Touring The Stagecoach 400 [Salsa]

The Stagecoach 400 is a route developed by Brendan Collier and Mary Metcalf Collier of The Hub Cyclery in Idyllwild, California. The Hub is a Salsa dealer and has become a hotspot of cycling, bikepacking and inspiration. Brendan and Mary are incredibly talented and dedicated cyclists, advocates, frame builders, parents and endurance athletes. They developed this route and ran the inaugural Stagecoach 400 endurance race earlier this year. It’s an impressive route over incredibly diverse, and at times difficult, terrain.
Earlier in the year, I hatched a plan to take an actual not-work-related bike vacation to tour the Stagecoach 400 route. I invited a diverse bunch of friends that I thought would enjoy it. Five of us embarked on the route with the expectation of touring it at a moderate but doable pace. We knew we’d have long days, but we had no intentions of really treating it like any kind of race or suffer fest. In fact, since this was a vacation, I really made it a point to say that we’d take time on this trip to enjoy it. While I had a plan for the trip, I found out later the trip had a plan for us.
This vacation started like any other bicycle vacation; travelling to the destination, driving a few hours to Idlywild, assembling our bikes from boxes, making final gear and food choices, and heading out. Our destination for day one was Bailey’s Cabin out in Coyote Canyon. We set out en route late in the day and rode well into the night.