Bikepacking Recon @ Beartown


Yesterday we put our bikepacking preparation and planning through a well thought out field test in Berkshire county.  Meeting up in Lenox, MA, we headed south through Lee and Stockbridge to Beartown State Park in Monterey.

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Laura rode her sweet titanium Salsa Colossal Ti, which she will tell you, actively participates in the process of moving you forward.  The bike I rode, my beloved Giant xTc 27.5 MTB,  carves nicely in the woods. But riding it up the mountain into Beartown, and then back north through Great Barrington up into Lenox, was a total bear.  Especially packed with gear.  For a total of 38 miles.  And 2825 feet of climbing.  To complicate my ride, my rear seat pack has a design flaw which caused it to sag and drag on my rear tire. Because muscling a 27 lb. mountain bike packed with 30 lbs. of gear on knobby tires isn’t hard enough.

Ooof.

That said, this was a FUN DAY.  It was bright & sunny, the scenery was spectacular, and the adventure was real.  I do, strangely, enjoy a level of physical difficulty.  I know all the work I did yesterday is money in the bank for training. At the campsite, Laura & I tested out the hammocks and we both had them up in under 5 minutes.  Score!

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Now we pray it doesn’t rain when we actually go.  There a loads of trails all around the campsite.  I’m not sure how many are bikeable, but hiking is on the agenda too.  The next big thing to figure out is food, and rain strategies that we hopefully don’t have to rely upon.

IMG_0745No more practice runs, the next time I post about bikepacking, it will be the real deal.  2 nights in hammocks with the bears!   #BearBurritos2016

-Karen

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About Karen

Mid-life female amateur athlete focused on cyclocross, mountain biking, and road cycling. Always looking to see what is around the next bend in the road.

2 responses to “Bikepacking Recon @ Beartown”

  1. fatbeardedandtattooedcyclist says :

    what gear are you using? I’m looking to get in to bike/backpacking and need some recommendations on sleeping bag and pads.

    • Karen says :

      I have a Revelate Designs gas tank bag, which I recommend. I have a Timbuck2 rear seat bag, which I do not recommend. It’s cheaper for a reason. There are plenty of reviews backing this up, I read them, and thought I could engineer my way around this, but I was wrong. Spend the money and get a better rear seat bag. I’m using a Osprey backpack with a bladder section for a camelback bladder. And I picked up some straps and just strapped my sleeping bag to my handlebars. I have Grand Trunk hammock and extra straps for the trees. SUPER easy to put up, light, very packable. The sleeping bag I have not field tested yet, but it’s light and packable: Aektiv Outdoors Lightweight 35 Degree 3 Season Mummy Sleeping Bag. I’ll likely post about how that all goes….

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