How I used RUX to win the packing game at the Stone King Rally
by Joseph Schwartz on Jul 19, 2023
The Stone King Rally is a enduro mountain bike race that has quickly gained legendary status amongst the core mountain bike community. This year was the 2nd edition of the race, a 6-day affair starting in the high alpine of the Southern French Alps, and ending on the Mediterranean in Italy.
For those that are not familiar with the Enduro style of mountain bike racing; an enduro race consists of multiple timed stages (mostly downhill in nature) over the course of an event. These stages are linked by untimed liaisons (or transfers). The Stone King featured 23 timed stages over the 6 days. The race stages were only a small part of the experience though, with the whole event covering over 300km of riding, over 20,000 metres of descending, and over 8,000m of ascending. Each day we jumped on 2-3 shuttles which helped alleviate some of the climbing vs descending ratio, but every vertical metre earned was a tough one, with many grueling hike-a-bikes into the alpine. We were rewarded with epic descents though, timed or otherwise. The event was all very carefully curated, ensuring that the participants got to fully experience this part of the world, from handcrafted loamy trails to unique liaisons through centuries-old castles.
Traveling to the race from Canada, and camping for the event offered a unique opportunity to test the RUX products. RUX is designed to be multi-modal, meaning you can use the product in many different applications. Packing for a 6 day bike race, flying across the Atlantic, and camping for a week seemed like the best way to prove this design approach.
Packing for the trip:
Racers were given strict instructions to limit their luggage, as everything was getting moved from camp to camp by staff each day. We also left our bike bags at the airport in Nice, not to be seen again until the night before we flew home. Restrictions aside though, we had some creature comforts to address. I wasn’t planning on wearing the same stinky sweaty race kit each day, so I had spares. The race is also extremely hard on bikes, so I brought some extra c stuff in case of failures, or parts like tires and brake pads just wearing down over the week. There were also some camping luxuries that were essential, like a nice inflatable pillow, warm lounging clothes, and a book. Packing effectively for this trip was critical. Besides my bike bag, I traveled with:
One ⅔ compressed RUX 70L (with another 70L strapped on top to give a fellow racer). I checked this in for the flight to Europe. This contained:
- Race kits
- Camp gear (sleeping bag, pillow, warm clothes, towel, toiletries, headlamp)
- Travel clothes
- Race food (extra bars, electrolytes, energy gels)
This 70L turned into my camp gear management centre once the race started. At the end of every day I’d find it amongst all the gear dropped by the staff and locate my tent. I’d put all my tent gear from the 70L in the tent. I kept all my bike maintenance in a RUX Bag, so that was easy to pull out of the 70L and attend to my weary steed. I also had a RUX Pocket clipped to the inner Utlility Rail of the 70L, where I kept some key toiletries like deodorant, lip balm and chammy butter (if you know, you know). The Pocket also housed charging cables, and some spare change for apres snacks and beer at a local bar.
I also traveled with a RUX Waterproof Bag (with external-mount RUX Pocket). I used this as my carry-on during my travels, and it was my go everywhere bag during the race. It was the shower bag, the beach bag, and the shopping bag. So useful!
Having my RUX gear for gear management at the Stone King Rally made my experience so much more enjoyable. I literally watched fellow racers explode their duffle bags at every camp we were at, while I was able to keep a tidy camp, stay organized, and focus on the important things like re-fueling and resting for the next day of epic riding in the Alps.