This has been in my head lately. The Arrowhead 135. Fatbike racing. In the cold. Scratch that. It’s in the c-c-c-c-c-cold. Doesn’t seem like a good idea, so is that why I’m attracted to it?
On my recent ride out with the Topanga Creek Bicycle gang I was riding the Salsa Spearfish. This was the first time sportin’ the new frame bag. I gotta say it worked out pretty good. Maybe an extra flare at the front would be good for a little bit more space, but overall I’m pretty stoked. Go make something with your hands!
Here are some more pics from our Idyllwild S24O Bikepacking trip.
Sometimes you visit an area that you’ve been to before, but you see it a little differently. I’ve been to Idyllwild a few times. Mostly as a kid. Once, maybe twice by moto even. A month ago I came up here with some friends to ride part of the Stagecoach 400 route, and I’ve been thinkin’ ’bout it ever since.
I had a powerful hankerin’ to get back here as soon as possible and explore some more of the riding. I reached out to the man about town and we hatched a plan. Simple really. Carry what you can on your bike. Ride down to the valley, camp and ride back up the hill. K.I.S.S. Keep it simple stupid. That’s the essence of it. What was in the middle was being guided by a local, just following his wheels and learnin’. You might be challenged by the terrain, but one thing is clear, we will all make it. This was about the journey. The destination, well, we were already there.
I finally attempted making a standard handlebar bag for a straight MTB bar. There was more to it than I had originally thought. More to plan out, more pieces to cut. That meant more to learn though. It’s opened my eyes in many things. I always get stoked when it goes from thoughts in my head to a bag that is mounted in my bike. That’s a pretty good feeling.
I’m headed out this weekend on an overnighter with a couple of friends. After some local intel from Brendan at The Hub Cyclery I’ve decided to ride the Salsa Spearfish for this trip. The Spearfish is not a bike that I’ve ever used for bikepacking, and to be honest I’m still figuring out how to ride it. Having suspension is a foreign thing to me. I know it’s working, but it just feels weird. Who cares about that though.
The main issue for me is that the frame makes it tough to carry gear inside the triangle. I don’t like gear on my back, so this has been a concern for me. Also, the forks don’t have bottle mounts like my trusty Fargo does. So I made a custom framebag that is just big enough to carry a water bladder, which will equal the amount of water I’m used to traveling with The problem of course is that all the gear that I carry in my framebag will have to go somewhere else. That’s for another night though. Here are some in progress shots of the framebag and the payoff is the framebag mounted up. I still need to trim the straps to the right length, but the hard work is done. Now it’s time to ride it!
Yesterday I posted my pics from our ride. Here are the pics from the guys perspective.
Last but not least is Gnat’s blog. There is only one pic now, but I’m sure more will pop up. He was the best photog on the trip so I can’t wait to see what he’s got up his sleeves.
The road less traveled is at some times the hardest thing you’ve done. It is often times the most rewarding as well. Five friends, set out to ride their bikes across deserts, through washes and over mountains. We didn’t accomplish our goal in miles, but we got what we came for. Clear skies, clear heads, adventure and tall tales of a few days in the desert.
We missed you Mathy.
Check out Jason’s new Salsa Fargo Ti. I guess the geo changed slightly and the head tube is different for the 2013’s. Making a great bike better? Is that possible?