Blog

stories • happenings • adventures


Eric Parsons
October 29, 2015

Updated Terrapin in stock now!

Posted by Eric Parsons

We released the modular Terrapin system a few years ago. It was the first bikepacking bag system on market to combine a removable waterproof drybag with a holster like mount. We’re happy to release this updated version that improves upon the original in a big way.

First off – It generally looks the same, the main differences are in the stiffening components and the main closure.

mounted side with drybag

First off, we steepened up the seat post angle to prevent buckling of the lower section and to keep the rear of the bag more level. The side panel stiffening was switched from plastic to a thin resilient foam to solve some some creasing and wear issues we’ve seen with plastic side panels. The stiffened side panels still feature a pair of thin fiberglass stays along the edges so the mount does not warp under compression forces. Lastly a pair of abrasion guards was added under the main mounting buckles. The front seatpost attachment now has an alloy loop for ultimate strength when tightening down.

front detail

 

The next big improvements come at the rear.

Terrapin no bag web

Gone is the single strap that needed to be double over in favor of a joined, 2 strap and buckle system. This system is simpler and easier to open and close than the original.

blinkey webTo keep the 2 straps from sliding off the drybag there is an sliding joining web that is perfect for mounting rear lights too. This rear area is also perfect for storing wet items that you don’t want inside the main drybag.

top straps webThe top of the Terrapin now has this super versatile mounting deck that can be used in a number of ways. It has loops to run a bungee through, daisy chains for straps, a center main channel for a spot tracker and is compatible with our add-on Spocket bags.

slate with drybag web

Lastly we added stiffening elements to the main mounting panel which significantly reduces lateral sway.

All this gives you a super versatile platform for carrying stuff and keeping it dry (or separated if wet) with no hardware to mess with.

Thanks for checking in!

 

Eric Parsons
October 7, 2015

Bike and Gear for the Oregon trip

Posted by Eric Parsons

An obligatory gear list for our Oregon Willamatte – Umpqua loop!

I brought my full suspension bike which I was really happy to be riding on these trails. It’s an older Voodoo Canzo 29 with a 4 bar linkage. Despite being dated, there are a lot of things I like about this bike; it offers amble frame bag space without the shock getting in the way, and the rear linkage can easily be un-bolted and the frame fits into a duffle bag as checked luggage – wheels go in a separate bag. No excess bag fee’s! We put in some long days and I never felt beat up by the bike or route. I wish modern full suspension designs kept the shock mounted down low like these old Voodoo’s, Kona’s & Turners for optional frame bag use. Anyway the basics was this: food in the frame bag, sleeping gear and warm layer on the bars, shelter and other stuff in the seat bag. Water, camera, lightweight but bulky freeze dried meals in my back pack. Dusty with a smaller frame and less tire clearance had less space, so I carried the group gear (shelter, stove & fuel) in exchange for his keen wit and abundant slices of meat and cheese.

Gear pile

Gear pile

IMG_0541

Gear List

Seat Bag – Revelate Ermine

  • Cuben Fiber ground cloth for single person, I don t trust the new neo-air pads yet on bare ground.
  • Black Diamond Sil Beta light – no poles, used sticks for support
  • Canister stove fuel
  • Go lite rain jacket
  • Ibex Hooded Indie (if not worn)
  • Patagonia R.5 tights

Handlebar Bag – Revelate Sweetroll – small

  • Big Agnes Horsetheif SL 35 deg bag
  • Lg Therma-rest Neo Air pad (went for the big and comfy pad since it was a short trip)
  • Old REI Gossamer primaloft hooded puff jacket
  • Lightweight fleece socks

Frame Bag

  • Majority of the food for 3 days.
  • Pump, shock pump, tools, repair stuff
  • Tire sealant, spare hanger

Cockpit – 2x Mountain Feedbags

  • On the go snacks & garbage
  • Sometimes used as case for P&S camera

Backpack – Osprey Hornet 24L (never more than 1/2 full)

  • 2L Osprey water bladder
  • 16oz Snowpeak Ti mug with lid
  • MSR Superfly stove
  • lighters, iodine pills
  • Chapstick, lip balm, toothbrush, earplugs, sunscreen
  • Light and Motion Solite 250 ex headlamp (awesome light!)
  • 2x Mountain House Pro-pak dinners

As the trip progressed I moved food from the frame bag into feedbags and as space on the bike was freed up I moved gear originally in the backpack into the frame pack, by the time we finished the only thing in the backpack was the water bladder and personal items.

The BD mega lite worked great without any poles as we were in very forested areas, recommend it for it’s size and weight for bikepacking where there are trees around.

IMG_0500

Starting late the first night – A quick last minute dinner got tossed in.

IMG_0562

Eric Parsons
September 27, 2015

Oregon Bikepacking Middle Fork Willamette – Umpqua River Trails

Posted by Eric Parsons

Interbike 2015 is in the bag, we had a great time overall. We ll be following up in the coming weeks & months with details of the the new gear in the pipe. After Interbike I always feel the need to unplug from work and purge all that is vegas and stressful from the system. Basically go hide in the woods for a few days. This time around Dusty and I opted for a singletrack binge backpacking trip before visiting our production sewing shop near Eugene Oregon.

interbike

Alaska has a bit of a shortage of long single track that can be linked up, so whenever the idea of a bike trip in the lower 48 shapes up it’s all about how much singletrack can be shredded. We pinged Scott Morris who has ridden extensive trail routes in Oregon for a GPS track with as little road riding as possible doable as a loop without a car shuttle. He set us up with a perfect loop outside of Oakridge following the M. Fork Willamette trail, climbing over a divide, then endless miles of Umpqua river trail to a 35 odd mile connector back to the S. Fork Willamette valley. Lots of trail, some sweet descents and a perfect loop.

Dusty and I woke up at 4:30 am in Vegas, got a flight to Portland. Put bikes together at my friend Eric’s place, got some camping food and hit the road. Being more or less fried from a busy week, we kept forgetting key things like stove fuel and other stuff.

Finally all loaded up we rode away from the car close to 7:00 pm, with less than an hour of daylight left and started a 16 mile climb up a forest road up to Moon Point for the 6+ mile downhill run in the morning. This could be easily skipped but we were game for a sweet downhill run to start the trip off right.

IMG_0503

Darkness fell and we were enshrouded in mist. Climbing and climbing by headlamp I finally ask myself where the fuck we were For a change we were solely relying on Dusty’s iPhone with Gaia GPS running, powering it up we saw we totally missed a turn, wasting over 45 min of climbing. Oh well. We put the high beams on, drop down, take the right turn and set up the beta mid in a gravel pull out.

Morning comes, we quickly get up to the Moon Point trailhead, super stoked to leave the road behind and hit trail. The little detour to moon point gives big views of the M. Fork Willamette valley.

IMG_0511

The descent is a ripper, I was stoked to be on my full suspension bike rather than my S&S coupled hardtail. Before we know it we re at the valley bottom and cruising along the single track river trail climbing gently.

IMG_0523

IMG_0537

The M. Fork trail is great, flowy enough, but with enough rocks and steep ups & downs to keep it interesting. By mid afternoon we hit the spot where we could have continued up to Tippimungous lake, or hit the forest roads to cross over the ridge to the Umpqua. Already short on time due the late start we decided to save something for next time and hit the gravel road for the up and over.

IMG_0546

It was a hot day in the sun but we lucked out and mostly followed tree cover for most of the climb. At the bottom of the ripping forest road descent we filled up water at the springs and started riding the Umpqua trail through the recent Lemolo burn. Trail crews have been hard at work cutting through the felled trees. Tempted by burgers at Lemolo lake lodge we pull off the trail and head across the dam to the lodge. Alas it had closed 45 min earlier so it would be another night of mountain house pro-paks with instant potatoes. We roll into the woods off the lake to camp and call it a day.

IMG_0554

IMG_0562

IMG_0565

A cold morning got us moving and caffeinated early. A quick pop into the Lemolo store to grab some potato chips, the thermometer reads 36 degrees. We quickly get back on the Umpqua trail and warm up quickly. The stoke factor is off the charts, beautiful crisp morning and a full day of endless rolling singletrack in store.

IMG_0569

Dusty and I are continually blown away by the quality of the trail. Fast enough to have great flow while still keeping you on your toes.

IMG_0573

We were told to not miss! the hot springs in route, however when we rolled in to the trail junction all we found were dirty hippies, garbage, patchouli oil and ill mannered dogs. I ll pass thanks. We just wanted to get the fuck out of there.

The day wore on and we kept the pace up. We were supposed to be back to down on Monday night, we knew that wasn t going to happen but did not dilly dally either, we took one 20 min break in the mid-day heat for some face stuffing but that was about it. Go mode.

IMG_0598

IMG_0603

The last few sections of the trail were just amazing, lots of climbing with screaming descents along tight trail. Finally we hit Steamboat creek and turn off onto pavement, an hour later as dusk set in we made camp and fell into our bags with throbbing contact points.

Last day, up at 6:00 am, riding by 7:00 to try to make it to the sewing shop by noon. Pavement gives way to gravel forest road as we climb a bundle over the divide back to the Willamette. Hitting the valley bottom we finish off the loop with a few wonderfully flowing miles down the Willamette singletrack closing the loop to the rental car.IMG_0618

Totally stoked, rejuvenated, Vegas and Interbike a distant memory.

Thanks to Scott Morris for the GPS track and the Oregon peoples of the PNW Bikpacking FB group for a few bits of beta which encouraged me to throw in the puff jacket. Dusty and I were totally impressed with the quality of the trails and can t wait to come back!