Bike Packing Trip Complete, 961 miles in 8 days

Posted: March 23, 2012 by Mark in Uncategorized

It started with a simple idea to ride my single speed mountain bike on the road to Uwharrie National Park. I figured after that I would see how I felt and take the rest of the trip day by day. Eventually the trip took me to Pisgah then on to Virginia via the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I felt great on the trip and the bike handled very well in all conditions. Since I was riding solo I had to hike back up to get the camera after shooting this video of the bike in Pisgah. As you can see it handles single track well even with 15 pounds of gear.

Day 1 was really a half day because I did not leave Raleigh until noon. At the end of the day I had 96 miles to where I stealth camped just outside of Troy. It got dark on me and I did not have enough lights and reflectors to continue. Later in the trip I got setup with some lights and reflectors so I could ride longer each day.

Day 2 started with 5 miles to get into Uwharrie followed by 25 miles of fire road and single track to get a feel for the way the loaded bike handles. Bike was great and I had a lot of fun but realized that I needed something more epic. After leaving Uwharrie I headed in the direction of Pisgah National Forest. The daily total was 134 miles and got me to just past Charlotte.

Day 3 took me from Charlotte to Marion for 110 miles with some serious climbing near the end of the day.

Day 4 took me from Marion to Asheville via Fletcher where I got a nice picture of my bike in front of the Cane Creek factory. Cane Creek is in fact on a road of the same name and it was just pure luck that the factory was on my route because I really did not plan that. After getting to Asheville I stopped at Liberty Bikes and got a really good map of Pisgah and Bent Creek before riding on to camp in Pisgah. On the way into Pisgah I did some single track riding in Bent Creek. The total for the day was 86 miles with about 40 of this on dirt.

Day 5 was a huge day with 120 miles of Pisgah gravel roads and a bit of single track and the occasional short paved section to link things together.

Day 6 was another huge day as I started my ride home via the Blue Ridge Parkway. I got 130 miles with serious climbing to camp outside of Boone.

Day 7 was a reasonable day with 120 miles to camp just east of Mt. Airy after riding the Parkway into Virginia.

Day 8 was an absolute monster with 165 miles to get home.

The total for the trip was 961 miles. The main goal was to test things out as I plan for Tour Divide Race. I used the Bivy Sack each night and only had three sit down restaurant meals. Most of my food intake came from food lion or similar grocery stores. I ate a lot of fats because my approach was to pack food on the bike and minimize stops. For example, I went from Boone to Raleigh using just the food that I purchased in Boone (285 miles). Strangely I actually managed to gain two pounds of the course of eight days. I may have actually eaten too much.

My body felt great the entire trip with my only concern really being some slight hand/wrist issues that will hopefully be easy to sort out with some new grips or bars with more sweep.

The bike performed great and the bags really worked well to carry the weight.

A lot more details to work out but I think TDR is going to be fun.

  1. wjgreenwood says:

    Bob cat road kill? You need to ride the Umatilla Forest with me in Washington/Oregon. For some reason mountain lions follow me on almost every ride.

  2. Mark says:

    Ya, it was really sad to see the bob cat road kill. Such a beautiful animal.

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