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Posts tagged “bikepacking

Just Riding Along… Bikepacking trip v1.0.

Finally, after quite a bit of preparations, I took the Troll on it’s maiden voyage overnight bikepacking trip. Not really having a route in mind, I set out from my family’s property in the Southeastern Ohio county of Vinton for a day long ride that would end at high point of the family lands. This kind of ride has been long overdue, so I took my sweet time with it and ended up with a 7.5 hour ride, that only covered around 40 miles. But what a sweet 40 miles they were, that completely wiped me out. The miles started in the woods, with some great mountain biking, a little bit of hike-a-bike, a rocky downhill straight out of SoCal, some back roads, some gravel grinding, and lots and lots of climbing. The Cincinnati area has nothing on this type of un-glaciated Ohio hills.

Enough with the words, I will let the pictures tell the rest…


I haven’t seen rocks like this since my trail time in SoCal… McGee Rd.


Self portrait at the end of McGee Rd.


County Rd. 17 in Vinton County.


Tar Hollow state park entrance.


Sharp turn at the top of a killer climb.


Gravel grinding on park rd. 9.


My new best friend, a Black Rat snake.


Gravel grinding continues on park rd. 39.


Black and white view of the forest firetower.


Final destination.

Even though it completely drained me, I wasted a set of brakes, and bashed my rear derailleur on a few rocks to push it out of line, it was a great way to spend the day. Some changes are in order for round two, when that day comes.

Almost forgot this short clip of loaded descending:

Just keep spinning…


Just Riding Along… Scouting Trip.

Beautiful, windy day in SW Ohio today. Had around an hour and a half to explore this afternoon on the Troll. I have been in the planning stages of a bikepacking trip, so today I loaded up a few things in the front panniers and hit the road to scout out how long it would possibly take me to reach my destination. I didn’t really have enough time to ride the entire route, but riding what I did today gave me an idea on how long it will take to get there. Great day to be out, but the return trip was brutal due to a crazy headwind. Normally, I do not mind them, but with loaded panniers a headwind really sucks the life out of you. Apart from that issue, it was a nice little ride of dirt and tarmac.

Started off on the local trails.

Ended up on some side roads, following the Buckeye Trail. Note the fiberglass sports car body lying in the weeds…

Hanging out in the flowers, which I believe are Dutchman’s Breeches.

Total miles for today, around 17. Mixed with dirt, tarmac, and a nasty headwind? I am beat this evening.

Just keep spinning…


Just Riding Along…Bikepacking.

From day one, my plan for the Troll has been to utilize it’s versatility. Mountain biking, commuting, grocery runs, trailer pulling, all in one machine. Another aspect that it is fully capable for is bikepacking. Essentially, backpacking on a bicycle. Sounds good to me.

Version 1.0

Last week for a night ride, I had the chance to try out the Troll with racks. Using an old rack and panniers that I had laying around, I had the chance to ride it loaded to see how everything worked. All worked together nicely, but it was not as functional as I would like. The front panniers and Salsa rack worked superbly, but the rear rack was lacking. My big issue was that using the connected style rear panniers (ex. saddlebag) I could not use the platform of the rear rack to lash anything down. That is what I call wasted space, and I do not have time for that. So, rear rack and bags are now back on the T500. Way more functional for that bike.

Version 1.1

After the rear rack was removed, I found my old Specialized seat bag. Not as elaborate as a Relevate Designs seatbag, but it does expand more than shown in the photo. I think with this setup, strap my tent and sleeping pad to the top tube, and maybe add a small lumber pack, and I should be good to go for a quick overnight trip. Now with the weather acting like summer, this needs to happen sooner rather than later.

Just keep spinning…


Just Riding Along… Troll complete!

Finally, after about a year of debating, pondering, comparing, and lusting, the Surly Troll is now complete. This has been a long process, but I am very excited and satisfied with the big decision to pull the trigger on this amazing frame. After first seeing a few years ago, (here) then came the rather annoying comparisons, (here and here) the Troll is now complete and I am done with bike building for a while. That said, here are a few pictures:

Pacer decals in black, on the Ford blue powdercoat.

Drivetrain.

Just a few quick pictures from today. Not much time to take a ride this evening, just a quick spin around the block. Who knows when the trails around here will finally dry out (or freeze) so I can test this beast out in the woods. Hope to get some real saddle time in this week.

Plans for the Troll already. Once the rear rack I am wanting comes back into stock, I will be able to hit the road on some off road overnight trips. I am also thinking about some sort of frame bag, maybe just a partial, to increase my carrying capabilities. Another purchase that will happen probably next week will be a set of road tires for commuting purposes. Still on the fence as to what model, but I am sure they will be big. That’s how the Troll rolls right?

Just keep spinning…


Just Riding Along… Ends and Beginnings.

Just finished boxing up the Xtracycle Freeradical for it’s long journey to Minnesota. Shipping this piece off it bittersweet. I really enjoyed the cargo option, it was very useful. But it was not as versatile as I needed it to be. Hence the sale. So, the end for the X, but the beginning for the Troll. The X’s departure will keep the Troll ball rolling. After dropping off the X at the post office, I will be heading over to my local shop to have them install my headset to further along this process.

So goodbye Xtracycle, you were fun. But your replacement is going to be even better…

Just keep spinning…