Naked Women's Racing Blog

Race reports, training tips, and our ladies' lives on two wheels.

Mountain Bike Hut Trip: If You Go

If you have ever considered a mountain bike hut trip then this is a must read. Emily Zinn shares with us some great suggestions on preparing for this type of adventure.

Just got back from riding hut to hut from Telluride to Moab in the San Juan Hut System and have reached the only obvious conclusion: every bicycle enthusiast in the west should do this trip in their lifetime. Here are my nuggets of wisdom if any part of you thinks you would consider doing it.

If you go:
The peeps: Pick your group well. If you want some significant time for FAFF during the day (the acronym for Fucking Around for Fucking Forever), pick other FAFFers. If you want to beeline, invite type-As. And make sure they are people that you can communicate well with while you’re all hungry and out of water in 110-degree heat and are fixing a broken spoke after sitting on a cactus. Okay, fair, nobody can communicate with anyone in those conditions, but certainly there are people who come closer to that mark than others.

The dates: We went the last week in June, which we thought was the perfect balance of the snow being melted, not dreadfully hot, not needing to bring too much cold-weather gear and not encountering rain.

The (wo)man with the plan: Over-plan. Try your bags out on a long ride, with weight. Know the wheel sizes, axle types, suspension types and number of speeds of all bikes in your group. Plan a drive-around. Try to convince a carload of your friends to do a Moab trip and pick up your cars in Telluride on the way. Have a bag with clean stuff in it stashed in your car for when you get there.   Don’t schedule yourself at work the day after you get off.

The amenities: Each hut is almost identical. They have one small room with eight bunks along two walls, a wood stove, a propane stove with two burners, a large cooler for perishables and a small cooler for beer and soda, a porch and a Park bike maintenance stand. They have foam Paco Pads, mid-weight bed rolls, filtered water jugs and propane canisters.

At each hut expect:
A floor pump
A first aid kit
Good beer of many varieties
Fresh and canned fruit
Fresh and canned veggies
Fresh eggs
Fresh bacon
Canned fish and meats (you can satisfy that once-per-decade SPAM meal, certainly. In related news, happy 80th to the SPAM company!)
Canned soups
Energy bars
Sports drink
Dried fruits and nuts
Nut butters
Oats, granola, grits, etc.
Milk: dehydrated and canned and in individual coffee packets
Coffee: ground and instant
Coconut oil, which made a great heavy-duty lotion for cracking hands and feet

What I packed:
Daily riding gear:
1 jersey
2 bibs, alternating days of washing and wearing
Baggies that doubled as camp shorts
1 pair riding socks
1 pair bike shoes
1 sports bra
Long-finger summer gloves
3-liter bladder
Water bottle
Garmin with all maps pre-downloaded
Chamois cream (Euro-style!)

Personal gear:
Buff: served as a dust filter for when cars passed on dirt roads, wash cloth, wet neck cooler, warmer, pillow case, towel
Thin fleece hat
Waterproof cold weather gloves
Wool long underwear for pjs
Wool tank top for lounging and pjs
Melanzana hoodie
Pen (I used maps from previous days as note paper)
Diva Cup
iPhone: camera, music (make sure it’s actually downloaded and not just on SoundCloud or Spotify), audiobooks (downloaded with OverDrive), PDF info from the hut company (downloaded), alarm for day 6 when we woke up early to beat the heat
ID and credit card
1 pair underwear, washed daily
Head lamp
Nail clipper w file
Chapstick with SPF

Rain gear:
Gore-Tex leg warmers
Packable rain jacket that also served as an outer warm layer if needed

Luxury items:
Crocs camp shoes
Comfy socks
Inflatable Sea to Summit pillow
Practical joke fodder, including sparkly streamers, action figures, clip-on aero bars

Group gear:
InReach beacon
3 copies of maps and daily ride directions provided by hut company
Charger chords for devices
Solar panel for camping recharging (Goal Zero)
Goal Zero battery packs, charger
Water filter for pumping trailside on long days

Mechanical gear:
Correct derailleur hanger for each bike on the trip
1 spare tire for each wheel size
Shock pump
Disc brake pads
1 Kevlar universal spoke replacement
2 spare valve cores
3 spare tubes, 2×29, 1×27.5
Five packs of patch kits
Hand pump
Spare master links for 10- and 11- speed
Master link tool (mine was part of a tire lever pair)
Co2 cartridges
Zip ties
Duct tape
Electrical tape

Gorilla Tape
Chain lube, enough to lube a couple times a day when dusty
Multi tool w chain breaker and #8
B links specific to your derailleurs

First aid:
CBD capsules
CBD ointment
Suture kit
Lidocaine ointment
Sleeping pills
Wilderness First Aid travel guide
Vet tape
High-pressure irrigation syringe
Tegaderm with Benzonine for sticking
Emergency blankets
Kenesio tape
Latex gloves
CPR barrier mask
Cranberry capsules, although they had  Craisins in the huts, so eat those regularly instead to keep your urinary tract clean
Manuka honey for wound care, wound pain and emergency calories