Short Ride, Long Walk

That’s one helluva flat!


I did a 15-mile bikepacking mini-trip out to the Eve-Cowles Tree Farm, and was feeling awesome. The fatbike as pictured handled like an unloaded bike, and I had packed pretty ultralight so I had space to spare for future trips. The ‘bail gear’ built into my dingle-speed setup successfully got me up the toughest climb on the loop.

It was a good day.

And then…





Definitely the gnarliest flat I’ve ever gotten. This stick must have been upright on a larger branch. However it happened, it went in at a perfect right angle, all the way into the tire, through the tube, and yes, out the other side.


Flats suck, but this was the mother of all flats. If I were in a remote area, I would have duct-taped the rim strip, swapped the tube, and superglued the tire. I had all the stuff with me. But, since I was on Tim’s land, I just walked to the cabin and threw the bike on the back of Kelley’s car. I’ll deal with it tomorrow.


This trip might have gone belly-up, but at least I got some gnarly “look at this flat” photos, and a trophy!


Stay Inflated,




3 thoughts on “Short Ride, Long Walk

  1. I wear shoes I can walk back to the car/civilization with! I’ve always been amazed by the ground I can cover with a bike vs walking, like 3-4 times the speed.

    Snowmobilers have gotten into real trouble with breakdowns as a fast snow machine can cover more ground in a few hours than a person can snowshoe in a couple DAYS. People have done the same 4-wheeling too.

    Getting back to the bike scenario, a typical backcountry trip might mean hours of climbing with the expectation of a fast downhill return trip. Break down at or near the turn-around point and you might be looking at a 4-5 hour hike, possibly in the dark, and pushing your bike and gear if the bike will roll. A small light pack or a strap to carry one of your roll bags would allow you to carry some essentials for your walk if your bike is immobilized. Something to think about when playing outside with mechanical toys.

    1. Always thinking about this. The flat pictured above wasn’t irreparable, but a cracked rim would have been. For this reason, I would never travel more than one walking day off-road without a GPS locator like a SPOT beacon. If I’m within a full day’s walk (20 miles) from civilization, I consider myself ok. And in the Northeast, that’s nearly everywhere.

      Luckily, bikepackers have plenty of survival gear. A day or two worth of food, some water, a shelter, warm clothing, etc.

  2. What luck Max!! I can’t believe how rude that stick was!! At least you didn’t let yourself get deflated! 🙂

    Cool gear, I heard about the triangle soft luggage. Looks effective if you have the minimalist discipline. You do.

    Hey, thanks for the reminders and tips about recabling. I got my Yokozuna’s all rigged up. Love them!!


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