MYOBG I. - 'SNACK BAG'

MYOBG - ‘Make your own bikepacking gear’

First (or last) in the series of MYOBG, let’s start with a DIY tutorial for making your own ’SNACK BAG’ bag. That's the bag which carries your snacks, camera, phone and other stuff that you want to have on hand at all times.

Bikepacking bag

Stuff you'll need:

- 1/2 m of a thick waterproof fabric (I recycled an old inflatable mattress)

This will be the outer material of the bag, therefore you need it to be durable. You can use fabrics as: X-Pac, Cordura, heavy Ripstop, waxed cotton canvas or recycle some of your old camp gear.

- 1/2 m of lining material

I recommend using lighter synthetic fabric, preferable waterproof

- Light ripstop fabric for the draw cord closing top

- 1 m Paracord string or elastic cord

- 2 x Cord stopper

- 0.5 m webbing 20mm width

- 0.5 m velcro (hook + loop) in 20mm width

* Smaller piece of closed cell foam (evazote), for padding if you are planning to carry a camera

Things you will need to make your own 'snack bag'

Things you will need to make your own 'snack bag'

STEPS

1.          Print a downloadable PDF file on A4 paper (do not resize!) and cut it out

Cut the patterns out of paper.

Cut the patterns out of paper.

2.           Cut parts A, B, and C from thicker waterproof fabric and from lining fabric.

Cut out the pattern from waterproof and lining fabric in amounts given on the pattern.

Cut out the pattern from waterproof and lining fabric in amounts given on the pattern.

3.          Cut part D from light ripstop fabric, reflecting the pattern over the dashed line.

These are the parts you should have after you cut out all the patterns in the amounts given

These are the parts you should have after you cut out all the patterns in the amounts given

4.          First sew together A + B + A together on their longer sides and leave 1 cm out before finishing the stitch (this will make it easier to sew on the bottom)

NOTE: The pattern contains 1 cm seam allowance!

5.          Apply the 27 cm long nylon webbing, just 2cm under the top. Make sure you burn down both sides of the webbing strap before sewing it on (this will prevent the strap to run up). Make loops with the distances of 2,5 cm (not smaller, otherwise the velcro straps won’t fit into them). Run each stitch 2 times forth and back to secure it and burn the leftover thread, that way you can avoid stitch opening.

6.          Apply 11 cm long webbing strap on the C part in the middle and sew on 2,5 cm loops on it.

Webbing straps sewn on with loops of 2,5cm width.

Webbing straps sewn on with loops of 2,5cm width.

7.          Sew together the remaining part of the B pattern to the A+B+A part, which you sew together in the beginning.

Now you have the body of the bag

Now you have the body of the bag

8.          Sew on the C part (the bottom).

The outer body of the bag sewn together with the bottom

The outer body of the bag sewn together with the bottom

9.      Follow the same process with the lining fabric, skipping the application of webbing. Live a small hole on the A+B side of approx. 6 cm length (the hole will serve for turning the lining inside-out, when it’s sewn on the outer part).

10.     Now comes the draw cord closing top. Fold the fabric on half and sew it as show on the picture. Leave a hole of approx. 2 cm length in the middle, this will be the hole where the draw cord will exit. 

11.      Fold the two sides of the fabric apart and top-stitch them. Now fold the fabric on half, so you have the cord exit hole on the top.

Top stitch the two folded sides.

Top stitch the two folded sides.

12.      Introduce the cord with the cord stopper through the hole and make a knot at the end (you can do this at the end as well).

Insert the drawcord with the cord stopper through the hole. Make a knot at the end.

Insert the drawcord with the cord stopper through the hole. Make a knot at the end.

13.      Sew the D part on the outer part of the bag, facing downwards

Sew on the drawcord closing part onto the outer body of the bag

Sew on the drawcord closing part onto the outer body of the bag

14.      Turn the lining inside out, and sew it on the outer body of the bag and the drawcord part

The outer parts of body and lining should face each other before sewn together at the top

The outer parts of body and lining should face each other before sewn together at the top

15.      Turn the lining inside out, through that 5cm hole you've left open

16.      Sew up the small hole

17.      Sew on a draw cord puller ( you can skip it, but it’s handy especially when riding with gloves)

18.      Make 3 x velcro straps by cutting 3 x 8 cm (hook) and 3 x 8 cm (look) and face them together on the surface of 2 cm. Sew that part with a ‘safety square’.

NOTE: Length of the velcro straps depends on your stem and handlebar circumference.

19.      Make a safety draw cord for attaching the bag through the loops of the D part onto the bike frame

20.      Voila! Now strap on the bag on your bike and you are ready to go!

If you have any questions about this tutorial feel free to ask! 

