Fall Bikepacking Tour

I’m heading out this week on a 5-day bikepacking tour with Sean. We’ll be riding from home up Foresthill Rd to Soda Springs, crossing highway 80 at Donner Pass, down past Truckee and on to Graegle, through Downieville, on to Forest City, skirting Nevada City, and then home.  Right around 320 miles and 48,000ft of climbing. Lots of miles and places to see, it should be a really good time. I haven’t been to Downieville since my friend Nate and I did the 3rd Divide or something or other in 1993 while on a summer MTB road trip back to Colorado.  It’s a whole nuther place up there I hear these days so I’m excited to check it out.  On the way we’ll ride lots of great singletrack including the Donner Lake Rim Trail, Alder Creek and Emigrant Trail, stuff from Graegle up and over and down to Downieville and on to Forest City that I don’t know the name of, South Yuba trail, and more.

There’s something about getting all packed up on the bike and just GOING….it’s just sweet. It’s been a long time since my last tour, long overdue!  All we have to do each day is wake up and ride.  The weather is looking iffy with a 30% chance of snow on Wednesday, Highs no greater than 50 and and lows in the upper 20’s.  Packing warm this tour.

Graegle_Downieville_Foresthill Tour
There really is a yellow line that’s our track in there if you zoom in…

I’ll be riding Frame #13 (with the sparkly blue rattlecan paint job).   I’ll soon be making myself another frame with a “guest designer’s” geometry and fit..should be fun to get a new perspective and experience to test out.  For gear,  I have an “Epic” (Revelate) seat bag (similar to the new Viscacha), a custom Epic framebag that was made for my Hunter but fits this frame just fine. I have a new & never used Bedrock Entrada handlebar bag with pocket, and a Bedrock stem bag for bars and such to stuff my face. These bags are quality made and I was psyched to pick these up at Velorution on my last visit to Durango.

The seat bag is carrying my Tartent Contrail, Thermarest UL neoair pad, a few freeze-dried dinners, fuel canister, rain pants, and some extra bedtime clothing stuffed in there too to fill up the gaps. I’m bringing full rain gear and booties so it was hard to fit all I need.

The frame bag has my MSR Hyperflow water filter, two tubes, my Ti mug & spork, lighter, some bars, drink mix, packets of oatmeal, first aid kit.  The stem bag has bars and nut butter packs.

My handlebar bag has my Marmot PounderPlus synthetic sleeping bag (no longer made sadly), Montbell UL Thermawrap jacket, and that’s it. It’s a 25 degree bag as the temps are forecasted to be in the mid to high 20’s at night.  The zippered pocket will have maps and my GoalZero Switch8 for charging my GPS (also known as an iPhone).

My Ergon BX3 backpack has a 100ml bladder, rain jacket (Marmot Mika), my lil camera, repair kit with random bolts and cleat, and a pump, Spot Connect (for use w/iPhone Spot app), some more food, and whatever else I forgot to take that I normally ride with before embarking on this tour.

So basically we’re fully stocked for a month. I tend to overpack but I do live comfortably out on the trail.  Many more pics when we return. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we’ll be able to do the whole loop.

Bikepacking rig
All the same as in this picture but with new tires (Bontrager XR-1 on the rear, XR-4 on the front) and without the King Cage H20 bottle on the stem.

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