Sport

What is bikepacking?

If you are a fan of cycling and outdoor activities, you should find out about a modality that is adding more followers every day, it is bikepacking. We always want to make great journeys on our bike, in addition to discovering new places, because that is what it is all about, only you must add a great load of adrenaline and physical preparation .

You could say that it is the same cycle tourism, but in reality they differ in several things. Bikepacking tries to travel long distances, up to several days, through mostly mountainous terrain. You even have to walk parts on foot or cross navigable channels, not by swimming of course, so it is ensured that the luggage or load is small and light, which also helps to overcome the natural obstacles that arise.

Important is also the choice of bicycle. Mountain bikes, even fatbikes, are preferred, since for this type of practice natural difficulties must be overcome due to topographies specially sought for this purpose.

Bicycle

For bikepacking, simple, light bicycles are recommended, which maintain stability even on rustic, gravel or dirt roads, or in the mountains. Mainly, a bike for this discipline must have a strong frame, preferably steel, and reliable parts. The wheels should not be very narrow, due to the type of topography that you are going to travel. Also look for it to have a wide handlebar to drive it better in technical parts. This quality will also help you to place a large handlebar bag. Similarly, check that the geometry allows you to better tolerate long days and offers the possibility of carrying several frame bags and containers to hydrate.

Considering the above, the preferred bicycles for this type of event are: The rigid mountain bike, which may or may not have front suspension; the fat bikes, which due to their wide wheels ensure that the bumpy road does not mistreat you too much; gravel bikes, which is a novelty that allows you to share asphalt and dirt sections, very convenient for the most experienced users who overcome the already known mountain bikes.   

When you have chosen the one that best suits you among the best mountain bikes, you should consider looking for the necessary equipment to go outdoors and enjoy a weekend of adventure. In this trend, which comes to us from the United States, the main idea is to travel in a simple way, without much luggage and without large bundles on the bicycle.

Accessories and implements

One of the main causes of the popularity that bikepacking is achieving is that the main brands have taken on the task of promoting accessories and items that make your day more pleasant. With this minimalist concept they have created bags for the handlebars, bags for the frame, bag for the bicycle saddle, in addition to the mandatory implements for your safety: helmet, glasses, gloves, jacket, thermal shirts, and others that depend on the type of route. and its duration.

We are going to dwell on the types of bags, which have been created to take advantage of the different frame tubes without affecting stability. There is a wide variety that adapts to the type of bicycle, the layout of its frame and the volume of what you plan to load. 

Those on the handlebar are usually the largest. In them you will carry the largest volume items, such as the tent. The frame ones come in various sizes and models depending on the tube where they are going to be placed. Those of the saddle are usually of considerable size, useful for carrying clothes or the inflatable mat.

Apart from the above, you must bear in mind that if the tour is going to be several days, you must bring a light tent, canned food, personal hygiene products, first aid kit, GPS, flashlight, necessary tools for the bicycle, energy drinks and water. Weather stripping for entry doors may not be necessary, but there are other ways to insulate the tent from the cold.

Physical condition

If you already have the bike with the accessories and the bags with everything you need, now you just need to see how strong you feel to decide the route or trip you are going to take. Feeling that need to explore nature, without a competitive spirit, just looking for the experience of spending a night under the stars, forgetting about the daily hassles and work demands; you must seriously think how far you are prepared to venture. If you are a first-timer, the best thing to do would be to visit your trusted doctor, perform a basic assessment and, depending on this and professional advice, make the decision that is best for you.   

 

Routes

Because it is a new trend in the world of cycling, there is obviously not much information about the safest or most used routes, which vary according to everything we have already considered. In Spain, for the most daring and best prepared, there is a route that crosses part of the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula, crossing Cádiz and Valencia. You will travel more than 1,000 kilometers and see majestic natural sites such as the Alcornocales, Sierra Nevada, and the fortune of finding small and charming towns.

Also in Spain is the Transpirenaica route, ideal for bikepacking, with various routes that challenge even the most experienced. Another option is the Sierra Morena route, which has several routes through the woods and others designed for the less experienced.

It can be said that bikepacking is like being a backpacker, but on a bicycle. Instead of carrying your luggage on you, you carry it on the bike and you can do much longer trips. 

If you are wondering about events related to this new discipline, you may be interested to know that the Bikepacking Summit is held annually in a town in the United States, Gunnison, Colorado, a three-day event where you can meet the most experienced in the field and learn new skills and novel information.

Now, due to its growing popularity, if you are interested in traveling some routes in other countries outside of Spain, you can find organized tours in countries such as Italy, the United States, Canada, Croatia and New Zealand; in addition to other alternatives that cross different countries of Central and South America.

In short, whatever the route you choose, it is always good to contact the nearest organized group, to guide you on it and also find companions to guide you.

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