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  Topic Name: Introduction Thread on: September 26, 2008, 09:00:31 AM
ScottM admin

Location: Wherever the Scamp is parked.
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« on: September 26, 2008, 09:00:31 AM »

It was suggested that we create a place for people to introduce themselves.  I'll make this thread a sticky so it's always there.

I'll start.

I'm Scott Morris and I started  I've been riding mountain bikes since I was ~12, more or less daily since 14.  As time went on the rides got longer and longer, until I realized the only limitation was a fundamental one: daylight.

I had some experience backpacking, including working as a wilderness ranger for the Forest Service.  It seemed only natural to try to combine the two.  I did a few bikepacking trips, but they started out heavily loaded:

That pic is from our Great Divide Trip in 2004.  Coincidentally, we ran into Mike Curiak on his way to setting the GDR record at ~16 days.   

Meeting Mike and seeing his minimal kit really opened my eyes.  Suddenly, bikepacking on singletrack seemed like a very real possibility.

Upon returning from the Divide I jumped right into preparations for the next challenge, with help and inspiration from Lee Blackwell.

The Arizona Trail.

Our AZT trip was a roaring success, and the rest has flowed since then.  AZT (R and 300), CT, CDT, GET, GLR, KT, OR.  Alphabet soup, for sure, but each has a wonderful stream of memories and a special meaning to me.

I started this site to combine bikepacking with my interest in computers (I am finishing up a PhD in Computer Science) and to help form a more cohesive bikepacking community. 

Oh, I also am the main author of TopoFusion, GPS software.  And I am Krein on MTBR.

« Last Edit: September 26, 2008, 09:50:16 PM by ScottM » Logged

Author of TopoFusion GPS software.  Co-founder of - SPOT event tracking.

  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #1 on: September 26, 2008, 10:23:21 AM

Riding and exploring

Location: Westminster, CO
Posts: 681

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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2008, 10:23:21 AM »

Hey everyone,

I'm Chris Plesko, Pivvay on MTBR and elsewhere in internet world. I'm a relative noob to the "real" outdoors at least compared to many who have led the way in biking exploration and racing. 3 years ago I starting riding my bike regularly again, although I've been riding for 10 years on and off. The Leadville 100 event opened the door to me for what endurance could be and ever since then I've been exploring and pushing my limits outside on bike and on foot. I came to ultralight bike and backpacking as "the way" since I didn't know any differently and had no preconceptions of essentials or older gear.  I've applied those lessons and plenty of (major) failures later have raced and toured the TransIowa, KTR, White Rim, GLR, CTR, GDMBR and dozens of other shorter adventures.

I'm planning on adding a packraft to my collection and between my singlespeed, road bike, and Pugsley want to spend more time exploring rarely visited areas and hoping to do more races in the future as well. I'm happy to share my knowledge and join in on bigger trips if people are looking for advice or partners. Can't say I'm good at either but I'll give it a solid try! Wink

-Chris Plesko

  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #2 on: September 26, 2008, 04:57:02 PM

Location: Kalispell, MT
Posts: 249

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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2008, 04:57:02 PM »

Dave Chenault. 

Currently a graduate student at the University of Montana in Missoula.  I've been backpacking and playing outside since I could walk, thanks to my parents, and have been riding mountain bikes seriously for 2 or 3 years now.  I've done a handful of long one day self-supported races, often on a singlespeed, an a few overnight trips on the bike.  While school will rule the roost for the next two years, I intend to get out when I can, with a greater focus on adventure/exploratory rides than going fast. 

I also like ultrahiking and backpacking, ice cream, beer, and plan to get more proficient at skiing and packrafting in the next year.

  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #3 on: September 26, 2008, 06:30:13 PM
sean salach

Location: palmer, ak
Posts: 253

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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2008, 06:30:13 PM »

sean grady

been mtn biking on a mtb since the early nineties. ona schwinn varsity and bmx bikes before that. worked as a courrier in philly and manhatten. decided to ride my bike from my apartment in brooklyn to my parents' house in western new jersey one new years day because i was too broke to take the train. it was in the low thirties and heavy freezing rain. i was completely unprepared and had all the wrong gear. 75 miles and 6 hours later i arrived on my ss mtb, with hands so frozen i could not undo my own zippers to get into the shower. i had to start the shower cool, then slowly warm it up because it hurt like hell when anything warmer than freezing hit my fingers and toes.

it was the first time i had ever ridden somewhere. previously all my rides started and ended in the same place. i was thrilled at the possibilities this offered me. it proved to me that touring wasn't just for old men with helmet mirrors(no offense). i was hooked. i did three multi-night tours that spring, along with several back and forths to my parents' house. by then it was obvious that touring was way better than working, so i quit my job, moved back home for the summer, and saved up a bit while taking more tours to refine my gear. i took a two-weeker to pedro's fest and to visit friends in new hampshire. got back, and two weeks later departed on what ended up being a year and a half long trip across the us and down into mexico, with almost a year of that spent living and riding in mexico, and a few months spent living and riding in LA.

now i live in alaska and am refining my gear as much as possible. i'll be attempting mcgrath next february.

