The Range Tour: Bicycle Set Up

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The Traitor Cycles  Slot was designed, perhaps inadvertently, just for this occasion.

Baggage and Racks

We’re continuing to test out the low profile panniers we have in the works. They’ll have so many epic miles behind their design!

I popped a frame bag on each bicycle and both Jason and I are utilizing the space on our bars for packing.

Front:

It’s important for me to have access to food as I ride. Food is no joke for me–I eat constantly when we’re out on the trail. The Paloma Bar Bag becomes something like a dashboard. I store the snacks and layers that I’ll need to grab right at the helm of my bicycle.

Jason is running a small harness to carry his sleep system on his handlebars. Because he is charging electronics with the Supernova Plug, he has a chalk bag right at his headset to hold his gadgets.

I’m running front panniers on a Tubus Tara Rack. When the geometry of a bicycle frame and the design of the fork are conducive, I prefer to push my load instead of pull it.

Rear

Jason’t not stoked, but due to unforeseen circumstances, he’s running rear panniers.

I’ve got my sleeping bag and ground cloth in my Small Zeitgeist Saddle Bag–supported by the Bagman QR Support.

 

For the past week I’ve been that chump commuting through Seattle with all of my gear. It adds ten minutes to my commute each way making my eight mile pilgrimage a 50 minute slog up some gnarly hills. It’s been fun getting to know the Slot. I have a feeling that the moment we hit gravel tomorrow, that bike will come alive.


 

We take off in six hours. Our house is still in slight turmoil from the whirlwind of gear that was combed through and packed up. Our dog, Loki, the famous blue heeler of Swift’s Instagram feed, knows exactly what is happening and is not stoked. We keep quadruple-checking the maps and checking off hypothetical lists in our heads. In the morning, we’ll load into Jason’s folks’ Jeep and get shuttled out to Quilcene, WA, where we’ll drop in on our route.  From there: glaciated peaks and expansive forests, glistening waterways and open skies. Then we’ll officially be out of range.

 

 

Thanks for checking out the RangeTour2

We’ll be on the road from July 20th to 30th. Check out the route we’ll trace, the gear we’ve chosen, and how we plan to carry what we need for ten days in the mountains on our blog!

 

And

Follow along on Instagram

follow us #theRangeTour

 

 

The Range Tour: Outfitted pt. 2

The packing list is always in flux–usually until the moment we hop on our bikes to start the adventure–and is determined by pretty simple factors

  • how long the trip is
  • how remote the route is
  • what time of year we’re heading out

So, here we are, taking off

  • for ten days of really challenging terrain
  • into the middle of nowhere. We’ll have a 145 mile section without any services.
  • in late July

We’ll need to move self sufficiently with light and compressible gear, and carry enough  food for three day sections at a time. We shouldn’t need to worry too much about cold nights, but I run a little cold in the backcountry from constant exposure. Layers are key. Rain gear is a must, and protection from sun and bugs are a priority.

Bear Country

We’re keenly aware that we’re exploring bear country. Backpacking the Olympics about four years back, we had a good head count daily.

For this trip, I bought a spool of ⅛” nylon cord from Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics to make to bear hanging systems for our stuff. Don’t skimp on cord because what goes up has gotta reach back down to be tied off, and you want your food hanging on a limb that’s high off the ground and away from the trunk of the tree. We’ll both carry 100 feet of line with carabiners attached.

 

Home Sweet Home

My first experiences with camping under tarps made me feel really vulnerable. I had the great luck of guiding trips with a co-instructor who is an engineer. He taught me nuances of pitching tarps, and the art of gauging incline, wind, weather, and rising water lines. Now I love the simplicity of tarp camping, and stubbornly pull out the bulk of our Half Dome when a trip is better served by a tent.

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When I was snooping around for an ultralight tarp, I had a conversation with a salesperson who argued against purchasing from an ‘under-the-radar’ company because “a corporate brand name would provide quality and design assurance.”  You all know what I do for a living, so you won’t be surprised that I left the store and bit the bullet a Six Moon Designs Tarp. Haven’t heard of them? Well, most folks haven’t heard of Swift Industries either, so I figured it was time to support another small company. Six Moon Designs is well regarded in the Ultralight Backpacking scene, and the Haven Tarp we purchased has been amazing. The tarp itself compresses down to a liter. I opted for the telescoping carbon fiber poles, and had Six Moons seal the tarp for me. The shape of the tarp is enclosed and feels more like a tent. It has two zip entries with large vestibules for shoving our gear under the tarp with us. One can batten down so that there is a four inch gap between the ground and the bottom of the nylon. I just invested in the Haven Tarp’s companion bug NetTent for the for the Range Tour. I’m hoping it does its job.

 

Furnishings

Sierra Designs just released their new Backcountry Quilt and Jason is eager to put it to the test. The shape of the “bag” is totally unique, and is a sort of blanket- mummy hybrid. Jason went for the 800 fill, 30 degree model and I got really jealous when I watched him compress the bag. My sleeping bag is my biggest piece of gear, and the Backcountry quilt is ⅓ smaller than mine when it’s compressed.

