Marty Johnson Wichita Kansas Age 61 Owner of Johnson’s Garden Centers, Wichita KansasI’ve been a cyclist all my life. As a kid, a bike was our way to get around, Our freedom. My first new bike was a 5-speed Schwinn road bike from the local Gambles Hardware store. In the 9th grade, 2 friends and I loaded up our bikes with gear, rode 25 miles to Cheney Lake for my first exposure to bikepacking. With the rear chrome baskets filled up, I thought that the 25 mile trip was to the end of the earth. Most all of my adult life, cycling has been my leisure activity. It’s exercise, social, competitive and therapeutic. At age 60 I thought I’d give the Tour Divide a shot. I’d see how far I could make it. Finishing 2 weeks behind the winners, I pulled into Antelope Wells on day 29. Bike: 2014 Salsa Fargo Ti – medium. Complete build with Sram X0 group. 28/42 front crankset, 11-36 Cassette. Rear wheel was the stock Stan’s NoTubes Arch with DT Swiss 350 hub. Front wheel was Stan’s NoTubes Flow EX rim with a Schmidt Dynamo front hub – SON with a Schmidt Edelux II front light. For powering accessories, a Sinewave Revolution charger was used. A Vision time trial bar was used for mounting devices and another option for hand position. I chose Maxxis Ikon EX 2.2 tires. In Salida I replaced the rear tire with a Specialized Ground Control Grid 2.3. Using Stan’s sealant, I had no issues at all with tire issues. Crank brothers Eggbeaters 3 pedals worked well in muddy times. The stock WTB saddle and Salsa Woodchipper bars worked fine, as did the Cane Creek Thudbuster seat post. Navigation: along with route maps, I used a Garmin Etrex 30. I liked the flexibility of being able to replace the AA batteries as needed. I also used a Cateye Endure computer. Bags: Revelate bags were used pretty much all around. From the Fargo specific frame bag to the Viscacha seat bag, Harness with stuff sack, Jerrycans, Feedbags and Gas Tank bags carrying supplies. I also used Salsa Anything Bags with Salsa HD cages on the fork and an Outdoor Products small backpack/bag for extra space when needed. Hydration: Water was purified with a Sawyer mini filter. MSR water bladders were used to store water. I had the capacity to carry 8 Liters of water if needed. Hydromedary Hydration Bag was used in the frame bag for drinking. Clothing: Ibex wool shorts, a merino T-shirt under a Johnson’s Garden Center’s club jersey with 2 pair DeFeet Merino wool socks. 1 LS jersey. Shimano MTB shoes. For raingear a Marmot rain jacket, pants, I used a pair of Gortex socks were used once – too much trouble to mess with. A compact discount store down jacket, and stocking cap was used on cold mornings. Sleeping: I decided to go with an REI bivy sack, which was a fast set-up, but condensation was an issue. We were lucky this year in not having rain at night. A tent would be nice if trying to get out of the rain. Sleeping bag was a Western Mountaineering Caribou 35 degree bag. Sleeping pad used was the REI Flash inflatable sleeping pad. Other items carried included 2 spare tubes (never used) Lezyne SV multi tool, chain link, tire boot, thread, purification tablets, plus other misc items.
Readers Rig is a series of articles that showcases bikepacking kits from riders around the world. Be it long rides or short, races or slogs, everyone has their own unique set up. We hope you enjoy these rigs and maybe pick up a thing or two to add to your set up.