Out Of Office

Blog about my bike packing adventures and training

© Copyright Jakob Carlsen

                                                                                                                           Copenhagen, september 2018


February 2016, I was lying on the couch with a flu, researching mountain bike trails for an upcoming vacation with my family in Arizona. I came across Arizona Trail, a hiking trail starting at the border to Mexico, winding it´s way through all of Arizona to the Utah border. One site draw my attention, describing a self supported bike packing race covering the entire 1200 kilometres of trail including the 37 kilometres long hike through Grand Canyon, that had to be crossed with the bike and luggage on the back, because riding or pushing a bike here is not allowed. The longest single track race in the world. I had heard the term bike packing before, but without fully understanding what it meant. I started researching and was immediately sold to the concept. The long distance, the endurance, the mindset, the adventure, everything about it seemed to be what I had unconsciously been looking for. The extra bonus on this particular race is the immense amount of hiking including both across the Grand Canyon, but also on particular rough parts of the trail itself, introducing the term "hike a bike", which is kind of self explaining. 

I started training for the race, riding longer training rides than usual, experimenting with lightweight camping gear and ways to carry it on the bike. Some of the first posts in this blog is covering that. When I showed up at the starting line at the Mexican border I was thrilled but also scared. I had done only two and three day trips in a climate and terrain very different from what I was about to challenge: one of the toughest hike a bike races in the world. See my film about the race here: https://vimeo.com/217165619

Since then I have had some epic bike packing adventures in Denmark and Sweden including two times Denmark Across.

Next big challenge is riding the Arizona Trail Race in april 2019. With the experience I have gathered I am looking forward to hopefully some more deliberate decisions during the race and maybe even a faster time. But I am quite sure that the adventure and dedication will once more be my companion. 

                                                                                                                          Jakob Carlsen