  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #4 on: September 26, 2008, 06:58:21 PM

Location: Virginia
Posts: 19

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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2008, 06:58:21 PM »

  I go by bikewright on the forums. I have been riding since 95 and I raced until 2000. I took a break and I have been back to riding for the last year. I started in the great outdoors when I was 11 in the Boy Scouts. I made to trips to Philmont in 83 & 86 and was the Crew Leader in 86. I made Eagle Scout in 86 and I am still with Scouting today as an adult leader. I have 17 years with the military and have spent some cold and wet nights in the woods. So I would say that I have a backpacking and general outdoors background.

I have not made any epic backcountry trip as of now but I have made a trip on the SNP and a couple of trips to the C&O Canal with my son and his Scout Troop. My son and I used B.O.B.'s when we took our trip from Great Falls MD to Harpers Ferry WVA and Back to Great Falls. Lesson Learn we had to much gear!!

The Trips with the Scouts our equipment was moved for us. I like to do a couple of trips this year so I am in the planning stages... Here are a couple of pictures from the C&O

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  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #5 on: September 26, 2008, 10:31:29 PM
Lee Blackwell

Location: Tubac, Arizona Leadville, Colorado
Posts: 28

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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2008, 10:31:29 PM »

Lee Blackwell here.  Been riding bikes since a kid, My friend John and I always rode to school regardless of the weather in Denver. Bucking drifts on the way or negotiating the ice ruts was a great ride just getting to school. My parents always encouraged me and we were never afraid. Had ideas about long bike trips even as a kid and did do some pretty adventurous stuff early on. My first bike trailer was made of plywood and had hard rubber tires.  Motorcycles and car driving took a few years during my teens and twenties and bikes were out for a while. Then got first Mountain Bike in '86 then In '98 and '99 had some good success racing the Leadville 100. Racing helped me understand my capability but adventures on a mountain bike were what I really wanted. Bryan Barr and I did a lot of great tough rides, but not quite overnight ones. Steve Becker and I did our first bikepacking trip where we actually carried everything we needed to ride part of the Colorado Trail.  When I met Scott Morris in '04 the bikepacking really picked up to say the least. Lucky for me Scott had the enthusiasm and mapping and route finding figured out. He got inspired by Mike Curiak's set up which added fuel to this fire. Scott and I started doing all sorts of rides. We were learning. One season was involved planning, doing re-con and then ultimately riding the AZ trail in a 23 day push. Other great memories come from riding The Rug Road, the ride to Nacori Chico in Sonora, Mexico with Santiago and Rides off the Catalina's with Allan Morris including Brush Corrals and our exciting ride around the Santa Rita's. Last year was a lot of great Colorado riding with Mike C as part of the mix.  Also the Camino Diablo and more recently we have been exploring the Grand Enchantment Trail in sections. It is fine and rare to find a compatible friend to make the adventures.

The other thing I do (my work $$) is make copper art, fountains and sculptures and some construction and house remodel. I came up with some unique ideas in that vein and at one point had employees and and rockin' good business. My shop in Tubac.Arizona is quieter now and part of that is because I like to ride my bike too much. 

« Last Edit: September 27, 2008, 08:16:54 AM by adventurerlee » Logged

  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #6 on: September 27, 2008, 07:24:20 AM

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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2008, 07:24:20 AM »

Craig Eckhoff here. I've been bikepacking for 15 years. All kinds of "roads" from Interstate to grooves in the ground. I alway ride a mountain bike. Safe to say I
travel more than 6 monthes annually. Not all at once. My last long trip was the
perimeter of the USA. 10 monthes including a lot of day(s) off for R&R. My one
major difference from most touring bicyclist is I was a hobo for 25 years before I
took up bike riding. I "rode the rails" on freight trains. This tuffened me up for
almost any conditions or situations that can possibly arise. Not to mention finding
the cheapest way to do almost everything.  I belong to other bike touring websites
and often can give advise to 1st timers worried about cost. Like living fairly well on  one weeks' wage a month. Anyway that's me folks.

