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Reply to Norfolk to Valentine in 3 days

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Reply to Norfolk to Valentine in 3 days
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Greg from Bellevue, NE on 7/5/2021 1:34:18 PM:
Planning on riding from east to west, 3 days. Riding 40 mm tubeless on gravel bike while pulling a Bob trailer with my camping gear. Planning on riding 70 miles or so 1st day, then maybe 60 the next and remainder the 3rd day. Any tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Alex from Lincoln on 7/6/2021 8:15:02 AM:
If it's possible to switch from the Bob Trailer to panniers it may be worth it. I've pulled a Bob on cowboy trail a few times and also done it with panniers and I find panniers to be easier. The Bob felt like a boat anchor at times. It was probably due to me loading more into the bob since I had more room. The other thing to consider it's one more tube you have to worry about going flat. If you go with the bob, keep it light!

Dougt from Onawa, Ia on 7/6/2021 2:47:15 PM:
I'd agree with Alex about panniers over the Bob. If you get into loose gravel on the south end as some reports have noted it seems like it would be really, really tough. And of course you're carrying more weight than in panniers because you've got the room and you can. My annual trip takes 3 days from the east, an 80 and two 60's, then turning around and going back. But I get a room each night. I ride a mtn bike with panniers, 2" tires. Whatever you decide, it will be an adventure and that's why I like the Cowboy Trail. It's not like riding 200 miles on a paved bike trail. Enjoy the journey, put sealant in your tires to be safe, and carry plenty of water on the west end.

Dougt from Onawa, Ia on 7/6/2021 2:53:01 PM:
When I mentioned sealant I was referring to the BOB tires if you go that route, since you're covered with the tubeless on the bike. I've done this 4 years and only one year did I not have issues with goat heads. Like I said, it's an adventure.

Greg from Bellevue, NE on 7/6/2021 7:21:26 PM:
Thanks for the tips. I have rear rack with panniers. No rack mounts on front fork. Was just going to put tent, sleeping bag and sleep pad in the trailer, about 15 lbs. Now I'm wondering about trailer... Figured if trail was too soft, I could ride highway for a bit.

Greg from Bellevue, NE on 7/7/2021 10:29:26 AM:
Thinking of maybe 2 days now, O'Neill to Valentine. Then hopefully can fit all my gear on the bike, no trailer.

Dave from Sacramento CA on 7/19/2021 9:05:57 PM:
Two days would be very ambitious. The trail is not in great shape in a lot of spots (I only know about Valentine to Bassett, where I am as I write this). When I planned my trip I thought 65 miles would be a reasonably easy start, but It turned out to be tough thanks to the combination of a little overpacking in the panniers, a lot of loose sandy areas and a detour on the trail, and unrelenting sun. I have some pretty thick tires that hit a lot of goat heads despite my attempts to dodge the (not really possible), and I ended up with one slow-leak flat that I didn’t discover till I was in a hotel kicking back. In cooler weather and with thicker tires, I might go a little farther.

Greg from Bellevue, NE on 7/20/2021 7:29:50 AM:
Thanks Dave. Planning on leaving from O'Neill tomorrow morning (Wednesday). Still planning to camp in Ainsworth that night and then into Valentine Thursday. Hopefully all goes well. Putting more sealant in tires tonight.