I'm curious if this event is something that I should even be thinking about undertaking. I've never done any sort of bike packing and all my cycling has been done on paved or gravel road. The farthest I've biked in a day is about 60k and I've never done multiple days of lots of kms.
That said, I'm looking for an event or adventure this summer to train for. Originally I had planned on a sprint triathlon but covid-19 has made training for it very difficult (and the event is most likely cancelled).
All that said, I have lots of free time this summer to train and this will probably be the last summer for at least two years that I will be able to set aside the time to do something like this.
I was also curious about what kind've bike I should be attempting this on? Is an entry level hardtail mtb sufficient? I'm in the process of a serious upgrade in bikes (I'm currently riding a CCM presto) and I am leaning towards purchasing a road bike and a mountain bike. Any advice or tips would be appreciated.
Finally, if this isn't a good event to aim or, any suggestions on routes/events in Ontario that would be good for a beginner?
tl;dr should a complete beginner even think about doing this if they can train for 3 months?
Given your limited experience (max 60k, no multiple days) I would recommend starting with www.cannonball300.com. It is intended as an introductory bikepacking route. I'll provide some bike and gear suggestions latter if others haven't already.
Thanks for inquiring about this. Indeed, the BT 700 is perhaps something to work up to. I like Greg's suggestion of trying out a shorter route first such as the Cannonball or even my GNR route: http://www.bt700.ca/gnr-route.html That way you can determine your comfort level and figure out what needs tweaking such as gear choice for a longer, more challenging adventure.
But, there is no reason you can't tackle something like the BT 700 if it's something you think you would enjoy and can put in the time preparing for it. Overall, I think a good hardtail mountain bike is a great choice for this route as it will allow some comfort in the rougher sections. But it may beat up your CCM version I'm happy to answer additional questions here or you can us the contact form to reach me directly.
Very kind of you to offer your advice to us all. To save you having to provide the advice to everyone that maybe already exists on other sites, could we setup on this site a Reference page where we could submit links to things like Gear Lists (ex https://bikepacking.com/plan/gear-lists/ ) etc. Maybe even a google doc that we could all add to?
greg.andrebarrett [at] gmail [dot] com
On Sun, 10 May 2020 at 16:30, mkadey [via BT 700] <[hidden email]> wrote:
Perhaps it would be easiest if you just contact me directly and I can help give you some ideas on this.
If you reply to this email, your message will be added to the discussion below:
What you bring depends on whether you want to be more comfortable cycling or camping. Some items that will make your nights better will weigh your bike down on the climbs (eg. an extra pair of shoes or a stove).
Last year I brought a down puffy instead of a sleeping bag or quilt and on one of the four nights was uncomfortably cold. Those are the sorts of tradeoffs you must consider. The capacity of your bags will also dictate what you can bring.
Yes, bikepacking.com is a great resource. If you ask around perhaps you have some friends with bags you can borrow. And it can be a good idea to plan for one overnight trip to test out the equipment you are thinking of bringing for a longer trip. This can help you figure out what works and what needs tweaking. Sometimes bikepacking bags can be finicky depending on the bike you are using.