DB Bikepack – Part 1
Note: photo credits to Lori, Jessie, and Luke! This post was written by Chuck, and Luke has added commentary in Blue while Bob has added some commentary in Green.
What happens when three manly men from Team Virtus team up with Jessie from Orange Lederhosen for an adventure? An awesome weekend of bikepacking!
We had long planned a weekend adventure for the Nov 5th and 6th weekend, then things like jobs and conflicting plans starting making it look like a no-go.
Luckily some last minute changes brought it back to life. We threw together a quick route plan and with a healthy dose of IWWIO we all met at the Loutre Market early Saturday afternoon. We all filled up on Champs chicken and added to our already prodigious beer stash before finishing the final load-out of our bike packing rigs.
The loosely put together plan would have us ride gravel from the market (near the hwy 19 bridge to Hermann) to the Daniel Boone Conservation area, camp that night at one of the 10 primitive sites, then ride back in the morning via Massas Creek road.
We hit the KATY trail and stopped for a quick pic of our loaded rigs
Luke: I love the planning and tweaking of my rig for trips like this. Especially when I forget a bunch of stuff and have to rig up straps and attachment points with shit I have in the back of my van. Luckily, I have a bunch of shit in the floor and trunk of my van, so there’s plenty of stuff with which to improvise.
And then headed east on the KATY into a beautiful fall day
I obviously have some bikepack learning to do before I get into longer trips. The bike bags were really full, my backpack was bulging, and I don’t yet know what to do to lighten them up. No way could the stainless steel 64oz growler of Friendship Brewery Stout be left behind.
Luke: It’s always a learning process. We need to learn to start leaving some of the bulkier items behind to save space and weight. However, leaving the growler of delicious beer behind is never an option. Never. Ever.
I’ve begun to just accept the fact that my rig will always be heavy. Screw it.
I warned our eager group that there would be doing some climbing on the way to the campsite, but I’m not so sure they were happy with my day 1 route choice once we hit the hills.
Luke: Yeah. Chuck told us we had “some climbing” to do. But that was like saying Bob sorta kinda likes whiskey once in awhile – a serious understatement. Eff those damn climbs!
Those climbs were bullshit. BULLSHIT!!!
Once we got into the DB conservation area the hills leveled off and both sides of the road filled with tall trees of the forest area, we all started to feel good about the weekend ahead of us. We rode past several camp sites, finding them all full. With Missouri whitetail season starting in a couple of days, we suspected this was the last big scouting weekend. We were running out of options, but luckily we ended up snagging the very last site (IWWIO again!) on the far north end of the conservation area.
Luke: After the ridiculous climbing, riding along the top of that ridge was a blast. Beautiful, easy pedaling.
We had plenty of time before dark to get all our camp gear set up and firewood gathered for the night.
Let’s be honest…i look pretty damn sexy in this picture.
Luke: That reminds me… Have I ever told you about my NOLS course?
We even found enough time before dark to practice our Survival Situation Skills with my newly replaced knife (the last one broke while being thrown at dead trees).
After a little instruction, Jessie joined the elusive and exclusive ‘One-Spark Club’ by using flint and steel to start our evening fire with ONE SPARK.
Luke: Well done, Jessie!
Anyone that has been around a Team Virtus campfire knows it is only a matter of time before a chimney log is burning. This weekend was no exception, Bob found a great log not far from the campsite and it wasn’t long before it was blazing away and spouting jet-like flames out the top.
I held a little tid-bit of info from the group until after dark…..My awesome and beautiful wife had a photo-shoot Saturday afternoon not far from where we were camping. So it was a GREAT surprise for everyone when she showed up with deep dish pizza and a second growler of stout from Tin Mill brewery in Hermann.
Luke: Seriously. I can’t tell you how awesome the pizza and beer was. And the pizza was still hot and the beer was ice cold! In the middle of the woods while bikepacking! How freaking cool is that?! Big thanks to the always-amazing Lori.
That was so badass. She’s done that for us TWICE now. So delicious..i think I may have had too much and “fell asleep early”.
So with our bellies full of beer and pizza we all fell asleep near the fire. Lori and Jessie got a last picture of the three manly men before Jessie crawled in her tent and Lori headed for home.
Luke: One of the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had in the woods. I call the middle spot next time!
(to be continued in part 2….)