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Bike Packing: Solo in his Sola

Go bike packing and escape the city life

Go far beyond the tar and deep into the countryside for a great backpacking adventure. Into the scenic farmlands, dusty routes and welcoming pedestrians for a truly memorable ride.

Christoff Els, a final year Psychology student, decided it was time to escape the hustle in the pursuit of some quiet time. He shares some thoughts of his simple care-free trip, along with some vibrant images capturing the adventure.


Els has had his Silverback SOLA 1 for 5 years and is proud to say she has never let him down. “It was still a challenge for my training has been very inconsistent for the past 2 months,” adds Christoff.

“Adventure to me is a sense that everyone perceives differently and for me, that sense is getting outside and doing something unconventionally awesome and letting your curiosity guide you. Whatever is unconventionally cool for you, that is your adventure “

bike packing, Silverback bikes, traveling
Ready for adventure
Silverback Sola 1

More thrilling parts of bike packing adventures is finding a sleep spot alongside a gravel road. “ I would find myself in an area consisting of many hills – three quarters up the nearest hill is where the thermal belt is (this is a sweet spot where hot air is trapped between 2 pockets of cold air) you’ll be able to feel the difference, especially in the winter,” says Els.

Memorable moments

His most memorable moment was on his latest ride. He reached the end of a dirt road and hit a slight descent down a hill, when suddenly a herd of cattle appeared out of nowhere. 

“I slammed the brakes and pulled out my DSLR camera to snap a few shots. Unknowingly, I caused a traffic jam for the only car on the road! The cattle was startled by my approach and soon the owner appeared from the dust of his cattle. Looking like a ghost and I decided to give him some of my food to apologise for this small inconvenience,”
“From my journey, I have learned that it takes nothing to smile and greet someone. You may not see them again but when you pedal past someone after this kind phenomenon you will generally feel better”

Adventure is not only for the ‘adventure’. Sometimes the best adventure can be found close to home. Enter the world of bike packing, where every day can be an opportunity to hit the refresh button on your life.

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Struggling to stay motivated to ride? Read our top tips to staying motivated to ride.

#SilverbackBikes #BornToBeFast

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Journal: Pedal & Paddle

Silverback Scoop Fatty on a canoe

BIKE RAFTING WITH A SCOOP FATTY IN SCOTLAND

The bike packing Journal by Nick Tyron. Pedal and paddle his way through Glen Kinglass to Loch Etive, traversing the country’s immense landscapes and isolated fjords. He observes the wild and barren terrain as he makes his way through it, celebrating every sign of life and earning each mile that ticks by…

Silverback Scoop Fatty

Scotland is in crisis

The winter hasn’t arrived but has presented an opportunity to try routes normally associated with the summer months. 

One particular trip would take me down Glen Kinglass to Loch Etive. This Sea Loch is an impressive stretch of water surrounded by wild countryside, climbing to some very distinctive mountains towering over the loch. 

Getting to the Loch would require following an old double track route through some of the most impressive landscape on my Scoop Fatty, in Scotland.

View from the handle bars

Adventure Time

The day started early with Coffee and porridge, as the sun started to rise the mist descended almost as if it was hiding the splendor of what was to be revealed later that day. 

Passing Loch Tulla to the River that feeds it out of Loch Dochart, the track swings west and leads you up to Glenkinglass. This took in several Fjords and bridges just wide enough to get the fully laden Fat bike over. The countless deer grazing, but keeping and eye on your every movement only break the sense of solitude. 

Silverback Scoop Fatty, Scottland
Silverback Scoop Fatty, West Coast

The track conditions are excellent, and my Silverback Scoop Fatty is enjoying every minute of it. 

The climb to the top of the Glen reveals the extent of the natural beauty of the West Coast of Scotland. You have to stop to fully absorb its splendor. The descent to Glenkinglass Lodge is sublime but not without caution, especially with a fully laden bike. After the massive granite slabs, the thunder of the water crashing through the rocks on the way to feed Loch Etive, kept me company as well as provide a constant source of fresh drinking water. Another impressive suspended estate bridge was waiting at the bottom but had a fjord option; the bike was not going to fit the narrow bridge. 

Crossing the river on a canoe
Silverback Scoop Fatty, bike packing

Settling in for the night

A short while later the shores of the Loch glistened in the afternoon light. After picking my spot, I unpacked the raft, stowed the Fat bike and my gear and made my way up the Loch towards the Glen Etive. 

The surrounding hills made for an impressive backdrop for the paddle. After several hours I reached the shoreline, repacked my bike and set off on the return leg. Just shy of 10 hours of riding and paddling made for an impressive day out. 

By Nick Tryon 

Read some more adventure stories HERE

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Growing Up on A Bike: Bikepacking With Kids

bike packing with the family - Silverback Bikes

GEAR UP & RIDE ON, GO BIKEPACKING!

