bikepacking

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Bikepacking is when you ride your bike where you would otherwise go backpacking. Bike tourers are most welcome as well.

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Just when you thought ultra-endurance racer Lael Wilcox couldn’t go any further, any faster, she manages to surprise you. On Sunday, the Tour Divide winner set off on a new adventure: an 18,000-mile journey around the world by bike. Her trip kicked off in Chicago, Illinois, and her goal is to complete the trip in 110 days.

Two days in, she’s already covered 525 miles, riding through Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, heading towards Pennsylvania. “The first day, I rode into a headwind with dark skies and thunderstorms — a lot of rain, but it wasn’t too cold. Since then, the weather has been perfect,” she shared on Instagram.

“The ride has just felt like a celebration. People are coming out to meet me and telling me that I’m riding right by their house. This ride feels special — I’m riding through people’s lives.”

Wilcox’s goal is to ride the 18,000 miles—the distance required to set the official record—in 110 days. First, she’ll head to Newark, NJ, then fly to Portugal to roll across Europe to Tbilisi, Georgia. From there, she’ll head to Australia and New Zealand before returning to the US by way of Anchorage, riding south to Los Angeles, then back over to Chicago. Obviously, this trip doesn’t actually go ‘around the world’ but covers a good chunk of it. And to set the official record, Guinness simply demands a route of 18,000 miles that is done continuously and in one direction. You can follow along on the live tracker here and scope the entire route.

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Just got back from bikepacking from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington D.C. Many pics to share....eventually :

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I'll have pictures but first.....rest..... ;)

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submitted 11 months ago* (last edited 11 months ago) by AchtungDrempels to c/bikepacking
 
 

crossposted from: https://lemmy.world/post/3191982

I got aware of this project when the community developed app for warmshowers got suddenly shut out of the site. People from the orbit around the app started the sleepy.bike project and it is now accepting people to sign up. The functionality is apparently still a bit bare bones, notifications are not working yet, I think also no e-mail forwarding of requests etc. But messaging on the website should work.

I have not understood how it all technically works, but I have managed to create an account. Very few people are on there still, but you are now welcome to join. Would love to see this project succeed. Come and sign up!

*edit: some more info about the project: https://pad.kanthaus.online/sleepybikeproject?view

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I edited it in a way so you don't see my 25 year old ugly red Ortliebs, so you can imagine i was riding with $2000 boutique bags strapped all over my bike :)

I did the trip last September. It's mostly on asphalt, but i do absolutely love the calm small asphalt roads in France. I love gravel too, but being able to just look around and not just in front of you looking out for potholes and bumps, having a silent ride is really just as nice i think. On the small roads towards the end i hardly encountered cars ever, it was almost strange. Just the post woman.

It starts in Interlaken, and i take the cable car from Gsteig up to Sanetschsee. Sanetsch is not ridable from the north, maybe it is hike-a-bikable but from what i saw it will be a really tough hike or climb i think 800m up too.

The route follows a lot of the 'Route des grandes Alpes'.

Personal highlight was the Galibier, i had camped about 1000m below the pass and started going up real early, hardly anybody on the road, just the marmots and me on this beautiful morning. Was incredible. You can hear the marmots briefly in the clip.

This is the route if you're interested.

Interlaken - Gsteig (cable car to Sanetschsee) - Sanetschpass - Col de la Forclaz / des Montets - Col de Saisies - Cormet d'Arêche - Col de la Madeleine - Col du Télégraph - Col du Galibier - Col de l'Izoard - Col (tunnel) du Parpaillon - Col de la Cayolle - Gorges de Daluis - Gorges du Cians - Col de la Couillole - bunch of small cols in Provence - Nice

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submitted 1 year ago* (last edited 11 months ago) by [email protected] to c/bikepacking
 
 

Getting to Treriksröset

On June 26th I took the train towards Kiruna on the first leg that would take me to the top of Sweden - Treriksröset. The train ride was horrible - the train operators in Sweden do hate bikes. I knew I wasn’t allowed to bring the bike as-is on the train, so I had bought a rather expensive bike bag with wheels and all. It soon became apparent that the bag was too large, so the conductor threatened to throw it of at the next station if I couldn’t find a good spot for it.

