Ogichidaakwe: Alexandera Houchin’s Reflections on Her Tour Divide Race

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Ogichidaakwe: Alexandera Houchin’s Reflections on Her Tour Divide Race

Ogichidaakwe

I was always insecure about the fact that I was “uneducated” before I entered academia. Growing up in a trailer park and as the first person in my family to have ever attended a university, I was certain that I was something less than my entire life. The apple never falls far from the tree. And in attending University, I’ve learned that everything I was taught whilst growing up was lessons in obedience. I, an Anishinaabe woman, celebrated the Pilgrims at Thanksgiving time and Columbus on Columbus day. I always thought that I wasn’t Indian enough because I didn’t grow up on my reservation, I didn’t know my tribal language, and I didn’t look Indian. Tell me, what does an Indian look like? How could I trust a system that denied the lived history of my ancestors?

2019 Tour Divide Race: Behind the Scenes Interviews

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2019 Tour Divide Race: Behind the Scenes Interviews

This year’s Tour Divide Race was one for the books, with all the controversy surrounding documentation, but as well with many record hopeful attempts being foiled.  It was an amazing and exciting feat to behold on many levels.  At the end of all of it, I posed three questions to our team in hopes of giving an idea of what such a project entails.  If you have any other questions please ask them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.  -Spencer

Tour Divide Race: Part 5

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Tour Divide Race: Part 5

Tour Divide Race: Part 5

Words by Spencer Harding

We wake up with dew covering our tents and sleeping bags just on the south side of La Manga Pass in northern New Mexico.  We send Lael on her way as we start our seven-hour journey to jump ahead and try to catch Chris Seistrup at the head of the pack.  As we roll through the outskirts of Albuquerque it seems impossibly hot after almost two weeks high in the mountains.  As we approach Silver City a massive monsoon is building up over the Gila National Forest, no chance the leaders are staying dry out there.  Over a late dinner, we watch Chris’ spot tracker go stagnant and decided to wait until he rolls into town in the morning. 

Tour Divide Race: Part 4

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Tour Divide Race: Part 4

Words By Rugile Kaladyte, photos by Spencer Harding and Rugile Kaladyte

I’m not much of a writer, I prefer to stay behind the camera and let the photos do the talking. But what if photos aren’t enough? I like facts and I can provide those. Facts that led up to Lael’s scratching from this year’s Tour Divide. I recently posted on Lael’s Instagram that she scratched from the race this year after running into shoe sucking mud and waiting it out with other top racers. While waiting, she saw her women’s record pass by and her pink LW record dot would be almost a day ahead by the time conditions were suitable for riding. Acknowledging this, she brought me breakfast and spent the day with me and others while waiting for the mud to dry. Visiting me, her girlfriend, disqualifies her from the race. She knows this. We both do. I want to share a little more backstory. To put it out there while it’s still fresh.

2019 Tour Divide Race: Part 3

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2019 Tour Divide Race: Part 3

Words by Spencer Harding, photos by Spencer Harding and Rugile Kaladyte

Last year, Rue propositioned me about helping her document the Tour Divide race in which Lael Wilcox intended to best her previous record, I jumped at the opportunity. Later, Jay Ritchey would be added to the team to help Rue with the film they intended to produce about the race.  I was tasked with focusing on photographing her attempt and the race itself.  Rue has been flipping between photo and video very deftly and has some incredible images to add to this gallery.  Here is the third installment of our ongoing coverage of the 2019 Tour Divide Race. 

2019 Tour Divide Race: Part 2

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2019 Tour Divide Race: Part 2

Words by Spencer Harding, photos by Spencer Harding and Rugile Kaladyte

Last year, Rue propositioned me about helping her document the Tour Divide race in which Lael Wilcox intended to best her previous record, I jumped at the opportunity. Later, Jay Ritchey would be added to the team to help Rue with the film they intended to produce about the race.  I was tasked with focusing on photographing her attempt and the race itself.  Rue has been flipping between photo and video very deftly and has some incredible images to add to this gallery.  Here is the second installment of our ongoing coverage of the 2019 Tour Divide Race. 

DotWatcher’s Look at the Tour Divide with David Chirnside

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DotWatcher’s Look at the Tour Divide with David Chirnside

Watching the Tour Divide race unfold on Track Leaders is great, but it’s always nice to add additional layers of information. What DotWatcher does is just that. They include Instagram posts to the web portal and for the first time, David Chirnside is offering his wisdom and previous experience with the Tour Divide and is commentating the race day by day. His commentary on the event, the rider’s kit, and his personal experience bring a very personal, in-depth perspective on the race coverage. Head on over to Dot Watcher to check it out.

2019 Tour Divide Race: Part 1

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2019 Tour Divide Race: Part 1

Words by Spencer Harding, photos by Spencer Harding and Rugile Kaladyte

Last year, Rue propositioned me about helping her document the Tour Divide race in which Lael Wilcox intended to best her previous record, I jumped at the opportunity. Later, Jay Ritchey would be added to the team to help Rue with the film they intended to produce about the race.  I was tasked with focusing on photographing her attempt and the race itself.  Rue has been flipping between photo and video very deftly and has some incredible images to add to this gallery.  Here is the first installment of our ongoing coverage of the 2019 Tour Divide Race. 