Bikepacking isn’t just about epic adventures with friends. It’s a wonderful way to spend quality time with your family. Even more, share life-formed experiences.

I knew my wife and kids were strong enough to go on a backpacking trip, “I needed proof of the concept,” adds Damien. He found a route that is far away enough from home for it to feel like a real holiday. Not to difficult, and with a beautiful landscape.

Nantes to Les Sables d’Olonne of France seemed to me to be the appropriate route for a first backpacking adventure with the kids,”Yes, let’s do it,” said my wife.

family and kids bike packing
The Dobucki Family from France.

The Dobucki Family from France.

Whilst Damien Dobucki always desired to go on a family backpacking holiday and his wife keen for any adventure, he knew that his 8-year-old daughter would be keen and would need to do a little convincing with his son.

The industrial designer from France got himself and his wife a Fatbike with tubeless wheels that could float over any kind of terrain and remain comfortable.

“My wife and I both have 2017 Silverback Scoop bikes,” says Damien. He has a Scoop Single and his wife has a Scoop Delight which are capable for any platform. The Scoop range is a world-wide favorite amongst fat bike enthusiasts. 

silverback fat bike
Silverback Scoop Range

After 6 hours of driving, before the trip started to Le Pellerin. They set up the bikes and attached the Peruzzo Trail Angel Towing Bar to his wife’s Scoop Delight for everyone to cycle in total safety and tranquility.

The quadruple planned to bike for seven days from Nantes to Les Sables d’Olonne, France. After 6 hours of driving, they started their trip in Le Pellerin just outside of Nantes. The routes are wandering between jagged coastlines and sandy coves.

fat bike adventure

The first 60km out of 225km allowed the family to reach the Lorie River Estuary with its calm and wild landscapes. The kids enjoyed the beaches and were happy to take a break at any open space they could enjoy.

ALMOST THERE

The paths of the scenic route lead them to enjoy the view over Noirmoutier Island. The island is protected by dikes and polders.

Their fourth day was the hardest, no wind, no vegetation for miles and many “forbidden camping” spots for 30km.

Once they arrived in Les Sables d’Olonne, the family took off two days to relax

Their Scoops had really helped them in rocky and sandy terrains. They were very satisfied with their versatile bikes.

“Everyone was happy after the trip. We will do it again. Further, but my wife is not keen on another night in a Bivouac,” he chuckled.

Damien suggests that the key success for a family cycling adventure is time spent off the bike if you are hoping for a long and fruitful bikepacking future.

Family Bikepacking Tips:

  1. Prepare your kids.
  2. Think safety first.
  3. Pack light.
  4. Take many breaks.
  5. Bring some “fun” things.
  6. Start a small dream big!

#SilverbackBikes #Scoop #Adventure

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The Wakefield’s

Fields of flowers

2500KM | 7 COUNTRIES | 6 EUROPEAN RIVERS

A very happy semi-retired couple, born in the sixties and married for a wonderful 28 years. They decided to do what they love by going on an adventure. Having a strong desire to rove, the young wanderlust couple decided to take on the famous EuroVelo. The European cycle route network. It includes thousands of kilometers of bike paths, regional cycle routes into a single European network. Set to be a cycling holiday of a lifetime.

 “We both enjoy traveling. Enjoying something adventurous every day. Furthermore, So biking or walking holidays are perfect for us,” says Clayton.

Eurovelo6 Route will take Clayton and Maree from the Black Sea through France, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, Serbia, Romania and Austria. Their plan is to reach Vienna by the 9th of August.

Europe has a lot to offer in terms of fascinating cities, untouched nature, delicious food, and interesting culture. 

Clayton and Maree made a spontaneous decision to get themselves a versatile bike. Easy-riding bike to take them where ever they want to go, mile after mile.

SPONTANEOUS VIBES

The twosome bought two identical Silverback Shuffle bike. A do-everything platform bike made to navigate the urban landscape.

1st July 2018, Clayton and Maree flew to Paris. They began their voyage along the Loire River in the upper region of France. Having only 90 minutes from arriving in France to catching the train to Nates was a heart-pumping challenge.

cycling holiday starts with bikes on the train station
Cycling holiday starts: Off the plane and first trip in France on a train

They started making their way to Vienna along the Loire, Saône, Doubs, Rhine & Danube rivers which is approximately 3000km plus.

Silverback shuffle bike
Each Shuffle bike is caring about 10kg each

Each Shuffle bike is carrying about 10kg each. In a pannier with a variety of goods to keep their journey stress free.

STRESS-FREE

The plan is to get fit along the way, have fun and to disconnect from the digital world.

Cycling holiday with the Silverback Shuffle
70km a day starting very early to beat the hot European sun.

“We are trying to go unplugged. No cycle computer and no GPS. We are going at the speed that we are. We have some guide books and notes. It is ok to get lost,” adds Maree.

