xp-trail-at-overland
Scouting the XP Trail near US 50, west of Austin

Pony Express Ride is an online scrapbook of sorts about my preparations to ride the Pony Express Bikepacking Route in summer 2021. The route runs nearly 2,200 miles, from St. Joseph, MO to Sacramento, CA, mostly on dirt and gravel roads; over rocky, sandy, and overgrown trails; through alkali lake beds; across open desert; and along alpine singletrack. 

The site includes:

  • Route Reports: Information about current conditions and historical observations on sections of the route, organized by state.
  • Quick Facts: Facts and quotes from my research about the Pony Express and related topics, including emigration and freighting in the mid-1800s, the Mexican-American War, the Mormon War, and other mid-19th century topics, organized by tag.
  • Reading List: An ongoing list of articles, books, and other materials I’ve read and gathered.
  • Scouting: Writeups of my scouting rides in Central Nevada and in California, from Echo Summit to Sacramento, with links to detailed ride maps.

There are also some cooking recipes, links to other sources, and more. The information is available for anyone to use or enjoy, but it is not meant to be the definitive source of info about the Pony Express Bikepacking Route. If you’re looking for the experts, go to the Online Sources page for links to other sources for route information.

If you have questions, or even better, suggestions for more information you think might be useful to assemble here, please get in touch with me via email or in comments to posts.