I love cycling. I love backpacking. Put the two together and it’s a double love fest called bike packing. I began gearing “literally” up for this  when I bought a Salsa Fargo just about a year ago. I picked up a nice used one around Thanksgiving, rode it on Iowa Gravel roads, Colorado single track and Newton city streets. Over the last year I’ve acquired the racks and packs I figure I’ll need for some back country exploring on it.

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I haven’t made/found the time to do on overnighter on it yet. Still catching up on all the settling in to-do’s I guess, butI did take her out for a practice trip last weekend. I put about 50% of a full load on it and pedaled up Poudre Canyon to a dirt road and then up that road. One the return I took a detour so I could ride it down some pretty technical single track to see how it would handle. I rode 36 miles on a mix of pavement, dirt road and single track to see how well we worked together.

My conclusions, this is going to be a blast! It took me a little bit to figure out there was no point in trying to be fast. After I accepted the weight and grade induced pace, it wasn’t bad at all. I think the longest climbing stretch I did was about an 8 mile stint. You have plenty of time to check out the scenery while you’re going up which is good because you don’t want to look around much on the way back down! Physics dictates that all the weight you worked so hard to pull up the mountain with you, will try to beat you back down to the bottom when you turn around.

Ms Fargo’s a big boned girl who carries her weight well. She was predictable on the descents with nothing flopping out or jiggling too much.  She handles single track well when loaded, just don’t make her go to fast and she can carry a bunch of stuff. She’s going to the perfect  way to explore some Colorado backcountry.

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Hoping I beat the weather and still get in an overnighter this year, but it’s getting cold up in them mountains. There was a tiny bit of snow still on the ground on my test ride. Going up, t-shirt and short, coming down, knee warmers, hard shell, hat and gloves.

Ride on!

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