Salsa Bikepacking Overnighter

Brands like Salsa are unique, compared to “big brands” in that they have a close connection with the folks who ride their bikes; particularly around this town.

We are lucky to have several members of the Salsa team in our neighborhood, and their bikes that roll in and out of the shop have a homegrown feel – especially when some of the bike engineers are drinking our coffee on the way to work. Another benefit is the ability to throw an event like we had here last weekend:

Justin (from Salsa) sometimes drives a demo van around the Midwest, visiting Salsa dealers, but we thought he should make the trek from Bloomington to south MPLS with some bikepacking gear to allow a group of riders to try loading up their camping equipment. The group had varying levels of experience, but most everything that was brought along, was able to fit into the provided bags. We departed from the shop and rode to Lebanon Hills Campground where we were welcomed with a bonfire and some snacks & beverages.

The original plan was to ride from the shop through the river bottoms, and pop out by 77 to finish the ride to Leb, but a week of heavy rain restricted us to the roads… boring. At least we caught an awesome sunset overlooking the airport. It’s a reminder that even though you plan a trip months in advance, last minute changes in weather can force you to improvise. Plus, it’s more likely to be an adventure that way.

With that in mind, there is still time to get some gear together and spend some nights outside with your bike. The weather is great, the colors are about to peak, and we know too well that, around here, that can change in the matter of a day or two.

Round trip, if the trails are open and you go the fun way, this trip is about 40 miles in total. Here’s Acacia’s flyby of the return from camp:

L-R Jeff, Ryan, Matt, Zach, Chris, Todd, Tracy, Chris, Len, Brian, Rachel, Acacia, and James (on the ground)

We had to throw at least one big hill in on the route…

Great sunset spot south of Mendota

Is there a better way to wake your fellow campers up?

Chilly mornings require some warmth before the sun gets going

I can still hear the enthusiastic honking from the flock of geese that landed at 4am

Nothing quite like sunrise when you’re sleeping outside in the cold.

Thank you Salsa!


We’ll definitely be doing this again! If this sort of thing interests you, please come talk to us – whether you’re new to it or looking for people to adventure with.