Back in the 90s, my brother and I thought we could ride our bikes from our hometown in Utah to our grandparents house in Boulder Colorado.
It was an grand dream—but ill-conceived at best. I owned a no-brand 10 speed bought second- or third-hand from a local thrift store. He had a similar set-up. We had no bags, no racks, no tools, and no helmets. I’m pretty sure we didn’t even have a water bottle cages. And, it should go without staying, we had zero experience.
But the dream was there and we were determined to somehow transverse 500+ miles across the Rocky Mountains on our $10 half-broken ten-speeds.
A few years ago we revived the dream—but this time (since I’d joined the MTB tribe) to to do a long-distance dirt tour. Bikes were purchased, maps were studied, training commenced, and the predecessor to this blog was born as a way to catalog our journey.
But, as it is wont to happen, life got in the way: kids were born, post-grad work, layoffs, cross-country moves all took priority over the dream. So the dream was shelved. We fanned the coals with occasional discussions, this blog, and lots of reading. But no date could be set—life was demanding our full attention; time and money were in short supply.
So we biked as much as possible alone on our respective ends of the country. I’ve had a couple of long-ish distance day rides that have kept the taste in my mouth and provided excuses to buy gear. I don’t quite have all I need for even a S24O, but I’m close (missing a sleeping bag and tent/bivy) and I have every intention of winning the contest between me and my wife.
But the life-is-too-busy chapter in our lives looks like it might be coming to a close. We’re both done with kids (for a grand total of 11 between us), careers are (mostly) stable, and post-grad work is winding down.
Now that life is settling, the itch for a bikepacking ride is back. And yesterday, Mike got a plane ticket to the west coast specifically for the trip.
Suddenly the long-awaited trip turned from dream to to something far more concrete. And I’m stoked.