stories from the trail
I am preparing for the Coconino 250 Bikepacking Stage Race to be held on October 9th through the 12th in Arizona. As the date is drawing near, finalization of last minute items are in full swing. The items addressed so far are: time off from work (most important), bike is in shop for fork rebuild, and time in the saddle has not been a problem! Just need to figure out what and how much to take with me on the ride. When it comes to bikepacking I have always believed in going ultra-light and this race will be no different. Water is always a concern, you want to have enough for hydration but not carry so much that it slows you down! This is the biggest thing I struggle with and feel that I am certainly not alone. Will need to really study the available water stops and monitor the weather.
This particular race is really interesting because of the stage race format. Each day is a timed event but everyone can start the stage for that day whenever they choose. It is a set distance and everyone finishes at the same spot then enjoys the camaraderie in the evening that the normal formatted bikepacking races usually miss out on. I am really excited to get started so please follow along on trackleaders.com and see how all the racers are doing!
A little more about the event!
See some other rides on my facebook page!
First update, Revelate bags have been of great use. Although I have had problems with the zipper on two frame bags. One on the tangle bag and one on the full frame bag. I was wondering if anyone else may be having similar problems? It may be from lack of care, have tried to keep them clean and lubricated. Let me know your experience with the Revelate Design bags or if you are using a different brand. Been seeing the brand Apidura a lot lately, may give them a try.
Our very own Glenn Murphy is training for a race across Florida!
He has done a couple trips down there and knows the area fairly well. He will be posting on his progress in training. So please follow along!
I am considering buying a tarp for my bikepacking adventures. Something similar to this http://www.mec.ca/product/5000-629/integral-designs-siltarp-2-tarp/. Although the price feels a little steep the reviews are favorable. With the above information and some research on google. Here is a list of what seems like the pros and cons to a tarp (I could be completely wrong!).
Pros: lightweight, more than one type of use, packs down to a really small size and the siltarp seems pretty sturdy.
Cons: price, may not be 100% waterproof, could be hard to get setup in certain conditions
A bivy sack is another option but I have used one and had an issue with the claustrophobic feel.
Up until now I have been using a tarptent (one person) http://www.tarptent.com/projects/tarpdesign.html#. Even though I like the lightweight of the tent, condensation seems to be a problem. I used it for the 2014 Tour Divide Race and woke up many times drenched. Of course it could be the way I have been setting it up as well! Right now in sunny Southern California I can sleep out under the stars without much worry. In any case I will be travelling around and experiencing many different areas and climates. Therefore I am certain I will be needing some bad weather protection.
I would really like any comments or opinions on what works well for others!