Category Archives: Photos
We Found Our Hearts in Montana – Morgan Taylor
Off to another stealth camp spot.

Words and photos by Morgan Taylor.

Montana, oh Montana. In Montana we battled the desire for stillness with the impetus to keep moving. We sat and watched animals, we spent time in new places that excited us very much, we batted away mosquitoes and fled from them. We pedaled day by day, sometimes through remote terrain, not seeing anyone else for hours or possibly days at a time. We found our way. (more…)

Sep 6, 2016 33 comments
Goodbye, Canada – Morgan Taylor
Goodbye Canada – Morgan Taylor

Words and photos by Morgan Taylor.

Where I last left you we were less than 50 miles from home as the crow flies, having ambitiously pedaled three days from our front door and ridden a remote high mountain pass with way too much gear. We were solidly in travel mode, no longer just camping in the front yard. It was early July and while that sounds like it should be summer, we wore our GoreTex more in the week we rode in Canada than we did for the two months that followed. You know, the Great White North, and all.

There was still some amount of comfort in what we were doing: while the scenery was changing more quickly than we had anticipated, we were still spending colorful money and freely using our overpriced cell phone data. The people we ran into still knew where we lived – or at least had heard of it – and could drive there in an easy day. (more…)

Sep 5, 2016 6 comments
Mark’s Crust Bikes DFL 26+ Dirt Tourer – Morgan Taylor
Mark's Crust Bikes DFL 26+ Dirt Tourer – Morgan Taylor

Photos and intro by Morgan Taylor, words by Mark Reimer.

Does bike travel in the backcountry have to look a particular way? No, of course not. As you can see by the range of bikes being ridden in Spencer’s gallery, the #DFLtheDivide crew was a group that largely did not fit the mold of bike touring or bikepacking. That ride was all about doing things differently, living on the fringe and pushing the ideas of what traveling by bike looks like.

The Crust Bikes DFL occupies that space: not quite a touring bike, not quite a mountain bike – simply a bike built for traveling over whatever terrain you want to cover. John looked at Matt’s early version of this bike – at the time called the Evasion – and over a year later the DFL remains an intriguing idea that gets people asking questions and thinking about how they might build their own adventure bike.

Mark’s DFL hosts a great mix of domestically produced hard and soft goods, with a parts bin build kit carefully collected and selected over the years. The 9-speed XTR derailleur is hooked up to an indexed 10-speed Dura-Ace bar end shifter, using a Wolf Tooth road link to help the derailleur wrap around the SunRace 11-42 cassette. The Schmidt dynamo and Nitto racks and Carradice bags, so many details to pore over…

I’ll leave the rest to Mark because he captured the essence of this bike so well… (more…)

Aug 17, 2016 31 comments
Yonder Journal: Mad Wikkid Bike Toouah Day 01

You don’t have buy a ticket to Bolivia or Peru to enjoy a few days of bikepacking. Recently, Yonder Journal found themselves in New England for a quick stint in Connecticut and some extensive touring in Vermont, all guided by none other than UltraRomance. Dubbed the Mad Wikkid Bike Toouah, this trip took our heroes through country roads in the green mountain state.

Part one of who knows how many days is now up at Yonder Journal.

Jul 28, 2016 2 comments
Sam’s Sklar 29er is Headed for the Colorado Trail – Morgan Taylor
Sam's Sklar 29er is Headed for the Colorado Trail – Morgan Taylor

Adam Sklar has been building bikes for five years now. Among his first customers was Sam, a good friend from high school. Sam had Adam build him a single speed 29er, but Sklar #4 has since been through many iterations over the years. Recently, Sam was feeling like his original Sklar, while abundant with character and nostalgia, was ready to give way to a new Sklar. Adam’s style has certainly developed over his time building bikes, and Sam wanted to honor his friend’s success by commissioning another frame. (more…)

Jul 27, 2016 38 comments
We Will From Now On Be Found in the Mountains – Morgan Taylor
We Will From Now On Be Found in the Mountains – Morgan Taylor

Words and photos by Morgan Taylor.

Bikes instead of flights. That was the idea. Stephanie and I have been scheming on this plan for quite a while – about nine months to be exact. You see, we got married back in October, and wanted to go on an extended trip to celebrate. Over the winter we threw ideas around about what kinds of bikes we could ride on our honeymoon trip, and then keep running as fun all-rounders when we were back home.

We landed on the Soma Wolverine, a bike that in its few short years has developed a bit of a cult following. What surprised me, however, is that not many people had built these bikes with 27.5 wheels. There were so few people out there doing it that I wondered whether it would work out. I calculated wheel diameters, I stuffed various wheels into Wolverine frames on trips to the city, and I eventually decided that 27.5 with a larger volume tire was our ticket. More on the bikes in a later piece, though.

As the months moved along, a plan came together to ride straight from home in southeast BC, over the two mountain chains to the Rockies, and loosely follow the Continental Divide with national parks in our sights. Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton were within striking distance. At some point we’d head west, likely to northern California to see Yosemite and the Sierras on the way to Los Angeles. None of this was set in stone, though; we simply wanted to follow our noses and local recommendations on a mixed surface adventure through the western US. (more…)

Jul 11, 2016 12 comments
Tough as Nails

Yesterday while on a ride, Erik hit a trash dumpster with his face in a freak accident. One minute we were all riding to explore the mountains and the next, a cacophony erupted and Erik was flying through the air before landing on his face. By the time Dylan and I made it to him, he was bleeding from his head and having seizures. I immediately called 911 and made sure he was breathing. After a few minutes, the ambulance and fire truck showed up, rushing Erik to the ER for scans.

A few hours later and he was good to go with a few stitches, a mild concussion and a sore back. All this happened just a few days before he and I are leaving for the Length of Sweden brevet, the Sverigetempot, a 1400 mile brevet from Northern to Southern Sweden. It made for an interesting start to the weekend and served as a sobering reminder that we’re all pretty fragile while on our bikes. Many thanks to the local South Pasadena emergency response teams for being so rad and be safe out there!

Jul 9, 2016 20 comments
My Thomson and Ortlieb Decaleur Hack – Morgan Taylor
All in, a relatively clean solution.

Words and photos by Morgan Taylor

Carrying stuff on bikes can be complicated – especially when you’re a notorious over-packer who likes to have a DSLR on hand. The Wolverine is my first ground-up drop bar build in a while, and I wanted to ensure that both transporting and accessing my camera would be well thought out.

Since we got married last October, Stephanie and I have been putting the pieces together to take off on a multi-month trip beginning in July. Wanting to produce galleries and stories on the road means having a bike-camping friendly way to carry my camera gear. I decided on a Swift Ozette rando bag – and the Hinterland Collection made with X-Pac VX21 had classic rando utility with a technical, modern twist.

I got talking with Martina at Swift over email, and ended up heading down to Seattle to visit their studio and pick up my bag in person. While Martina does get out on a lot of adventures herself, she also loves to live vicariously through others. Finding out that Stephanie and I were headed in the direction of the Great Divide route and planning on sticking to dirt as much as possible, she recommended finding a robust decaleur solution for my Ozette. (more…)

Jun 8, 2016 61 comments