 

Down to the Details

Shared

Kitchen

.6 L Pot, GSI Outdoors Halulite Minimalist

2 Fuel Canisters, 8 oz.

Silicone Pot Grip, GSI Outdoors

Folding bowl, Orikaso

Knife, Opinel

2 Sporks, Park Tools

Giga Power Auto Stove, Snopeak

Hot Lips, Snowpeak

Lighter

Camp Suds

½ Sponge

Shelter

Haven Tarp

Bug Net

 

Personals

Small hiker’s First Aid Kit

Iodine

Sun Screen

Bug Spray

Chap Stick

Pack Towel

Tooth Paste

 

Bike Repair Kit

2 Sets, extra disc brake pads

Extra tire (dedicated to Lucas)

2, tire boots (dedicated to Johnson D)

2, 29” Tubes

Extra Spokes

Tri Flow

Personal Patch Kits

Tire Irons

Brake Cable

Gear Cable

Extra Rack Bolts and Hardware

Zip Ties

 

Backcountry Specifics

Bear Line

Folding Saw

Toilet Paper

Trowel

 

Gadgets

Battery Pack

2, Phones

Canon G10

Supernova Plug

Cybershot

2, Garmen Touring Pros

 

Individual

Martina’s Stuff

Sleep

Tyvek Ground Cloth

Sleeping Bag, the North Face

Pad, Thermarest Backpacker

 

Clothes

2 Cycling Chamois

Jersey

T-Shirt

Nylon Running Shorts

Chambray Long Sleeve

Ibex base layers, top and bottom

Light Synthetic Puffy (5”X2” compressible size)

3 pairs socks, one kept in sleeping bag

Cycling shoes

Metallic Gold Keds

Wool Buff

Spring Gloves

Packable Sun Hat

Rain Jacket

Ibex Knee Warmers

Indian Cotton Sarong

Helmet

Entertainment

Book, Kafka on the Shore

Windsor and Newton Cotman Watercolor Set

Small Sketch Book

Jason

Personals

Tooth Brush

Diva Cup

Contact lenses

Saline

Sunglasses

Headlamp

Hydration Pack

Acre Hauser 10 L Pack

3 L Bladder

 

Jason’s Things

Sleep

Tyvek Ground Cloth

Backcountry Quilt, Sierra Designs

Pad, Exped Air Mat

Inflatable Camping Pillow, REI

Clothes

2 Cycling Chamois

Jersey

Wool Undershirt, Ibex

Wool Leggings, Ibex

3 Pairs Socks

Wind and Rain Jacket, OR

Puffy Jacket, Moonstone Designs

Arm Warmers, Ibex

Wool Buff

Long Sleeve Cotton Shirt

Casual Shorts

Wool Gloves

Rain Pants

Cycling Cap

Baseball Cap

Entertainment

Trout Classic 5 Weight, 9 Ft, 6 Piece Redington Fly Rod

Surge 5 Weight Reel, Redington

Mini Fly Pouch, Elemental Horizons

Kite

Journal

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Personals

Tooth Brush

Headlamp

Mora Knife

Sunglasses

Hydration Pack

Deuter Compact Air 10L

3 L Bladder

There’s a million ways to pack for an adventure–and the fun of it is honing and adapting according to the kind of trip you’re taking.

If you’re bike-camp-curious, and want to set out on your first adventures you don’t need fancy gear to have a stellar time. If you have a bicycle, a sleeping bag and mat, and a fairly small shelter, then you’re already ninety percent there. Borrow or rent gear when you can, and hit the road.

The more you find yourself getting out, it’ll be obvious what you should invest in. Our gear has been gathered and purchased over ten years. This stuff is expensive. Good gear should facilitate getting out into wild places safely. I started off with really basic, not very technical camping equipment. Going outside with gear that is designed for the backcountry really does improve the experience. Materials are getting lighter smaller and more heat efficient all the time. At its core, gear it about utility. We put ourselves into pretty exposed environments and the things we take make sure we are kept healthy and protected from the elements. It’s that simple.

The next post will be published right before we hit the trail tomorrow morning. It’ll give you a close looks at our bicycles and set-up for the Range Tour.


 

 

Thanks for checking out the RangeTour2

We’ll be getting ready to skip town on July 20th. Check out the route we’ll trace, the gear we’ve chosen, and how we plan to carry what we need for ten days in the mountains.

 

Follow the adventure

follow us #theRangeTour

 


 

The Range Tour: Outfitted

 

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Thanks for checking out the RangeTour2

We’ll be getting ready to skip town. Check out the route we’ll trace, the gear we’ve chosen, and how we plan to carry what we need for ten days in the mountains.

 

Follow the adventure

follow us #theRangeTour

 

The Range Tour: Route

 

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The goal is to circumnavigate Olympic National Park, staying as close as possible to the park boundary, on forest service roads and single-track trails.

