Bring what you need.
Packing varies a little for everyone, but it never hurts to have a checklist for a trip to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Some years our cyclists have used every layer, and purchased more. Some years, our cyclists have had mild weather, using only some layers. Please do not assume temperatures will be the same - they fluctuate year to year.
Bike - We recommend a road bike with enough gearing to get you through climbs that can last 10-20 miles at 6-7% grades. For some this may be gearing of 42/23, especially when climbing is a typical part of everyday riding. For others, this may be a 32/29 type of gearing. Our routes do include steeper grades up to 10%, but not for long periods of time. Of course, this does not mean you cannot ride a mountain bike or touring bike with a great pair of slicks. We want you to be comfortable, however, so the lighter the bike, the easier it is to ride the distances required. Additionally, it is highly recommended to use a GatorSkin type of tire when bike touring in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem because we have everything from smooth roads to mountain passes that get hammered by weather.
Pedals - SPD style shoes/pedal combination is recommended, but not necessary. You may pedal with platform pedals and sneakers, however a nice clip-in set up will help you through Cycle Greater Yellowstone.
Helmet and gloves - Cycle Greater Yellowstone requires a helmet approved by CPSC, Snell, ANSI or ASTM. Just look inside the helmet and there will be a sticker telling you. Gloves are a barrier for your skin if you fall, they create a layer in bad weather, and good padding in the palms can help prevent hand soreness over the miles.
Bike pouch - You will not need big saddle bags for this ride. We are a fully supported ride, including full SAG and bike mechanics on the route. A few items will do the trick, especially if you can change a tube or ride with someone who can help you, such as a bike tube, a way to air a tire, basic bike tool, tire levers, a small patch kit, gel or bar (just in case), a rain poncho or plastic bag, some cash/card and ID. See below for a complete recommended packing list.
Clothing - First, weather. Montana, Idaho and Wyoming are notorious for ever-changing weather extremes – all year long. There’s no way of telling if you’re going to be riding in 90-degree heat or see a coating of frost on your tent in the morning – and, actually, you’re probably going to have both. Believe it or not, snow is a possibility, even in August. You should pack at least a little bit of every weather-level of clothing. And this is dry-air country – don't forget to bring plenty of lip balm, sunscreen and skin lotion.
Please remember: you’re allowed to bring one or two bags, and weight should not exceed 65 pounds.
If you are interested in renting a bike, please contact Melissa or Tom - see more information below about bike shipping.
We’ll have a Gear Drop service at rest stops where you can shed clothes as the day warms up, so bring those arm and leg warmers, booties, base layers and jackets, ear warmers… and also bring lightweight stuff and plenty of sunscreen. You will need to bring your own small bag to drop your gear at the gear drops on the route. Old sleeping bag stuff sacks, plastic zip lock bags and mesh laundry bags are great drop sacks. Additionally, you can make them noticeable so you can find them easily at camp.
SHIPPING YOUR BIKE?
You may ship your bike via Fed Ex or UPS Address for 2017: 411 N. Geyser, West Yellowstone, Montana 59758. You can also ship through Bike Flights. Our landing page to work with them is here. Mechanics will be onsite to assemble and disassemble bikes for an additional fee - paid on site. Your rider information survey sent in early March 2017 asks for assembly/disassembly information.
You may contact our CGY mechanics and official providers at the two sites below and mention you are riding in CGY 2017 and they will help you! Melissa: http://www.freeheelandwheel.com Tom: http://www.gallatinalpinesports.com