What is the Fitz-Barn Ride?

The 2014, 3rd Annual, Fitz-Barn is an unsupported ride/race from Fitzgerald's Bicycles in Victor, Idaho to Red Barn Bicycles in Hamilton, Montana.

Approximately 450 miles of dirt and gravel roads, two track, and rail trail. The terrain is varied and beautiful and will include mountain passes, sage brush highlands and everything in between.

Ride through the heart of the Yellowstone Ecosystem and large sections of the Tour Divide Mountain Bike Route.

You are responsible for your own safety, navigation and food throughout the ride. Riders must have the ability to ride long distances without assistance while carrying their own gear and food.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Trackleaders Tracking!

The Trackleaders page for Fitz-Barn became active this morning.  Big thanks to Matthew Lee for getting us set up!

Click here to follow your favorite Fitz-Barners.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Jackson/Big Hole Area Reroute

We have a change to the route because of some access issues.   North of Jackson on the original route there was a problem crossing private property from the Big Swamp Creek Road to the Foothills Road.  It involved not only crossing someone's ranch, but also, according to Jay, some bushwacking.

Fortunately we have a solution!   From Jackson, we'll head north on Hwy 278 to the Twin Lakes Road.  At Twin Lakes turn left (west) and take the 2nd right north toward the Rock Creek Road.  At Rock Creek, we'll head west again through the Highland Ranch to Gibbonsville Road.   I have created a GPX file of that section for you to download.


Thanks to Jay and especially to Ron for figuring out this go around and speaking with the landowner to get permission to cross their property!  

Since we are crossing private property let's be extra careful about picking up all our trash, closing any cattle gates we may go through, and being friendly to any folks & animals we may encounter.

I also have cue sheets by sections for anyone who may want them.  They are in PDF files and include maps.   Please shoot me an email at sarahhamiltoncampisi@gmail.com if you would like me to send them to you electronically.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Spot Tracking/Track Leaders Available!

Jay P and Matthew Lee have been working to get Trackleaders tracking for Spot users for the Fitz-Barn!  You can sign up at the below link:


There are two options:

  1. You can rent a spot for $50 or
  2. If you have your own spot, tracking is $20
Once you pay via paypal, you will get an email asking you to fill out some biographical information.  This final step will allow us to add you to the live sidebar map so all your family and friends can follow your progress.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The One Nighter

All you need is a few hours to have an adventure!
Last Thursday night I had a great night out with some Fitz-Barnriders and was reminded of how you don’t need to go for a multi-day epic to have a local Bike Packing experience.
We left the shop at 7pm and rode gorgeous gravel roads towards Tetonia while the sunset cast a golden light across at the Tetons.  In Tetonia we loaded up on last minute provisions (ie. Beer and Donuts) and turned East on a dirt road that connected us to South Leigh Creek.
Watching the Moon rise directly behind the Grand Teton was a highlight of the ride out to camp. Once at the South Leigh trailhead we laid out mats and bags, told a few stories over tall boys, and drifted off to sleep under a HUGE Moon.
The girls had to get to work early so they rolled out at 4:30am while a couple of us “slept in” until 6am to get back to Victor by 8am.  The morning Sunrise ride along Stateline Rd from Tetonia to Driggs was a great way to start the work day.  If you haven’t ridden that road, put it on your list!
I’m not sure that most local riders truly realize the gravel road riding potential around here, not to mention the one night adventures!
Here’s the ideal gear list for a one night Bike Pack:
  • Any sort of Bike but the 29er hardtails handle the rough roads best while loaded down.
  • A custom frame bag from Hamilton Threadworks
  • Viscacha seat bag from Revelate Designs
  • Sleeping Bag (I’m using a light weight 40 degree bag right now)
  • Lightweight Bivy sack (I skipped this knowing the skies were clear)
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Long under wear top and bottom for sleeping (nice to get the clammy chamois off)
  • Hat and gloves
  • Thin down jacket
  • Headlamp and Bearspray
  • PBR and Donuts
With some simple straps you can hang a stuff sack with all your sleeping gear from the handlebar.  Clothes and extra food can go in the seat bag.  Water, emergency fix it stuff, beer, and bear spray in the frame bag.  Of course you’ll find your own system that works way better once you give it a go.
If you don’t want to shell out the dollars for the soft bags, go with a back pack to start with.  It won’t be long before you’re hooked on the journey!
Scott Fitzgerald

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

GPX Files!

