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  1. #1
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    My maiden bikepacking voyage.

    We made the maiden bikepacking voyage last weekend with lofty plan of making a giant loop including Mt Elden, going around San Francisco mountain and all the way down to Walnut Canyon. Trail GPXs and suggestions courtesy of Mr. Ray.

    The ride started out in the parking lot of Safeway - just east of Buffalo Park in Flagstaff. My riding buddy (Mr. DB) and I departed Saturday at 1015 and headed for Mt Elden via Pipeline to Rocky Ridge up Schultz until we hit AZT.

    $hit got real when we passed Snow Bowl Road and proceeded to climb the AZT. Carrying extra 25 lbs and compromised handling tested our will. Somehow we pushed on and decided to refill our water at the Ski Resort in Snow Bowl via Aspen Nature Loop Trail.

    The lower section of the ski lodge was closed due to a wedding so we had to climb another 1/4 mile to the upper section where the restaurant was open. We had lunch, refilled the water and pressed on.

    We enjoyed a sweet wee ride down AZT trail through most beautiful aspen tree forest, we hit the fire roads and passed the north side unceremoniously. Then came another test of will. The climb up to Lockett Meadow - 1300 ft in 4 miles - while dodging cars and inhaling their dust. By the time we got there, we were done for the day. It was around 7pm - we found a nice place to camp.

    The moonlight was insane that Saturday, it was so bright it looked like an UFO just landed 1/4 mile away. It was eerie. Of course that didn't help with my anxiety first night of wild camping ever. Every little rustle and noise kept me awake. Of course that is why I brought the ear plugs and sleeping pills.

    In the morning, we realized we had another 1000 ft to climb - so it was a nice warm up. We were then rewarded with a long descent down Waterline Rd. with beautiful vistas of Coconino National Forest. We made it down to the Schultz Tank and took AZT east to I-89. We refilled and ate at the Conoco gas station and proceeded south on AZT towards Walnut Canyon.

    By the time we hit I-40 we were out of water. The sun exposure and heat was relentless (although it was only mid 80's). Being out of water in the urban setting is not as scary though.

    Mr. DB bought us a watermelon at the Safeway. We stopped later at Five Guys for some fine burgers and great soda options.

    Here is the ride map. My Garmin quit on me for whatever reason so there is a straight line thru Humphrey's Peak.
    Mountain Bike Ride Profile | Flagg Superloop (90miles) - with missing garmin data near Flagstaff | Times and Records | Strava

    My maiden bikepacking voyage.-photo-1.jpgMy maiden bikepacking voyage.-photo-5.jpgMy maiden bikepacking voyage.-photo-8.jpgMy maiden bikepacking voyage.-photo-9.jpg

  2. #2
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    Nice

    Congrats on surviving your maiden Bikepacking voyage!

  3. #3
    DFL>DNF>DNS
    Reputation: freeskier46's Avatar
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    Nicely done! Sounds like a great intro to bikepacking.
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
    My Two Schillingsworth

  4. #4
    pedaller
    Reputation: Noelg's Avatar
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    Nice work!

    I was entertaining riding clockwise around the peaks on that route and then realized I don't want to ride/hike up that gravel road to Lockett Meadow and eat car dust...
    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  5. #5
    EDR
    Reputation: eatdrinkride's Avatar
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    Very cool, and timely for me.

    Looking for a bike for bikepacking for me and my son. I'd love to take him on some trips. As I get older the chunk and gnar gnar is less and less enticing. Combination of being 43 and a 'been there - done that' kinda feeling.

    I think bikepacking might revive my stoke for riding in a very different way, and provide some great times with my son.

    Question: 25lbs extra weight. Mind breaking it down a bit? Did you bring a tent, is so what do think that weighs? Type of bag/weight etc...thanks!

  6. #6
    My other ride is your mom
    Reputation: Maadjurguer's Avatar
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    EDR....I believe what you need is found here in his earlier thread: Backpacking logistics Questions and hopefully Answers

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    Very cool, and timely for me.

    Looking for a bike for bikepacking for me and my son. I'd love to take him on some trips. As I get older the chunk and gnar gnar is less and less enticing. Combination of being 43 and a 'been there - done that' kinda feeling.

    I think bikepacking might revive my stoke for riding in a very different way, and provide some great times with my son.

    Question: 25lbs extra weight. Mind breaking it down a bit? Did you bring a tent, is so what do think that weighs? Type of bag/weight etc...thanks!
    My guesstimate.

    175 oz of water = 11 lbs
    Tent 3lbs
    sleeping bag 2lbs
    sleeping mat and tarp(0.7m plastic sheet) = 1lb
    2 tubes =1lb
    extra clothes=2-3 lbs
    food = 1-2 lbs
    tools= 1-2 lbs
    bags =1-2 lbs

  8. #8
    EDR
    Reputation: eatdrinkride's Avatar
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    My guesstimate.
    Thanks. Not too bad since I carry 100oz water most times no matter what...and a crapload of crap in my pack most of the time.

    Picked up a 2.5 lb down bag a few weeks ago. It's not the lightest but it's a start. That is step one of about 20 I'm guessing.

    Maad, thanks for the link.

  9. #9
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
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    Nice work guys...I'm sure you'll find as you tweak your setups, it'll get easier and sleeping out under the stars will be no big deal. Kudo's to you guys for taking on a pretty big loop for the maiden voyage! You both should be all set for the Coco250 in October!
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
    http://onegear-ray.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Give it a crank
    Reputation: Mtn-Rider's Avatar
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    Pretty impressive for BP#1, kinda like an initiation ride with all the goodies. I'd never have thought a BP ride would include lunch at a restaurant and dinner at a good burger place. Nice job!

  11. #11
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
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    Credit card touring at its finest!
    Gotta love real food on a BP trip...makes a HUGE difference.
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
    http://onegear-ray.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    Nice work guys...I'm sure you'll find as you tweak your setups, it'll get easier and sleeping out under the stars will be no big deal. Kudo's to you guys for taking on a pretty big loop for the maiden voyage! You both should be all set for the Coco250 in October!
    Thanks for the route suggestion Ray. You were right about the gear, I might have to get over my claustrophobia and learn to sleep in a bivvy. Dragging and setting up the tent is a bit of PIA.
    Coco 250 is many levels above my bikepacking skills. That's the hardest race that AES offers.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn-Rider View Post
    Pretty impressive for BP#1, kinda like an initiation ride with all the goodies. I'd never have thought a BP ride would include lunch at a restaurant and dinner at a good burger place. Nice job!
    Oh yeah, you don't pass up on any opportunity to eat some real food. I had some egg and ham on croissant at the gas station - best thing ever... after eating bars all day.

  14. #14
    Break it, Fix it, Ride it
    Reputation: Dag Nabbit's Avatar
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    Nice work. That sounds like a great few days on the bike. I could picture all the trails you were on.... At this rate everyone and their mother is going to be a bikepacker before I even get my seatpack dirty! FML. It's like all the kids get to chew gum except for me! It's torture, but keep it up! Love a good ride report.....
    Today's the day I eat bikes.

  15. #15
    Tucson, AZ
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    Well done! I am guilty of sitting under apsen trees for hours on some bikepacking trips. Great pics too.

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