This week’s Debrief features our top 12 Instagram posts, Ultra Africa, the Best Bikepacking Bikes of 2023, Across Andes 2023 video, a winter event to follow live, and more. Find it all here…

The weekly Debrief highlights small but important bits of news, products, and things that caught our attention on the website, in the conversation, and elsewhere around the community. These include upcoming events and interesting items our readers shared in the comments. Check out this week’s findings below.

Bits & Bobs

New products that are worth highlighting but didn’t make the Dispatch…

Ruckrack Waterproof Basket Cover

Made in Indonesia / $20 at Ruckrack

  • Ruckrack Basket Cover
  • Ruckrack Basket Cover

Ruckrack’s new waterproof basket cover is the perfect addition to any basketpacking setup or all-weather commuter rig that could use some extra protection from the elements. It’s made from a waterproof material and secures around the basket using a cinch drawstring closure. There are reflective details, and it’s sized to fit Ruckrack’s basket, which is just slightly smaller than a Wald 137. Until the cover is added to their website, you can shoot them a message on Instagram to purchase.

In Conversation

Exchanges and ideas that caught our attention in the site’s conversation section…

Good Night 2023 Campout Photos

Good Night Campout

There are plenty of folks posting their Good Night 2023 campout photos with the #goodnight2023campout tag over on Instagram, and a couple of Instagram-free participants have popped theirs up in the conversation on the original website page, which you can also find pinned to the front of the Dispatch grid on our homepage.

This is just a reminder that we’ll be checking both places to nominate potential prize winners. If you don’t have Instagram and want to put your name in the hat, feel free to add your photos or a link to photos in the Disqus comments area on that page. A few of us will be heading out this weekend, and we can’t wait to share stories and photos from this year’s event soon!

Around the Community

News from around the bikepacking world…

Best Bikepacking Bikes of 2023

Building on our 2023 Bikepacking Awards, Neil walks through a selection of the year’s best bikepacking bikes and some of the most intriguing new models for 2024 in this video from last week. Watch it above.

Solo Bikepacking the Maestrazgo Loop

For his last bikepacking trip of the year, Tristan Bogaard headed out for a solo journey of discovery on Ernesto Pastor’s stunning Maestrazgo Loop in rural Spain, shooting the 10-minute video above along the way.

Across Andes 2023 Video

The folks behind Across Andes just released a beautifully shot recap video of the 2023 Patagonia Verde Edition, which crossed the Patagonian pampas and traveled between lakes and mountains along the iconic Carretera Austral and the Pacific fjords. See it above.

Ultra Africa: Josh Reid’s Atlas Mountain Race

For his latest challenge, Josh Reid took on the Atlas Mountain Race in Morocco. The British adventurer had to overcome snow, deep sand, and a stunning yet harsh environment to complete the 1,333-kilometer unsupported bikepacking route on his Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 29. See the 13-minute video recap of his experience above.

Katie Strempke’s Arizona Trail Race 800 Video

Our friend Katie Strempke just got around to uploading a video from her 2023 Arizona Trail Race experience. Her 15-minute video does a great job of showcasing the raw beauty and challenges the route dishes out, including the unavoidable hike-a-bike through the Grand Canyon and lots more. Katie’s final stats were 870-miles ridden in 12 days, 7 hours, and 42 minutes. Congrats Katie! Find all of our coverage from the event here.

Events Starting Soon

What to watch this weekend and bikepacking events starting soon…

Tuscobia Winter Ultra

Tuscobia Winter Ulta 2018

The Tuscobia Winter Ultra is a run, bike or ski event held on the Tuscobia State Trail in Northern Wisconsin, and a qualifying event for the Iditarod Trail Invitational. The event took off this morning at 6:00am local time from Rice Lake, with riders taking on either the 160- or 80-mile route. The winner of the 160-mile route takes home a paid entry ($1,400+ value) to the Iditarod Trail Invitational. There isn’t any live tracking this year, but you can follow the event along via Instagram.

Wish We Were Here

Shedding a little light on a route one of us is dreaming about riding at the moment…

Lucas Winzenburg: El Camino Del Diablo

Camino Del Diablo

Call it muscle memory, but even though it’s been an exceptionally mild Colorado winter, I can’t help but dream of a desert bikepacking getaway this time of year. With recent plans to scout a new route around Phoenix falling through, I have my sights set further south. The 130-mile El Camino del Diablo has always captured my imagination, and I’d love to get down there for a few days of riding around the beautiful Organ Pipe National Monument and Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

Weekly Social

Some things we found around the ‘gram and elsewhere. This week, our top 12 Instagram posts of 2023! Find them listed in order below, and if you’d like to dig into the content that they correspond to, find a list of links further down.

  1. SRAM Eagle Transmission Review
  2. Make Your Own Skate Deck Front Rack
  3. Ultralight Down Pants Roundup Review
  4. Ulrich Bartholmoes Wins 2023 Tour Divide
  5. John and Mira’s Dogpacking Rig
  6. Jimbo Safi’s B Bloque (Reader’s Rig)
  7. Make Your Own Upcycled Seat Harness
  8. Inside What Happened
  9. The Pictish Trail
  10. Steve Roberts: Computing Across America
  11. The Bikepacking 101 Handbook
  12. Rigs of the 2023 Tour Divide (part 2)




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