Let me start by saying I am perhaps the least qualified to comment on the topic … so I’ll go ahead and do so anyway.
My share is simple … I use a Wingnut backpack gifted to me by my friend Nicolaas from Irvine CA, which is awesome to help keep the weight low down on my back. My neck operation had me a bit nervous before the race but I had zero issue whatsoever, partly due to low sitting backpack and party due to being very blessed.
The climb up to Vuvu the bike was resting on my neck and back as the backpack was too low down and I was very uncomfortable and frustratingly slow. So whilst sleeping in my cozy Vuvu bed … I came up with the idea to cable tie/duct tape my Revelate saddle bag onto the top of my backpack to act as a bike platform.
It may come across a bit soft but it worked like a charm, the climb up Lehana’s went perfectly, the bike rested comfortably on the backpack and I was able to keep up with the group comfortably. So my amateur advice … speak to seasoned Freedom riders about backpacks, I will do the same again but getting a backpack that will support your hike-a-bike activity can save a lot of discomfort and frustration.
PS: I am accepting as default that one needs to carry a bike on one’s back. I resisted this technique as my thinking is pushing is easier, which is true under specific conditions but my article is really focussed on carrying a bike on the back when pushing and hooking-over-the-shoulder don’t make sense any longer.