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…
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. ..
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…
I love a good camp mug, especially one with a message. Pick up this Travel Slow mug at Cadence.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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…
I’ve been stoked on this project since first posting about it! Now you can rent or buy the 11-minute documentary Hunting for Monsters at Vimeo!
“Lake Iliamna, Alaska’s largest lake, is home to many native communities, the worlds largest sockeye salmon run, potential site of the controversial Pebble Mine and the elusive Lake Monster – Illie. On a hot mid-July, Bjørn and Brent were deposited to the far shore of Cook Inlet in a landing craft cargo ship and began their human powered journey through Iliamna country to Bristol Bay, hoping to catch a glimpse of the illusive creature and slice of Alaska where monsters can still roam free.”