We've been busy compiling GPX files from JP's and Brandon scouting trips and MapMyRide files to get you the complete route.    I've broken the route down into sections of 40 to 70 miles each - mostly because I couldn't download a larger GPX file without complete technological failure.

I am going to share links to the GPX files on MapMyRide.  Once you click on the link for each section, you should be able to download the GPX file on the right side of the page under Map Info.  In order to download the file, you'll need to Log In and/or Register.  It is free to register (although they have paid memberships that allow you to print maps if you want).  I am working on cue sheets this week.

Section 1: Victor to France

Section 2: France to St. Anthony

Section 3: St. Anthony to Dubois

Section 4: Dubois to Montana Border

Section 5: Montana Border to Bloody Dick Road (yup, that's what's it's called!)

Section 6: Bloody Dick to Foothills Road

Section 6.2:  Jackson to Foothills Road Reroute

Section 7: Foothills to SH 472

Section 8: SH 472 to Skalkaho Rd
Please note this section was ridden by JayP and I tried to create this route from the large GPS file of his ride.  It therefore may not be exact, but Jay says the cue sheet for this section works just fine.  Unfortunately neither MapMyRide nor Google Maps have this fire road on their system.  I will get all the cue sheets up shortly.

Section 9: Skalkaho Rd to Hamilton
Sections 8 and 9 may not match up perfectly at their respective ending and starting points.

The Whole Thing:
This is the whole route except the section from SH 472 to Skalkaho Road has a straight line section (that's Section 8).

Enjoy!  We can't wait to see all you folks at the start!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

More Scouting

Another scouting trip in the bag!  We are trying to get a full GPS track completed of the route with actual ride data so Brandon spent a day and a half on his moto riding the route.  He was able to get much of the route on the GPS and we will be able to download the tracks and make them available in a couple days.  

In addition, he rode some of the sections which we hadn't quite worked out the correct route, namely the section between St. Anthony and Dubois.  As a result of this second trip into the sand dunes north of St. Anthony we have figured out a simpler route (with fewer gates to open and close) to Dubois.   

Brandon said the route was incredibly beautiful and very isolated.  There are very long stretches between towns and resupply points.  While there are streams along the route, many have active cattle grazing, so be prepared either with lots of water or a water purification filter system you trust to handle streams with cows in them.   And smaller towns like Jackson, Montana have quite limited services and stores.   You'll need to plan appropriately.  

Check back in a couple of days for his GPS Tracks!  And we'll try and get an annotated map of the route with some beta on towns, their facilities and water along the route soon.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

JayP & TJ's Scouting Trip Report

JayP and TJ did a scouting trip this past weekend.  Here's their trip report (we'll post some pictures later):  

With the creation of Fitz-Barn, I been pouring over maps, doing some recon, and gathering info. Here is what I have to say so far: 
  • The route is an amazing diverse set of roads. Flat open terrain, rolling desert feel, mountain forests, dry and arid sections, as well as running water ways make up the landscape equally. 
  • Little pavement and lots of gravel road. 
  • There seems to be plenty of water on route but not pubic faucets; bring filter of sorts or plan to hump a lot from source to source. The main supply areas will be Dubois, ID and Jackson MT. 
  • The first and second half of the route are 2 different animals in resupply as well as terrain challenges. First half being that open flatter type terrain and the second half being that mountain terrain.
This ride can appease the beginner bikepacking cyclist as a multiday tour as much as it can challenge the experienced racer type mentality. I encourage whatever style you enjoy. Do this ride as you want, how you want, it is purely a ride to enjoy. A great FIRST time bike packing route/challenge!

After riding the last ~200 miles this past weekend from Grants to Hamilton I can't wait to get back and do it again. The push from Grants (absolutely no supplies here) to Jackson is about 50 miles with running creek water (excellent fishing) but no water at campgrounds (it was shut off when i was there 6/23). This is where you just start to gain the forest feel. 

