In my bag I packed running shoes, climbing shoes, climbing harness, rain jacket, rain pants, puffy jacket, lights and batteries, first aid kit, wallet, water bladder, spare socks, spare t-shirt, spare gloves, wool buff, cycling beanie, hiking pole, 2 dry bags, and food. Everything was placed into a dry bag and then into my pack.
I wore ibex wool 3/4 length cycling pants, ibex long sleeve half zip, compression socks, Smartwool socks, prana running shorts, tech t-shirt, an Arcteryx windbreaker, cycling cap, gloves, helmet, and cycling shoes.
The bicycle has a Swift Industries saddle bag, a cool artisan pannier company that construct handmade bicycle bags. Inside I kept tools, spare tubes, and extra food.
Stage 1: Bicycle
Distance: 56.12 miles
Elevation Gain: 4236 feet
Average Heart Rate: 125 bpm
I embarked on my adventure at 10:40 am. The rain had stopped an hour before, and streets were beginning to dry…a little. My route headed east towards the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas along Watts Valley Road. Watts Valley road began to climb and continued steadily upward. The first stop was 30 miles in at Tollhouse where I went into the local diner and bought a cup of coffee. I refilled water bottles, used the restroom, and took a little break. I was eager to hit the road though and only stopped for about 20 minutes.
I set off on foot on the San Joaquin River Trail around 5:40 pm. The trail immediately climbs quickly and I charged to the summit just in time to catch an A-maaaaaazing sunset over Millerton Lake. It was epic. I said some prayers for safety, and continued on. Turns out, the trail I took to the summit is an offshoot of the actual trail, so when I descended off the summit, I picked up a trail thinking it was the SJRT, but wasn’t. I followed this trail unknowingly for about an hour before coming upon a sign saying ‘No Trespassing’ at a gate. The gate was not locked, and I decided to carry on, thinking this might actually be the trail with an old sign. But alas, after another mile I came to a dead end.
I found a donut store around the corner open 24 hours and went inside to get that coffee I so vehemently desired. All these fresh donuts staring me down in the face. But none vegan. When I asked, the dude laughed at me. I LOVE donuts. LOVE them. Before going vegan, they were an excellent source of instant energy on bicycle tours and a nice treat after adventures. Here I was, feeling crazy, staring at donuts, and not eating any of them. But that’s ok. 5 minutes later I was kicked out, since 4am donuts are only to go. Probably a good thing. I walked back to the gym and felt unusually good and refreshed. I suppose it was the 10 minutes off my feet and caffeine kicking in.
Stage 4: Climb
Vertical Gain: 1000 feet
Laps: 7 laps on 3 routes each = 21 laps
After 15 minutes of light yoga outside the gym, the gym opened at 5 am. I had setup a climbing partner to meet, but he was running a little late, so I snuck in a 30 minute slackline session. I could still walk and do a little Slack-asana, but my balance game wasn’t quite as on point as it normally is.
Dustin arrived and belayed me for 21 laps on 3 different routes. I climbed 5.10a for a total of 1000 vertical feet. I also belayed Dustin for the first set of 7 laps, but a previous strain in his finger led him to not wanting to climb more than that. Big thanks to for showing up and being there to catch me so early in the morning! You rock. The last route was very pumpy, and the final 3 laps definitely pushed my limits.
Stage 5: Row
Distance: 3.75 miles
Duration: 30 minutes
Adventure racing often includes pack-rafting. The gym has a couple rowing machines and I thought it would be a good idea to throw in a rowing component to this adventure. I’ve never rowed before so in preparation 3 days prior I jumped on one of the machines for 10 minutes. My goal was to row 10 miles. I thought this would be a good number, and it would likely take around 1.5 hours.
Stage 7: Run
Distance: 3.1 miles
I was stoked to be back home. But I had only been out for just over 23 hours. I had kicked around the idea of a 5k time trial at the beginning of this adventure, then thought against it. But, now that I was home in under 24 hours, it was definitely on.
I must admit I ditched the pack for this one. I also took off my wool cycling pants and rocked the running shorts and running shoes for a fast and light loop around the neighborhood.
While running, my mind would wander off and I would feel my pace decrease. Instantly I recognized this and brought my mind back to one word…RUN. With only the word run in my head, I was able to keep good form and push it.
A solid performance in the final run and BOOM. SUCCESS. STOKE.
Things went right, things went wrong. I learned a tremendous amount about racing, and played with limits. My goal was safety. I wore a blue rubber bracelet as a reminder to be safe, and I arrived home safe and sound. In my mind, that is success. No matter what happens out there, as long as I am alive and well to share it, then it’s all good.
I love adventure. I also love people. This solo adventure was great, but there is always room for improvement. I’m open to sharing in adventures big or small. Reach out, and we can dream something up! Whether it is your first adventure or your 50th. Let’s come together and create, inspire, and complete.
Thank you all for your love and support!
Jameson Henkle teaches yoga at MetalMark Climbing and Fitness in Fresno. His classes include Vinyasa, AcroYoga Jam, and Acro yoga. Stop by one of his classes to get inspiration on planning your next adventure!