The unexpected challenge

Probably not a challenge any mountain biker would even consider; carrying the bike and all other luggage on his back and front. Well, the AZT race requires this for the 37 km long crossing of the Grand Canyon, since biking is not permitted in the ditch. I set for the challenge (once again) by searching solutions on the internet. The need for a comfortable bag as the base for the setup is crucial. I have used my Osprey Talon 22 with some additional straps sewed on in the top, as well as the ones at the bottom, for fixing the frame to the bag. The fixing is now straight forward but the weight distribution has to be perfect. At first I left the rear wheel on, and strapped the front wheel on the outside of the setup. But the rear wheel being exposed to the wind makes it a rather unstable setup. Both wheels strapped on the outside makes it too tail heavy. I have now tested and settled on a setup with the saddle bag strapped to the Camelback on my front and the Osprey and bike on my back, carrying the wheels in my hands with an inner tube (that I would bring anyway though I run tubeless) as an additional support, running through the hub and around my wrist. This enables me to loosen my grip with my fingers and even occasionally use my thumbs as relieving support under each shoulder strap on the Osprey. The crossing of the Grand Canyon with the bike has been described as the toughest experience ever, by some of the toughest hike a bike competitors. So a lot of training in this discipline is required I figure. The hours required for the hike seem to be some 15 hours, my aim is to meet this effort. To do so it demands shoes that are both ideal for biking and hiking. More about that in another post.

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