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!
Faces Behind the Dots: Huracan 300
This Saturday, February 4th, a group of bikepackers will depart on the Huracan 300 bikepacking race. This 370-mile loop in Central Florida includes 100 miles of singletrack, dirt roads, abandoned paths, and occasional pavement. Racers also have the option to take on the “Lite” version of the route which is 340 miles and avoids singletrack and river crossings. Described on the event website as, “the ultimate off-road endurance experience in the state of Florida,” the participants are certainly in for an adventure! We’re excited to introduce you to some of the folks who signed up for the race. Find out what motivated them to sign up for the Huracan 300, what is on their playlists, whether they’re concerned about alligators, and more!
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.
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.
Vermont Super 8: Tatianna Wawrzynski’s FKT
The Vermont Super 8 bikepacking race is one of the most rugged routes in the northeast. This year, Tatianna Wawrzynski set out to race the 640-mile route, setting an FKT in the process. The former runner and mom of two young daughters used a combination of minimal sleep and endless determination to complete the race in 7 days, 26 minutes on her Trek 1120. She endured rain, cold temperatures, and hallucinations from the lack of sleep to complete the race, drawing inspiration from her family, friends, and everyone who has supported her over the years to keep going when things got dark. We asked some questions and Tatianna put together some thoughts about her experience on the Super 8, sharing details of how she was able to train for and execute the ride.
Last Woman Standing: Isabelle Fisk and the 2022 AZT300
When Isabelle Fisk rolled up to the Arizona Trail’s Picketpost trailhead at 6:22 last Monday morning, the look on her face was a cross between incredulity and complete joy. With 24 percent of the riders signed up for the AZT300 making it to the finish this year, Isabelle truly earned the title of “The Last Woman Standing.” Before the race, Isabelle was unsure whether she would even start. Despite her nerves, Isabelle left the border of Mexico with the Grand Depart of the AZT300, facing her uncertainties head on to have an extremely successful first bikepacking race.