The big black bike bag and and another bag

Anyway, I managed to get it up to Kiruna (albeit late, causing me to miss my once-a-day connection…) and from there it was just a 3 hour bus ride to Karesuando.

My bike bag wrapped in garbage bags

When I arrived in Karesuando I had to assemble the bike and mount all bags, etc. I had looked up a way to send back the bike bag, and that worked just fine. I also met two French girls who were riding from France to North Cap.

Riding Home

So the 28th of June I started riding from Karesuando towards Treriksröset. It’s only a 100 km ride, but since I arrived late at Karesuando I only managed about 40 km that day.

The big yellow concrete slab that indicates Treriksroset

The next day I rushed towards Kilpisjärvi, where the boat to Treriksröset departs from. The night before, I noticed on their website that they for the moment couldn’t accept card payments. So somehow I would have to get hold of €55. Luckily, there was a small shopping mall in one of the villages right before Kilpisjärvi. With 20 minutes until the boat would depart, and a 15 minute ride to the dock, I at least had cash! I arrived just a few minutes before departure and was able to bring the bike with me on the small boat. After the boat ride there is a 3 km trail to get to Treriksröset. At 17:00 the boat returned to Kilpisjärvi and I started riding home. Once again, I started riding quite late on the day and only managed 30-or-so km.

Eternal bacon roads, going up and down like the shape of bacon

The next day I woke up around 09:00 and began riding towards the Swedish border in Karesuando. Halfway there, at the only cafe along the way, I met an older couple who were doing the same kind of trip. They aimed at riding about 80 km a day and though they had a tent with them, they aimed at not ever having to use it. We talked for a while and then I left.

A bit later they showed up behind me again. They were a bit older, but definitely fit and eager to get going. We rode together for an hour until they decided to have a coffee break. We were then about 20 km out from Karesuando, so I decided to keep going and have a break there instead. Karesuando was their goal for the day, and I were set on going a bit further. I took a good long break there, had a meal and restocked on water and snacks, then continued towards Gällivare which was my next destination.

At 2nd of July I arrived in Gällivare and got a night at a hotel. Up until now I had slept in my tent since the bus dropped me off in Karesuando on the 28th. It was a glorious first shower. Unfortunately the restaurant at the hotel was closed on Sundays, so I had to go out and get dinner. Gällivare has its tourist season during the winter, so even Sibylla (a burger franchise like McDonald's) was closed. Fat Tony’s was open though, and that was a great choice. They had their own craft beer and excellent burgers. I had two quick beers while I was waiting for the food and then brought the food back to the hotel. Two burgers and a box of animal style fries. I slept good that night.

The next day I woke up and started to get worried of a small rash “down there”. I had packed a single pair of bike bibs, and those salty bibs now started to cause problems. I had managed to wash them in the sink at the hotel the other night though.

I went to the nearest pharmacy and got some aloe vera cream and baby wipes and started a careful ceremony each night, making sure everything was clean and tidy. That helped.

A "sunset" outside Jokkmokk

The next day I slept beside the road in Laponia. A beautiful place just a few kilometers outside of Jokkmokk. The morning after, the 4th of July, I rode in the Jokkmokk and bought an extra pair of bike bibs. Now I could switch bibs everyday while the other pair dried.

My bike resting against a big billboard that indicates the start and end of the polar cicle

The same day I passed the polar circle. Up until now there had been midnight sun which was both confusing and practical. It definitely felt like a milestone on the trip though.

Two days later I arrived in Malåträsk where I have some relatives. I stayed there for two nights. It was an amazing time with fishing, jet skiing and good company. I also ate fermented herring for the second time in my life. Lots of beer was consumed during those days. It felt really rough leaving.

