SnowBikePacking in the Mount Taylor area. It wasn’t my idea – it was The Lt Col’s idea. So, after some resistance I gave in and decided the trip would be worth a few laughs… cuz The Lt Col was a rookie in the world of bikepacking and I couldn’t wait to see B.P.R’s Elder Statesman suffer like he’s never suffered before.
And the suffer factor associated with bikepacking / snowbikepacking ain’t like the suffer factor associated with 24 hour racing… at the back of the pack. Just because.
Anyway, the trip didn’t go as planned. Imagine that. But we had a great time and learned some lessons, as usual.
Lessons Learned – the alternate reality:
- If you’re in Grants NM and looking for an awesome breakfast burrito at The 1st Street Cafe… don’t go to First Street. You’ll find The 1st Street cafe on Route 66 near Hwy 53. Seriously.
- The Lt Col’s notorious snoring is muffled with a heavy sleeping bag and bivy
- When you are sleeping in ~ 10F deg weather and wrapped in -20F gear, you could end up in a sweaty heat induced panic attack. Yep, if you’re boiling to death in your gear and can’t get the zippers down – you could be a casualty of a heat induced panic attack.
- If you’re roll’n with a pretty basket on your snowbike, you better bring extras nuts / loctite.
- If your worried about ‘purging’ in subzero temperature, ask The Lt Col about the family jewel knitwear – see the pic of the knitwear at the end of this post… if you’re brave enough.
- The Lt Col & The Gatorade Bottle. Someday he will learn a lesson, or someday I’ll die of bladder pressure cuz I haven’t mastered The Gatorade Bottle maneuver.
- Smart + dumb = dumb. If you have an insulated water reservoir BUT forget to clear the tube – the water will not make it out the frozen tube. Dumb.
- Snowbikepacking + 22t = A Luxurious Ride
- A real big lesson. For the past few months The Lt Col’s been bragging about his big thermos. Well, his big Stanley thermos was an awesome idea. The Lt Col devoured a wicked dinner late at night as I sat, in the snow, eating a Hersey’s bar and drinking HIS Dale’s Pale Ale. Cuz I had no motivation to break out the stove and boil water. So, for an overnight snowbikepacking trip, a thermos may be the way to go.
- Poogies are insanely warm. I’ve had my poogies for ~ 1 year. But figured the poogies were way to clumsy for any of my ‘warm’ adventures. Well, during the Mount Taylor snowbikepacking trip I rolled with the poogies AND didn’t wear any gloves AND my hands dripped in sweat like never before. Yep, insanely warm. Weird but cool.
- If you roll out with a small pot to melt snow, think twice about the size of the pot and the size your stove. The damn pot may be too small to fit on the stove. Seriously.
- In the last snowbikepacking post I documented a real Lesson Learned – gotta have a Nalgene type bottle with a screw lid. So… in classic Judd fashion I FORGOT the Nalgene. (Why does The Morale Chairman always talk about ‘the check list‘?)
- It’s well known that if you wear wet clothes in the sleeping bag that the clothes will dry out. (Well known? Maybe. But it’s true.) So, my wet clothes completely dried out… EXCEPT the sweaty wool hat I jammed in my coat pocket. Brilliant.
The Last Big REMAINING Question in SnowBikePacking:
The Lt Col and The Morale Chairman are constantly talking about and thinking about thermal management. Meaning… how do you survive subzero temperatures if you are sweating your A$$ off. Well, I don’t worry too much about this. Because I figure it’s just gonna happen and the only solution is to keep moving. BUT if you must stop and you are dripping in sweat then you could be in trouble. So, maybe one of those two hot blooded gorillas will figure it out – so they can take a break, sit by the fire, write some poetry. I’m pretty sure I’ll just keeping moving and SMOKE their a$$es in the Arrowhead 135. Because, it is a race, you know. It’s a race for victory at The Front of the Back of the Pack.
And if you Wonder:
And if you wonder what The Lt Col reads at night… in terms of snowbikepacking research, check out this link – a link that defines The Lt Col’s primary set of worries.
The clock is ticking. In 4 weeks we’ll be grinding away on the trails in northern Minnesota. But before that I hope to organize two more snowbikepacking adventures. Gotta make it to the top of Mount Taylor and absolutely must experience some bitter cold riding in camping in central Colorado. Or reality may set in and we substitute the bitter central Colorado cold with some more bikepacking in mild central New Mexico. Yeah, the reality of reality sucks, at time.
AND Two Fundamental Things to Remember:
When you’re busy and can’t find time to digest all the Ludacracy that we promote at the Back of the Pack, just remember these two fundamental things:
- If you refuse to cook – be sure that you pack in the calories, one way or the other
- Don’t pick up hitchhikers when you are near The Big House, seriously
The Standard Pics… just because: