August 30, 2015
We rode mountain bikes from Durango, CO to Moab, UT on an off-pavement, seven-day, hut-to-hut route. This trek involves days of solid riding, up and down, through soaring Utah and Colorado high-country, and through these mountains' accompanying rain shadow deserts and canyonlands. It's a beauty of a ride.
Our publications director, Mike Deme, rode it ten years ago in cold, wet, muddy conditions and you can read about his challenging adventure in our Publications Archive: Hitting the San Juan Huts.
Luckily, our trip spoiled us with nice, dry conditions. We even avoided what I call "stupid heat," temperatures pushing one hundred degrees that make Montanans, like me, grumpy.
Thanks to the huts, every night we enjoyed shelter, sleeping bags, stocked food, and water: all items we didn't have to lug through the mountains on our bikes. But you do have to carry some gear: spare tires, tubes, and parts ... warm clothes, a second pair of bike shorts, pizza maker, etc. It adds up to more heft than you might expect.
And how to carry that heft? Panniers can hinder your riding, especially on singletrack, so we went with bike bags that carry the load up and out of the way. With this in mind, we let Revelate Designs' products handle much of the gear hauling duties on this trip. We used their frame bags, cockpit items, handlebar bags, and seat bags without any hiccups.
The Sweet Roll mounts to your handlebars and keeps its shape thanks to stiffeners. You'll never have to cringe in terror from seeing some loose thing dangling around your front wheel. It also comes with foam spacers to prevent pinching your cables.
Dave used the Viscacha seat bag. Never once did that thing flop around. (And Dave's a gear guy, so he wouldn't own it unless it was dialed.)
And I was just kidding about the pizza maker—here are some photos from the trip.
Photos by Brink Kuchenbrod
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