This past weekend, Justin and myself decided to take our first swing at an adventure cycling trip. So, we built up an Illimitate and a Avventura, ordered some racks and bags, and headed West. It was simple to pick a route, and all you need to do is find a Forest Service Road made of dirt or gravel, and you are in business. This was our first real test of the new Adventure Disc Bikes, as well as our first adventure cycling trip, so we didn't quite know what to expect.
Justin and I are experienced backpackers, so we had all the gear we needed and were very familiar with all the National Forest and Wilderness area regulations. After ordering two Topeak Explorer 29er Tubular Racks, a Topeak MTX TrunkBag DXP, a Topeak MTX TrunkBag EXP, an Axiom Journey DLX Lowrider, and an Axiom Monsoon Aero DLX 35 Panniers, we were all ready to go. With the bikes packed up and looking adventure ready, we headed West on I-70 toward Silverthorne to US 9. After a scenic drive, we hit Ute Pass Road, where we planned to enter National Forest space and start riding. It was now time to park the car and see what these new Adventure Disc Bikes are all about!
Full of energy and excitement, we hit the gravel began to climb. It was shocking how easy it was to ride with this weight on the bikes, and all I could think was how much easier this was than backpacking. With the sun beating down on us, we continued to climb through streams and meadows, enjoying every moment of the freedom the bikes were providing.
The ride was steady and the views from the road were amazing, but adventure cycling is a lot of work, so we decided to setup camp around 5pm. We luckily found a great spot on top of a small mountain pass that afforded us seclusion and relaxation. After riding all day, we were starving and the legs were feeling pretty tired. The bikes performed great and you can check out the Illimitate Review and Avventura Review, for all the positives and downsides about these two adventure machines. As for now, it was time to take it easy, so we setup camp and got the fire going.
With the fire going and camp setup, we split up and went to our own devices for a while. Justin had some great lighting, so he took advantage of it and got some great photos of the new bikes around camp. I threw a stone into the fire and got ready to cook up a bikepacker's delight of hard salami and cheese, which after a day of eating Clif bars and energy chews, is honestly one of the most delicious things you can imagine. After fishing the red hot stone out of the fire, I got to work frying up some salami and cheese, while Justin finished up some great Tommaso pictures.
Now it was that special time of the evening when out in the wilderness where you are full and content, and can watch the sun slowly creep behind the mountains. Surrounded by that sense of accomplishment you get from a long day of riding into the unknown, we trudged through the woods to hang up our remaining food supplies *(Always make sure to hang up your food to keep hungry animals from wandering into your camp, which among other things, we will discuss in a future post on Adventure Bikepacking for Novices.). The only thing left to do was retire into the tent and rest up for another great day of riding.
In the morning we awoke with that distinct sense of purity that can only be offered by a night away from the distractions of society, excited to hit the trail fresh. This had been an interesting trip so far, and honestly much easier than either of us expected. The bikes handled masterfully, the gear held everything we needed and more with ease, and now it was time to descend the mountain we had camped upon and get back to real life. Following the towering snow covered peaks, we headed back from a new experience invigorated and ready to do it again, wondering why it took so long to initially try out adventure cycling.
Life won't wait for everything to be perfect, and it honestly doesn't have to be. If you want to hit the trail, stop thinking and start doing it. Allow yourself to truly live in the moment, not worried about the past or preoccupied about the future, but just in that one illustrious moment. You will find yourself refreshed and inspired in a way that only the freedom of the Wilderness can offer, and day dreaming about your next trip. Until next time, keep riding and living every moment to the fullest.
Does adventure biking sound like something you would really love? Well, this is your chance! Today we are offer $50 off of every Tommaso Adventure Disc Bike. Just use code ADVENTURE at checkout to save and start your adventure today.