We asked two of our favorite dirtbags Kristi Jewett (preparing for the Black Hills Expedition, a 430-mile bikepacking race) and Michael Lanning (who just finished the Florida Divide, an 800-mile bikepacking race) all about the best and worst decisions they made when preparing for their adventures. And, because we just couldn’t resist, we threw in our own two cents as well.
Luckily at 11:00 PM, just as I was preparing to zip two sleeping bags together for The Sherriff and I, Tad rolled into camp. He had become lost during the day and just then found the campsite. Thus we celebrated (and slept well in our own sleeping bags)! We awoke on day 3 and prepared our bikes and packs for the next 50 miles.
It was mile 4 of my first bikepacking trip. I had fresh legs and a cocky attitude.
My husband and I got a late start, but the hard dirt trail rolled effortlessly with gradual elevation gain. In my head, I was already planning the next trip, feeling stoked about this 3-day adventure on single track trails in the Black Hills of South Dakota. As it turns out, a few more short miles down the trail and my entire demeanor would alter drastically.
Traveling through the mountains, your bike smoothly descends rolling alpine single track. At the bottom of the hill you skid to a stop just before crossing a wooden plank bridge. You take in the smell of the wildflowers, and scan the trickle of water under the bridge for darting shadows indicating scared brook trout swimming for cover.