Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
Backpacking Forums
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store

Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen


Avalanche Gear
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters


Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel

the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags


Sleeping Bags


Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial






Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear


Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel


Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva


Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment

 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#189720 - 03/18/15 01:31 PM The LONG ride
balzaccom Online   content

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1873
Loc: Napa, CA
I try to get in a bike ride most days after work. It’s a great way to breathe some air, clear my mind, and write all those emails I should never send. And since I live in the Napa Valley, it’s a pretty nice place to ride.

But yesterday was a little different. As I rode along one of my main routes, I noticed two cyclists stopped by the side of the road. These were not your run-of-the-mill day bikers. They were heavily laden with panniers and backpacks. And from the rear fender they sported small Polish flags.

I stopped to see if they needed any help.

No, they were fine. Just checking their location.

So asked them where they were going.

The young man looked up at me with a smile, and answered: “Alaska.”

I suggested that they might not make it by nightfall. He laughed and replied that maybe tomorrow…

They explained that they had met a Polish expat on their ride earlier in the day, and were on their way to his house for dinner and a shower.

That sounded like they were in good hands, so I left them to continue their ride…to Alaska.

So what are you doing this summer?

check out our website and blog:

#189727 - 03/18/15 04:10 PM Re: The LONG ride [Re: balzaccom]
dylansdad77 Offline

Registered: 03/12/14
Posts: 158
Loc: New Jersey
Stories like this make me kick myself for waiting so long to allow the addiction of the outdoors sink in. I spent a solid 10 years between college graduation and getting married and starting a family and I can count on 2 hands how many nights I spent outdoors during that time. I waited until I have kids to decide that I want to spend every free minute of my time backpacking, bike riding, kayaking, fishing, geocaching and pretty much any other sport that gives me an excuse to get outdoors and enjoy nature. Now, I count the days until my son (6) is old enough to join me on the trips I only read about.

So to answer your question, this summer I plan to:

- get my son off training wheels so we have more options for riding locales...
- take my son on his first overnight backpacking trip. I've dayhiked with him and camped with him, now to combine the two...
- take my annual 3 day paddling trip (location TBD)...
- spend 2 separate weekends on the AT (1 in NY, 1 in PA) to push my total AT miles into triple digits. A meager start but I have recently convinced myself that an AT thru-hike is now a solid fixture on my bucket list. No time like the present to start training...
- set up one Saturday afternoon for some AT trail magic. I've read several books from people who've completed long distance thru-hikes and I am always intrigued with the various forms of trail magic they've encountered. My intention is to offer that magic now in exchange for some interesting conversation and surround myself with positive karma so that, should my thru-hike aspiration come true, I may reap the rewards of someone else's benevolence. So if you are planning a NOBO thru-hike on the AT this year, look for me on a Saturday in New Jersey.

...and bike-camping from Napa to Alaska sounds bad-a$$...good luck to them!
Did you know that 83.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot?

#189729 - 03/18/15 05:52 PM Re: The LONG ride [Re: dylansdad77]
balzaccom Online   content

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1873
Loc: Napa, CA
Go for it! Sounds like you have quite a plan

check out our website and blog:

#189800 - 03/22/15 05:49 PM Re: The LONG ride [Re: balzaccom]
Rick_D Offline

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2823
Loc: NorCal
Was it these two?

After cycling 25,000 miles through searing heat in Africa and subfreezing nights in the mountains of South America, what better place to rest for a few days than the bike-centric college town of Davis, with a stop at a local brewpub on a temperate spring day?

Polish couple Adela Tarkowska and Kris Jozefowski, both in their early 30s, have spent the last five years riding through the Middle East, Africa, South America, Central America, Mexico and now the United States.

They said men with machetes ambushed them in Nicaragua but ran off when a vehicle approached. Their bike tires turned to goo “like cheese and pizza” when the mercury topped 120 degrees in Botswana. They froze their sprockets on the high plains of Bolivia, where the temperature in their tent fell to almost zero. And they rode for days into 40 mph headwinds during winter in Patagonia.

What made them do it?

“Curiosity,” Jozefowski said. “Or maybe madness,” his girlfriend added quickly.

Read more here:

If the same couple, you were right to be impressed.


#189808 - 03/22/15 11:05 PM Re: The LONG ride [Re: balzaccom]
4evrplan Online   content

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 787
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Reminds me of Different couple, but still an epic bike touring adventure.
Hiking is the ultimate realization that the journey is more important than the destination.

#189846 - 03/25/15 06:35 PM Re: The LONG ride [Re: 4evrplan]
balzaccom Online   content

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1873
Loc: Napa, CA
It WAS those two! And I thought that Alaska was quite an adventure!

check out our website and blog:

#189889 - 03/28/15 05:02 AM Re: The LONG ride [Re: balzaccom]
jps1021 Offline

Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 58
Loc: Vegas
I thought my past adventures of 3 - 6 months on the road were something. But, 5 years! Then again, maybe what they have done has been in smaller doses? Either way, I want to make that final push to being able to simply spend 5 years exploring the states and the rest of the world I've never seen!

As for the rest of this year, can't say I have it ALL mapped out, but there will be plenty of single days of play and multiple day adventures by hike, bike and kayak! I'm sure I'll crush them both, but I did set some pretty tame goals of 1,000 miles hiking and 1,500 miles biking for 2015. Did 1,000+ and 3,000+ last year, but didn't start hiking until April and had to curtail everything thru late Summer/early Fall do to work requirements.

Though I would never get officially scored as finishing the race due to cutoff times, I would at some time like to spend a Summer and do the Continental Divide Tour race/Tour Divide race (CDT) from Banff, Alberta, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. The winners are doing this 2700+ mile unsupported MTB race in under 2 week! I think cutoff time is 150% of winners time.


Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
About that boot glue
by Rick_D
05/18/19 12:26 PM
What smallest diameter pots do you use backpacking
by Petro1234
04/25/19 12:26 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Hiking carts...
by willie1280
06/13/19 02:30 PM
Crappy weather coming to the PCT
by billstephenson
05/15/19 02:37 PM
Staying alive in a winter storm
by balzaccom
01/09/19 03:58 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
DIY pot cover/bag
by mira.mikes
02/24/19 03:52 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 91 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
NickStevens, hig789, jMulberry, Go4it, mogleygull
12760 Registered Users
Forum Links
Site Links
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Our long-time Sponsor, - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum