Fill in The Map
Announcing our latest bikepacking routes challenge with 20 great prize packages up for grabs. With various lockdowns in effect over the last year, we have a hunch many of you have been planning and scouting some great local overnighters. To help fill in the blank spots on our map (all over the world), we’re inviting you to submit your favorite local bikepacking overnighter between now and July 26th for a chance to win…
Bikepacking routes are our bread and butter here at BIKEPACKING.com. They’re why we started this site, and we take pride in managing the original and most comprehensive network of bikepacking routes on the web. Two years ago, we introduced the Local Overnighter Project to grow our network and open it up to more route creators with unrivaled knowledge of their own backyards. However, we still have a lot of blank spots on the map, including 22 states, a number of European countries, and a large part of Australia, to name a few. And there still are many places with very few overnighter options for folks to download and follow. We want to keep them coming as an accessible option and think these perfectly crafted, bite-sized routes that many of you dream up are the perfect gateway for people who curious to try bikepacking but aren’t yet prepared to tackle something longer. Additionally, a good overnighter route makes an attainable “reset button” for those juggling busy life schedules.
To help fill in these places and provide more options for folks to ride, we’ve partnered with Revelate Designs, Topo Designs, Wolf Tooth, and Surly to giveaway some fantastic prize packages. We hope they’ll inspire you to contribute your best local overnighter route. Read on for prize details, then scroll down for contest rules and entry.
Grand Prize Package (5 winners total)
We’re super stoked to be giving away five prize packages that include some of our favorite gear. Five of you will be grand prize winners and will receive the following package of incredible bags, tools, and accessories to help round out your kit.
The Shrew is Revelate’s smallest seat bag yet and works with just two straps, on any seatpost and any bike. This compact creature is designed for day rides, and while it might not be a massive carry-all bag for big trips, we’ve found it super handy for all kinds of rides and love having it in the arsenal. Find our review here.
(1) Revelate Designs Hopper frame pack
The Hopper is a wedge-style frame bag designed to fit almost any bike, including full-suspension frames. The unique feature of the Hopper is its flip-top opening with a magnetic closure. It’s super handy, and like other Revelate products, it’s also very well made. Find our review here.
(1) Topo Designs Quick Pack Hip Pack
It’s hard to beat a large hip pack for weekend bikepacking trips, bikefishing, or any bike ride where you need to keep a few items on your person. The Topo Designs Quick Pack has a clever design that can be slung over your shoulder, worn around your waist, or attached to the bike. We have five of these beauties to give away in five colors. Find more over at TopoDesigns.com.
(1) Wolf Tooth 8-Bit Pack Pliers
Wolf Tooth’s 8-Bit Pack Pliers is a multi-tool that packs their unique master link pliers among 17 other functions in an extremely small and lightweight package. We’ve come to love this little thing since its release last year. Find our full review here.
(1) Surly Flasky stainless steel flask
It’s hard to beat a nice stainless steel flask, and Surly always comes through with nice graphics. Each winner will get one Surly Flasky (graphics may vary).
We love Surly’s Whip Lash straps. They’re not only super lightweight, but they also have a sticky rubber outer layer and full velcro backing that keeps the tail of the strap in place so there’s none left dangling. Find it in our 2020 Gear of the Year.
(1) PEdALED/PEDAL FURTHER Cycling Cap
These PEdALED cycling caps are a great fit, super lightweight, and really well done. We’re excited to unveil them after they’ve been in the works for nearly a year. We’ll be offering these for purchase to our members soon, but we’re giving a bunch away here first.
(1) Pair Olive PEDAL FURTHER Voilé Straps
We’ve had these olive Voilé straps printed and ready to go for a while now but are still waiting on some other items to get finished before we offer them to our members. For now, we’re excited to give some away as part of this prize package. These are our preferred length straps (25″) and are ultra-useful for attaching gear and accessories on the bike.
(1) Loads of Bikepacking.com Patches and Stickers
We’re including a nice pile of sticker sheets (not shown) and a variety of patches, including two new black and gray patches.
Second Place Prize Packages (5 winners total)
Five additional route creators will receive a BIKEPACKING.com prize package that includes the following:
- (1) Revelate Tool Cash Wallet
- (1) Topo Designs Camera Strap
- (1) Surly Flasky stainless steel flask
- (1) Pair Surly Whip Lash Straps
- (1) PEdALED/PEDAL FURTHER Cycling Cap
- (1) Pair Olive PEDAL FURTHER Voilé Straps
- Loads of Bikepacking.com Patches and Stickers
Runners Up Prize Packages (up to 10 winners total)
And, last but not least, up to 10 more routes will be selected as runners up to be published, and route creators will receive a BIKEPACKING.com prize package including the following:
- $50 cash
- (1) PEdALED/PEDAL FURTHER Cycling Cap
- (1) Pair Olive PEDAL FURTHER Voilé Straps
- Bikepacking.com Patches and Stickers
TIPS & RULES (Is your route a good fit?)
There’s an art to creating the ideal overnighter route. It’s about balancing challenges and rewards and finding the perfect rest stops and campsites along the way. What makes it special? Scenic campsites, places to eat, breweries, epic trails, killer downhills, and cultural/historical places of interest, to name a few. Maybe there are hot springs or swimming holes in the middle. Take into account these tips and rules:
- 40-180 MILES (65-290KM) is a pretty good benchmark for route length for an overnighter, but the route should take 2 days/1 night (or sub-24 hours) to complete.
- FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE LENGTH include the technical nature of the trails and the total amount of climbing. We don’t mind hike-a-bikes when they connect places that would otherwise be impossible to reach but keep them within reason.
- GRAVEL, SINGLETRACK, OR FAT BIKE routes are acceptable, but routes should be comprised of at least 60% unpaved surfaces, give or take. We prefer routes in which the majority of the time spent riding is off pavement. Any paved roads included on the route should be safe.
- USE POINTS OF INTEREST (POIs). Basing routes around particular sights or stops is a fun approach. How about breweries, historical landmarks, hot springs, swimming holes, or scenic viewpoints? The final route should have a handful of useful POIs noted on the map.
- CREATE A RHYTHM. Starting and finishing a route with a climb isn’t always a fun approach. Space out the suffering-to-reward ratio.
- USE GREENWAYS. Tie in a greenway or cycle-specific path to the route. Anything that helps avoid traffic is welcome in our book.
- FIND A GOOD CAMPSITE and place it in a spot where it will be natural and fitting to end a day’s ride. Having these types of milestones helps balance the route.
- WATCH THE RESUPPLY POINTS. It’s good practice to plan where the resupply points are in relation to distance; the same goes for drinkable or filterable water.
- KEEP IT LEGAL. It goes without saying that every route we publish must be entirely legally accessible. Each and every road and trail must allow bicycles. Keep the same in mind for campsites.
- CONSIDER WHERE IT STARTS AND ENDS. Making a loop from a safe starting point is always a good idea. You should also consider starting it at a landmark, bike shop, place of historical significance, and/or area with a good place to leave a vehicle. If your route is linear in nature, think about ways of making it accessible via public transportation, or have good spots to park cars for a shuttle.
- PUBLIC LANDS AND CONSERVATION. Make a special point to highlight the places and lands on the route that are threatened, in need of protection, and should be preserved. We place special importance on using bikepacking as a vehicle for conservation projects and awareness.
- ROUTE PHOTOGRAPHY. Inspiring, high-quality photography is important to us at BIKEPACKING.com. Your route needs to include photos taken on a decent camera (a step above a mobile phone). Photos should cover several aspects of the route, including trail shots, riding shots, camping photos, landscapes, and other interesting details (see below for specifics).
Submit Your Route
Fill out the form below to submit your route. Here are the submission guidelines:
- Dates: The competition is open to anyone, anywhere in the world. Submissions are due at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, July 26th, 2021; we reserve the right to extend this deadline if need be.
- Photos: Include a link to your photographs (we prefer Google Drive). Select your best 20-40 photos from the route.
- Map: Include a link to the map (we prefer RideWithGPS), and add POIs (Points Of Interest) if possible.
- Words: Write 150-300 words that describe what makes this route special.
- Rules: Carefully read the Tips and Rules section above before hitting the submit button.
More on Overnighters
Make sure to dig into these articles from the archives for more info on overnighters and route planning...
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