A few years ago, an exciting new aspect of cycling sprang to life to captured the hearts and minds of––almost nobody. Cycling is always quick to adopt anything rogue, niche, or underground, but the pursuit we now know as bikepacking had what I would say was a long and agonizingly slow birth. The passionate band of pioneers to put bikepacking on the map were an ambitious and adaptive bunch willing to use any means necessary to strap a spartan assemblage of camping items to their mountain bikes before launching headlong into the wilderness. My good friend Greg Ooley and I did our first bikepacking trip many years ago in such a manner. Within miles of leaving the trailhead we had stuff scattered all over the trail. Times have changed, and while bikepacking remains niche, it has gained widespread acceptance and grows more popular with every riding season.
These days there’s no danger of having your camping gear leap from your bike mid switchback. That’s due to the second wave of bikepacking pioneers like Andrew Wracher, the founder and owner of Bedrock Bags of Durango, Colorado. Bedrock Bags and Packs specializes in rackless luggage systems for bikepacking, bicycle touring, as well as everyday use. Andrew’s offerings are a mix of custom fabrications and expertly designed stock items. Using only the best materials available such as 4-layer sail cloth, Bedrock bags are crafted to exacting standards. Put to use by some of the most well respected and experienced bikepackers in the country, they are beautiful bags capable of enduring the most rugged and protracted mountain bike epics.
Andrew came to bikepacking by way of a genuine love of cycling. From an early start in road and mountain bike racing to exploring the hills of his adopted home in Durango, Andrew’s experience in the backcountry is conveyed in every bag that leaves his workshop. I was initially introduced to Bedrock Bags by dumb luck, finding one of Andrew’s Wingate Stem Bags at a local bike shop. I was immediately impressed by the thoughtfulness of the design and the insanely detailed execution of construction. It only took a few pings reaching out to my local bikepacking pals to learn that Andrew’s work is not just well vetted, but revered by even the most staunch bikepacking critics. In short, this is gear to envy and prize. It still blows my mind these are the manifestations of one man’s time and passion for bikepacking. The level of detail in each piece is impressive.
As a long time rider myself, I love backpacking for more reasons than I can articulate. One of the things that endears me to the sport is the fact I know there are passionate craftsmen like Andrew hunched over in a workshop making quality products to enhance the experience of riding a bike through the backcountry. Thanks, Andrew.