Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: The Long Way Around

The Long Way Around
Field Test

The Long Way Around




What we have here isn't your typical bike trip. Four close friends ventured into the great woods of the American West to experience the land via bike. Their original plans thwarted due to the devastation of wildfires that seemly strike the west more and more each year. With some last-minute rearranging of the route and a nod that it was safe, the ride was on! They took off to experience a ride and hike that some might call, downright insanity.

Below we have run a parallel correspondence between Erik Nohlin and the MW team with Chris and Rue's photography of the Long Way Around trip depicted in the video above. It focuses on adapting our weatherproof bags for a common bikepacking scenario; carrying your bike through capital "W" Wilderness. We all know that plans and the experience are rarely one and the same ,and with this in mind, here’s our quarantine design exploration of an R6 Field Pack adapted for a demanding adventure through the Sierras:

On Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 12:44 PM Erik Nohlin wrote:

Hey Guys,

Hope you're good. The only thing that has changed here is that the world, this country and this state is even more crazy than back in Feb - in every single fucking way. Riding is the only thing we can count on at this point.

I'm about to head out on something awesome again and wanted to check in if MW wants to be part of it. Chris Burkard, Lael Wilcox and I are picking up the pieces from the Piute Pass expedition we did a couple of years ago with Yonder Journal. You know, the one where we ran out of time in the end and never finished the journey. Since then, I have always "had a bone to pick" with the Sierras and that's what the three of us will be doing now, finish the first ride but double it up.

Double Trouble!

September 14th, we will start outside Fresno and ride up the South Fork of Kings River up to the end of the road. Then pack the bikes on our packs and hike over just north of Whitney at Kearsarge Pass to Onion Valley where we start riding again. Down to Independence, ride to Bishop, then up the 168 to Lake Sabrina and overland the route I did back in 2015 via Piute Pass to Lake Isabella, over Kaiser Pass and then back to the start. Four to five days in total. The project will be documented by Chris Burkard Studio and Rugile Kalagyte and a documentary film will be made in collaboration with Wahoo.

I've found over the years that the MW packs are superior for this kind of stupidity. The Hauser that I have is amazing but we need something a bit bigger this time. Something like the R6 with a proper waist band and better shoulder straps. Check link below and let me know.


Erik Nohlin
Design Leader Equipment
The Design Group at Specialized

Yonder Trip 1

Yonder Trip 1Photos by Daniel Wakefield Pasley. Full story @ Yonder Journal.

Pre-trip stagingPre-trip staging. Chris Burkard & Lael Wilcox

On Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 6:28 PM Lyle Barton wrote:

Hi Erik!

Good to hear from you and agreed on how crazy this world is right now ESP this f'ing country of ours. That said....let's hope we get things to a much better place soon.

This sounds AMAZING and we def wanna support you however we can and have actually been working on an updated Hauser pack that's fully in development now. We just released a collab with Tracksmith where we reworked our Hauser pack to simplify and expand its capacity. You can see the Tracksmith collab here.

Are you free to jump on a call soon to further discuss all of these points? Let us know when's good for a chat and we'll make it happen.

Have a good weekend!


On Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 6:34 PM Erik Nohlin wrote:

Great Shit!

That sounds like RnD for us

Let me get back to you early next week on this, have to prioritize drowning my pain with friends right now.

Have a good weekend,


The CrewFrom Left to Right: Lael Wilcox, Chris Burkhard, Erik Nohlin, and Rugile (Rue) Kaladyte

ShootingFrom Left to Right: Brian Davis, Erik Nohlin, Aaron Quendo

On Monday, August 31, 2020 at 11:15 AM Mark Falvai wrote:

Hi Erik! This sounds incredible and we would love to be a part of this project!

We should be able to make some modifications to the R6 or Hauser bags to get this done. Ideally, we could add some "stay-pockets" to the outside of the pack that would allow a frame to be added when you're hiking and then removed when you're riding. We could probably do something similar with the Hauser. We can also build some tie-down straps using the Arkiv hardware so you can attach the bike in creative ways.

How much overall volume do you need in the pack?

Lemme know what you think.


On Aug 31, 2020, at 11:21 AM, Erik Nohlin wrote:


Let's set up a Zoom, I'm available from now to 3.


On Monday, August 31, 2020 at 4:46 PM, Mark Falvai wrote:

Hi Erik. Here is the water bottle pouch I was talking about. Attached to the single rail on the shoulder straps

On Aug 31, 2020, at 5:04 PM, Erik Nohlin wrote:

That's sick!

On Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 10:18 AM, Lyle Barton wrote:

Hi Erik,

Working on some ideas for bottle holders for you now. Can you confirm if you'd ideally like them to be able to attach a bike or not? Can you let us know what type of bikes you'll be riding?



On Sep 1, 2020, at 1:32 PM, Erik Nohlin wrote:


Here's some images. We'll all be on Diverges (watch your eyes!!!)

Best case, if there's time, the single loop at the top of the ARKIV Rail would be doubles like on the doodle – both on the top and bottom of the rails. See images.!

The main strap with the Cobra Buckle could also be 6 inches longer so that it wraps around better.

The bottle holders do not need to attach to a bike.


Sierra NightPhoto by Chris Burkard

Pack BuildPhoto by Sofia & Erik Nohlin

On Sep 2, 2020, at 9:38 AM, Mark Falvai wrote:

Hi Erik. That’s a work of art! Thanks for the images.