From Jackson to Hamilton is about 150 miles and a healthy push. Again, plenty of running water in creeks, streams, and springs but no public water sources. Thinking East Fork Guard Station off East Fork Road might have something but I did not go off route to find out, it is just a few miles out of the way. Hopefully we will find this out, we hit the rancher up on route.
When Chad, from Red Barn, said the last 24 miles are downhill it is not what I would tell people or what you should get in your head. Although there is a drastic drop in elevation at the end and a few paved miles going to the Red Barn door.

Thats what I have for now, more to come...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Last Section!

Scott has been busy with Map My Ride again and he's got the last section mapped.   Check it out here:  http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/102798089

Scott told me there are a few straight line sections because the software didn't have the trails and roads on their system - this will make these sections a bit longer than the simple connect the dots Scott did.  He thinks the ride will be about 384 miles total.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Route: Map My Ride

Scott and Chad have been really busy planning, scouting and pre-riding the route.   Scott has shared the "First 40 miles" and then "the BIG Middle Section" on Map My Ride.   Check out Scott's links:



Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Route: From the North

Chad from Red Barn Bicycles sent on some photos of a trip he did which helped inspire the Fitz-Barn Route.  You should check out his blog with the trip details.  Here are some of his photos and his recap.
Chad writes: "On the map it didn't look like much, just a nice 100 mile ride taking us into Idaho starting from those fantastic springs in Jackson MT and then with a little luck another 100 or so the next day to get back. A popsicle loop of the south bitterroots with an overnight camp stuck some place in the middle. We'd be traveling on some sparsely used back country roads following the original path of the Nez Perce trail. What our gazzetteer map didn't show was how tattered and rough these roads would be. Nor did it really paint a good picture of how steep Bannock and Lemhi passes were, not to mention all the rolling terrain in between. And of course the only way to capture the beauty of The Big Hole Valley is to be there yourself. My photos don't do the scenery justice. "

We've started a Facebook Page!  Please take a moment to like us!   Here's the link!

Thanks for the link and the photos Chad!  The northern part of the Fitz-Barn is going to be beautiful!   And challenging with all the climbing!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Route: Rail Trail Section

Trestle Bridge on Tetonia-Ashton Rail Trail
The Fitz-Barn will head north from Victor, Idaho to Tetonia, Idaho.  Once north of Tetonia, riders will jump on the Tetonia-Ashton Rail Trail and ride to France, Idaho.  Scott, Jannine and Braden Fitzgerald pre-rode this section of the Fitz-Barn in early May and shared these photos.

Jannine on the rail trail.
This section of the Fitz-Barn will be through Eastern Idaho's Potato Country.  There are rolling hills, lots of agriculture and fantastic views of the Teton Range.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What is the Fitz-Barn Ride?

The Fitz-Barn Ride is an unsupported, group ride from Fitzgerald's Bicycles in Victor, Idaho to Red Barn Bicycles in Hamilton, Montana starting on August 17.

The suggested route covers approximately 350 miles of rail trails, country roads, gravel back roads, two-tracks and singletrack.  The terrain is incredibly varied and beautiful starting in the rolling hills in the heart of potato growing country in eastern Idaho, forges through a sand dune/sage brush desert north of Saint Anthony, climbs over the 7684 foot high Bannock Pass in the beautiful Beaverhead Mountains and descends into the Bitterroot Valley and into Hamilton, Montana.

Riders are responsible for their own safety and navigation as well as providing everything they need during the ride including food, water, spare clothing and mechanical support.  No overnight hotels or tents are provided - riders will need to bring their own sleep systems and be prepared to bivy along the route.  There are some towns along the route that will have provisions, but much of the suggested route is in remote and/or rural areas of Idaho and Montana where there is little traffic or availability of assistance.  Solid navigation skills will be required.

Coming soon:

  • A full suggested route with a full GPS track and cue sheet;
  • Information about a gathering to be held Thursday, August 16 before the ride in Victor;
  • Post ride party in Hamilton;
  • Photos of the route.