Bikepacking Solo Part Four: Benefits of Going Solo
In Part Four of the Bikepacking Solo series, we asked bikepackers about the benefits of going solo and some final thoughts. The consensus from the group is that it’s worth it! Many thanks to the women who contributed their experiences, knowledge, and insights to this series.
Missed the previous Bikepacking Solo Articles? Here are the links:
Part One: First Solo Overnighter
Part Two: Camping Logistics
Part Three: Facing Fears
What are the benefits of bikepacking solo? Can you think of something you experienced or gained from bikepacking solo that you wouldn’t have had you been with another person or a group?
Annie Le: People are way friendlier when you tour alone. I get a lot more good conversations and invites to stay or eat with other people. It’s a great way to hear about local ways of life. The emotions also have bigger highs and …
Bikepacking Solo Part Three: Facing Fears
Part Three of the Bikepacking Solo Series is all about managing fears. It’s clear that even those who go solo often still have to manage fears, from the fear of failure to the fear of ill-intentioned people. We asked our bikepacking friends about the fears they face, how they cope with them, and tips for others to feel safe camping solo. Make sure you check out Part One and Part Two of the Bikepacking Solo series if you haven’t already!
Bikepacking Solo Part Two: Camping Logistics
In Part Two of the Bikepacking Solo series, we asked about how bikepackers choose a place to camp and about the differences between camping out during a race versus during a tour. You can find their answers below. If you missed Part One of the series, be sure to check it out!
Bikepacking Solo Part One: First Solo Overnighter
Many women identify traveling and camping alone as a barrier to entering the sport of bikepacking or bikepack racing. Regardless of gender, it can be intimidating to bikepack solo. We wanted to reach out to women bikepackers and get their perspectives on riding and camping alone. In this four-part series, we’ll share about the first time these women went on a solo overnighter, camping logistics, their fears and how they face them, and the benefits of bikepacking solo. We’re excited to share their insights!
Bikepacking for All: A Panel Hosted by the Log Driver’s Waltz
The Log Driver’s Waltz (LDW), developed by Jen Adams and Eric Betteridge, is an 800km bikepacking route showcasing the beauty of the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada. The team curated the route as a contribution to the bikepacking community to share the backcountry gravel and dirt roads and local towns in their area.
To Be an Athlete
It’s dark outside and I laugh at myself as small balls of ice hit my face. Perhaps it’s just cold rain falling quickly from the clouds that circle above me, but either way, it is slightly painful. How many hours have I spent inside, on my trainer sweating profusely in a grand attempt to prepare myself for the heat in Morocco? Countless. As I dream of home and the indoor heat, a formidable wind pushes my mountain bike and I across the road. Grateful that there isn’t any oncoming traffic, my mind is no longer back home in Colorado. I’m in the present, in Morocco. Pushing against the wind and rain, up an extremely steep hill, I repeat to myself that I am strong and capable as I give my all in the Atlas Mountain Race.
Jennifer Hanson’s Fat Pursuit
Jennifer Hanson lives in Florence, one of the hottest parts of the arid state of Arizona. While many people around the country are fleeing the cold winter temperatures of the north, often ending up in southern Arizona, Jen and her husband Jason headed up to Idaho for the 200km Fat Pursuit. Even as a desert dweller, Jen is an accomplished winter ultra racer with finishes in both the 2022 Fat Pursuit and the Iditarod Trail Invitational. She’s shared some beautiful images from this year’s Fat Pursuit and a quick recap of how her race went down.
Washington Bikepacking Women Group
Founded by a group of bike-loving women who saw a need in their community, the The Washington Bikepacking Women group strives to grow an inclusive, inspiring, and supportive women and gender-diverse bikepacking community in Washington state. With plans to continue conversations about bikepacking, share women’s stories, and organize group overnighters when the weather warms up, this group is aspiring to increase the women’s turnout at the Cross-Washington Mountain Bike Route (XWA) Grand Depart in May. You can read about the women who founded the group, how to join, what to expect from the group, and about the XWA route below.
Across Newfoundland by Bike
“No, you’re not.” “Oh, fuck off.” These were the responses of two men at the pub the night before we set off on our traverse across Newfoundland on the T’Railway when we described our plans for the next twelve days. My partner and I had arrived in Channel Port-aux Basques only a few hours earlier after a long and unanticipated 36 hours of travel. I was exhausted and wasn’t interested in the negativity from these men when they had probably never spent more than a few miles on the trail.
Positivity and Forward Progress: Ari’s Ouachita Triple Crown
I set two alarms and curled up in my bright orange emergency bivy, prepared to take a 60-minute nap. It was over halfway through a 12-hour night. I was laying down on a small, narrow bench on top of Bear Mountain, the highest spot of the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (LOViT). What would normally be a stunning, expansive view of Lake Ouachita’s southern bank was obscured by darkness. With a steep drop-off down the mountain a couple of feet away, I wedged myself against the back of the bench. I was just warm enough to relax but far from comfortable. I was happy to know that the LOViT was a substantial net downhill from here, followed by 15 paved miles back to the finish. I shut my eyes.