Pedal plently

  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #7 on: September 27, 2008, 10:34:43 PM

Posts: 237

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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2008, 10:34:43 PM »

Eric Parsons - aka Bearbait on that other forum. Started mountain biking about 18 years ago beating up an LL bean mountain bike on muddy east coast trails. Then I got a rockhopper and things improved greatly as Manitou 1 elastomers were flattened and derailliers thrashed. Moved from New York to Colorado to finish college and be in the mountains in the mid- late 90's and realized that trying to go fast sucked and I got into endurance racing. It was allot more fun to do 6 hr night rides on the CT than puke on intervals. Anyway, first big tour was in Kashmir. We towed heavy trailers all over high high passes, it was a great trip but we learned how much could be stripped down. Went to Patagonia solo in 2002 and bikepacked north to south for over 2 months. Learned all about wind and getting wet! Moved to Alaska shortly thereafter. The singletrack took a hit since the trails here are few and riding season short, but that was exchanged for learning more about wilderness travel. Snow biking the ultra sport to McGrath in 2005 bought the focus to biking in the cold. The travel bug got itched again later that year and I left to tour the northern part of South America for six months. Pushing the remote comfort level up a few notches.  Started Epic Designs sellling frame bags about a year ago to fill the void in quality winter riding gear, with the intent to fill voids in touring gear as well. Quit the day job in January to sew gear in my garage, combining the passions... Engineering with hands-on work and of course - mountain biking.

Most recently I've been looking for fun wilderness riding experiences using packrafts, mostly since we are just bored with all the rest of the southcentral Alaska trails. Its just the natural progression.

Other than bikes I like eating, sleeping, mountaineering, videography, laughing as much as possible and making fun of people.  Cheers,

  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #8 on: September 28, 2008, 01:14:57 PM

Location: Lassen County, CA
Posts: 79

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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2008, 01:14:57 PM »

Call me Dave.  I use the same username, Dave54, on other forums.  Yeah, I know, real creative.

The 54 is the year I was born, so I am older than a lot typical mountainbikers. (BTW -- that's NINETEEN 54, in case someone wants to be a smart aleck! Smiley ).

I don't get to ride enough, with the job and other household responsibilities.  So I am here to plan my post-retirement, dream, and experience at least some vicarious adventures.  I live in Lassen County, California, in a small town no one ever heard of (Westwood).  Most of the internet mapping programs can't find us, and our zip code does not exist.  On the plus side, we are too small to have a town drunk, so we all take turns.  Out my door and 1/2 block away is about a zillion miles of corporate and national forest roads, many are gated and closed to motor vehicles, so you have the whole road system to yourself without having to eat dust and suck exhaust.  I live at one terminus of the Bizz Johnson Trail -- 26 miles of Rail-to-Trail, which will in time connect with about 100 miles of other rail-to-trail still in development.

I am retired from the Forest Service and have a second career with local county government.

  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #9 on: September 28, 2008, 06:47:00 PM

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« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2008, 06:47:00 PM »

hey, I'm Tom, or Tomi. 

have loved bikes since a kid, always amazed at where they can take you.  down to the fishing hole, past the cute girl's house, around campus, into the hills, over the ridges and now into the night.  Minored in Bike Racing at Va Tech, AE '92.  The challenge of a long day's race is what called to me, remember when 40k's used to take 4-6hrs?  Did the racing between the tape XC thing, dabbled in 24's, love stage racing, but not the hi $$$ vacation versions.  Really enjoy the 100miler format, raced the NUE on a ss/fixed this year, which was neat.  Saw lots of new trail, now inspired to see more.  Lucky to be a resident of the Great Valley, just trying to add to the tradition, riding the VA/WV Classiques hooked me on the truly long day. 

My first recent trip really opened my eyes to what's right out the door, now planning to expand on that.  Hope to sneak in a couple more this fall, figure some things out then build from there next year.  Would love to see some of the Colorado Trail next summer and plan to keep gathering beta for a north-south traverse of PeeYay!

Full disclosure, I am in the 'industry'.  I make bolt on fixed gear cogs and chainrings to help pay for my bike habit, and I have a blog.  Please don't hold it against me.

  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #10 on: September 29, 2008, 01:56:18 AM

Have fun and go far

Location: Idledale, CO
Posts: 396

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« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2008, 01:56:18 AM »

Another dave here....

Bicycles sence training wheels

Backpacking, boyscouts, dirt bikes, atvs growing up

Never got my drivers licence due to some med issuies

Lots of riding then read the outside artice on John Stamstead after beating my self up on some short races in co.

Lots of failures and werid stuff happening the last 5 years but my I love exploring by bike.

I was born  aug 3 1980

Ride a fixed gear 99% of the time

I'm a cheapskate gear whore

Love maps

Still getting used to gps stuff

Eat anything and everything

Thanks Scott for the site!!

