Overnight on the bikeI’ve been riding in the Gunnison Valley for about 15 years and have had many epic days on long, grueling rides with scenery and terrain that literally takes my breath away. One of the greatest parts of living in the Gunnison Valley is that I can access thousands of acres of rideable public lands within a matter of minutes from the house. Day trips are great but I crave just a little bit more. What I haven’t checked off my bucket list is an overnighter on my bike. You know when a great day has come to an end and the fairy dust of the day soon vanishes and it’s back to the reality of dirty laundry, commitments, friends and family? I’d like to extend that euphoria of being out on the trail and add a night or two under the stars with a big campfire in front of me. Here’s a couple micro adventures that I’d like to tick off the list this summer.
Bike packing at Hartman RocksHartman Rocks is one of those iconic local favorites known for its easy accessibility from town, early season opening (it dries out first) and its epic single track in 8,000 acres of possible fun. This would be a great bike packing option if I’d like to take my 15 year old daughter with me (she’d whine the whole way but tell all her friends it was amazing). This ride would be ideal for her and me because it isn’t far from town and we could make it a shorter trip if need be or do a big 30 mile loop broken into two days of riding. Hartman’s riding is a continuous mix of fast singletrack, punctuated by slickrock and various technical rock features so I’ll make sure to bring extra Band-Aids.
North end of the valley lollipop loop – Spring Creek Road, Rosebud, Deadmans Gulch, Upper Cement Creek, Hunter’s Trail, Crystal Peak (Trail 583) and back
This ride encompasses some of the north end of the valley’s most sought after mountain biking. There are so many possibilities for connecting trails in this area anywhere from a one night out to a multi-day trip. This is a high elevation ride so I will have to prepare for cooler temperatures. This high alpine ride has spectacular views of Fossil Ridge, Teocalli Ridge, Double Top and the surrounding ranges, so that solar cell phone charger will come in handy!
My packing list for a bike packing adventure
- What’s normally on me: Bike lights/headlamp, tool kit, spare tubes, map or great map app, First Aid Kit, spare sunglasses, cell phone & solar charger, multitool, pump, pliers, wrench, patch kit, tire levers, chain lube, zip ties, gorilla tape, lighter, quick chain links, spare cleat & bolts, cleaning cloth & knife
- Sleeping bag
- One person tent, bivy or hammock
- Easy food!
- Small box of wine (just take it out of the box and bring the bag) & some chocolate… because I’m not a caveman after all!
- Frame bag, soft seat pack, handlebar roll bag & day pack
- More water than normal (100 ounces) and small filter
- Cook stove, 1 small aluminum pot, cutlery