Markus Stitz aka @reizkultur raced the Silk Road Mountain Race (SRMR) – which, looking at the stories told, is more of a survival expedition than a bike-race. We are proud Markus counts on SOURCE Hydration for many years. For the SRMR he opted for a Hipster Widepac Hydration bladder with our Filtering Tube with inline Sawyer filter.
We had a chat with him after he returned safe and sound and there’s so much to talk about, we split it into three posts (find links below). Here’s his feedback about the Widepac and how he used it.
Markus, of course first thing we want to know: how did the Widepac and Filtering Tube hold up and how did you use it?
I used the Hipster bladder this time around and it was awesome!
There are three things I loved:
First is the opening to refill it. It is big and I could just dip it into a stream and fill it. Only once I fell in (:
The second thing is that the hose is easily detachable. Unlike other bladders I used before, I could just unclip the hose and take out the bladder itself to refill, and didn’t have to route the hose through the gap between front roll and accessory pack every time.
And the black cap to protect the valve was super handy when all the dust was involved…
You used it with the filtering tube all the time?
Yes, as filtering water in Kyrgyzstan is essential. There are enough animals peeing into the streams, so drinking the water unfiltered is not a great idea. And I hate buying water in plastic bottles, as it’s unnecessary waste.
Where/when did you have opportunities to refill?
In general in most places, as the race is in the mountains, which have streams and raging rivers. There was a stretch along the Chinese border from Baetow to the next checkpoint where there was very little water, and that was muddy.
I also carried a 2l Liquitainer and chlorine tablets, so I used that and an additional 2 plastic bottles to have 6l of water on the bike for that stretch. It turned out there was a gas station half way, which was open, but I was prepared.
Did you do any cleaning of the Widepac along the way?
The honest answer is no. Just when I found a dead mosquito I gave it an extra wipe (:
For future adventures: Will you pack a backup drinking tube (read about his story detaching the hydration tube in this post)?
I might. I am generally really good keeping all my kit together, but as it is super small, I might consider it…