Trips

• Travel in company and learn the basics of bikepacking with Shenandoah Bicycle Company! Upcoming bike campout: October 22-23

• Get schooled in backcountry bikepacking clinic-style with Mulberry Gap’s seasoned guides. This north Georgia-based biking facility offers four-day Cohutta Backcountry Bikepacking 101 and 201 courses in the spring and summer ($100 each) for intermediate riders looking to get some helpful pointers on everything from packing to route planning. Or check out Mulberry Gap’s two-part, guided tour of the Trans North Georgia September 18-26. Visit mulberrygap.com for more information!

Birthplace of Rivers National Monument

Marlinton, W.Va.
Distance: 58.8 miles
Difficulty (1-10): 4
Type: Loop/overnighter
Terrain: 50 percent gravel, 50 percent paved
Highlights: Ramp season, riverside riding, shelter camping, mountain views
Directions: http://bit.ly/CranberryWilderness


Two Gorges Gravel

Morganton, N.C.
Distance: 75 miles
Difficulty (1-10): 4
Type: Loop/overnighter
Terrain: 55 percent unpaved, no singletrack
Highlights: Expansive scenery of Linville Gorge, timing the ride with rhododendron-in-bloom, a 20-mile gravel descent (f’real), Wilson Creek’s wilderness feel and stunning landscape
Directions: http://bit.ly/TwoGorgesGravel


Slate Springs

Harrisonburg, Va.
Distance: 52 miles
Difficulty (1-10): 4
Type: Loop/overnighter
Terrain: 75 percent gravel, 25 percent paved
Highlights: Meadow Knob camping, Reddish Knob descent, ample spring access and wildlife viewing
Directions: http://bit.ly/SlateSprings


Iron Mountain Trail

Damascus, Va.
Distance: 43 miles
Difficulty (1-10): 5
Type: Loop/overnighter
Terrain: 50 percent paved, 50 percent singletrack
Highlights:  6-mile long downhill, shelter camping, creek crossings, rock gardens, classic Appalachian green tunnel
Directions: http://bit.ly/IronMTNTrail or http://bit.ly/IronMTN100 for singletrack only (51.4 miles; route of Iron Mountain 100K)


The Appalachian (Beer) Trail

Pisgah National Forest, N.C.
Distance: 108 miles
Difficulty (1-10): 7
Type: One-way/four-day minimum
Terrain: 50 percent unpaved, 50 percent singletrack
Highlights: Ultimate tour-de-western-North-Carolina for craft beer and singletrack both, Black Mountain Trail’s epic downhill, Slate Rock overlook
Directions: http://bit.ly/AppBeerTrail


Trans North Georgia

South Carolina to Alabama
Distance: 342 miles
Difficulty (1-10): 7.5
Type: One-way/five-day minimum, seven-day average
Terrain: 72 percent unpaved, 18 percent singletrack, little paved
Highlights: Solitude, waterfall and creekside riding, Cohutta Mountain views, Stanley Gap and Bear Creek singletrack, rest and reprieve at Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Getaway at mile 220
Directions: http://bit.ly/TransNGA

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Go-To Gear

It’s safe to say Logan Watts has spent more time on a bike than in a car since he and his wife sold their belongings and hit the road in 2012. A native of Winston-Salem, N.C., Watts has ridden from Mexico to Panama, and in Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Morocco, Southern Spain, and that’s just the start of the list. Watts sometimes posts up in Brevard, N.C., but mostly, he’s still chasing bikepacking routes around the world. His gear recommendations are tried and true. Check out a few of his favorites below!

Voilé Straps ($5.50)

“If anything is better than duct tape, it is the Voilé Strap.” Ranging in size from 15 inches to 32, these polyurethane straps are typically used by skiers, but their functionality extends well beyond holding your skis together or crafting an A-frame on your pack.

Salsa Anything Cage & Bag ($30; $32)

Anything goes with this cage and bag combo. Designed for riders looking to attach everything from lightweight gear items like sleeping pads and dry bags to large water bottles and Gatorade jugs, this unconventional bike rack gives you the ability to make every inch count.

Oveja Negra Snack Pack ($45-55)

Now available in an XL size, this top tube bag is the perfect solution for storing caloric fuel, spare tubes, tools, the latest and greatest (and biggest) iPhone on the market. It even fits a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. We tested it ourselves.

Revelate Designs Handle Bar Harness ($75)

Already have an ample supply of durable dry bags? Pop ‘em in a handle bar harness and hit the trail! This harness accommodates dry bags up to 20 liters in size and even works on drop bars. Tents, sleeping systems, packrafts, mini kegs. Whatever your need, this harness can hold it.

Oveja Negra Super Wedgie Frame Bag ($90-100)

Utilize the space beneath your top tube without compromising the accessibility of a seat tube water bottle cage. The Super Wedgie comes in small (4+ liters) and large (6+ liters) sizes to fit whatever ride you’re rockin. Complete with a hydration/wire port and a separate map pocket, this bag will accommodate the needs of multi-day excursions, long day trips, and everything in between.

Revelate Designs Sweetroll Handlebar Bag ($100)

100 percent waterproof and customizable, these handlebar bags come in small, medium, and large sizes for every type of load, bike, and trip.

Green Guru Hauler ($100)

Made with upcycled nylon, this seat pack is not only one-of-a-kind but also eco friendly. The Hauler provides all of the room you need to lug your camping gear, but can also be converted into a messenger bag for bikepackers who use their bikes for commuting.

Acre Hauser 14L Weatherproof Hydration Pack ($215)

Whatever the weather, this little ditty can handle the heat (or rain, sleet, snow, hail, crushing wind, etc.). Count on this totally sealed pack to keep everything dry on the inside while still allowing your back to breathe with the help of perforated panels and shoulder straps.