Dixie Focus

Posted by on Jun 24, 2010 in Bike | 5 Comments

The puzzle is coming together.

And I am excited to finally take this plunge. It’s been a long-brewing ambition, an item that has sat dormant on the Tick List for years. Not the Dixie specifically, but an ambitious bikepacking trip. It seems like the logical progression from solo 24s, hundies, and shorter unsupported rides. If not the logical progression, then at the very least, a natural, if perhaps irrational, one. But then, ambition is rarely a rational animal.

After staring at maps and using the internet to glean information about the small towns and campgrounds along the way, I feel that I have a much better grasp on the vagaries of the route. The details? I suppose those will reveal themselves in all their bumpy glory Saturday. And Sunday. And possibly Monday.

I can’t imagine the emotion and the views and the pain I am about to encounter. I’ve done some rather big mountain bike rides in my life. But nothing like this. Even the Kokopelli Trail Race, while enormous and wonderful, cannot compare to the magnitude of 24,000 vertical in 170 rugged mountain miles. And yet, I’m smiling from ear to ear. In fact, I’m having trouble focusing on anything else right now. Work. Family. Baseball. It’s all faded into the background and given way to waypoints and topographic maps and rudimentary math.

And in my sleep I see this:

dixie 311

Or this:

But in the meantime, it’s back to maps and gear lists and eventually, actually packing the bike, driving down the road, and then… at long last…

Pedaling.

Pedal. Dammit.

(Photos stolen from Dave.)

5 Comments

  1. mark
    June 24, 2010

    Never given much thought to bike packing. Hauling that much stuff on a bike always seemed like too much of an ordeal. But covering that much ground in one trip has its own appeal. So you’ve got me thinking, and a bit jealous even.

  2. DaveH
    June 24, 2010

    Bikepacking is so liberating. The first time you do it – and realize a sun sinking low on the horizon does not mean you have to turn around and make tracks for the car – you simply become hooked by the freedom.

    That first pic is a recent favorite. You can see a string of high points the 311 route hits – Tushars, Circleville mountain, Horse Valley peak, Sydney Peaks…you will work hard for that view 🙂

  3. Jason
    June 24, 2010

    I’ve been eyeing the Durango to Moab yurt route for a while – but only the “I wonder” type of eyeing. Good luck man, can’t wait to hear about all the details.

  4. Greg
    June 26, 2010

    Looks like an incredible piece of country you’ll be riding through!