January 27th, 2012 12:51:16 pm
What adventures are on your bucket list? Everyone's list is different, I'm sure. Some people are probably uber-interested in making the trek to Mecca, others may not want to go at all. Hiking or rafting the Grand Canyon is on more than a few people's bucket lists, as evidenced by the thousands of people doing it every year. But what about "bike-packing" across Arizona, or America for that matter?
Wait, what's "bike-packing" and how is it different from a bicycle touring adventure? Well, in short, bike-packing is the off-road version of bicycle touring. Where a touring adventure will take you along paved, scenic roads, bike-packing takes you along dirt roads, paths & trails. Think backpacking with a bike. It's a great way to get deeper into the middle of nowhere than by foot or car. And, you can cover some serious ground in a day, making an 800 mile odyssey seem do-able. That's where this bucket-list adventure question started . . .
I have a bucket list so long that it'd be impractical to discuss it in detail so suffice it to say, that riding the entire Arizona Trail is an adventure that's on my list. The hard part is that on a few segments you either have to walk or go around. Places like the Grand Canyon, and various other Wilderness areas, don't permit mountain bike riding. Other segments are pristine mountain trails linking towns & remote areas - perfect for bike packing.
Anyway, I digress. Bike-packing, in my opinion, is a more comfortable way to enjoy back-country routes. Don't get me wrong, I love backpacking, but being able to NOT carry the load on my back is awesome! By utilizing a series of racks, bags & trailers a cyclist can carry up to 100lbs of gear, more than enough for a multi-week expedition; partner with someone and you can cut the load without sacrificing comfort.
Imagine getting dropped off at some remote trailhead and pointing your bike south. As you meander along the trail, soaking in the view, the miles pass. When you finally stop for lunch you've covered 25 miles; now you're stopped under a cottonwood tree, next to a clear stream enjoying lunch. That evening you can enjoy a hearty dinner before dozing off under an amazing, diamond studded desert sky. A few days later you meet a re-supply crew, camping out near your route. They've got fresh . . . well, everything. The next morning after an amazing fresh breakfast you're back on the trail . . .ride & repeat.
360 Adventures is considering developing a different style of Arizona exploration package intended for experienced adventure travelers. A series of outfitted & supported, self-guided backcountry expeditions where a participant is responsible for day to day activities as well as navigation. Bike packing tours are perfect for this style of travel. We'll plan the routes, outfit your party, and help with re-supplies when necessary; you just take care of getting from point A to point B within a given timeframe. At least that sounds fun to us . . .what do you think?
Thanks for reading.