Some cheap American branded/Asia manufactured steel 29+ rigs stacked with a healthy stock of water and food for 5 days of riding. No real ambitions for this ride, other than to cross the park, hang out at the Sauceda station in the interior, eat some ice-cream and pound some cokes, then loop back east to Lajitas. I'm a Chihuahuan desert rat, residing in southern NM, but I instantly felt both familiar and at odds with the scenery as we rolled out.
Remnant water flow from some recent rains, despite the warnings from Desert Sports in Terlingua, of near zero availability within the park
Intersect signage along the very shreddable Contrabando Loop.
Abandoned candelilla wax bunkhouse.
Filtered autumn light.
So much Stans sealant was shed on this ride. I was bordering on the brink of an anxiety attack wondering if my tires were going to stay inflated and seated for the duration of the trip. Every hiss and pop from an acacia thorn breaking off into the sidewall, or barrel cactus barb disappearing into the tread was stress inducing. Even with a robust repair kit, I was low on sealant with my tubeless setup, which left me nursing a slow leak all the way to Sauceda on the second day.
Rincon camp with the Flatirons as a backdrop.
Scouting Fresno Canyon water availability, which was abundant.
Sawyer squeeze did the trick for two. Chemical treatment as a back up.
There was of course, some hike a bike, and route finding.
I managed to pack spare DEAD batteries for this trip, so the remainder of the ride was captured infrequently on an iPhone, and of much poorer quality.
I fully intend to return to the park on the bike and explore the vast stretch of Chihuahuan desert that is Big Bend Ranch State Park.
Much credit to Logan of Bikepacking.com for inspiring us to make the drive down south for this ride. We rode a variation of the route in the link below, with some added side trips, but generally stuck to this itinerary: