PACK­ING DREAD

Bike (USA) - - Dust - KATHMANDU, NEPAL | OC­TO­BER 24, 2017 | 7:09 A.M.

Four peo­ple, two bikes, rid­ing gear, cam­era bags and lug­gage—all of that had to fit within this car for an eight-hour drive from Kathmandu to the Hi­malayan foothills. Pho­tog­ra­pher Ryan Creary and Matt Yaki had a 12-day bikepack of the An­na­purna Cir­cuit in or­der. If they ar­rived.

When their guide, Om, and his driver pulled up to the curb, Creary pon­dered how the puz­zle pieces could pos­si­bly fit in the con­fines of the com­pact car, but the driver im­me­di­ately sprang into ac­tion, toss­ing bikes on the roof in a tan­gle of tiedowns.

Five min­utes down the road, it was ap­par­ent: As the car­bon-fiber cargo jos­tled above, they knew the thrown-to­gether setup wouldn’t sur­vive the long, bumpy jour­ney over pot­holed roads.

They pulled over. Om ran into a store and emerged with sup­plies to fas­ten the makeshift roof rack. “He tried to get some card­board, and that’s just some ran­dom crappy string rope he has in his hands,” Creary says.

Once the bikes were re-tied, they crammed into the car and set out for the moun­tains.

“Matt and I were in the back and Om was in the front,” Creary says. “It was the scari­est drive of my life.”

Yet, they ar­rived, bikes whole and spir­its high for the grand ad­ven­ture ahead.

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