Out of the Bolivian Yungas and into the Cordillera
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson
After plunging into the depths of the Bolivian Yungas, your brain likes to trick you into overlooking the relatively low altitude ups and downs of this area, while focusing in on the inevitable slog back to the thin air of the high mountains. But these Yungas roads have a way of telling you right away that just because you’re not at 16,000ft anymore doesn’t mean you’re getting away unscathed here. What the Yungas lacks in pure altitude, it easily makes up for in relentlessly steep, hot, and dusty roads that zig and zag across the rippled terrain. Make no mistake, the challenge here definitely stacks up with just about anything else in the area. (more…)
Los Angeles is no stranger when it comes to wildfires, even in the short time I’ve lived here and while most of the fires over the years have been in the San Gabriel mountains, I never expected to have a fire ravage my favorite place to ride, the Verdugo Mountains. You’ve probably heard of these mountains before, we post a lot of photos here on the site from their peaks, fireroads and singletrack. To give you some perspective, the dirt roads are 7 miles from my front door, with the first saddle being exactly 10 miles. The peak, at least on the road, tops out at 3,100′ and it’s a long, steep way up, with climbs averaging between 10 and 18%. (more…)
Trail Working for the Trans-Cascadia and Oregon Timber Trail
Photos and words by Dylan VanWeelden
In Oregon, it is not uncommon to see two rolling waves moving with equal speed and swell in opposite directions. The Pacific is chaotic and tumultuous and the rocky beaches and moody weather facilitate this diversive behavior. But occasionally these waves move toward each other, combining and colliding with a massive, wild spike of energy — more beautiful and twice as tall as anything else on the horizon.
This is exactly the type of energy that came together last weekend in the mountain bike community. http://trans-cascadia.com/Trans-Cascadia (the 4-day blind format enduro race) and the newly founded Oregon Timber Trail (bikepacking trail going across Oregon) joined forces to create one hell of a trail building party. Over fifty cyclists, from top enduro racers to core bikepackers, shared rakes, saws, loppers, and endless Basecamp beers around the fire. (more…)
It’s been a hot, hot summer here in Los Angeles and after two weeks of over 90º weather, we had to get out of town. Let’s be honest, though, that’s what everyone in this county of 10 million people was thinking too! So where would we go? As I was contemplating this very question, I bumped into my friend Nathan, who told me he had an amazing touring route from San Francisco out to Point Reyes National Seashore planned for the long weekend. I immediately asked if there was room for Cari and me to come along… I owed her a better touring experience after getting us lost in the Sequoias! (more…)
Jotunheimen Super Randonnée
Words and photos by Johan Björklund
In late July it was finally warm and dry in Sweden, so we decided to go to cold and wet Norway and ride the Jotunheimen Super Randonnee, 600km with 10 600 meters of elevation. We had been talking about it for the last two years when Daniel, Even and I suddenly decided to ride it without doing any real planning.
A Super Randonnee is a 600km brevet, but with a minimum of 10 000 meters of elevation gain. In return, you get a more generous time limit, from 2017 and forward 60 hours and before that 50 hours plus one extra hour per additional 1000 meters of elevation. They’re run as permanents, so you can ride it when you want with the permission from the local organizer. The regular brevet card for stamping at gas stations is partly replaced by awkward staged photos where the bikes of all riders with an attached plastic sign have to be visible at specific locations. (more…)
There’s nothing like a California sunset, especially over the San Gabriel Mountains here in Los Angeles. Those faded evenings usually come after an all-time MTB ride and for Nathan, he was craving some trail time. Sure, he’d ridden a lot of the singletrack in our great city on a bike before: his Rock Lobster all-road, but he wanted to finally rip them up – and himself – on a proper MTB. He went to the team at GSC and began talking to them about a Ritchey Timberwolf build. One unlike any the shop had put together before. GSC contacted Ritchey and requested one of their special Heritage paint jobs, then Mike, a mechanic at GSC talked to Nathan about a build kit. A Fox 36 fork would take the hits, while a Shimano drivetrain would offer smooth, worry-free shifting and braking. Wheels, featuring White Industries and durable rubber from Onza paved the way for one slick build. Being Nathan’s first mountain bike, it’s had a number of crashes already, but with each ride, he gets more and more accustomed to speed and cornering on loose and sandy trails.
The Timberwolf is a very popular hardtail option, I reviewed one and loved it. I know a number of you have these bikes, so share them in the comments.
Words by Ty Hathaway, photos by Ty Hathaway and Julia DeConcini
It wasn’t but a few minutes of being back in the van after floating the Snake River that Julia was already figuring out what river was next and how to make it better. We had already gotten some good info about the North Fork of the Flathead River in Montana from a good friend of ours who grew up taking family trips down the section. He made it sound like some kind of magical dream land filled with big fish, crystal clear water, and endless scenery. Naturally, this would be our next river of choice, but this time we would do an overnight and with no van shuttle. (more…)
Taking the “Death Road” to the Edge of the Bolivian Jungle
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson
Coming into Bolivia, it’s hard to know what to expect. Where Peru’s reputation is pretty much all happy people, ancient ruins, and fluffy alpacas, the stories you hear about Bolivia prior to visiting are a bit more of a mixed bag. Some are very positive, but one thing repeated pretty often (other than how bad the food is) is that outsiders aren’t quite as popular with the locals. Rather than the welcome party you get in nearly every village in the Peruvian Andes when you roll in on two wheels, the Boliviano response is a bit more tepid… At least that’s the reputation. (more…)
Finding Friends on the Isle of Arran at Grinduro Scotland – Kyle Kelley
Words and photos by Kyle Kelley
You can read race reports all over the internet about Grinduro Scotland and that’s exactly why I’m not going to give you that here. It was Scotland, so of course, it rained! It was on the Isle of Arran, so of course, it was beautiful! It rained, so of course, it was muddy! And did I mention… it was Scotland, so of course, we drank whisky! (more…)
Down on Muddy Creek, She Sends Me
Words by Spencer Harding photos by Spencer, Molly and Tyler.
So, I had a week off from leading bike tours in southwestern Utah and like any sane individual, I headed straight for Moab. I met up with Tyler and Molly whom I had connected with last fall through a mutual adventure buddy (thanks, Tommy!). Anywho, they had been pestering me to get a packraft for awhile and I finally just bought a lil’ dinghy raft from Klymit before heading out to Utah. There was some deliberation on route options and at the last minute, we decided the conditions for running Muddy Creek would be perfect.
The plan was to drop off bikes and camping gear at the take-out, drive the truck and boats to the put-in, raft down, camp out, and bike back to the truck the next morning. (more…)