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1  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: Big Bend Ranch Bikepacking, Dec 2010 Trip Report on: April 03, 2014, 04:11:30 PM
Some people say it's nothing but thorns out there and you would be crazy to not run a sealant of some sort, we didn't have much problem though.  I had slime tubes in both wheels but one was dried out and it got a flat.  I replaced with a non-slime tube and it didn't flat again (carrying a spare slime tube was just too heavy for my tastes).  The other slime tube was fresh and it probably took a few thorns without problem, but nothing major.  If I did it again I would probably do the same or run tubeless.  If you don't do slime tubes, take a couple of fresh patch kits along with your spare tube(s).  I think you will be fine either way.  There are not too many places where you run the risk of slashing a sidewall, but I think its a good idea to have a more robust tire than a super light one given how remote it can be.

Make sure you check with the park rangers to find out if and where water will be.  If you can't find water be on the look out for cottonwood trees, there is likely a spring running close by them.
2  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: Big Bend Ranch Bikepacking, Dec 2010 Trip Report on: January 25, 2014, 07:38:40 AM
An oldie but a goodie!  I haven't been back out there since this route was done so they may have re-directed some of the trails here and there.  Make sure to check with the park before going out.  You also want to find out which of the tanks have fresh water in them.  We may have deviated from the trail a few times on the GPX routes attached so don't rely on them solely and don't follow them if it doesn't make sense. 

Have a blast, great weather for a trip out there right now!
3  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: Ouachitomble Spring 2012 (And the Monkey is gone) on: March 29, 2012, 12:35:51 PM
Awesome!  Glad you finally cracked this one.  Definitely something I want to tackle someday...thanks for the report!
4  Forums / Question and Answer / Re: A bunch of Spot questions..... on: March 23, 2012, 10:32:37 AM
As with any complex device, have a plan for what to do if it fails.  My SPOT ceased to function on the 3rd day of a bikepacking trip (quickly replaced by SPOT).  No big deal for us, but those watching at home got a bit worried.  Had I not told them that all sorts of things can interfere with getting 'okay' signals and tracks they might have started making phone calls.  I also assured them I would call by a certain day and if I didn't then they could get worried.  Additionally we let park rangers know our plan. 

Sounds like you have plenty of experience going into the backcountry so you know what to do...just remember not to rely on the SPOT only (or GPS, or freehubs, derailuers, sealant, brakes, your fitness :-), etc).
5  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: Big Bend Ranch Bikepacking, Dec 2010 Trip Report on: February 17, 2012, 08:58:41 AM
Thanks for all the info and inspiration! It was really useful in planning a recent tour.

Great pictures and write up!  I can't wait to go back out there again.
6  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: Big Bend Ranch Bikepacking, Dec 2010 Trip Report on: January 04, 2012, 07:24:39 AM
I seem to have lost the actual history tracks, but I should have the track that I created and followed while out there.  Some of the waypoints are not valuable since they may point out a pila (water tank) that is long since dry.  Send me a PM with your email and I will send them to you.  You can also get a really good map from the ranger station that is helpful.  Whatever you do to navigate out there, check with the park to see if which of the wells are running and if the spring is flowing.
7  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: Midsummer bikepacking on: July 07, 2011, 08:48:27 AM
Another great video.  Keep 'em coming!
8  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: Alaska's Lost Coast trip happening now on: July 06, 2011, 07:46:42 AM
Stunning!  Best one yet. 

Really appreciate you taking the time to get all of the footage and do such an amazing editing job.  I will watch this one many times.
9  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: My bikepacking setup - please review/critique on: July 02, 2011, 08:07:00 AM
Looks like you have a pretty good list.  I would take a couple of spare bolts, possibly a chain ring bolt/nut, spare cleat with bolts.  Good idea to use locktite on the bottle cage bolts and cleat bolts before the trip.  I also like to take some nylon webbing or industrial strength velcro strapping.  It's pretty light and if one of your bags breaks or your Anything Cage has issues you can probably work a fix between that and the zip ties (take a few more zip ties than you think).  Can also be used as a tourniquet, sling, holding on a splint, etc. etc.  If your multitool doesn't have pliers a Leatherman Micra (some people think its too small, but it has saved me before) or similar can be handy when things go wrong.  A FiberFix spoke is nice to have too...also light.  A personal preference, but for after bike cleanup, wet wipes for the nethers can be a lifesaver for some people.  Waterless hand cleaner works as well and also good for general camp hygiene.
10  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: grand loop on: June 23, 2011, 10:08:22 AM
Great effort and write-up Jim!  I am glad you and others are still ITT/touring it and telling everybody your experience.  The GL is something I have been very interested in for years, but it always seems too intimidating, especially seeing so many people have to abandon throughout its history.  Someday I will see what it has to offer and what I can give it in return. 

All said, are you happy with the date you picked to do this?  Anything you would do differently?
11  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: NO IDLE TOUR RAAM SELF-SUPPORTED on: June 14, 2011, 07:14:45 AM
Anyone know what his kit looks like? Did he transplant his TD gear to the road machine?
There are some pictures of his kit on the Facebook page:

I noticed his name was not on the official RAAM start list and he started before the solo mens group which is scheduled for June 15th.  Will Jay's race be part of the official RAAM records, or is this being done outside of that organization?  Would be cool to see a new category added for self supported, I bet there are others who would want to participate.

Good luck are making history!
12  Forums / Question and Answer / Delorme In-Reach 2 Way Satellite Comms on: June 13, 2011, 12:42:58 PM
Cool tracking product coming from DeLorme:

This device can send and receive messages via satellite (Iridium).  Appears to do tracking and SOS on its own, but when coupled with an Android device (I assume via bluetooth) or a PN-60 you can send AND receive messages including email.  Due out in October 11.

