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Bikepacking the Intermountain Connectors

Bikepacking — yes, you read that correctly — is the adventurous baby of backpacking and bike touring. It consists of riding on natural surfaces (dirt, rock, sand, soil, etc) and overnight camping using knobby tires, backpacks, and flexible fabric bags strapped to a bike to carry your gear. It runs the gamut from gravel bike cruises on quiet country roads to full-suspension riding on technical singletrack, all while letting your bike do the heavy lifting, so your back doesn’t have to.

 

A landscape view of a biker riding down a dirt road, with mountains on either side. Image via Bikepacking Roots and Aaron Couch

 

What unifies bikepacking routes isn’t just the unburdened ability to cover long distances, but also its  unparalleled access to wild places. On a bike you can travel faster and further than on foot, while still maintaining the same sense of awe and accomplishment that comes from putting one foot in front of the other. Moving at just five to ten miles per hour, you can truly connect to the places you visit and the people you meet along the way. It’s an incredibly rewarding way to travel, and it’s rapidly gaining popularity.

If you’re ready to try it out, check out Osprey’s Beginners’ Guide to Bikepacking(Se abre en una ventana nueva). The routes were created by Osprey’s newest non-profit partner, Bikepacking Roots(Se abre en una ventana nueva), and the Adventure Cycling Association).  Bikepacking Roots is the only non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the sport of bikepacking through route development, community building, and advocacy for wild places. BPR members connect with landscapes and communities by bicycle, and make a positive impact in the places they ride. You can join for free at bikepackingroots.org(Se abre en una ventana nueva) to add your voice to their advocacy efforts and receive updates on their initiatives.