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Bike Touring The Gila Mountains Part I, The Trip and The Discussion Begin

by Josh Lipton

Gila mtn tour 1If you’re looking for a great bike touring trip in the southwest that has amazing scenery, great views, hot springs, and few people then check out the Gila Mountains loop my good friend John and I did last spring, and while we are re-living the trip we will also discuss the details of executing and successful, fun safe bike trip.

We planned a three day trip over Memorial day weekend 2009 that would include mostly forest roads and higher elevations. Back in the day, John and I spent some time in the area of the Gila Mountains and Silver City in an epic road stage race called the Tour of the Gila. We always thought that it would be great to come back to the area some day and spend some time checking things out a while not killing ourselves on our road bikes; thus, a tripped was planned.

Both of us were excited to try out the new gear we had recently purchased. I had fully outfitted my Gunnar Rock Tour with Old Man Mountain racks and a full set of Ortlieb Front and Rear Roller Classics Panniers. You can imagine how stoked I was to try out my new gear. John recently completed his custom built Sendero touring frame, the Fogsly, a frame that he designed with the help of Joe Murry. John and Joe are two of the three that make up Sendero Cycles.

Gila mtn tour 18It doesn’t take a genius to plan a great bike tour, but there are certain things such as route planning bike and gear set up, food, and the right type of knowledge that can be the difference between a wonderful time or a not so great trip. It can be the little details that can make all the difference when it comes to bike touring. We are going to go into the tips that I have learned from my experiences that have made bike touring a very enjoyable experience, even when the odds have been stacked against me.

Gila mtn tour 2

We loaded all the gear up on Friday afternoon and headed out from the FLG towards New Mexico. We had an amazing drive through the White Mountains, then dropped into the San Fransisco basin. It took about 4 hours to make it to Alma, NM, from Flagstaff. We found a place off Hwy 180 to camp for the night and stash the truck for a couple of days…..stay tuned to hear about how our journey continues, in the next episode we will begin our discussion on how to plan for a great trip and see how the first day ends up for John and I.


Useful links mentioned in these posts: Adventure Cycling, Crazy Guy on a Bike, Bike Touring Tips, Bicycle Touring 101, Mountain Bike Riding.com

If you want to check another employee bike tour, Megan and her adventure, check out Bike Tour Preparation, Destination.

Episode I, Episode II, Episode III,

 
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3 Responses to “Bike Touring The Gila Mountains Part I, The Trip and The Discussion Begin”

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