We’ve been working out the logistics for weeks, leaving our sewing tables at Swift to spend evenings hunched over our maps, guides, and computers–hunting for roads that circle the Olympics. This adventure comes right on the heels of Oregon Outback for good reason: we know that the terrain and distances we are getting into will be really demanding and Outback seemed like the perfect route to flush out our gear and get inspired.

Continue reading

The Range Tour: Dams undammed. Wilderness.

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We set out on July 20th, 2014 to circumnavigate the Olympic Mountain Range by bicycle.

The best things, we’ve discovered, are the places we explore for their wildness, the (un)certainty, and sheer scale.

Geologic time.

Beargrass and low alpine lupine.

That dust in your teeth.

A deliberate cast into dark waters upstream.

Knowing of this nature is not in books or maps or the gear that gets you there.

It’s in the fibers of our muscles at the end of the day.  It fills the lungs on every ascent, and takes our breath away in the simplicity of a measured chirp or serrate leaf.

540 miles.

Pavement. Dirt. Gravel. Single Track.

Dams undammed.

Wilderness.

 

 

For the next two weeks we’ll be getting ready to skip town. Stay tuned to find out about the route we’ll trace, the gear we’ve chosen, and how we plan to carry what we need for ten days in the mountains.

Follow the adventure 

follow us #theRangeTour

 

 

 

 

A FrameBuilder’s Bag, from The Radivist

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photos and post by John Prolly,  The Radivist

At the Melburn Roobaix yesterday (more to come on that), I bumped into my friend Ben Kamenjas from Sydney, who I met a few years back when he worked at Deus Ex Machina. Ben’s a wealth of cycling knowledge, especially the obscure / idiosyncratic world of French components and frames. At a certain point in your life, you tire of looking at others’ work and decide to start building for yourself.

What you see here is Ben’s first bike, under his moniker Cicli Spirito (no link yet). It’s a fendered porteur with a customized VO rack that mounts to the vintage center pull mounts and classic French parts with a classic geometry.

It’s always difficult to shoot a porteur with weight on the front, so I asked Ben to act as the kickstand while I snapped a few, very quick photos.

With this weather, I’m sure Ben was stoked on his Swift Industries Polaris bag, fenders and nice, plump tires during the Roobaix. That’s a great looking bicycle!

_________

For the full story check out http://theradavist.com/2014/06/bens-cicli-spirito-porteur/#8

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photos by John Prolly, the Radivist

 

 

 

Chasing the Sun

Watching the weather on Friday morning, we saw the ominous weather front lumbering from the north, swirling in slow motion above the Pacific Northwest. Six weeks of rain seemed to have collected in this cloud formation, and it was due to dump its load right on us.

With a two day cycling and camping trip already in motion, we scanned the meteorology maps and saw a break in the weather calling our name over the Enchantments. When a place with a name like the Enchantments calls, you’d be a sucker not to go.

Continue reading

Ballard Bike Street Party! May 29th

Visit our Swift Industries Booth at the Ballard Bike Street Party!

Thursday, May 29th 4-8pm

Ballard Ave NW from 22nd Ave NW to Market &

22nd Ave NW from Ballard Ave NW to Market

Cascade Bicycle Club is partnering with Seattle Summer Streets to cap off Bike Month with a sweet street party celebrating biking and walking.  Come hang out with us in the street, mingle with neighbors, and support Ballard businesses.

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Every Bike Has A Story: Oregon Outback or Bust

THE ONE AND ONLY MR RAINBOWSwift_Leah_6Swift_Squirrel_6Swift_Goods_6Swift_John_6Swift_Kellen_6

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On Friday morning, seven Swift Industries riders will join over 150 adventure cyclists in Klamath Falls, Oregon. There begins Oregon Outback, a 360 mile mixed terrain bicycle race like no other. We will move completely self-sufficiently, with all of our gear on our bicycles. We will find our own pace. We will marvel at the desert landscape, and sleep under the fresh Spring skies. For months we have been preparing, riding, mapping, and yearning for the trail.

Click each photo for Rider Stories!

Special thanks to Ibex  and Sugar Bakery for keeping us warm and fueled!

Oregon Outback shakedown: Kellen Rack

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NAME KELLEN RACK

LINE OF WORK LEAD MECHANIC AT BIKE WORKS, SEATTLE

OUTBACK BICYCLE SURLY CROSS CHECK.

 FAVORITE PIECE OF GEAR MY TENT,  I LOVE HAVING A MOBILE HOME.

TIP THE FIRST STEP ON ANY ADVENTURE IS ALWAYS THE LARGEST, THE MOST FRIGHTFUL- EMBRACE UNCERTAINTY AND HAVE FUN

RACKS

FRONT BLACKBURN

BAGS

REAR REVELATE VISCACHA

FRONT SWIFT INDUSTRIES LOW PROFILE PANNIERS (FIELD TESTING)

FRAME JANDD FRAME BAG

 

SHELTER BIG AGNES COPPER SPUR

CHOICE IBEX LAYER LEG WARMERS

LITTLE KNOWN FACT I HAVE A VERY REAL FEAR OF ZOMBIES

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