When I first took interested in bikepacking, a Google search took me to a review of a bikepacking adventure by a guy named Miles Arbour. In 2016, he rode a system of trails and roads called the Central Ontario Loop Trail, or COLT. His article got me interested, and my brother Greg and I started to gear up in late 2016 in preparation for riding all or portions of the COLT in 2017.
Last fall, the wonderfull staff at Arkel sent me one of their new products for my bikepacking adventures: the Seatpacker – a 15-litre waterproof seatpack. A couple of weeks ago, I went on my first over-night bikepacking trip with the Seatpacker, and here’s my review (Disclaimer: This product was provided to me by Arkel at no cost. This review is based on my use of the product as well as information provided on Arkel’s website).
Now that I’ve completed my “50 memorable rides for my 50th year”, I’ve been thinking about what to write about as I continue this blog. One topic that people have asked me about is bikepacking. In my previous post, my 50th ride involved my first attempt at bikepacking.
When I started my quest to have 50 memorable bike rides in my 50th year, I purposely avoided any specific goals. I also avoided the use of the word “epic”, since it’s relative. I simply wanted to have 50 rides that were memorable to me. And “memorable” could mean any of the following:
Finally, after half a year, I joined a group ride. I started the weekend gravel grinder rides with the Waterloo Cycling Club about five years ago and these rides have been very popular in the fall, winter and spring. Last fall, I was able to find a good group of folks to lead these rides in my absence. This Family Day weekend, I was able to join for these gravel grinder rides for the first time since the spring of 2016.
January is month when a lot of people will set their goals for the rest of the year (Note: I’m avoiding the term “resolutions” on purpose). My goals tend to be modest. A year ago, my goal was to ride 50 memorable rides in the year I turned 50. That didn’t quite work out after my crash in September, but I still completed 41 rides (I complete this quest this year, before I turn 51 in August). I also wanted to ride 5000 km, which also didn’t happen due to a low-mileage autumn.
There’s a lot of reading material online. This blog is just one of countless cycling blogs, so thanks to anyone and everyone who reads this. I thought I’d share some of the blogs that I read. Some are cycling-related. Others have a running or fitness focus. I hope you find some relevant material in them, as I do.
With my cycling accident back on Labour Day weekend and the concussion recovery that has followed, I’ve had plenty of time to think about riding and the rides I’ve completed this year and what’s to come in 2017. I still hope to get back on the bike soon, but it’s looking more and more like I won’t complete my “50-in-50” rides in this calendar year. I will, however, complete them before I turn 51!