avoid the bummer life

outlive the bastards.

Little CdA Bikepack


The area that Keith and I were setting out to ride was completely unfamiliar to us. I had mapped out a route that looked good on “paper” but with no real knowledge of what were getting into. The satellite imagery suggest there was a good parking area to leave the car, water along the way, and some potential camping spots. This was Keith’s first bikepacking trip, and being relatively new to riding in general, I kept the mileage to a conservative level.

We set off at about 11am for a 12-13 mile easy start. After an initial 4 mile steady climb we began a long and relatively quick 7 mile ascent. As we were approaching mileage where I had mentally noted we should start looking for a campsite, I began studying my computer map.

Where were we turning?

Wow that 11 miles sure went by fast.

What was our avg speed?

How fast were we trucking now?


I knew that the next bit was going to suck. And hurt. There was no avoiding it so I just braced for the inevitable. BOOM. the front wheel struck the hole and I went flying off the bike, not completely because my feet were clipped in, but I was airborne.

After laying there for a minute performing a systems check on my body, I held my arm up in the air with a thumbs up signaling to Keith that I was dead, knocked out, or terribly wounded. Upon further examination of the bike, I quickly realized that the front tire had a bout an inch-long sidewall thereinflating, I then noticed how bent the rim was. It wasn’t taco’d, but tostada’d.

All good. We had miles in front of us and as long the bike would roll, my jacked up skin wasn’t going to ruin the entire weekend. We pressed on and found a great campsite about 10 minutes later. After setting up tents, I got into the cold Little Coeur d’Alene river and cleaned out my leg and arm scrapes–which was quite fun.

Now looking at the time, it was only 1:00. What the hell were we going to do for the next seven or eight hours until bed time? It was decided to pack our shit back up and press on. We had plenty of daylight and energy left, so we ultimately ended up climbing the big pass for another 10 miles which led us to one of the best campsites we saw all weekend.

Setting up camp for the second time in one day, we settled in and relaxed for the evening. I fired up my HT radio and made a couple of contacts, one with a person who was camping in the valley down below and another with a guy who was over in Hayden Lake, about 10 miles away.

The next morning we took off and finished out the last 4 miles of the climb before descending back down into the valley before, once again, climbing back out to get the car. Stopping partway up for lunch, it was a long slow trudge without much shade… but I enjoyed it. I think Keith enjoyed most of it. 😉

End of the day, the weekend was a total success. Keith performed on the bike better the bike than I had expected and we concatenated our three-day trip into two. Our packing lists were good, but we both learned a few things (as one always does) in the field. And while I had a nasty wreck that I’m still healing from, I was able to get my bike back into working shape to ride out the remainder of the trip. And I have a spare set of 650b wheels that I can switch out in under 10 minutes.