After five years of travel on roads & tracks across the glove, we caught up with Franzi & Jona in Germany to do some shorter rides and talk about adventure by bike. The pair has some unique insight as to what it takes to spend an indefinite amount of time bikepacking far from home and offered up some good suggestions via an in depth Q&A.
Tales on Tyres bikepacking around the globe
It is almost a year ago now since we first were introduced to the adventures of the German duo behind Tales on Tyres. The pair were just getting outfitted with a couple of new Bombtrack Beyond+ bikes in the middle of their 15 month trek from Alaska to Patagonia. Since then, their five years of international travel came to a close, flying back from Chile to Dusseldorf. We caught up with them outside of Cologne spending a few days hanging out and riding together as part of Bombtrack’s internal Groundworks rider camp. There Franzi & Jona were still getting used to life back in a country that they hadn’t called home for a very long time. We got a bit of insight into their travels. But they were already thinking about how to answer all of those Frequently Asked Questions that everyone wanted to know.
Tales on Tyres bikepacking Q&A
So Tales on Tyres put out a call to their followers to ask away and they put together a detailed Q&A on their website.
Besides breaking down the difference between what the pair packed at the start of their travels when it was more about backpacking and the later part of the journey when it became all bikepacking (hint: that answer is pretty much just bike tools, and a few key spares) the most frequent questions they get asked are about food & water.
Reader: What do you eat to keep your energy and weight up? TOT: Our diet mainly consisted of chocolate cookies, nuts and pasta.
Reader: How did you know how much water you would need each day? Did you have situations where you were close to or did run out of water? TOT: Yes, we definitely ran out of water a few times but it never catapulted us in a life threatening situation. On average, we carried 8L each for one day of cycling and a night of camping, including water for cooking pasta, oatmeal and a cup of coffee the next morning.
There is plenty of bike specific enquiries in there too. Like how they adopted a tubeless setup ahead of the Baja Divide. And while the cacti tore their tires up, it was never anything that sealant or an on-the-go fix couldn’t solve. In the end never having to resort to their back up tubes after more than a year on tour. Or how much they actually maintained the bikes out on tour.
Reader: What is your regular, basic maintenance procedure? TOT: Usually, every couple of month we do wash our entire bikes.
Reader: Why do you prefer the bikepacking – over the classic touring setup? TOT: The bikepacking setup just allows us to pretty much go anywhere we want.
There’s plenty more insight in the Tales on Tyres Q&A. Whether you want to try out bikepacking or take it even further and head out on a proper unending adventure Franzi & Jona have a lot of great information to spare. They’ll tell you why they might suggest riding the Peru Divide, the Ausangate Travers, or even the Great Divide. Or read along to see how the pair have changed their outlook on life over the course of their adventure. And of course to see where they will be riding next…