Bikepacking Longs Peak Chapter has been Released

I’ve released the first draft chapter of what is hopefully going to be a full-fledged guidebook on bikepacking to the Colorado 14ers. It’s about my favorite mountain to ride bikes to: Longs Peak.

Check it out, and share your feedback. I’ll be moving forward with other mountains in the Front Range, as well as chapters on topics brought up from the survey.

I’ve decided to write this book in small pieces and share drafts of the chapters publicly. I’m doing so for a lot of reasons which I’ll expound upon in a separate post.

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Longs Peak

Introduction

Longs Peak is THE absolute monarch of both Rocky Mountain National Park where it resides, as well as for all the Colorado 14ers. It makes a righteous goal to ride bikes to.

Map and GPX Download

Download Routes (GPX)

Special Concerns

Longs Peak is surrounded by public land in the form of National Park and Wilderness, as well as locked up in private property, surrounding the nearby town of Estes Park, and the Tahosa Valley to the south.

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Review: Copper Spur HV UL1 Bikepack Tent by Big Agnes

The Copper Spur HV UL1 Bikepack Tent

At a Glance

  • Pros: Comfortable, roomy, extremely well-designed
  • Cons: stuff sack to use as bikepacking bag is a great idea, but may need to be further developed as a solid feature
  • Weight:
    • Tent Stakes/accessories: 121 grams
    • Stuff Sack: 111 grams
    • Tent Poles: 363 grams
    • Rain Fly: 348 grams
    • Tent Body: 337 grams
    • Integrated Footprint (sold separately): 169 grams
    • Total Packed Weight: 1.13kg
  • Interesting To: Bikepackers and Ultralight hikers who want a tent rather than a tarp/bivy setup
  • Best For: Those who seek comfort and privacy only a tent can provide
  • Price: $399.95, Ground Cloth: (suggested): $65
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Sneak Peek: Ultimate Direction Bike/Tarp Conversion Kit

The Ultimate Direction FK Tarp set up with the Bike/Tarp Conversion Kit – no trekking poles required!

At a Glance

  • Pros: Easy to set up/take down, simple, lightweight, roomy
  • Cons: Tarps in general don’t have the greatest protection from bugs like mosquitoes
  • Weight: alone: 91 grams, w/FK Tarp + 6 stakes: ~544 grams
  • Interesting To: Ultralight enthusiasts
  • Best For: FKTs/Self-Supported Races, sub-24 hour missions
  • Available: Fall 2019
  • Price: around $25 – $35 for the kit (once released); $199.95 for the FK Tarp
  • More Information: The Ultimate Direction Adventure Collection
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Tour of the Highest Hundred Notes

My whip.

I’m currently writing some notes about my 2017 Tour of the Highest Hundred, where I bikepacked to the trailheads of all 105 Colorado Centennials, and then summited them by foot. This is a work in progress and the notes are currently spread in the post archives of this site:

Tour of the Highest Hundred Notes:

GPX Files/Caltopo Map

Found here.

Talk @ Bent Gate, March 2018

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Review: FIFTY-FIFTY Fender Mudguard for the Surly ECR (and other 29+ bikes)

FIFTY-FIFTY Adjustable Mountain Bike Fender MTB Mudguard

Currently, I’ve been setting up my Surly Bikes ECR for Winter bikepacking. This usually means really variable conditions, with lots of slop on the road and invariably on me. For that, I want fenders.

Fenders must be one of the most finicky accessories for a bike to set up correctly, and the thought of even finding fenders that would fit a 29+ (three inch) wide tire seemed fruitless. Let’s just call it what it is: somewhat of a niche market. There are a few fat bike fender/mud guards available, but they’re huge and heavy, and actually too wide – like these offerings from Portland Design Works, for what I want.

Finally, I found on Amazon these puppies: FIFTY-FIFTY Adjustable Mountain Bike Fender. Never heard of this company (fifty-fifty is a skateboard trick… right?), so I’m sure it’s just so rando Chinese brand. But, the price was right, and it seems like it would fit, so I ordered two, and gave it a try, on my last bikepacking trip.

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How to Access Every 14er Off the Colorado Trail (CalTopo Map Included!)

Mt. Huron

 

 

The Colorado Trail is an awesome thru-hike route! But I noticed while hiking the CT, that much of the time that the best parts of an area you hike through just aren’t really showcased. The trail just weaves itself along a contour line below treeline, and you miss out on seeing most of the high country just outside your grasp.

Are you an advanced hiker?

If so, spice up your thru-hike by summiting a 14er or two (or all of them!) you can find right off the main trail! Below, I’ll describe all the 14er routes I’ve taken off the Colorado Trail, and some high 13er peaks that are also easily accessible. Most of the routes of the CT are in the Sawatch Range, between Leadville and just outside Salida. One is located in the San Juans outside of Creede, CO (San Luis).

For most of these routes, I would suggest dropping your main packs, and taking only what you realistically need from the out-and-back summit bid (hang your food, etc – of course). I describe the route mileage as one way, rather than RT, unless otherwise noted.

For some of these peaks, I do suggest an alternative loop which will ascend one route, and descend another, if you don’t mind missing a small portion of the Colorado Trail. For those options, bring everything, but realize that this makes the hike to the summit much harder. Make sure to time your hikes to miss the seasonal monsoon/thunderstorm weather (start early), and be mindful you’ve brought enough food for these CT alts. – they’ll take longer than the main trail.

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