What do you think about adding some daisy chains to the bag (instead of the loops) to allow for more carry options using the Voile straps like this on both sides:

On Sep 2, 2020 at 12:55 PM Mark Falvai wrote:

What colors are you thinking? We have black, grey, and black camo in stock.

On Sep 2, 2020, at 1:05 PM, Erik Nohlin wrote:

Your pick, maybe one of each, or all black. At least one black, I will snatch that one, lol

On Sep 2, 2020 at 3:40 PM, Mark Falvai wrote:

Yanco is knocking out the Arkiv water bottle holders as we speak! Can also be attached to bikes etc using the Voile straps.

On Sep 2, 2020, at 3:50 PM, Erik Nohlin wrote:


On Monday, September 7, 2020 at 2:43 PM Lyle Barton wrote:

Hi Erik!

Your bottles holders (made by Yanco!) are boxed up and will ship out tomorrow with a scheduled delivery to your house Thursday this week. Mark is still working on the packs and we will hopefully have more info about those soon.

Fedex tracking: 396571247895



Pack BuildPhoto by Mark Falvai

Smoke ScreenPhoto by Mark Falvai

On Sep 8, 2020, at 2:05 PM, Erik Nohlin wrote:


Heads-up – The Creek Fire has put a pretty real obstacle in our way. Mark, I heard it's raining ash in Mammoth and I saw images of the air condition in Bishop.

Just got off a call with Chris, Lael and the film crew and we decided to postpone. The fire is advancing too fast to be contained six days from now and currently both Hunter Lake and Shaver Lake are in flames and under lock-down.

We rescheduled the trip to 12-16 October. Sorry you had to rush it, I'm thankful for your passion and support you're giving us! Good thing is that we now have 4 weeks to prepare and dial in the packs!


On Sep 8, 2020, at 2:12 PM, Mark Falvai wrote:

Hey Erik. No problem! I figured it was going to be tough with all of the fires in that area. Mid October will be beautiful though! The wind direction in Mammoth is favorable now so hopefully we won’t get anymore smoke for a while. Sunday in Mammoth looked like June gloom at Ocean Beach. The smoke was so bad we couldn't leave the house.

On Sep 19, 2020, at 6:17 PM, Mark Falvai wrote:

Hey Erik!

So I'm working on the daisy chain system now and that will be pretty straightforward, but I have a couple questions regarding the waist belt and shoulder straps.

1- Have you used the large MW waist belt? If so, would this work for your portage? Photo below.
2- Are the current shoulder straps sufficient? Different shape, more padding? I’m a little concerned about trying to create a new shoulder design so close to your trip window without testing. Let me know what you think.


On Sep 21, 2020, at 5:54 PM, Mark Falvai wrote:

Hey Erik. Sounds like you are out of the office. I hope you're out getting lost on your bike somewhere! In the meantime I’m working on the technical shoulders straps for the R6 packs. I should be able to get you the first sample next week and if the design works for you we can get the other two finished in time for your trip.

The new shoulder strap machinery is coming along pretty well! I added lots of pre-curve and extra padding to compensate for the weight of the bike. The Arkiv rails are also smaller and lighter on these straps but still big enough for the Yanco pouches. I’ll finish the first sample in a few days and send it to you next week for testing.


On Sep 27, 2020, at 12:38 PM, Erik Nohlin wrote:


Back from the desert. And that strap looks great Mark! Just ship it to my home pls.

Just an FYI, Friday Oct. 9 is the last day of us being at a fixed address. Leaving for the Sierras Sat morning Oct. 10.

Have a good weekend,

On Oct 6, 2020, at 1:15 PM, Mark Falvai wrote:

Hey Erik! Three bags heading your way today via UPS overnight.

I delayed sending you the first sample since I changed the design of the shoulder straps on the 2nd one a bit and wanted to send you both at the same time for comparison. My feeling was that the shoulder straps would benefit from a little extra length, wider spacing, and less padding.

- You can see the difference in the photos below where I added a yoke to the 2nd prototype (grey one). The yoke adds a little length and widens the space between the straps a bit. Since the fit on backpacks is very subjective you may prefer one over the other. The 3rd prototype is being made with the additional yoke as I think this improves the fit. Let me know what you think.

- We added four rows of daisy chains between each rail with multiple anchor points. This may be overkill, but I wanted to allow as many attachment options as possible for the bike and gear.

- The expedition waist belt is a version from our Radian backpack slightly modified to work with the R6. It’s well padded and can support heavy loads.

- The main front straps have been made extra long. We also added a velcro safety closure on the attachment points for the increased load of the bike.

- I also included the plastic side-release buckles that can be used for the main strap if preferred for weight savings or preventing damage to the bikes from the Cobra buckles.

Tracking#: 1Z6W185Y1391248293

Talk soon!

Pack BuildPhotos by Mark Falvai

Sierra TripPhoto of Mark in his Mammoth Studio by Evan B. Dudley

Sierra TripPhoto by Rue Kaladyte

Strava Ride

Sierra Trip Sierra Trip Sierra Trip Sierra TripPhotos by Chris Burkard & Rue Kaladyte

Read more

UT: James Adamson with the Axis Field Test
Field Test

UT: James Adamson with the Axis Field Test

  FIELD TEST : SPRING, 2018 The Axis Modular Waist Pack by James Adamson   Heading to the desert this time of year is a bit of a pilgrimage for people who live here in Jackson. There’s still s...

Read more
Field Test


Research & Development Introducing the MW X ASP collaboration; a harmonious commingling of design, character and sensibilities. A fully aligned combination of Mission Workshop's technical ...

Read more