  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #11 on: September 29, 2008, 09:21:10 AM
John G

Posts: 49

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« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2008, 09:21:10 AM »

I'm John G here and on some forums, Hjalti on MTBr, a few others and my blog. I live, work and ride 95% in Frederick County, Maryland, home to some of the best road and mountain bike riding on the east coast.  I've been documenting riding every road in the county on a fixed gear.

46yo and a long time tourist since 1972, sometime mountain biker since 1988.  Since work and family tend to limit my time for epic journeys, I find a lot of my fun in overnighters or three day trips, and since geography limits my trail choices, I love stringing together multi surface adventures.  I'm having a good time moving from the 'fully loaded' mindset to a much lighter gear setup on my trips.

I'm salivating over the Salsa Fargo and hope to get one next spring.


  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #12 on: September 29, 2008, 11:29:42 AM

Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 577

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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2008, 11:29:42 AM »

Hey, my name is Travis Butler.  I have been riding for only 11 or so years.  I'm 29.  Started doing overnighters on the mountain bike last year in prep for the CTR.  I had knee issues and had to drop out Roll Eyes.  Anyway, I live in Austin and do a lot of overnighters in town in local parks.  Kind of fun really.  I got to experience my first real bike tour this summer.  3 weeks in France with just the wife and I with no agenda, just a map.  It was awesome. 
I'll be doing a lot of overnighters and one 4 day trip in a few weeks in Arkansas.  Other than that it'll be tough to get out of the house in the near future.  Reason?  My wife and I are gonna have a baby! 

  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #13 on: September 29, 2008, 05:57:21 PM

Posts: 131

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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2008, 05:57:21 PM »

Hey all,  Shaun Moore here.  I'm an aspiring bikepacker based in the Asheville NC area.  Like many who've already introduced them selves, this bikepacking thing seems like a natural progression for me.  As a kid growing up in the boonies I had a habit of wandering the woods, combine that with my life long desire to ride instead of walk when ever possible, to rolling into a lot of camping and backpacking starting at a young age, into road touring and most lately into mountain biking in adulthood when I could first afford a bike that could withstand what I used to do as a kid.  I think I just want to do what I did as a kid but with better toys! 

I don't have any international bike tours under my belt (kayak yes), nor any major racing experience.  I'm more of a weekender and 2 weeks in the summer type of traveler.  I've done a few 2-4 day loaded road bike tours, several 2-5 day backpack trips, and two summers ago my wife and I teamed up for a self supported tour of the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway.  When on that trip, we vowed to do a lot more trips like that.  Inspired by MikeC, Bearbait, Scott, Matthew Lee and others' trip reports and races I decided off road bikepacking was just the ticket!  So know I'm gearing up for some weekend trips this Fall and my wife and I have our eyes set on touring the CT next July.

I work an 8-5 doing stream restoration and stormwater management projects.  I'm known as FeloniousDunk on some other web sites.  I'm a trail liaison for the Bent Creek Trail system and board member with Pisgah Area SORBA .  I have a wife who can kick my butt, a nice dog who loves me every day and 2 chickens who decorate my yard. 

« Last Edit: September 29, 2008, 06:07:55 PM by FeloniousDunk » Logged

  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #14 on: September 30, 2008, 10:36:50 AM

Location: Los Altos, California
Posts: 291

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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2008, 10:36:50 AM »

Wow, Scott, this is a great site!

I'm Jill. I'm 29 years old. I live in Juneau, Alaska. I've only been mountain biking since about 2005, maybe 2003 if I count the two years I hated mountain biking while I was learning because I thought it was violent and hard. But I came around, and now I love it. I was a geeky road tourist before I was a mountain biker, but I swear, I never owned a helmet mirror. OK, maybe I owned one that attached to the handlebars. And, OK, maybe it broke off when I sideswiped a parked RV. I'm not admitting to anything.

I'm a total packrat when it comes to bike touring, and I need serious (probably pshyciatric) help when it comes to culling down my gear. I've never done much dirt "bike packing," but interested in taking my touring experience to mountain biking. I'm not a singletrack snob and proabably never will be. I may even someday own a handlebar mirror again. But I recognize that the best places aren't accessible by road. And I also recogize that skimming remote singletrack is a much better way to spend a day than plodding next to 18-wheelers.

So I'm here to read about people's crazy trips and get advice on going light, although if the recommendations include sleeping in a 40-degree bag on a strip of aluminum foil when it's 20 degrees out, I'm not likely to take them. But I'll always listen.

Thanks again for providing this great community!

