Slumming it in Steamboat Springs

This morning I decided to bail and head down US40 to Steamboat instead of doing the Wyoming Trail. I was beat, and my topo map indicated that the first few miles up to the trail went straight up the fall line. (I don’t know why I never noticed that before.) I am not in the kind of shape I need to be in to ride a loaded Pugsley up something like that!

Of course my rear tire was completely flat this morning. So I said “f*ck it, I only have to ride another 20 miles, on pavement, almost all downhill, just use the spare tube.” My love affair with Stan’s sealant is now over. 😦 Stan’s is a real necessity on my home terrain with all its goathead thorns, but for expedition touring it is too much trouble.

The ride to town was, of course, a whole lotta downhill. 😀

Gotta love signs like this. 😀


In town, I hit the hot springs pool for about an hour, then a big burger at the local diner, and headed for home.

Aside from being a lot of fun and a good break from work, the trip succeeded as a shakedown ride for my gear.  I learned a lot of things

  • I don’t really like the feeling of panniers on the back and I might try a trailer on my next ride. (This is not a knock against the Arkels — I think they are brilliantly executed pieces of equipment.)  Aside from the balance issue, I found that the extra weight made my rear tire feel squishy, which made me put more pressure in that tire, which made my butt hurt! Kind of defeats the purpose of riding a fat bike if you have to make the tires rock hard.
  • I found the Esbit stove that I was using to be frustratingly slow. Jenn and Doug told me that Esbit fuel tabs are almost impossible to find in most small towns. They were using a jetboil (which lives up to its name BTW), which uses a canister that, according to them, you can find everywhere. And they were still on their 3rd canister after 4 weeks on the trail!
  • Anonymous USFS guy gave me the tip about the SteriPEN.
  • Tubeless tires are more trouble than they’re worth!

2 thoughts on “Slumming it in Steamboat Springs

  1. Fun website! I ride a Mukluk, and goatheads are driving me crazy. Sounds like tubeless was a bad idea for you. Have you tried running Stans through your tubes for flat prevention?

  2. Sounds like a productive and illuminating (not to mention fun) shakedown ride. I didn’t mind as much as you do the Arkels in back when I rode my Pugs in AK, but I get what you’re saying about it being hard to find a middle ground between too squishy and unconfortably firm. I think I just learned to live with squish!

    Yeah, the steripen is great. Apparently there is a USB rechargeable one now, which would be even better for a tour where every few day Internet cafe stops were expected.


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