#myobg #skillshare

 

JEBELA CESTA - BIKEPACKING SLOVENIA

When me and G started to plan summer holidays, we were sure we want to do a bike touring holidays, what we didn’t know was what would be the destination. First idea was to cycle the lenght of Norway and pay a visit to one of G’s friend, but since this would have been our first common bike tour it seemed a bit of a hustle with all the traveling and trasportations. We came to an agreement to do a tour around my home country Slovenia, since our travel there is always conected with family visits, andwe never spend much time exploring around the country. After the decision was made we basically spent all of our free time on route planning, gear choosing and preparing the bike. We wanted to do the tour bikepacking style, with big fat tubeless tires and as little gear as possible. Slovenia is experiencing a tourist boom in the past few years, so we knew we want to skip the high summer season and setting our departure date to mid-September. We took in consideration the September weather from previous years, hoping to have brilliant weather, with perfect temperatures for cycling and very few tourist. 

Boarding the train in Budapest

Boarding the train in Budapest

We boarded ourselves and our fully loaded 30kg bikes on sunny Saturday morning train towards Slovenian border, where we planned to take of and start our trip. First day we spent riding through the Slovenian’s chicken head (look at map), mostly through forest roads, fields and tiny little villages with abnormal road gradients (from 17% to 21%). This part of the country is quite isolated and mostly populated with older people who run their own farms usually in the middle of nowhere. And that’s where we slept that night, we set up a tent on an old couples backyard in the middle of nowhere just few meters from Austrian border.

First night camping next to the lonely farm.

First night camping next to the lonely farm.

Next day we sought for some good burek (we only found a horrible one), got lost by our GPS track and arrived to Maribor just before it started to rain. When I checked the forecast that evening for the upcoming days I was literally horrified. It showed nothing but rain, rain and more rain for the next few days. Yes we were prepared with rain gear, but honestly who wants to ride all day in a pouring rain, through muddy trails, sleep in a wet tent and repeat that the next day, and the day after and the day after that day? Not us.

Next day we were suppose to take the funicular to the Pohorje plateau, where we would spent riding across for the next two days. But all we got in the morning was a big black cloud above our head and pouring rain, like someone just opened a water pipe. We decided to seek shelter at my family's house and wait it out until it looked a bit more cheerful to ride. In spite of the decision, we still wanted to ride to Celje, which is approx. 60 km from Maribor, just so we wouldn’t look like too pussies. Well we certainly didn’t make it to Celje, but only about 20 km from Maribor in the biggest storm. The water was coming from all direction, it was lightning, and the only thing which was keeping our spirit up was the whiskey, which we were sipping at every bus station we passed.

After a day of drying ourselves we got a brake in the clouds, and used the opportunity to take a 2 day trip to Logar valley, which is not so far from my home village, but still there is a mountain to climb in between.

View with the coffee. Not the other way around.

View with the coffee. Not the other way around.

Logar valley

Logar valley

There is many glacial valleys in Slovenia, but there are only few which are advertised for tourist and that certainly doesn’t mean others are less beautiful or less spectacular and Logar valley is one of them. It’s not a known destination for tourist, not many of them even heard about it and only few actually visit it. It’s a stunning dead end valley with a ‘picture perfect’ waterfall at the end. There were few moments when it felt like being in Iceland (if we forget about the trees). Due to big amount of rain the temperature dropped so we reserved ourselves a room in a mountain hut, that way we wouldn’t have to worry about bringing a tent or possible rain during the night. We arrived there in the late afternoon, the sun was already giving last breaths behind the mountain tops and we were totally surprised when we learned we were the only guests in the hut.

We woke up into mild but very windy morning with a tought of getting back home before afternoon, knowing another multi day storm was apporaching with a lightning speed. While crossing the mountain pass we got caught into a cold fog cloud, and we were not sure if it’s raining or why the hell we were totally wet.

Navigating through the black cloud.

Navigating through the black cloud.

Next few days we spent at home filling up our ‘fat stock’, sneaking on bears (unfortunately we were left out for this experiance) and picking mushrooms. On Sunday we said stop to this madness, packed our bikes and left for Slovenian sea side with a train. We knew there are still few rainy days ahead, but at that point we were fed up and we just wanted to ride, no matter what. In worst case we would get stuck in the mud, ran out of food and die from hypothermia (haha).

Catching a train to the seaside.

Catching a train to the seaside.

We spent a day cruising Slovenian coast, checking out the Strunjan national park and the Moon bay, eating pizza and hoping the threatening black cloud would go away. It rained entire night and we woke up to a soaking tent with a surrounding mud field and more rain.

Piran

Piran

We were hesitating with decision what we should do next and only around midday we decided to continue our way to little village of Stanjel, where we could stay at my friend Marusa in their lovely stone house and dry out our wet stuff. What followed in the next 6 hours was probably my hardest ride to date. Heavy winds, rain and a ‘mind which wants to quit’ does not make for a lovely ride. But we made it with a help of 5 Sneaker bars and some cheese. We arrived in the late afternoon and got the greatest warm welcome with some Slovenian Jota (cabbage - bean soup) and beer. Our stuff got dry during the night and we woke up into a fresh but sunny morning, feeling positive to continue what is left from our trip. We waved our goodbyes to Marusa and headed towards Nova Gorica where we met with our friend Dean, who took us in for the night. Next morning all three of us left toward the final destination for that day Bovec. My favorite place in the whole world, seriously. Rather than riding on the road, upstream the Soca river, Dean took us on the Gorisko hills, where we had some stunning views on the Julian alps, Dolomites and we could even see the Adriatic sea. At times I hardly believed we are in Slovenia, with huge mountains surrounding us I secretly imagined we are in Himalayas or more realistically that we are riding in a Milka commercial. 

