1 May 2017
I ventured out on my first bikepacking trip in 2008 into the foothills above Boulder, Colorado, my home at the time, to test out the newfangled [to me] idea of camping with my mountain bike. The ride was in preparation for the now defunct Grand Loop Race. That ride, and the 360-mile self-supported bikepacking race that followed, forever changed my relationship with bikes and the outdoors. In the decade since then, I’ve opted to spend nearly all of my free time pedaling long distances loaded down with food, water, and a little camping gear in explorations of place, community, and, self. This journey has never ceased being inspirational as I’ve traveled the world by bike, raced and toured with incredible people, and had the pleasure of coaching, teaching, and sharing bikepacking with others.
Bikepacking is now exploding in popularity. I believe that this is a reflection of the cycling community desiring adventure, a mode of quiet off-road exploration, connections to community and the natural world, and attainable yet noncompetitive challenge. Bikepacking Roots is a vision formed in the midst of a bikepacking trip in late 2015. It was born of the idea that the bikepacking community is growing and needs a voice for advocacy and education that will help inform and inspire a recreational user group that is thoughtful, responsible, and has a conservation consciousness. This growing community also has needs for intentionally planned and researched routes for the diverse desires of today’s bikepackers.
In the eighteen months since the inception of the Bikepacking Roots dream, I’ve received nothing but enthusiasm and support for this undertaking. The road to this launch has been filled with collaboration and a wealth of support in so many forms, including time, ideas, interest, financial backing, and skills volunteered in order to launch a community-driven non-profit organization.
I genuinely thank everyone who has helped bring us this far already, and I’m excited to announce the launch of Bikepacking Roots today. I hope you will join the mission of the organization – to explore, inform, connect, and conserve through bikepacking. Over the next three weeks, we’ll be sharing more about our goals, releasing new bikepacking routes, and announcing exciting new projects already underway.
Kurt Refsnider, Ph.D.
Founding Executive Director
A Letter from the
Bikepacking Roots is a 7,000-member-strong 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and advancing bikepacking, growing a diverse bikepacking community, advocating for the conservation of the landscapes and public lands through which we ride, and creating professional routes. We value human-powered experiences and an inclusive, engaged, and informed membership that makes a positive impact as we adventure by bike.
Our Business Partners support the bikepacking community, conservation, and public lands:
Our organizational partners that support bikepacking, advocacy, conservation, and outdoor recreation: