We’ll be there for another grueling year of Lost Sierra back roads and the nonstop party that is the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship’s hardest race! See ya there?
Remember our coverage from last year’s Lost and Found? If you missed the Reportage, here’s a refresh. If you wanted to partake in the fun this year, make sure you register for the first of three events in the Sierra Buttes Triple Crown. The Lost and Found Registration opens tonight, Monday, February 18th at 8:00pm PST. The team at the Buttes have worked out a new route too!
Read on below on how you can win a custom gravel bike for $10 featuring ENVE parts and be sure to check out our Builders for Builders gallery on the Related column on the left.
“The Forest Service deals with resources and we need to convince them that recreation is another resource.” This quote, from Lost and Found founder Chris McGovern really resonated with me the entirety of my stay in the Lost Sierra. Is recreation a resource? Can it be? Should it be? Over the years, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship has been fighting the good fight, working alongside the US Forest Service, a subsidiary of the Department of Agriculture, who deals with our nation’s resources, from wood to minerals and even water. The federal government monitors how each state manages its resources.
Year after year I always want to make it out to the Sierra Buttes’ Lost and Found ride. Hopefully, it’ll happen this year! Registration opens tomorrow, Sunday, March 5th. Sign up at Lost and Found!
Singlespeeds and Sunburn in the Lost and Found Race
Words and photos by Kyle Kelley
It’s not too often you get asked to hop in a car and drive 8 hours north, race (I didn’t do much racing though) a 100 mile “Gravel” Race with 7,000 feet of elevation on a Single Speed, then hop back in the car and drive another 8 hours home. So of course I said “Yes!”
While I said yes, I must admit I was kind of worried. I’d agreed to do something I really knew nothing about. I’m not in the best shape at the moment, definitely not in 100 mile Single Speed shape. This is kinda like hiking 16 miles round trip to Half Dome in brand new boots, which I’ve also done. I never said I made the best decisions, but luckily I’m still having fun and the 2015 Lost and Found Gravel Grinder was no exception!
We’ve got mountains of photos to work through from last weekend’s gravel races with Rugile Kaladyte delivering Dirty Kanza photos and John cranking on Lost & Found. Stay tuned!
Over the next two weekends, we’ll be hitting two events: the Chris King Swarm in Bend and the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship’s Lost & Found. Both events have a strong community tie-in for the type of riding we pursue over here, as well as a strong support from various brands and personalities. We hit the road tomorrow and from that point forward, you can expect coverage from Central Oregon and the Lost Sierra. See you on the road and if you’re going to these events, be sure to stop and say hello!
This is the fourth and final part of an ongoing series:
Full Circle on the Grand Loop: Part III – A Cyclocross Specialist Turned Ultra Racer
Full Circle on the Grand Loop: Part II – The First Modern Bikepacking Race
Full Circle on the Grand Loop: Part I – Trail Visions Ahead of Their Time
2020, the year that virtually nothing has panned out as expected, delivered an unexpected opportunity for me to return to the Grand Loop. I flew home to Arizona in late March after an aborted tour across Alaska as the Covid-19 pandemic worsened. My body was exhausted from winning a 4-day-long Iditarod Trail Invitational – conditions were challenging enough that the race took twice as long as it does in “good” years. After the race, I continued touring farther along the trail for another 250 miles before Native villages began closing to visitors. When I returned home, my body was worn out. The next month was devoted to recovery as I watched in awe as the world as we knew it ground to a halt amid the worsening pandemic.
With the ambitious origins of the Grand Loop being shared in Part I of this series, let us now dive into the impact the route had on the evolution of bikepacking, and more specifically, bikepacking races. After all, the Grand Loop Race (GLR) was arguably the first of the modern bikepacking events and is responsible for creation and evolution of some of the most popular and longest-running mountain bike ultras in the United States – the Colorado Trail Race and the Arizona Trail 300. The Grand Loop was also the first long and particularly difficult off-road route to become a notable draw for bikepackers.
On November 1st, 2018 I rolled out to cover 1200 miles of the old Butterfield Overland Mail Route from San Francisco to Tucson, AZ. For almost a year prior the headlines had been dominated by news of things happening along America’s southern border. Child Separations. Immigration Caravans. National Guard deployments. On social media channels the rhetoric from all sides, which had already been getting increasingly strident, ramped up to a fever pitch. Normal conversations spiraled completely out of control. I found myself caught up in it all, furious at family members, friends, and strangers alike.