Small village on Gorisko hills.

Small village on Gorisko hills.

Riding in a good company

Riding in a good company

Catching the last rays of light

Catching the last rays of light

Our ways with Dean separated in Kobarid, but before that we ate a ‘pretty close to authentic Italian pizza. 

We arrived to Bovec just before it got dark, and set up our tent in an almost empty camping not far from the village. During the night my mattress decided to give up on me, leaving me sleeping on a cold and hard ground, resulting in ‘not so fresh’ me in the morning. After having a big breakfast we packed ourselves and started our climb toward Vrsis mountain pass. We are talking about the most famous mountain pass Slovenia here, it’s 33 km long climb up to 1611 m a.s.l. and it every Slovenian cyclist dream to do it one day. This was my first attempt and I’d say last as well. I was hot, I was cold, I was thirsty, I was hungry, I stopped for photos, I stopped to look at flowers, I stopped for peeing but after 3 hours I made it. Poor Gergo was there much earlier, freezing while waiting for me to arrive. The only thing waiting ahead for us was to descent into Kranjska Gora where would camp for the night. Unfortunately all didn’t go as we planned and after the 6 hairpin turn, my brakes burnt out. Dammit. Only thing I could do is to walk next 6km down to the valley. So much about the deserved descent.

Morning magic in Bovec

Morning magic in Bovec

Socks + Source sandals = best lookin' tourist in Soča valley !

Gergo brunching

Gergo brunching

Above that I was totally bummed when I figured out I have lost one of my sandals which was attached to the saddle bag. And I am still bummed about it.

Our last night spent outside was probably also our coldest one, the temperature dropped to about 2°C. Last day of our trip gifted us with sunny weather, so we decided to ride the whole way to my family house back to Trzin. We finished our journey late afternoon with grinning faces and some stories to tell. 

On the way up to Vrsic, hydrating with Source hydration pack!

On the way up to Vrsic, hydrating with Source hydration pack!

Dashboard view

Dashboard view

Gergo riding directly into some fresh cow 'produce'

Gergo riding directly into some fresh cow 'produce'

No he is not ours :)

No he is not ours :)

I'd like to say thanks for the support to:

 - Source, for keeping me well hydrated with the Source hydration pack, and keeping my feet well ventilated with the most awesome Crossers sandals

https://sourceoutdoor.com/en/

- Mesterbike, for being the best bike shop in town and prepin' our bikes serviced for the adventure

http://mesterbike.hu

- Friends (you know who you are), who hosted us and showed us around

 

p.s. Note to ourselves, do not bring a 8 year old tent to a rainy bikepacking trip. 

THE ROLLING HILLS

For some time I had an idea to create a cycling event, which would be about food and socializing as much as it would be about riding. So we, the Blind Chic.’s teamed up with Mesterbike bike shop to create an event, where like-minded cyclist could meet, ride together and enjoy the best what the Balaton region has to offer.

The Rolling Hills ticket

On July 8th which seemed to be the hottest day of the year we gathered at the Balatonfüred promenade.

28 registered riders were mostly Hungarians but still we had quite few international participators from Slovenia, Netherlands and one crazy Australian.

To no one’s surprise we started the ride with an hour delay and left Füred in the highest heat of the day. First day we planned 63km long ride on varied terrain, but still some people decided that it’s a good idea to show up with a fixed/ss bike.

At the first refreshment stop everyone looked like a ripe tomato and I could only cross fingers that no one will get a heat stroke. Our only task for that day was to get to the winery at 4h in the afternoon, where wine tasting was waiting for us.

Ripe tomato
Crew
Peace out
Gravel grinder

The winery was conveniently situated at the top of the most brutal hill, but the spectacular view was definitely worth of gravel grinding. We placed our sticky bodies on the winery’s terrace, sipped on the fröccs (wine + soda water) and nibble on the pogacsa (Hungarian scones) for the next two hours.

Few bottles (18) later we hopped on our bikes and scrambled ourselves down to the campsite. 

As it’s suitable for a ‘gourmet’ event like this, the chef was already deep into his mastership, sweating hard to get dinner on the table in time. But first things first, everyone had to put up their tent and dress into their best outfit for the gala dinner (e.g. mermaid bikini). We jumped on the food and vacuum cleaned everything until the last breadcrumb. Not much energy was left after that and slowly everyone disappeared into their shelter for the night. 

THE Chef
Tenting

Sunday morning started with some ‘breakfast of champions’ and sun-creaming our burned bodies. The ride planchanged in the last moment and instead of taking the route towards Veszprem, we stopped at the public beach, to dip our legs into the lake. But instead we just hanged out at the bar, sipping beers and munching on some oily snacks. From that point on we took it easy and rode the last 20 km full vacation mode.

Sausage man
Dean

Few hours later we hugged, shed tears and waived goodbyes until next time we meet.

Thanks again to everyone who came, it was my biggest pleasure to have you here! Next time we meet in Slovenia!