On our thru hike of the Colorado Trail this Summer, I was introduced to fatbikes and bikepacking. A few weeks ago I picked up a Surly Pugsley fatbike. We’ve been planning our sobo thru hike of the Arizona Trail in October. I thought bikepacking would be a fun way to explore the trail and go on a mini overnight adventure. We did our first overnight adventure (back in FL) to Ft Desoto County Park as a shakedown ride for our bicycle tour of the South West. Ever since then I thought of the overnight bike tour as one of the best mini adventures, especially if you can ride right out your front door to start the trip. I cheated a little bit and got a ride to the trailhead and then rode home from there.
I had most of the gear already, the only thing I picked up was a Revelate Designs Ranger frame bag from REI. I figured I ought to test out one piece of bikepacking specific gear. This is definitely something that would be good as a DIY thing. Right now these bags are mostly made by cottage industry companies and the prices reflect that. I think I paid around $150 for 8.6 liters of storage…if you did the math on price per liter storage these things cost a fair bit. My other new piece of gear was gear ties that the cable installation guy left behind. I used these to strap my Thermarest Zrest to the handlebars. Not pretty, but free and they did the job.
So to the actual bike packing! I started at the trail head for the Walnut Canyon Passage #31 and rode through a small part of Passage #32 which is called Elden Mountain. Total distance was just under 30 miles. I got the trail head at 2pm on Saturday afternoon and pulled into my driveway at 10am Sunday morning.
Overall it was a great trip. I’m definitely going to do some more bikepacking in the future. I may be able to squeeze in one more bike trip before our thru-hike. The Surly Pugsley fatbike did great. I didn’t fall on my head or do myself a mischief in 23 miles of single track. Overall I’d say it was a succesful trip.
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