Journeys over Gear – Initial Thoughts

by Andy Amick on April 16, 2015

in Bikepacking, Gear

Over the last two months, I’ve been writing more about my Tour Divide race experience with the idea of possibly turning it into a book. As I go through the days, the lessons I learned, and the people I met along the way, I’m reminded of just how amazing the journey turned out to be. I don’t find myself writing about how the hours of gear research into vapor barrier socks or weeks of looking at various sleeping bags drastically changed the experience.

bikepacking journey, adventure

These realizations are a bit ironic because the sport of bikepacking involves lots of gear to get started. Your bike has to become your kitchen, closet, bedroom, hospital, and transportation. Many types of gear and supplies are required to make that happen.

It’s very easy to get sucked into the vortex of gear research and never find your way out again. Over the next few posts, I’d like to explore this in more detail to discover how other riders handle this challenge. If I had to distill it down to a single thought, it would be:

Without gear, bikepacking is impossible. Without the journey, bikepacking is pointless.

To get this started, how do you keep focused on the journeys and adventures rather than the gear? With bikepacking, is it possible to maintain that focus and stay away from the gear vortex?

Day4_LotsOfWaterAndGreen_300Height

About Andy Amick
A little bit nutty in general, a lotta bit nutty about bikes. Each of his boys received a bike helmet for their first birthday and the three of them have been biking together ever since.

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  • Brion Antinoro

    I struggle with this a lot as I become obsessed with gear selection and forget to get out and enjoy the adventures. I spent over a year of time and quite a bit of money getting my setup fine tuned. How many times have I actually gone out on overnights? Twice.

    What are my thoughts on why I’ve been so unsuccessful at getting out? Too much focus on gear and getting it just right. Also my innate drive to push as far and hard as possible. I think I just need to be concerned with what gear will keep me safe and comfortable and then just go out and do it. Take the riding easy and enjoy being outside. It’s not like I’m racing the Tour Divide ;)

    • Well said Brion. Even though we know we should just get out and ride, the pull of fine tuning gear even further still wins out sometimes.

      I wonder if riders with a science/analytical background tend to struggle more with this issue since we turn everything into numbers, weights, and an optimizing routine.

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