The next goal was Sundsvall. I had noticed that my rear tire started to look really worn, and the day after leaving Malåträsk I got my first puncture. I used tubeless tires, so it was quickly fixed with one of those rubber worms. I was worried to get a bigger whole though, since the rubber was completely gone on some spots by now. I still had 300 km to Sundsvall where I hoped to get it fixed.

By now the landscape (finally!) started to change. Up until now there had only been pines and birch woods, but now some agriculture started to show and the villages came more frequent.

On 12th of July I woke up with 180 km left to Sundsvall. I was growing tired of worrying about the tire, so after leaving Solefteå I decided to rush the last part towards Sundsvall. I called the hotel and ensured that I was allowed to bring my bike up to the room, and gave them an heads up that I might arrive quite late. Around midnight I finally arrived in Sundsvall. During the day I had received a text message confirming that the tubeless tire I had ordered a few days ago had arrived at the shop.

The rear tire showing the underlying kevlar

The next day I took of the rear wheel and went by bus to Birsta City where I got the tire swapped. Since you need a compressor or similar to fit a tubeless tire, I had called a bike shop and asked them for help. I explained that I’m riding through all of Sweden and that I’m in a pickle. They offered to help me and when I arrived with the new tire and my wheel, they dropped everything they were doing and got it fixed in 20 minutes. Amazing folks.

Next up was Gävle. I arrived there the 15th of July. During that time, there was a metal festival going on in Gävle that caused all the hotel prices to spike. I paid way too much for a night at a hotel room with shared toiled and bathroom, but I knew there would be lots of rain from midnight until sometime after lunch so I considered it worth it anyway. The next day was spent at a cafe waiting for the rain to pass. At about 14:00 it stopped, but the heavy winds remained. I had heavy head wind the whole day, though it was a short one.

My original plan was to ride through Stockholm and meet up with my SO, my brother and a few friends to watch a game and hang out in Stockholm for a few days. That was planned for the 22nd to 24th of July and now I was due to arrive at the 17th instead, almost a whole week too early. We decided to skip that plan and instead I aimed at going west of Stockholm, to Västerås. Since I primarily wild camped, I feared it would be hard to find a got spot for the tent as a got closer to Stockholm.

An old church ruin, originally built around 1300

I arrived in Västerås the 17th of July and got my self a night at a hotel. The next day I continued towards Eskilstuna. In Rytterne, a few kilometers outside of Västerås, I man out riding a circular ride from Ensköping towards Västerås, Eskilstuna, Strängnäs and back up to Enköping. He had two large panniers but said he was sleeping at hotels along the way, so I got curious of what he packed. The answer was “fancy clothes for dinners”! Rytterne is a tiny village and the place here my grandfather grew up as a child. I continued to Eskilstuna and a few kilometers past, and ended up in a nice spot south of Julita.

The next day I set to goal to be Motala. This is where the start and finish of Vätternrundan, a 300 km long ride event (not a race), is located. I ate a fantastic schnitzel in Motala, then continued a few kilometers down to Vadstena where I thought I had found a good sleeping spot on Google Maps. The spot had a sign that camping was forbidden, so I ended up having real troubles finding a spot instead. At last I ended up camping on a green spot behind some factory buildings. Not my best sleep yet.

I continued straight south, towards Jönköping. The way I remember that route from Vätternrundan is that it’s a fairly quick ride. With a loaded bike and no company, it’s a whole different ride though. I had lots of headwind, and the roads were busy and not really made for riding a bike on. This was one of the toughest days. I ended up arriving in Jönköping at about six o’clock and checked in the yet another hotel. This time it was a really nice, affordable 4-star hotel. I ordered pizza and watched Jurassic Park: The Lost World and slept like a child.

I woke up rested and ate a fantastic breakfast, then left towards Värnamo. By now it felt like I was getting really close to the finishing line. I managed to do about 140 km both that day and the day after, which left me with just 80 km to go.

