Category Archives: camping
The Vancouver Island Badass 200 – Eiry Bartlett
You gotta check out the Vista Points (even when they’re not worth photographing)

The Vancouver Island Badass 200
Words and Photos by Eiry Bartlett

The plan: 6 women, 6 bikes, 2 days, fully self-supported bike-camping trip around southern Vancouver Island, covering 200km+ and completing the Rapha Women’s 100 in true Pacific Northwest style. Confirmations were sent, gear lists made, training rides were organized. Really, the most important thing was that our kits looked good together.

Well, apparently life can really get in the way of fun. My girls were picked off like ripe cherries on a summer day and by time the trip rolled around we were down to three, but we were three totally stoked, badass ladies ready for whatever was thrown our way. A smaller group meant a smaller vehicle and the addition of our dutiful camp commander – soon to be known as Captain Sparkles – who was willing to transport our food and gear to the campsite while we made our way across the wilds of the Cowichan Valley.

Weird weather happened, kooky locals, drivers – speeding like bats out of hell, and all the benefits you’d expect cycling a route that starts in a logging zone and ends in a gorgeous temperate rainforest.
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Jul 28, 2014 16 comments
Sub 24 with a Chance of Thunderstorms
This creek was barely ankle deep last night.

Somewhere down the line, I developed a curse. Not unlike something a gypsy would bestow upon some unfortunate vagabond. My curse, however is related to cycling, specifically, any kind of ride or trip that involves camping…

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Jun 13, 2014 15 comments
Team Dream Extreme Volume 01: The Backboner – Sean Talkington
#TeamDreamSunsetChasingTeam

Team Dream Extreme Volume 01: The Backboner
Photos and Words by Sean Talkington

Lyle from Acre recently moved to LA from SF and has been talking about “secret trails” near my home in Topanga for some time now.  He kept saying that they were easily the best thing he had ridden in our area.  I had skeptically tried to find the “secret trail-head” to the “secret trail” multiple times and always ended up lost.  A few months ago I thought I had found said trail, so two buddies came with to rejoice in the new super secret discovery, only to end up trailblazing for 2 hours & schlepping bikes over loads of rock faces.  I was bummed, my friends were bummed and I began to secretly hate these secret trails.

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Jun 12, 2014 9 comments
Rolling Hills and Snakes: AWOL on the Oregon Outback – Day 03
But soon enough, we turned off onto dirt and one of the most ripping descents of the journey.

When Erik and I committed to riding the Oregon Outback, we didn’t want to absolutely kill ourselves, but we wanted it to be tough. On paper, 360 miles is totally doable in three days without crushing your spirit. Hell, I think we could have done it in two and we still would have been ok but that’s not the point.

I had a responsibility. One that I take seriously and that’s documenting this trip. Granted, most of the time, I didn’t want to stop to shoot a photo, or hop off my bike, I just wanted to keep going…

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Jun 2, 2014 41 comments
Sand Pits and Rednecks: AWOL on the Oregon Outback – Day 02
After lunch, we felt revitalized and headed onward, where we saw some people taking a break as well.

The second day of any big ride is usually the toughest. Your body just assumes it’s going to be on the defensive for an unknown amount of time and begins to push back. Usually, that is. For Erik and I, we awoke in the Silver Lake Community Park f-u-c-k-i-n-g freezing. The weather said it would drop to 45 degrees as the low, so he and I brought hammocks and 40 degree bags in the interest of space and weight.

At 4am, my phone said it was 28 degrees. A cold front had moved in.

I was shivering uncontrollably, had I known it was going to be that cold, I would have brought a sleeping pad and a tarp, both of which I’ve used to alleviate the loss of body heat that happens in hammocks at such low temperatures. But alas, you reap what you sew. We would be cold on this trip.

All our field guide said about mile 120-240 was that we’d be crossing altitude desert and would be without water for up to 80 miles. I brought an Arundel Looney Bin to hold a 48oz Nalgene, which, after making breakfast, I filled up. Along with my two large Purist bottles. We had to get moving. Fast… It was 6:30am.

Continue reading in the Gallery captions.

May 30, 2014 28 comments
Team AWOL and My Oregon Outback Pack List
OregonOutbackKnolling-11

So I haven’t made a big deal about this for a few reasons. First, I don’t want to jinx myself or my teammate on this ride and second, it’s part of a project that won’t see the light of day for a few months.

That said, I’m doing / racing / riding / surviving the Oregon Outback, a 360 miles MTB trek from Southern Oregon to Northern Oregon. Our plan is to do it in three days. Unsupported. That’s 120 miles a day on dirt.

I do rides like this often enough, maybe not to this degree, but essentially bikepacking or touring. So I thought I’d let you in on my packing list, via knolling. Check out a break-down below.

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May 22, 2014 44 comments
Slow is Fast Movie

Up until last week, I hadn’t heard anything about this movie, Slow is Fast. If you’re thinking of touring the California coast, this is a must-watch!

“In September 2012, Dan Malloy, Kanoa Zimmerman and Kellen Keene rode bikes down the California coast hoping to see their home state in a new slower-paced light — surfing, camping, staying with friends and lending a hand wherever they could to earn their keep. The result of the trip is a beautifully crafted book and DVD.”

Pick up the DVD and book at Patagonia.

May 1, 2014 3 comments
Snow, Beer and Mountain Bikes: The Whiskey Off Road with the Blackburn Rangers
Escaping the Mountains of Madness!

Let’s see, where were we? Oh yeah. We left off with the Blackburn Rangers at the top of Granite Mountain – 7,000′ – in the Prescott National Forest. Camp was set up, we consumed calories, sat around a propane campfire and after we killed all the liquor, we settled in for the evening. The weather report called for a 60% chance of rain and temps in the low 40′s. All was well, right? Wrong…

We had a busy day ahead of us. One filled with supplying the Whiskey Off Road racers with bacon and high fives. The plan was to descend to around 4,000′ at a site right before the last climb of the day and before a stretch of technical 1-track. From there, we’d blast music and shove bacon down the gullet of any hungry racer. My job for the day was to document all the fun…

Check out the full day’s Reportage from the Whiskey Off Road race with Blackburn in the Gallery!

Apr 30, 2014 11 comments
The Blackburn Rangers Ride at the Whiskey Off Road
The last switchback of the day...

The Blackburn Rangers, a group of cyclists, selected from hundreds of applicants, all of which range in experience, yet they represent what it means to push yourself physically and mentally on a bike. In essence, they embody what Blackburn is striving for as a company.

So far, there have been two years of inductees into the Rangers. Last year’s troops tackled either the Pacific Coast or the Great Divide and last week at the Whiskey Off Road, two Rangers from last year’s selection met the four new inductees…

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Apr 29, 2014 4 comments