Cycling Adventures

Mistakes you should avoid while bikepacking

  • Ninety One
    Team 91
  • 3-minute read
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It's that time of the year again, the weathers are pleasant, and flora and fauna are in full bloom. Backpacking is truly one of the best things we can do to enrich ourselves and learn about the world. Whether a beautiful location in Europe or a tour in the Himalayas, backpacking can be an enjoyable experience that may define how we perceive our lives. While touring through the world can be an exhilarating feeling. However, we are bound to make many mistakes, making our trips quite burdensome. Nowadays, many backpackers are also using cycles to travel the world, and the term bikepacking has become quite popular. However, there will be inevitable mistakes, whether on foot or in a cycle. Let's take a look at a few that we should avoid:

1. Don't plan a big trip on your first go: This is an essential bikepacking tip everyone should follow. Before you embark on a tour extending through weeks or even months, it's best to get warmed up by taking your cycle to a nearby location and spending a few days there. This will ensure that you are one-on-one with the wilderness and even have a chance to back out instead of going through weeks of unpleasantness and misery. Bikepacking is not for the faint-hearted and requires vigour and patience. A smaller trip will equip you with the mental as well as physical skills that'll be required for a bigger tour.

2. Packing way too much: It's a mistake that even the best of us make! We're always tempted to pack too much and carry items we think are essential. However, for the trip, our luggage should only have the absolute basic. Carry a few clothes; trust us, you won't even get the chance to go through everything you're packing. What's more, while at first, your luggage might seem light and harmless, carrying it on rugged terrain will force you to feel the weight of every extra item you've fact. Strip down to the basics; it'll help you on the trip. Think of minimalism because a bikepacking tour will force you to become a minimalist.

3. Learn to distribute your weight: It's easy to think that all of our bags will go at the rear end of the cycle. However, we couldn't be further from the truth. Whenever we're taking our cycle on a bikepacking tour, we must distribute the weight of our bags and tent across the cycle from front to rear. Placing all the weight on the rear end can put undue pressure on the back tires and wear them down quickly. Relocating some bags to the front will provide you stability and overall control over the cycle.

4. Slow and steady wins the race: Unless you're in a race, this point holds true for everyone. We're not on tour to simply race or sprint past through all of it. Were on this tour to experience the wilderness and find a small part of ourselves within it all. The fast-ride mentality needs to be left at home. Take your time and maintain a steady pace. You can even stop at certain locations to recuperate and journal about everything that you see; these entries will serve as important memories that you can relive at a later stage in life. A cycling expedition is an exciting way to learn and immerse yourself within the local culture and interact with the people around you. Consider this as a meditation and an opportunity to stay in the present.

5. Prepare for the trip: Every bit of preparation is going to help you on the trail; this is one of the biggest adventures of your life, and everything from your body to your mind should be prepared for it. Preparation can be equal to reading blogs about people's experiences or going through YouTube videos; it can also mean doing extra strength training or yoga to sustain our bodies in tougher terrains. Meditation and breathing exercises are also excellent sources of training, and so is cycling every day to increase your endurance levels. These preparatory habits will serve you well on tour and even keep you sane in the face of difficulty. Building endurance in our bodies and mind will always help us succeed.

6. Down to the dirty business: Bikepacking comes with its perils, and one of them is our ablutionary practices. Constipation can quickly become unwanted baggage, and therefore it's important that we regulate our motions whenever we get the time. Don't forget to carry tissue papers and eat gut-friendly food items and drink plenty of fluids and always be on the lookout for portable toilets. Don't poop in the environment; it's dirty and can create an unpleasant experience for other bikepackers. You can also carry medicines that can help you with this!

7. Understand the tribulations of the trail: Even a good trip will not have all good days, and we must realize that. Mental exhaustion, body stiffness, and environmental conditions can make certain days tougher than others. However, some days will be happy and beautiful, but life is a mix of day and night, and every day will not be the same. Understand that this trip will teach you about the nuances of life; a bad moment cannot define your whole life, and similarly, a bad day on tour will not define your whole experience. Be open to newer feelings, both negative and positive, and you'll find yourself coming out of this trip healthier and happier.

Bikepacking can be a life-defining moment of your life, and it's important that we experience every moment of it. Journal about the experience or make videos about it, write down your feelings, whether good or bad, and click pictures. If you're with friends, then make memories with them by playing games or singing songs. Bikepacking is a lovely opportunity to get to know ourselves, and we must grab it!

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