Feasibility for a newbie?

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Feasibility for a newbie?

Aaron
Hello!

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?
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Re: Feasibility for a newbie?

Greg Andre-Barrett
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.
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Re: Feasibility for a newbie?

mkadey
Administrator
In reply to this post by Aaron
Hi Aaron,

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.
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Re: Feasibility for a newbie?

Aaron
In reply to this post by Greg Andre-Barrett
That route looks awesome and more manageable for a newbie! Any bike/gear suggestions you have would be awesome! Currently looking into bike backing bags and could use some guidance there.

Many thanks!
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Re: Feasibility for a newbie?

Aaron
In reply to this post by mkadey
Your GNR route looks awesome! That's an area of Ontario I've wanted to explore, so maybe attempting this first would be wise.

Any advice you would have on gear would be very appreciated. I'm looking for budget conscious bike backing bags but would still like some quality and durability in my purchases.

Or perhaps you could share with me a rough minimum budget on what I should expect to spend in order to outfit myself and my bike for the BT700 or these other routes.

I already have a stove, but current tent is more suited to car camping than bike/back packing.

Thanks for the help and all your work coming up with these routes!

Cheers :)
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Re: Feasibility for a newbie?

mkadey
Administrator
Hey Aaron,

Perhaps it would be easiest if you just contact me directly and I can help give you some ideas on this.
mattkadey[at]gmail.com
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Re: Feasibility for a newbie?

greg.andrebarrett
Hi Matthew. 
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:
Hey Aaron,

Perhaps it would be easiest if you just contact me directly and I can help give you some ideas on this.
mattkadey[at]gmail.com


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NAML
Jab
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Re: Feasibility for a newbie?

Jab
A reference page is a good idea, maybe with something like minimum/recommended system requirement for the less experienced riders wanting to have a go at it.
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Re: Feasibility for a newbie?

mkadey
Administrator
In reply to this post by greg.andrebarrett
Sure, this sounds like a good idea Greg. Could be a good way to get provide some useful information.
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Re: Feasibility for a newbie?

Kawcor
Hi,

I am also new to this considering my first ride.

What I am most interested in obtaining is tips around what equipment at a minimum I should take, and the best way to set that up on a 29" MTB.

I am also curious to know if anyone is aware of any forums where I can source used equipment, as it looks like it could be quite the initial investment.

Thanks,

Cory
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Re: Feasibility for a newbie?

David Wright
There are some sample gear lists here: https://bikepacking.com/plan/gear-lists/

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.

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Re: Feasibility for a newbie?

mkadey
Administrator
In reply to this post by Kawcor
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.