Jumping of the bike in right at the monument for the southernmost spot of Sweden

At 14:00 on Sunday the 23th of July I arrived in Smygehuk. I was greeted by family and extended family, and everybody had bought snacks and champagne. It was wonderful.

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The Learnings

I made an effort to pack as light and little as possible. I had two small pack sacks on the fork, a front bag with a lid for easy access, and a saddle bag. I also had a 5 lite hip bag which I wore. The tent was attached in the rack that the front bag used. I really appreciated having the front bag. I kept my camera, bug spray, sun spray and lots of snacks in that and was able to access it while riding. The saddle bag kept all sleeping related stuff, and the fork bags had everything else.

I bough way too much freeze dried food with me. I started out with ten meals and in Sundsvall I shipped most of it home with mail. I kept tree meals, just in case.

The same goes for the solar charger I bought. It was hard to pack and the weight was just hard to argue for. I used it once.

The third most unnecessary thing was the toothpaste pills. They just left a bad taste and when I woke up each morning my mouth felt as if I hadn’t brushed my teeth the night before.

As for the positives, I’m glad I did a proper bike fit. I went to a local bike shop which had a Retül which measures everything while you ride and then gives suggestions on how to adjust your own bike. I got my bike optimized for touring, so a not-so-aero stance but definitely more comfortable. I also got a saddle that actually fit my seating bones.

Next up is the tent I splurged on. I bought a DCF tent, the Tarptent Double Rainbow Li, and it has just been amazing. It’s under 800 grams and fits two, or in this case one large human trying to get out of spandex inside the tent. It’s been super comfortable and I have always been 100% certain that it won’t let any rain in, even through some really heavy summer rain.

I was able to carry five liters of water and that has been plenty. I have not once during the trip run out of water. Usually I have arrived at a gas station or so with at least a liter left. Some might say I have brought too much in that case, but I would probably disagree. Had the weather been warmer I might have been right at the edge.

I brought too much gas for my burner. It was sized for the fact that I was supposed to boil water for at least ten freeze dried meals.

As for power banks, I bough three large ones. I could have managed with one - perhaps two for safety.

I didn’t bring any way of making coffee. It’s been OK but I have really missed a good cup of fresh coffee, especially in the morning after a cold night.

Before the trip I went and bought a Garmin InReach satellite communicator. It was primarily for being able to send an SOS, but it also allows you to send text messages. Only once during my whole trip was I out of cell phone reception, so I think I have to admit it was a rather unnecessary purchase. It might come handy on another trip though.

Having two set of bibs has been essential. On the other hand I have been living in my one merino wool shirt. I used it every day for the whole trip, and it’s the only shirt I have been riding in. It’s a long sleeve model, so on the warmer days I’ve had the sleeves up and on the colder days they’ve been down. It has kept me warm during cold nights and kept pretty free of stench. I love it.


Edit - Here's the route!

PM me for the GPX if it's of interest. The image is 800x1800 but Lemmy displays it smaller, open it in a new tab for higher resolution.

A map of Sweden with the path I rode outlined

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submitted 1 year ago by lardlad to c/bikepacking
 
 

Photo of my bike from my ITT attempt of the Smoke n' Fire 400 race in Idaho last September! Was my first big ride or race, ended up completing half of the course and then calling it due to a wildfire en route.

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Last month's shakedown (lemmy.utveckla.re)
submitted 1 year ago* (last edited 1 year ago) by [email protected] to c/bikepacking
 
 

I’m leaving on Monday for the full adventure. Gonna take the train to Kiruna in Sweden, then bus/bike the last part until I finally get to Treriksroset (the place where the borders of Norway, Finland and Sweden meet). I’m then gonna ride to Smygehuk from there, the southern tip of Sweden. I estimate it to take about 28-32 days.

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The bike is a custom handmade steel frame from some old friends. 1/2 Columbus Zola, 1/2 Reynolds 853.

The bag system was a diy system I wanted to try out. Rock steady but heavy.

Hoping to see this community grow!