Every day is an adventure

  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #15 on: September 30, 2008, 10:38:43 AM

Location: Gloucestershire, UK
Posts: 80

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« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2008, 10:38:43 AM »

Hi, I'm Alex Baker, 32 from the south west of the UK.

Been riding bikes and exploring since age 4, "proper" mountain biking since 1987. Worked in pretty much every job possible in the bike trade, owned and ran Solitude Cycles for a few years making custom frames as well as designing stuff for bigger companies.

I am a gear-geek and love the minimal approach so this sort of thing has really got a hold of me. My first trip was a 4 day trip pretty much the whole length of Wales with 2 friends. Stealth camping a few miles out of town after raiding the take-away and convenience store, washing in lakes, yep it was a pretty good trip Smiley I am now pouring over maps and bugging friends for the next big trip although I have some smaller ones planned (including a local 2-dayer taking in 14 of the 16 Donnington Brewery owned pubs!)


"...and yeah this fixie thing is pretty bomber" mc

  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #16 on: September 30, 2008, 03:49:38 PM

Slo bikepacker

Posts: 18

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« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2008, 03:49:38 PM »

My nameís Kit, aka, Goatrak here, and on MTBR. A thanks to Dave54 for graciously not making me the oldest one here (Iím Kit55 vintage). My biking goes back a ways. I remember my older sister finally getting sick of repeatedly holding the 5-yr old me upright so I could start off on my first bike, so I quickly figured out the ďrunning and hopping on the seatĒ method of self starting, and my whole world opened wide. My long range plan is to bike in one form or another till Iím too old to remember how to do it, hopefully that moment will occur in the middle of somewhere beautiful and remote (ya gotta have long range retirement plans suited to todayís economic realities).

Home base for me is the Co. foothills north of Ft. Collins where Iím lucky enough to have out my backdoor a smorgasbord of technical trails consisting of horse tracks, cow tracks, game tracks, and fading two tracks, but more condescendingly called goatraks by my less than enthused biking buddies. Hence the web name.

I marvel at (and live vicariously through) the bikepack journeys that Iíve read recently about here and on other web sites. Although my trip experience consists of one maiden voyage on an alpine section of the Co. Trail, I am hooked, and more importantly, so is my spouse. The ultralight mountain bikepacking concept (or as close as we can get to it and still be somewhat comfortable) just hit home. While otherís trip reports of 50+ mile days with minimalist equipment are truly inspirational, mainly from the perspective of what the human body is capable of (and what the mind can concoct), our journeys in the future will likely be of more modest mileage, but with no less exploring zeal. And who knows, if I can talk my Alaskan bro-n-law into trying it (usually done by saying ďbetcha canít do thisĒ), a whole other universe of goatraks might open up.

  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #17 on: October 01, 2008, 03:28:34 AM

Location: Vermont
Posts: 33

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« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2008, 03:28:34 AM »

Hi,  I'm steve.  I'm a wanna be,  a weekend warrior,  and total groupie of many of the people on these forums.  I read many of your blogs and know who others are from other bike forums.  I will be logging on to ask many dumb questions and obsessing over the most minute of details.  If anyone wants to join me on any mini missions in northern New England or upstate NY, winter or summer, feel free to contact me via E mail.  This invite comes with the warning that I am slow,  sleep late,  & will be spending half the night drinking beers around a campfire and talking nonsense Smiley

* Pugs (38.85 KB, 640x480 - viewed 2659 times.)
« Last Edit: November 12, 2008, 02:08:25 PM by Fat Hairy » Logged

  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #18 on: October 15, 2008, 11:17:48 AM

Location: Fayetteville, AR
Posts: 35

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« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2008, 11:17:48 AM »

Great site Scott!

I'm Kevin. I'm 38 and live in Fayetteville, AR with my wife Pam.  I have attempted the Durango to Moab trip San Juan Huts last year, but I had bail out half way to the last hut...bummer.  Pam and I did a packaged road tour of Northern Ireland in 2004 ( and we did a section of the Katy Trail in MO.  I'm new to the bikepacking idea, and  I'm trying to get my riding buddy to do a trip on the Ouachita Trail late fall.

  Topic Name: Introduction Thread Reply #19 on: October 15, 2008, 12:35:45 PM

Location: Indiana
Posts: 11

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« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2008, 12:35:45 PM »

I'm Keatan.

20 and i live/go to school in Bloomington, IN.  I have been mountainbiking for about a year and a half.  I have yet to bikepack but have my first trip planned in the coming month.  Probably will be reading a lot of trip reports, blogs and asking plenty of questions.  I hope to eventually have enough knowledge to be answering those questions and posting those trip reports.
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