The first week of our summer-long GDMBR tour took us from Jasper National Park to Ghost Station Campground just west of Cochrane, AB. The riding varied from singletrack to dirt roads to pavement. Primarily, though, the route took us on what is locally referred to as the Forestry Trunk (not truck, although there are lots of them at times) Road, all the way from Hinton to near Cochrane. Between Hinton and Nordegg, the road was wide and heavily used by logging trucks. The sky was clear and the road was very wide so we felt like we were baking in the sun and the dust from the road was sticking all over us.
Dust billows upwards as another logging truck careens past us. I pull my handkerchief up over my nose and mouth as I hit the wall of dust it leaves behind. Ahead, I see a glimmer, and I realize that the sun is reflecting off of glass- the windshield of a second logging truck. I wonder if he can see us through the cloud of dust left by the first truck. At the last moment, he must spot us, because he swerves right to give us some room.
With only a week to go before driving west towards the start of our summer on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, we hit pause on packing up our apartment and set sail for Burlington, VT. We chose Burlington primarily because Charity, Casey, and Julie were running the Vermont City Marathon, but also because we had set aside time to test ourselves and our gear on a last-minute shakeout tour. The route we rode is known as the Green Mountain Gravel Growler, and is composed of 250 miles of Vermont dirt roads and singletrack-goodness. We only had 3 days for the ride, so we planned to ride a 100 mile sub-loop.
Extra water storage is always helpful for bikepacking. Below I detailed a hack I came up with for mounting an extra bottle cage behind the Salsa Anything Cages on my fork. I’m very happy with it, so I figured I’d share for anyone out there who is working on dialing in their own bikepacking rig. Happy trails!
In case you haven’t heard, we are planning another long bike tour next summer. This time it will be different, though, because the majority of it will be on trails and dirt roads. To handle the different terrain, we will use different gear – this style of bike touring is referred to as bikepacking. Due to weddings and other craziness this spring and summer, though, we haven’t had a chance for any practice (“shakeout”) tours until now.