Joey, where did coffee take you this Summer?
Coffee carried me on a 340 mile chunk of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. I took 4 days to travel from Rooseville, Montana to Stevensville, Montana. I left the official route in Seeley Lake, and I made my on my own route over to Missoula before finishing off the ride down the Bitterroot Valley.
What did you pack that really felt worth it ?
I would say that the two stand out necessities were some wet wipes and the small notebook I carried. Going to sleep dirty just sucks; the wet wipes really helped me reset at the end of the day, and go to sleep feeling like I might get some real rest. The notebook may seem frivolous to some, but it really kept me in check mentally. I was able to record my needs and wants, while also keeping track of those thoughts that only come from the clarity you find on a long day riding.
What didn't you pack that you wish you could have?
I packed pretty light, so that meant no stove. That decision meant no hot coffee. If you know me, you know this is not my normal SOP. I still had coffee each morning, thanks to First Ascent for making instant coffee that tastes amazing when served cold, [Yes,it dissolves in cold water!] but it would have been nice to have an alcohol stove to sip on hot coffee in the mornings.
Why do you bike pack? Would you recommend it to someone who hasn't tried it yet?
This is a big question that could have a long answer, but I will try to keep it brief. I think traveling by bike is the ideal way to see the world; you are going just the right speed to experience what is around you, while still going fast enough to cover decent ground each day. Bike packing, like back packing, really provides me with the space to settle out of "real life" and focus on what is in front of me. You wake up and you have one job, to move forward. That simplicity and ability to see more is what drove me to get into bike packing. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who has not tried it. I do think you need to love being on a bike a bit, but that is also a learned aspect of bike packing; the more you do it, the more you will look forward to the next ride.