I had a couple of long base mile days, so I mapped out a ride, loaded up my Ortlieb packs and set out. Bikepacking with a power meter and making sure I ride in my base power zone may go against the fundamental rules of bikepacking, but to fit in these types of trips into my training  routine that’s how it had to be. 

My loaded up Scott Spark and Ortlieb bags.

My loaded up Scott Spark and Ortlieb bags.

My introduction to bike packing came last fall when I set out to ride the Colorado Trail. Doing so made me realize that it can become a means to link big rides together that typically wouldn’t be possible in a day. It meant that when the coach gave me multiple days of big hour rides back to back, those could become both training and adventure rides. 

The open road.

The open road.

After 3 hours of pedaling I reached Pampa Linda, the place I would later meet DJ and set up camp for the night. I still had some riding to get in, so I continued up the road to the Ventisquero Glacier. Saying we have glaciers in Colorado is like Texans saying they have mountains. I’ve been to some of the tiny glaciers we have in Colorado. It is a stark contrast to those I have seen in Patagonia. My first glacier experience came at the Perito Moreno glacier near El Calafate further south during my first trip to Patagonia just a month earlier. The size and scale of it was truly mind blowing. We sat for hours listening to the glacier rumble as chunks broke off and just enjoying the site. The Ventisquero Glacier had the same effect on me. It took 4 hours of riding just to reach the glacier. Had I not discovered bike packing, this is a site I mostly likely would not have been able to enjoy.

Views of the Tronador from Pampa Linda, Argentina.

Views of the Tronador from Pampa Linda, Argentina.

Ventisquero Glacier.

Ventisquero Glacier.

I headed back down to Pampa Linda, found DJ and took him to the camp site I had found right next to the river. We both cooled off in the river, set up camp and relaxed knowing we had another big day of pedaling ahead. 

Camp.

Camp.

Last light on the Tronador.

Last light on the Tronador.

Pampa Linda lit by a full moon.

Pampa Linda lit by a full moon.

As I laid in my sleeping bag that night, I was quickly put to sleep by the sound of the river and the rumbling of the Ventisquero Glacier above us. Life is good and nature is awesome!

The next morning, it was time to pack up and head back to the home base. Bikepacking is a great way to see new places, link together big rides and a good excuse to sleep in the dirt. I’m excited to implement it into my training more this summer back home in Colorado.

Coffee with a view!

Coffee with a view!