Epilepsy Will Not Stop Me

EPILEPSY WILL NOT STOP ME

I have the honor of now representing the Epilepsy Foundation as an Athlete vs Epilepsy. My mission will be to help raise awareness and provide support to those millions whom are suffering from epilepsy including myself. Through my cycling endeavors I hope to inspire those individuals while pushing myself to persevere and not give up on their dreams. Athletes vs Epilepsy

Please click on the image above to be taken to the Athletes vs Epilepsy site

Picking a Shelter for Bikepacking & Backpacking

Example: Single Wall – Tent Tarp Style Shelter

One of the most important gear choices when venturing into the outdoors is what they call the big three. The big three generally consists of the heaviest items; pack, shelter, and sleeping bag. For the sake of this post we are going to just discuss shelter choice. Generally the shelter tends to be the heaviest item and what I have discovered the item of most doubt that people squander unnecessarily. The key to resolving the problem is to figure out what your goal for a shelter is. If your goal is to ride or hike in a relatively short distance and set up a base camp than a lightweight tent is a great option. However if you plan on putting in big miles on a multi-day excursion either riding or walking than an ultralight option is the way to go.

For those who want the lightest and fastest option available than a bivy sack is the way to go, it’s essentially a waterproof breathable bag that your sleeping bag slips into. The pros to this setup is you don’t have to set anything up, just jump in and go to sleep. The biggest con is that if you want room for gear or a little room to move around your out of luck.

The more ideal setup is to use a shaped single wall tent commonly referred to as a tarp tent. These shelters commonly weigh under a pound for a 1 person. For the backpacker you can use a trekking pole instead of tent poles or you can even find a broken branch on-site and use that. For the bikepacker or bicycle tourist you can actually use some guyline and if you’re creative anchor it to your bike instead of using poles.

The last option is the trusty old freestanding double wall tent. There are some really light options available for those who just cannot be without the classic tent setup, unfortunately they usually come with a pretty hefty price tag. However if you want the room of a traditional tent and don’t mind the time it takes to set it up and the space required for the poles than it’s a great option.

In conclusion, one has to decide what matters most to them and commit to the option that best fits his or her style. If comfort is of upmost importance I would suggest a freestanding tent. If you want the lightest fastest option use the bivy, and if you want the best of both worlds the single wall tarp tent may be the best choice.

Winter Woes

My enthusiasm for getting out on the road and ticking away the miles has been put on hold because of a large sum of snow that fell last weekend. Unfortunately Southern Oregon is ill-equipped to handle such conditions so the roads are as slick as an ice skating rink. With cars sliding all over the road it’s no place for a bicycle.

While I do have an indoor trainer I find it difficult to stay motivated or even have fun while sitting on the saddle indoors. All my enjoyment I get from endurance or adventure cycling comes from being outdoors.  What do you do to stay motivated?

Steens Mazama 1000

Image Courtesy of Nathan Jones

It’s official I will be competing in my first self supported ultra endurance race in 2017. In July, Nathan Jones creator of the Trans Am Bike Race will be competing and hosting the 2nd annual running of this event which begins and ends in Portland Oregon. The race is 1000 miles in some of the most beautiful and demanding terrain Oregon has to offer.  Last year the winner finished in 5days: 11hours: 27minutes. The route takes competitors up two of the highest roads in Oregon, Steens Mountain and Crater Lake National Park’s Rim Drive. This race will push the competitors to their limits.

One may ask why subject yourself to such torture? My personal answer is to test my personal limits as well as my skill-sets. My goal however is to just enjoy myself and make it to the finish line.

To learn more about this epic event and to find out how you can participate click the image above.

My Favorite Endurance Food

While many people choose the expensive energy bars and believe me I have tried them all, I like good ol’ peanut M&M’s as my cheap energy source on long bike rides and hikes into the wilderness. 

Besides the fact that it’s inexpensive it also does not melt very easily which is awesome when it’s hot outside. There is nothing like a discusting energy bar thats melted inside its wrapper👎. Each little bag also has enough easily digested protein that keeps you going and doesn’t upset the stomach while giving you just enough sugar to give you that quick energy boost.

Be creative with your tasty treat whether it be making your own trail mix or crushing them up and tossing them in some peanut butter, yummy. What are some of your favorite energy foods? Please post in the comments section below.

Hello world!

Union Peak, Oregon

Happy New Year, this is my first post of many more to come. I look forward to sharing my experiences and ideas with what I hope will become a community of fellow outdoor enthusiasts whom wish to share their experiences as well. I encourage everyone to leave comments and feedback so that we can all learn from each other to make all our outdoor experiences more memorable.

Within the next couple days I will be writing more posts including my goals for 2017.

Thank You,

Nick Neville