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Friday, July 15, 2022

Bikepack Solo & Change Your Life

Well, I know what's right, 
I got just one life,
In a world that keeps on pushing me around,
But I'll stand my ground, 
And I won't back down.

I Won't Back Down, Tom Petty & Jeff Lynne (1989)

Somewhere in the Black Hills on Day 1.
(photo by Heather Heynen)

I recently read about a cyclist completing a 3 day solo, self-navigated bikepacking trip on a self-created route from home that covered 193 miles and 16,000 feet of elevation gain on every kind of surface. Depending on the cyclist and the nature of the route, those statistics could represent anything from a leisurely weekend to a hard earned best. Yeah, so what?

Look beyond the numbers. A self-created route. From home. Self-navigated. Bikepacking. Solo. Not so common, any more. This was not a pre-packaged, all-inclusive guided tour, not a celebrated race with "Grand Depart" hoopla and widespread social media coverage, and not even an event with a trophy t-shirt. Just a committed, self-sufficient cyclist out pursuing a passion.

Dispersed campsite somewhere in the Black Hills.
(photo by Heather Heynen)

On top of all that, what's really special about this ride is the story of this particular cyclist facing and overcoming her fears just to start, and then to keep at it. Along the way, she discovers that bikepacking solo repeatedly draws you into the present, pushing aside worries of past or future. Learning to truly live in the moment is life changing. Thankfully, she eloquently expresses her thoughts in a heartfelt blog post that deserves a wide audience. How Going Solo Will Change Your Life, by Heather Heynen

In today's insta-squawk world of video sound bites, her blog post may look long. Do not be deceived. Reading her message is well worth the time.

But be warned. You may be inspired to face your own fears.

I Won't Back Down, Tom Petty (1989) 
Backed by George Harrison, Ringo Starr & Jeff Lynne

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