The grim reality of bike packing — why this trend isn't for me

Bikepacking, as it turns out, is not for everyone. Here's one cyclist's journey to hotel yearning

Bikepacking misadventure
(Image credit: Patrick Bulger)

Freedom to explore. At one with nature. Off the grid. Simple. 

These are just a few of the comments I regularly hear from cyclists who have entered the world of bikepacking. Long gone are the days of “tourists” who would ridiculously load pound after pound of camping gear, clothing and personal items onto their bike to slowly, arduously, pedal to some chosen destination to sleep on the ground and painfully do so again the next day. Bikes are lighter. Camping gear is more packable and efficient. Bike bags are waterproof, rugged and creatively designed. Bikepacking is here to stay. 

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Patrick Bulger

Patrick Bulger has been living the cycling lifestyle for way too long. Born and raised in Spokane, Washington, Patrick started racing in the early 1980s and hasn’t seemed to figure out how to stop. His long running podcast, The Packfiller, has been in production since 1999, and continues to this day on a weekly basis discussing the personalities and tribulations of being a cycling fanatic. Patrick comes from a broadcasting background, and is a regular emcee at races around the Northwestern United States.