Will be nice to have a SPOT alternative that is around the same price/subscription costs.
13  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: Late spring overnighter on: May 16, 2011, 01:01:03 PM
Great work as usual...looks so much different without all the snow.
14  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: My Coco250 attempt on: May 13, 2011, 06:47:41 AM
Great pictures...makes me want to do this loop even more now!
15  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: A damn fine loop. on: March 21, 2011, 08:00:34 AM
Great pictures as usual.  You capture the soul of bikepacking so well.  Makes me want to do the Coconino even more now.
16  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: Ouachita Trail Bikepacking Trip; Spring 2011 on: March 12, 2011, 03:40:06 PM
Great write up!  And if the trip goes perfectly smooth its not nearly as memorable :-)  I know how strong of a rider you are so it must have been brutal. 

One of these days I am going to make the drive up there.  Looks like a fun and challenging route.

17  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: Big Bend Ranch Bikepacking, Dec 2010 Trip Report on: February 13, 2011, 07:23:31 PM
Great video and writeup.
If you were to do it again, would you have stopped at pila montoya, jackson pens or tres papolotes for that first day? I am planning a trip for spring break and was thinking tres papolotes would even out the mileage but we would then have to trek the solitario with all of our gear? Did doing the solitario without all the gear make a huge difference and where did you leave all of it?

Thanks!  I would definitely go for Tres Papolotes for the first camp if you are good to ride for 8-9 hours or so.  I would recommend coming in to camp from the east side of the Solitario (clockwise).  All of the rough riding and steep climbing is on the west side.  They were trying to repair the old water pump at Tres Papolotes and may have it working by now.  If that is the case you don't need to stock up too much at Pila Montoya or Jackson Pens.  If you feel like you are running short on time you could probably find a spot at Jackson Pens or one of the Pila Montoya sites.

It probably wasn't that much of a difference dropping off the tent, sleeping bag and pad before the loop.  Certainly it made some difference, but not enough to really matter.  There are spots you will probably lose traction and have to walk, but not many.  I think the weight savings for me was around 5-6 pounds all said.  We just stashed the gear close to Jackson Pens.  One thing you will learn and appreciate about that park, it is desolate!  You will see very few people unless you go on a big holiday (I guess Spring Break might qualify) and even then there won't be too many.  Most of the roads are pretty rough and require a truck or high clearance 4x4 and patience.

Make sure you plan your water.  If you decide to do a similar route, but make camp for the second night further out, you will have to wait until the Madrid Springs before refilling.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

18  Forums / Question and Answer / Re: Shock pumps on: February 02, 2011, 07:57:48 AM
Here is another option:

Dual pressure (tire and shock), 300 psi, 197 grams

Looks interesting.  Would like to get one in my hands to see how well it's constructed and if its worth the weight.
19  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: Frame bag tutorial video. Make your own. on: January 24, 2011, 09:00:24 AM
Great How-To!  I wish I would have had this before I made mine. 

What size needle did you use in your machine?
Did you think about putting a cushion on the down tube to keep things from rattling?
20  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: Big Bend Ranch Bikepacking, Dec 2010 Trip Report on: January 23, 2011, 05:06:04 PM
Thanks for the great comments.  I like making the movies just so I can re-live the trip over and over.  Plus it would have been nice to have this sort of info before we did the trip.  If it can help anybody else I am glad to put together a report with some details. 

1) If/when you get some time, would you mind posting your gear review for this trip?

Hey Fat Bob (I feel like I am insulting you...sorry)...
Gear was the basic bikepacking kit that is discussed here all the time.  Light weight shelter, sleeping bag, tools, etc.  But here are the highlights for what I carried...Greg carried different stuff:
1) Shires Tarp Tent Virga
2) Marmot Hydrogen bag
3) Patagonia down sweater w/ hoodie
4) Katadyn Hiker water filter
5) Osprey Talon 22 with MSR 6 liter bladder (a 100 oz and a couple of bottles would be plenty for the route we took)
6) 2 tubes
7) pump
8.) Garmin Vista
9) extra cycling shorts, 2 pair wool socks, wool undershirt, tights (double as camp pants), balaclava, light wool gloves, full finger riding gloves, light cap, light eVent shell
10) small pack towel, inflatable hospital pillow, fleece lined ditty bag to put pillow in for extra comfort, Big Agnes insulated core sleeping pad
11) headlamp, extra batteries
12) zip ties, extra der hanger, fiber fix spoke, master links, multi tool with chain tool, duct tape, lube, etc.
13) esbit stove and tabs, beer can pot, crappy waterproof matches that were hard to light
14) a little too much food :-)
15) various toiletry, first aid, survival (compass, magnifier, trash bag, small pocket knife, etc)
16) camera, SPOT (which stopped working the 3rd day)

I think that is most everything.

2) What did you utilize for logistics? Did you chart everything out on topo maps and carry maps, or load .gxp files and go with a GPS unit? Combo of both? I'm horrible with direction and recently got a Vista HCX... still trying to figure that out too!

I spent a lot of time with TopoFusion along with a poor park map to create a gpx track.  It worked really well.  Once we got to the park they had a large laminated topo map with all of the trails marked that we brought along.  Definitely get that map.  I should be able to get the actual gps track from my Garmin if I get around to downloading it all.  The trail is pretty well marked, but if you are in a daze you can miss things and when in creek beds it can get pretty confusing.  I would have a good map at a minimum.

Happy to give you more info if you need it.  It was a great trip.

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