Shifting gears, shifting perspectives: Bikepacking through West Texas

Shifting gears, shifting perspectives: Bikepacking through West Texas

Emma Montgomery

Related Topics:
Colleges & Education, Conservation, Green Living, Transportation

In the heart of far West Texas, a group of 21 bikepackers embark on a journey atop two wheels. Pedaling through rugged landscapes, covering up to 30 miles a day, they seek solace under the vast Texas sky resting on inflatable sleeping pads beneath tents as night falls. These bikepackers, also college students, turn Big Bend Ranch State Park into their classroom, where the big and bright Texas stars illuminate their outdoor education.

Yet, such intimate encounters with nature are rare for Texans. Despite being the second-largest state in the country, only about five percent of Texas is public land, ranking it 45th in available public land. This collegiate bikepacking experience offers young Texans a chance to reconnect with nature on a personal level, using two wheels as their means of exploration while integrating principles of conservation and preservation into their lifestyles.

Shifting Gears, Shifting Perspectives
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