Their days are unplanned. Not much thought is put into their traveling, “In fact, we got very confused the other day.” utters Clayton.

European graze fields
he Wakefield’s recommend any wanderlust to cycle through the scenic landscape

The Wakefield’s recommend any wanderlust to cycle through the scenic landscape. One can expect lots of friendly hosts along the way, “the marvelous way people can communicate without speaking each other’s language. Also, the exciting feeling of getting on the bike for another 70km. The even better feeling of getting off the bike after 70km,” says Maree.

Besides having one flat wheel in 30 days and having some sore legs, the rest of the journey was a breeze.

When I asked how this journey has changed them, Clayton replied: “Yes, we are now both thinner.”

“The Silverback Shuffle is the perfect bike for the Eurovelo6 or any flat journey. We have added a front handlebar box, stand, pump, plastic mudguards, lights and a toolkit,” Adds Clayton.

Thhey went galivanting from the historic Chateau Chananceau to Rhine swimming with a Wickelfische in Basel and experiencing different kinds of coffee and pastry for breakfast!

“It is so much fun. Yet, and so easy to do. Follow the route, talk to the locals, view sights, eat and drink well and enjoy every day as it comes. Oh and of course ride a Silverback!”

Plan your own cycling holiday, get inspiration HERE.

#SilverbackBikes #BornToBeFast

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Deaf people can do anything hearing people can do – except hear

adventure, deaf, south africa - Silverback Bikes

I AM AN ADVENTUROUS GUY. NOTHING WILL STOP ME!

Having a hearing disability and being an active cyclist sounds dangerous, right? Not for Johan Reyneke.

Reyneke, 35 years-old, and raised in South Africa, has had a total of 10 bicycles in his lifetime and has had the opportunity to travel to numerous places around the world.

Johan was about 3 years old when he started finding pleasure in the two-wheel machine. I am the only deaf family member. It is tricky but a great challenge for him, so he continued to cycle & it never stopped him from reaching his accomplishments.

bicycle silhouette shadow silverback bikes
Johan on his Silverback Adventure

The Family.

Reyneke has been wearing a hearing aid for the majority of his lifetime, a silent world is something that he is quite familiar with, “I can hear nothing and when I do hear – I can hear some sounds and someone calling my name,” he explains.

His wife and 1-year-old daughter are both hearing-impaired. The Reyneke family reside in a community with over 1000 deaf people which makes life a lot easier for the entire family when it comes to communicating and socializing with other people, “we as deaf people don’t really go to dark places because we need light to see to communicate,” says Reyneke.

mother and daughter in the bush
Johan’s wife walking in the field, somewhere in South Africa
deaf cyclist enjoys biking, hiking, cape town
Johan and his wife loves any kind of adventure

People tend to think cycling is very risky for deaf people. Naturally, observations skills improve with time, particularly with lip reading, facial expressions and being aware of his surroundings. “My eye-sight is very visual and sharp,” says Johan. The only time he feels unsafe is when he does not have his mobile phone on him or when he is cycling alone.

His biggest obstacle is to maintain a safe position on the road. Imagine the shock one gets when a vehicle appears right next to you, without hearing it before it does. It is easy to start wobbling and an accident can occur.

Johan is a Senior Draughtman by profession but enjoys entering cycling races. After the big accident, Johan is still looking forward to doing more races, as the Cape Epic.

“I was racing in a road competition with a group and another cyclist hit his front wheel with his back wheel, I lost balanced and crashed very hard.”

deaf adventurer, hiking, Table mountain, trails
Some where in Cape Town South Africa

Always inspired to do more.

His achievements inspired other deaf people to cycle too, “I won gold for MTB in World Deaf Cycling Championships in 2006 in the USA as well as top 5 in the Deaflympic Games in 2009, Taiwan.”

Not able to hear has taught Johan many more values than people that have all their senses.

“I am more self-disciplined and I motivate myself.”

sido 1 silverback bicycle
Another trail conquered on his Silverback Sido 1

Johan’s goal is to take part in the annual Cape-Epic on his newly owned Silverback 2017 Sido 1, “I love my Sido 1.” adds Johan.

Johan is a big bike fanatic and only change the teeth single drivetrain to 34T. He really wants a SESTA SBC with a Full carbon Frame as his next bicycle.

Cycling is not as dangerous for a deaf person, as people sometimes make it out to be, “what I lack in hearing, I make up for in other ways, Johan adds.”

silverback trails
Johan’s best machine of choice

“Believe, you can do it. When it is though- don’t just give up, the end result is that you enjoyed it,” he says inspiringly.  Johan encourages other deaf cyclists to never look back when cycling in a group or in a single track. He hopes to prove that deafness is no barrier to live and should not prevent people from embracing their passion.

Go out, and never back down. Let his story inspire you as Silverback is #InspiredByYou!

Find more stories HERE