100km with 30lbs of bike and I can easily kill an 80oz camelbak and a couple of bottles. If we know it’s only got to last “X” distance I’d imagine there’s room in some cases to drop some of that weight in favour of other worthwhile items.April 5, 2016 at 8:55 am #809962
100% we’ll nail down water stops. We’re never really that far from civilization. I’m still looking for some sort of support vehicle option as well.
Frame bags aren’t a deal breaker on this trip. The last leg will be rail-trail and panniers would balance the weight nice and low. If we were riding more singletrack, they might not be the way to go but for this route they will be fine. Part of the story for this trip is that it can be done on any bike with a variety of setups. Don’t let your gear hold you back. I think the Outpost kit fits my bike the best but I’d still go for it with solid panniers like the Arkels. This trip will be an education as much as an adventure. I hope to do more and go further after this one.April 5, 2016 at 9:30 am #809964
Things are really shaping up here. The bags look great – from all the reading I have been doing it seems that many guys are keen on the frame bags. Honestly, I have little experience with this kind of riding so I am all ears. On an over nighter I did in Idaho we just used backpacks (with a hydration bladder). I borrowed one of these (http://www.ospreypacks.com/ca/en/product/talon-22-TALON22.html) it was perfect. I am actually in the market for a new commuting backpack and I am looking at either the Talon or the Escapist – perhaps leaning towards the later. We were riding single track so here I could see the benefit of having the backpack – for gravel grinding I am not sure the weight on your back would be ideal over many kms.
As for dates, not sure exactly what our time line is here, I am pretty free weekends in June with the exception of the June 25-26th. After that my summer (July and August), like many others I am sure, is jam packed between my own schedule and the kids.
Bikes, I was super happy on my CX on the recon. I use it up North a fair bit for gravel grinding/ exploring as well. If @fasttimes you are looking for a range of bike and would like to see the Tough Road in the mix I would be game for riding it. I know the variety of bikes and pros vs. cons of each is part of the story.April 5, 2016 at 9:35 am #809966
For the bags, you can really go either way (frame bags or panniers). Keep in mind that panniers were the only game in town for like 100 years before bikepacking became the cool new thing very recently. Panniers have also been used for years and years for touring on dirt, including singletrack. Frame bags are probably -better- in that situation, but its not like panniers wouldn’t work!April 5, 2016 at 10:10 am #809968
You guys are going to have a blast.
May I suggest a Lifestraw? There are other options as well, but if you have a water filter with you finding fresh water becomes much less of an exercise… any body of water that isn’t stagnant can be safely drunk through a Lifestraw.April 6, 2016 at 6:33 pm #810008
Also be great to hear from anyone who has experience with solar chargers. I have a few battery sources but they are heavy.
Marc, other option is hub dynamo, believe Rocky has a bike with that. No experience with them myself but a blog I follow from a guy in Scotland has used one.
Did a quick search using Sinewave and there is some of it.
Dr Jon is a minamilist type living in Scotland and mods gear as he sees fit. Way I look at it…if it works in the shitty weather of Scotland it will work. And his blog is definitely one to wander through.
Someone mentioned panniers and shit. Back in 97 was asked to guide three 15 year old kids to ride up to red Heather campground in Garibaldi. All we had was panniers and such, nothing like today. So in a word suckage….anything off road as minimal as possible. Would never use pannier type stuff for this again when there is better stuff now available thanks to those who do things like Ride the Divide and such.April 7, 2016 at 8:46 am #810009
Thanks for info on Dynos Chris, I’ll check it out. We are really only looking to power our phones and GPS I think. MY camera battery can last 3 days.April 7, 2016 at 9:42 am #810010
Pretty cool little bag that is designed to reduce sway. http://www.porcelainrocket.com/product/mr-fusion-seat-system/
Looks like the typical bar roll and seatpost bag could actually sway quite bit. I know that would drive me nuts. Anxious to try some of these and see how they work.
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