When I first heard about the Colorado Trail Race I was in fact riding part of the route, albeit one of the least engaging stretches. It was just ten days after I’d raced my bike for 200mi in Kansas and I’d been overly optimistic about my recovery when I’d agreed to a four-day tour from my home in Boulder through the South Platte (and on through Summit County) with my partner Tony.
Editor’s intro: I’ve long been inspired by the work of Chris Burkard, particularly his work in Iceland, so when I saw he had taken up bikepacking and was about to embark on a crazy tour across Iceland’s interior, I reached out to see if he’d be willing to share his story. Read on below for an intro by Chris and an interview…
HIGH STEEP BROKEN MOUNTAINS: Riding in Threatened Central California Coast Public Land that lost protection to drilling and fracking upon the moratorium lift in December 2019, routing through the Cuyama Valley and Sierra Madre Ridge through Bates Canyon, Santa Barbara Canyon, and Quatal Canyon.
Chuck Teixeira’s lifelong passion for riding is equaled only by what he has done to advance the sport. He embodies the ingenuity, craftsmanship, and dedication that we strive to achieve, and he has been instrumental in making cycling better for all of us.
And now Chuck needs our help; his home is gone. The CZU August Lightning Complex fire has ripped through the Santa Cruz mountains, destroying dozens of buildings, incinerating tens of thousands of acres and displacing tens of thousands of people. Chuck’s home was one of those that burned to the ground, only ashes remain. The sweat and blood he poured into building his mountain refuge is gone – reduced to smoke and embers. His scores of rare and vintage bicycles – a rolling museum of cycling’s evolution and a living archive of his inventions and innovations – reduced to melted metal and plastic. His hand-build hotrods – each representing thousands of hours of meditative hard work – charred beyond recognition. Beyond the tangible, and all the more devastating, Chuck and his wife Debbie lost the dream of spending the rest of their lives together in the sanctuary they built.
To start, my Review of the Wahoo Roam is definitely going to be a bit narrow in scope, I don’t often ride road bikes, have a bunch of random sensors all over my body and bike, or keep meticulous logs of all my riding, so about 50% of the cool shit this device can do goes untouched by me. You’re probably asking, what the hell do you ride and why are you talking to me about this? Well, I like to do short mountain bike rides and longer touring routes, both of which are super rad to have a GPS device for. I also dabble in route creation, Im no Sarah Swallow, but I’ve been dipping my toes in the water and having a Wahoo has made that a more fruitful experience.
Over the past few years, I’ve found myself only riding 150mm travel hardtails and full suspensions with slackened front ends and steep seat tubes. In my mind, why would you want anything else? Then I moved to Santa Fe, where we have even bigger backcountry loops, steep climbs, and long, rocky descents. Yet, we also have sweeping, undulating XC trails. Suddenly, all those 150mm bikes are a little too much for a lot of the trails here, most of which are in my neighborhood. Then Chumba came to the rescue, sending along their Sendero 130mm 29er hardtail for me to review and I fell in love with XC bikes once again.
Read on for how this beauty of a bike handles our chunder and Chamisa-lined trails here in Santa Fe…
As the person behind the marketing of a small brand, I typically have a strategy that I like to think of as, “appear bigger than the bear.” As a tiny brand hustling to compete with some very large brands, we aim to appear larger than we are. My theory is that if we want to be competitive, we need to look like a worthy competitor. You know, if you need to scare off a bear, you should try to look bigger than the bear. The current situation has led me to take pause and give up the ruse. Sometimes there’s more to the story than super sexy photos of bikes. I don’t know about anyone else out there, but I am getting lonely here in my home office. I miss my co-workers. I miss shooting hoops in the warehouse in the afternoon and walking to get a slice of pizza, making awkward small talk in the pizza shop.
Tucked away in a sparsely populated region of Northern California, at the northern terminus of the Sierra Nevada range lies a land of dense, rolling forests, deep canyons, cold clear streams, and jagged peaks that tower over teal, post-glacial lakes. And weaving their way through this serenely beautiful landscape is a network of ever-growing trails, the vast majority of which can be traversed by bike.