Dan & Gina, bikepacking on fatbikes from Mexico to Ushuaia
As part of our plan to find detours along the Austral, we found a nice piece of sendero action to try out. Unfortunately, after putting in some serious effort to arrive at the trailhead, we were informed that it is prohibited to pass through by bike. With a bit of smooth talking we managed to cut a deal wherein we would “carry” our bikes the whole trail. As it turns out, the first day we weren’t lying. Steep climbs and bush bashing were a recipe for slow progress. Unfortunately, due to the un-transited nature of the trail, we picked up a few spikes along the way and managed to use all but two of our patches. This left us 30km from any chance of meeting anyone, with two patches, on a trail covered in spikey death.
Thankfully the following day the trail became much more clear cut. We continued to “carry” our bikes and hope that our tires wouldn’t let us down. Only 5 kilometers from the trail end Gina had a small tumble and managed to puncture her front tube again. Rather than fix it we opted to re-inflate multiple times to get to camp. The following morning all of our tires were low and we were out of patches. To ice the cake, we were on an almost untrafficked road. We spent the day trying to ride, re-inflating the tires every few kilometers until finally a truck found us midafternoon and hitched us into Cochrane.
We’re not going to give any trail names or details here as the folks who let us pass were persistent that nothing be shared. It’s a bummer that we can’t talk about the details but to be fair it’s a bit dodgy and probably most people wouldn’t opt to ride it anyway. Maybe one day, bikepacking will be seen as complimentary to hiking, as for right now there are few stigmas which seem to attach themselves to anyone with a mountain bike.