Content and Images by Brian Brothers This is my first bikepacking race and I’m doing it on a fat bike, not because I think it’s the best bike for the race but because I enjoy it. And, no, I do not believe 4 inch tires equal 4 inches of suspension, I have 0″ of suspension with some cush depending on tire pressure. As far as tire pressure goes I’ll probably be around 10psi, I usually run 6 – 8 unloaded but with the extra weight I’ll most likely be ~10psi. I’m not sure what my entire bike weighs loaded but it’s really not that bad seeing as I’m going with no backpack and my gear is fairly light. Having ridden sections of the first 150 miles of trail, I have an idea what I’m in for. When the 2.2″ guys are sinking, I’ll be floating and when the trail turns paved and uphill… Well, you get the picture. It’s going to be challenging to say the least. My weapon of personal choice is my Borealis Yampa with XX1, RF NextSL crankset with 28t, and Borealis Carbondale wheels. It weighs just under 22 pounds when it’s fully stripped with light 4″ tires. My Escalators have let me down. After +3,000 miles without a flat on trails last year, an incredible 2 tread area punctures on one short ride has forced me to change to the denser tread pattern (and slightly lower tpi) of the Husker Dus. They are set up tubeless with Orange Seal sealant. Fatbike Arizona Bags on the bike consist of a custom Oveja Negra ultralight frame bag, Revelate Designs (RD) Pika saddlebag, a smaller 5.5″diameter RD Sweetroll, RD Gas Tank, RD Mountain Feedbag, and a Nuclear Sunrise Titan being used as my top tube seatpost bag. My sleep system consists of SOL Escape bivy, GoLite down blanket, NeoAir Xlite pad, and an ExPed ultralight pillow for the old guy in me. Lighting duties will go to a Fenix BT-20 on the bars (battery pack mounted on fork leg) and a Black Diamond Spot mounted on my helmet. As far as electronics go; Spot Gen3, Etrex 30, HTC DNA cell, Sandisk Sansa for music, and a small 3500mAh power pack. Unless the weather changes I’m looking at lows in the upper 30’s on Mount Lemmon to highs in the possible 90’s so my clothing reflects a variety of extremes. Every piece will be used when I sleep at night at elevation and on the warm nights I may be able to get away with just the bivy sack. Fatbike Arizona My clothing consists of my Hammer Nutrition kit (shorts, jersey, and wind vest), Pearl Izumi (PI) arm coolers, wool socks/undershirt and cap, PI AlpX Enduro IVs, knee warmers, lightweight long finger fleece gloves and shell for when it gets cold at night, and a Patagonia puff pullover. The top half of my frame bag will hold a 100 oz. Platypus bladder with a drink tube. The lower area and left side slot will hold cue sheets, Leatherman squirt PS4 multitool, 2 Big Air CO2 canisters (which weigh same as one standard CO2 canister), 8 ounces of Orange Seal sealant, tube, sewing kit, zip ties, comb, tweezers, allergy meds, batteries, secret anti-chafing creme, and sunscreen. I will have a Blackburn mountain pump either here or on my sweet roll to vary pressure if needed. For nutrition, I’ll be packing Hammer Nutrition supplements to last the 300 miles. For the first half I’ll also have enough Hammer gels and bars to make it to the halfway point supplementing them with stops along the way. Ice cream and burritos are high on my list of things to eat along the way. Follow me and the rest of the racers See you all on the trails… Fatbike Arizolna

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