I’ve been up to the Sierra Prieta overlook at least a dozen times. I’d sit and gaze off to the west, my mind swaying back and forth down the winding, dusty gravel roads to the Colorado River. Imagine riding off into the distance, chasing the sun every afternoon, waking only to do the same, day after day. I could almost smell the salty ocean air.
A ride to the west coast would be a great adventure, especially if I could piece together some great sights along the way. Riding through the desert for 7 days is going to pose new challenges I have yet to face, like a 100 mile stretch with no services. I tried very hard to put together a route with a good balance of gravel back roads and some challenging tarmac.
The ride will start from downtown Prescott, then climb up Thumb Butte Road past the Sierra Prieta overlook until we hit Copper Basin Road. This will begin the longest downhill I have have ever enjoyed. Fingers crossed, the wind doesn’t blow us off course. A mix of road and gravel leads us to Parker, AZ. A gas station a few miles later marks the start of the no service century. Twentynine Palms is our first oasis in California, I hope they have some killer Mexican food. The route then heads south through Joshua Tree and on to the low point of the trip, the Salton Sea. The good times come to a peak as we ascend over SoCal’s Peninsular Range. One last stop at Palomar Mountain and its all downhill to the Pacific.
This is the first, more traditional, touring style ride I have ever embarked on. I chose the Fargo as my trusty steed for this adventure as the drop bars and skinny/fast tires will match the demands of this ride better than the ECR. After swapping out the carbon Firestarter fork for the touring friendly steel version I was able to mount a Tubus Duo lowrider front rack. I mounted the Ortlieb Roller Classic front panniers and still had enough room to take advantage of the top two bottle cage mounts for some easy to reach hydration.
I have enough options for storage that I can really compartmentalize all my gear into separate tasks. One of my panniers will serve as my kitchen, holding my stove, pot, fuel, dehydrated dinners, oatmeal, coffee, and every thing I need to clean up after.
The other pannier will be my closet, storing my extra layers, clean socks, and toiletries. My comfort sleeping kit, tent, pillow, pad, and quilt fit neatly in my seatbag. I stash the tent poles, pump, and a hydration pouch in the top of my frame bag. The bottom section of the frame bag holds all my tools and other repair items. The top tube and stem bags are where I stash all of the snacks that keep me pedalling all day.
To power the trip, I use a dynamo front hub wired to a K-Lite Bikepacker pro and Sinewave USB charger. I also carry an extra 20100mAh backup battery cell for use at night to charge my phone. When I got to provide input for the design of this framebag, I asked for a special port to allow me run my USB charger wiring through the hydration port and through a small opening in to the map pocket where I can store my phone or whatever else want to charge. I also asked Josh to sew in a couple pockets for organizing USB cables and other small items.
This trip will have long stretches with no opportunity to refill water. I mounted the front rack from the ECR as a rear rack on the Fargo. I use two MOLLE magazine pouches to carry extra water in each. When not holding water, they also make for a quick option to quickly store a couple layers.
Trackleaders.com will be hosting a tracking page for this ride. It will be embedded on the Lost on a Bike site once the link goes live on January 16th. This is the biggest ride I have taken on, I hope you all enjoy seeing the sights, struggles, and triumphs I will endure.
A Story Ridden and Written By: