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An Easier Way to Bikepack: Nonprofit Curates Vetted Rides With All the Info You Need

The Community Routes Project marks a first step to curate bikepacking adventures that fit into 'normal lifestyles.'

bikepacking alpine #7Get the full details on the above bikepacking trip from a new project sharing route info; (photo/Kurt Refsnider)
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Bikepacking, like any multiday outdoor pursuit, usually requires quite a bit of planning. While the popularity of camping with a bicycle has grown in recent years, easy-to-access route information has been harder to come by — especially for shorter trips that can be finished over a weekend. 

Enter the Community Routes Project (CRoP) from Bikepacking Roots, a nonprofit dedicated to this niche sport. While the group’s website already offers detailed info on long-distance routes throughout the country, its leaders have received repeated requests for shorter trips and ones with greater geographic diversity.

This week, the nonprofit added the first 16 routes for the CRoP. While that’s “far from achieving the above goals,” it’s just the start, the nonprofit said in a press release. A submission process starting this September will allow route creators and local stewards to add to the list. 

“These aren’t routes that the steward linked together and rode once, but rather they’re routes that have been developed, refined, and vetted with the goal of creating the most exceptional and rewarding experience possible for others,” Kurt Refsnider, Bikepacking Roots Co-founder and Routes Director, said in the release.

A photo from a bikepacking trip on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon; (photo/Forrest Radarian)

Community Routes Project: Details

The first 16 routes of the project range from 2-week tours of the Grand Canyon to 2-day trips along crested ridges of the Montana Rockies. Each individual page offers an impressive amount of detail, including difficulty, length, the best season, and even recommended tire size.

There are also photos, route maps, details about the road surface, and dense sections about details and logistics that seem to present every need-to-know detail.

Additionally, the nonprofit says that “route stewards” will update the online resources regularly, as many of them live near their routes and “are champions for bikepacking in their communities,” the release said.

BPR Community Routes Project map
The Community Routes Project map. Bikepacking Roots hopes to add many more routes in the coming months; (photo/Bikepacking Roots)

Bikepacking Roots hopes to build its collection of shorter routes, routes from regions with fewer bikepacking opportunities, beginner-friendly routes, routes accessible via public transportation, and loops rather than more logistically complicated point-to-point routes.

“As the first leader of Bikepacking Roots from the East Coast, I am particularly excited to connect with Route Stewards and showcase more routes on the East Coast as well as other regions of the country that Bikepacking Roots has not explored before,” says Noelle Battle, Executive Director of Bikepacking Roots, who joined the organization in March.

Some of the database expansion will include working with other organizations also offering bikepacking route info. To wit, the “Ride” page also has a “Routes from Other Organizations” tab.

Interested in creating a page for a route near you? The nonprofit will begin accepting submissions this September.

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