My first ever S24O. It stands for sub 24 hour overnighter. It is an awesome way to pack a bunch of fun and adventure into a small amount of time. I planned a bikepacking trip with Mike for a little taste of Tour Divide life. At first there was the possibility of four of us going but as time played out it came down to just the two of us. We decided on as much dirt as possible and to end our ride through Cotton Brook into the backside of Little River State Park.
|primitive bikepacking setup|
The above picture shows my initial setup. I don't have a pad that packs down very small so I wanted to bring my backpacking one to insulate me from the ground. The temps were to dip into the mid 30s overnight and I needed to be sure that I could stay warm. A small pedal around the parking lot before I left proved that the pad couldn't ride on the top tube. It was too wide rolled up and I would have been riding like a bow legged cowboy.
I decided to strap it to the saddle bag and it turned out like this:
Mike and I met at the round about in Winooski at the end of a couple of rain showers and headed out past the airport and down Mountain View Drive. We rolled past Catamount on some nice dirt and connected to Route 2 and on to Johnny Brook Rd. On out through Richmond we went down Cochran to Duxbury Rd. following the river all the way to Waterbury. Night fall was eminent and we stopped at a gas station for refuel and some food before we headed up Route 100 to Moscow.
|I'm working on getting my new bags to streamline my kit|
|Mike is his typical scenario with his kit|
After we did the double track main loop, it ended on some single track that becomes Hedgehog Hill trail. Sure enough I came upon a porcupine waddling along in the direction that we were traveling. It eventually turned off trail and climbed its way up a tree. We stopped to watch that which I found quite interesting. I hope that it didn't feel threatened by us.
|heading up 100 in the dark. that's Mike's light in the night.|
It was late when we got to camp. I was having way to much fun with the whole experience to let that bother me. When we first picked our leanto, I quickly pulled my sleeping bag, bivy, and pad out and got it set up. I didn't speak much about it earlier but I had made a bivy out of Tyvek house wrap to be used just for this trip. I had every intention of ditching it the morning after, which I did. I am happy to report that it worked well. In the morning when I pulled my bag out of it I noticed some condensation on the outside of my sleeping bag. Later is struck me as odd that it was only at the foot of the bag. My core would give off the most heat yet there was nothing anywhere else on the bag. The next day I realized what had caused it. Mike had hinted to me that placing my shorts and jersey in my bag would warm and maybe dry them for the next day. I put them in the bottom of my bag overnight. The condensation was being drawn off of my clothes and then pulled through the bag. Mystery solved.
|our nest, Mike getting up. My homemade bivy on the left|
|the view from my bed|
|home away from home|
|the dam at the bottom of the resevoir|
|this picture makes me dream of spokeless wheels|
We took Winooski St. in Waterbury and would cross over the river and roll through Duxbury back towards Richmond. When we got to the bridge, the street was closed for firefighter training. There is a house that sits right next to the bridge and got severely damaged in the flooding that we had recently. It was to be torn down but not before the town got to practice putting fires out with it. When we rolled past, there were folding chairs setup in a field nearby. I suppose that it was to be a spectacle. A lady across the street let us cut through her yard to pass and be on our way. Later I found out that this is what we missed.
|There's no putting that fire out.|
|oh, the irony|
|no tourists? Blah|
|I could ride roads like these forever|
|What a wonderful time to be out enjoying the scenery|
Almost 7000' of climbing. I'll take that. Click on Mike's name at the beginning of this post and read his account of the ride. He writes well and he hit on some things that I didn't cover. I especially liked his description of my bivy sack.
Next up, some thoughts on bikepacking setup and pros and cons of my bike choices (i.e. gearing, bars, etc.). Thanks for reading.