Bikepacking, Canada

Choices, choices!

A few months ago I heard Craig Dalton, on the Gravel Ride podcast, say that the best bike for a good gravel event would most likely not be perfect for the entire event. I tend to agree with him!

My adventure isn’t a race, but I still want my bike to be fast. The chosen distance is a bit excessive, so the bike needs to be comfortable, carbon fibre please 😁 this way I can keep the weight down. I will carry all the gear for my self supported adventure, so lots of mounting points are essentials. I am short, so I need a small frame, but not so small that I cannot use the inside of the main triangle. I want it to be fun on singletrack, but still stable since a fully loaded bike is harder to handle.

I chose to go with the Salsa Warbird on this adventure. It feels as fast as my regular cyclocross bike, but has clearance for wider tires and made to be ridden for more the 45 minutes at a time. It has all the attachments for mounting fork racks, a third bottle mount and a big enough triangle for a good size bag.

It won’t be perfect for all the trails I will ride, 🇨🇦 is a big country and no bike can be perfect for all the different terrain I will encounter.


Bikepacking vs cyclotourism

I am snobbed by the cyclo tourists people. No smile, hello, hallo or bonjour! The ebike and road bike people always wave back or smile, but not the cyclotourists.

Why? I am that different. I carry all the necessary stuff on my bike to camp (before I shipped it all back) ride, fix and maintain the bike, survive.

Is it because I am flying by too fast? Going further? Smiling more? Eating while I ride? Listening to music? Because I suffer less?

So bikepacking means I can ride my favorite bike, the best bike for the job, climb steep hills and ride on rough terrain. My bike is also light weight even fully loaded.

My bike is a cyclocross (goes everywhere) carbon fibre (comfortable and stiffer, more efficient) with hydraulic disc brakes (it stops when needed).

I carry only what is needed. I do my laundry in the shower every night, layer clothing for the different temperatures and bring pieces that can be used on and off the bike.

Why do Cyclotouring people need so much stuff?

There are little luxuries that I carry and add unnecessary weight, but after a day on the saddle, they are essential. My wool sweater, real lady bra and a book. I could live without them, but seriously…it’s a vacation not a torture fest!

Bikepacking, Californie, San Francisco, USA

Lion’s gate to Golden gate


golden gate bridge

We made it!

Highway 1 all the way to San Francisco was amazing, hilly, windy, breathtaking! Great switchbacks with downhills and climbs that made the ride even more interesting.

Charming coastal towns, flowers blooming everywhere along the road, diverse wildlife, it was amazing!

Pavement was mostly a 8/10 (according to Heidi and my grading scale). The shoulder on the other hand was mainly inexistent, which made some of our coexistence with cars nerve wrecking.

Heidi’s parents met us in Manchester where we had our second to last camping night and gave us the royal treatment! They fed us, made sure we were warm and even offer to carry our packs for the next day. Thanks for making me your honorary daughter!

Our last day was a 50km ride from Point Reyes to the Golden Gate. Another huge climb to start the day didn’t slow Heidi down. It was awesome to see her so excited to finally get a glimpse of the bridge.

We made it!

162336m climbing
13 days

Thanks Heidi for making me part of that great adventure!