Forums Trip Reports Pedal Your Turns: Pedal-Powered Backcountry Snowsliding
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  • #575048
    Sam@UOOP
    22 Posts

    Pedal Your Turns: Sierra Nevada Expedition

    A pedal-powered backcountry tour from Eugene, Or to Tioga Pass, CA.

    By: Fred Sproat and Sam Appelbaum

    It was over a year ago that the high peaks and easy access of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Range captivated our collective imagination. At the end of a three day backcountry tour we realized we only scratched the surface of the range of light and were already planning a second trip on the drive back home.

    We dreamed of returning to this range but riding on two wheels instead of four and burning calories instead of gas. Why not make our return a pedaled powered backcountry expedition? Why not earn our turns all the way from the doorstep instead of just the trailhead? We were environmental studies graduates from the University of Oregon and this trip was our direct action response to the issues that were taught and tested in lecture halls and debated at bars.

    Our 630 mile ride began amidst Eugene’s vibrant bike culture and weaved through roads where cyclists were few and far between. We pedaled through towns where the idea of bikes as a viable form of transportation was an afterthought. We left Eugene with little more than torn out pages from a road atlas and a vague idea of the route we’d take. The allure of Tioga Pass’s peaks and couloirs made our loaded down 80 pound bikes feel manageable and like we were pedaling with a purpose.

    We arrived in Lee Vining California after nine full days of riding and were stoked to know the bike tour was done and the backcountry tour was about to begin. The ten mile, 3,000 foot climb up Tioga Pass was over before noon and 24 hours later we found ourselves dropping into our first lines. We made turns through spring corn and climbed granite lined couloirs. The profundity of the trip hit home atop 13,000 ft Mt. Dana. For most folks the climb begins at 10,000 ft and takes three hours. For us it began at 400 ft and took two weeks. The bliss, freedom, and flow of sliding down its north face was only paralleled by biking back down to our camp that night.

    For a more detailed report on the bike ride, significant places, and the turns we made please check out http://www.pedalyourturns.com

    all photographs courtesy of Fred Sproat

    :thumpsup:

    #641231
    jbaysurfer
    947 Posts

    Sheesh..that’s all you did? Lazy!

    😉

    #641232
    rughty
    620 Posts

    That is pretty sick :headbang: Nice boards by the way!!!

    #641233
    Taylor
    792 Posts

    Rad. Could you post some close-ups to show how you fastened the board to the bike frame?

    @sun_rocket

    #641234
    Sam@UOOP
    22 Posts

    @taylor wrote:

    Rad. Could you post some close-ups to show how you fastened the board to the bike frame?

    Both Fred and I used a 3′ cam strap on the top tube to bring the board/skis together, then we simly rested the back end atop our Duluth Pack Panniers. I put the ends of the board through my backpack straps and then used three separate cam straps to tighten everything down.

    (http://duluthpack.com/outdoor-gear/biking/pannier-bag-bike-bag.html)

    #641235
    SPLITRIPPIN
    709 Posts

    This is the best stoke ever :thatrocks:

    Good job ya’ll that looks like a super sweet trip! X 2 :thumpsup: :thumpsup:

    Car’s R Coffinz

    #641236
    spruce cabin
    263 Posts

    Inspiring! :disco:

    #641237
    JC
    90 Posts

    [/quote]

    While highly unlikely, I had horrible images of slipping a pedal and the potential top tube sack splitting moment this could create… 😯

    #641238
    Sam@UOOP
    22 Posts

    @jc wrote:

    While highly unlikely, I had horrible images of slipping a pedal and the potential top tube sack splitting moment this could create… :shock:[/quote]

    Naaahhh. Hardest part was getting on and off the bike. Otherwise you couldn’t even tell the board was there.

    #641239
    SPLITRIPPIN
    709 Posts

    Hold up… are you rockin’ a Surly frame? Is that the cross-check or the 1×1… proud owner of a 1×1 myself…that mission would have been super slick on the Karate Monkey

    Nice choice in bikes..

    Seeing your homee is a fellow Minnesotan… point that steez towards the BWCA… fine campin’ and fishing up there.

    again such a wicked idea for a trip.. :thumpsup:

    #641240
    Sam@UOOP
    22 Posts
    SPLITRIPPIN wrote:
    Hold up… are you rockin’ a Surly frame? Is that the cross-check or the 1×1… proud owner of a 1×1 myself…that mission would have been super slick on the Karate Monkey
    /quote]

    I rode a Long Haul Trucker on 26″ wheels while Fred rode a Karate Monkey.

    Our buddy Adam joined us for the ride in Carson City. He also rode a Karate Monkey.

    The rider with the blue helmet is a close friend who met us on Tioga Pass. He drove up.

    #641241
    buckchow
    356 Posts

    That’s an awesome multi-modal experience you folks did, nice.

    #641242
    SchralphMacchio
    474 Posts

    so freaking stoketacular!

    #641243
    treetop
    63 Posts

    @sam@UOOP wrote:

    Our 630 mile ride …

    😯 that’s a long way… great trip!

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