Bikepacking Arkansas is a website dedicated to dirty bikes. ‘Cause that’s what you get when you brave the myriad rugged roads and trails in this state. From the Ouachitas to the Ozarks, over IMBA Epic trails and lost forest roads, Arkansas offers the best there is.
Bikepacking is a relatively new variation of cycling and is beginning to catch folks’ interest and attention in this state. Loaded bike touring has been around for quite awhile, sure, but that’s mostly done on pavement or evenly graded trails. The desire to ride a loaded bike off the beaten path has given rise to something a little different. Racks and panniers have evolved into in-line frame bags which allow for better balance on rocky single track. And touring bikes, like the Surly Long Haul Trucker, are swapped for more mountain bike-like rigs such as the Surly Krampus or the Salsa Fargo.
This website aims to bring awareness to the sport of bikepacking in general and also to promote it within Arkansas. It features stories by various contributors about bikepacking in this state and about Arkansans’ adventures in yonder lands. It also serves as a resource for those wanting to get out and explore but just need a little direction. Descriptions and downloads of GPS tracks for awesome rides are available. You can contribute to discussions about gear minutia as well.
You will also find stories and discussions about bike commuting. Take a look at the “Bike-Yelling” post for a pretty compelling argument as to why biking through the urban jungle is just as awesome as biking through the backwoods.
There are quite a few bikepacking and commuting resources on the internet and from some (only the coolest) bike shops. I’m grateful for the pioneers out there! Here are few that you don’t want to miss:
Adventure Cycling Association
There are other people out there like you. You’ll find them here!
The Bikepacker’s Gude from Salsa Cycles
Salsa’s website features some pretty inspiring videos about bikepacking. It’s a great place to get gear ideas and a morale boost at the same time. They recently put out this bikepacking guide–a resource for those looking for a primer on the sport.
Bikepackers like aesthetics, I think. If there is a unique bikepacking “style,” these guys have found it. Their site looks AMAZING. The photography is top-notch.
This is probably the most well known bikepacking resource. It has stories on many of the big names in the sport. I was honored to have my picture taken by one of their photographers during a stop in Ovando, MT while riding the Tour Divide. She had been tracking each rider through Trackleaders and knew my name when I rolled in!
If you want to know about which dynamo hub to take with you on your next trip, this is the place to find out what folks have to say. You’ll also run into the occasional philosophical conversation about the “spirit” of bikepacking.
The Community Bicyclist
Sam is into bikepacking! He recently built up a Krampus and will talk your ear off about it if you go visit the shop. He’s also quite the advocate for commuting by bike and can hook you up with everything you need to get to and from work in style.
Central Arkansas Gravel Rides, Bikepacking, and Randonneuring
Aaron is an adventurous Little Rock guy with a passion for all things gravel. His Facebook page is sort of a clearing house for the sport. He’ll keep you up with the latest in Arkansas and beyond.