All plans for much riding while on holiday are scuppered by:
1. no motorcycle and
2. having a cold.
Yes, the R1 is still in the shop for a swingarm respray after it's battery split and new swingarm bearings while it is pulled apart. It has been six weeks now since I dropped it in but to be fair I was away for four weeks so wasn't pushing to have it fixed.
The cold is even more frustrating as the riding weather is perfect at the moment. Not too hot and very dry. It makes for fun, drifty corners.
It is giving me some time to think about my next bike packing trip though, as I haven't had the chance to get out since waay back in June.
I managed to pick up a new sleep system while in the US. The AMK Sol Thermal Bivy is a lightweight waterproof, breathable bivy bag that can be used as a sleep system on its own in warm weather and I can use it over my sleeping bag come winter. The best bit is that it only weighs 252 grams (8.9oz) and was about $30 from REI. For summer bike packing I should be able to leave the sleeping bag behind and just use the bivy, saving quite a bit of weight. However, before I blast out into the middle of nowhere with this thing as my only sleep option I am planning on doing a "local" overnighter to test it out. I can hit up some of the fun trails around here at a convenient time, then "stealth camp" before sampling some more singletrack fun the following morning.
Also while in the US, I got to cross paths with the Tour Divide Route at Pinedale and again near Flagg Ranch on the southern entrance to Yellowstone. It gave me a chance to see the sort of countryside that riders are up against and let me tell you viewers, I was more than a little concerned about being out there on a pushy!
That was some seriously spectacular, mountainous, bear infested (in my tiny mind anyway!) country. Did I mention the thunderstorms? Oh, yeah, the mountains were covered in them as we drove by Pinedale.
The Tetons were spectacular at just on 14 000 ft high. Even the flat bits in these pictures are at 7000 ft above sea level, so that Grand Teton at the centre is sticking up almost 7000 ft. That is as high as our highest mountain!The TDR winds it's way just to the north of these to Flagg Ranch before turning south toward Pinedale.
As this panorama unfolded in our windscreen, I mentioned to the boss how I would love to be able to work month on and month off for a while, so that during the off month I could come over and do some sections of the Tour Divide Route. You know, rather than trying to ride it all in one hit like the racers do? Surprisingly I received a green light to the idea! The reality of doing it though is very different.....I just have to hatch a cunning plan, as I have all of the gear now.......
Just to get you into a bikepacking frame of mind, here is Chris Miller's(from Gooney Riders) view of the Colorado Trail Race this year. Riders that finish the CTR are hard as nails. You can see how knackered Chris looks toward the end.
Enjoy and have a great weekend!