A Father Son Tour Divide Duo

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A Father Son Tour Divide Duo

Happy Father’s Day!

On our road trip up to Bozeman for the Swift Campout, we mosied up through Abiquiu to visit some friends who own a nice little tract of land in the hills. At a favorite lunch stop of ours, we bumped into a father and son bikepacking duo from Arkansas. They are riding the Tour Divide from south to north, beginning in New Mexico. They were 14 days into their trip when we bumped into them. They looked cooked!

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2019 Tour Divide Race Prep With Lael Wilcox

Part of Lael’s preparation for this year’s Tour Divide was to ride from Boulder, CO to Emporia, KS where she raced the Dirty Kanza XL, which is featured in today’s gallery! Leave it to Lael to ride 700 miles before racing 350 miles! She’s going to be prepared and ready for the TDR this year!

The Salsa Cutthroat is Much More Than a Tour Divide Rig

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The Salsa Cutthroat is Much More Than a Tour Divide Rig

Salsa Cutthroat, Much More Than a Tour Divide Rig
Words By Spencer Harding, bike photos by Spencer Harding, with action shots by Locke Hassett

While I was able to finagle this incredibly snazzy bike solely for the purpose of reviewing a framebag on it, I figured why not squeeze a bike review out of it as well? First things first, I’m not a huge fan of riding drop bars and as I mentioned before I’m no ultra-endurance racer, which is precisely what this bike is designed for. So, I may be a fish out of water in that regard, but I think there is still plenty of potential in this bike for us humans who enjoy riding less than 200 miles a day and more than 2 hours of sleep a night.  At face value, this bike is fast, when you point this thing down a dirt road and put some muscle into the pedals it fucking moves, it doesn’t much care for going slow.  When using a combination of the magtank 2000 and two stem caddy style bags, the bike actually couldn’t turn sharply at low speed, but this bike was designed to haul ass on the Tour Divide, not make low speed technical turns.  Lets delve into the specifications and all that jazz…

Bailey’s Woodsmoke Loaded For the 2018 Tour Divide Race

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Bailey’s Woodsmoke Loaded For the 2018 Tour Divide Race

When you’re dead set on breaking the Tour Divide single speed record this year, ultralight is the way to go. Bailey, who is currently working at District Bicycles, recently built up his 2018 TDR race bike. He chose the Salsa Woodsmoke for the geometry, tire size, and most importantly weight. Even though he’s racing single speed, he still needs to keep the bike as light as possible. As it sits now, the bike weighs 30lbs on the nose, with everything he needs. It’ll weigh 35lbs on the trail, with water. The parts selection is spot-on, with components that will withstand the 2745 mile trek from Canada to Mexico.

An unexpected snag Bailey ran into while building this bike was that the elevated chainstay caused a lot of lateral sways and without a large chainring and large cog, would cause the chain to kick. Problem-solving like that is always best to do before you find out on the trail…

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Jay Petervary’s Dirty Dirty Tour Divide Salsa Cutthroat

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Jay Petervary’s Dirty Dirty Tour Divide Salsa Cutthroat

I first met Jay Petervary back when Salsa took me on the Cutthroat launch on the Tour Divide. Admittedly, Jay was friendly, but you could tell there was apprehension. He was about to embark on the TDR on a new bike and had plenty of other things to think about, rather than making small talk with a photographer / blogger. I hadn’t seen Jay in years, until this year’s Saddle Drive when he greeted me with a smile and a firm handshake. Jay’s like that. He’s the nicest guy you’ll meet, but like all athletes, before a race, he’s reserved and focused. Catch him post-race or at a Salsa event and he’ll wax poetic tales of racing, or just shoot the shit in an intoxicatingly positive manner. The dude has a smile as big as his accolades.

After hearing that he brought this year’s TDR Cutthroat to Saddle Drive, I really wanted to photograph it. There’s something telling about a bike, all dusty and sated, that you just can’t get from documenting a show bike, or something that’s brand new. This bike has character and best of all displays Jay’s personal choice when it comes to products. Industry Nine wheels, a power meter and a mix of Salsa and Bike Bag Dude bags. There’s nothing overtly corporate or branded about this rig. It’s punk rock from a dude who has nothing to prove at this point in his career.

Jay, you keep on ramblin’ round the world, doing your thing and I’ll catch up to you again in the near future. High fives, buddy!

MinneCycle 2017: Clockwork Bikes Custom Tour Divide Bike – Jarrod Bunk

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MinneCycle 2017: Clockwork Bikes Custom Tour Divide Bike – Jarrod Bunk

MinneCycle 2017: Clockwork Bikes Custom Tour Divide Bike– Jarrod Bunk
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk

You’ve probably seen Clockwork’s bikes before: Joel shaped steel for Poppi’s romantical dirt droop 29’r, which was featured here on the Radavist in 2015. While at MinneCycle I was able to check out this rad bike that came together for the Tour Divide with some pretty special extras. Those include internal dynamo wiring, sliding dropouts, and a custom made rack with a unique decaleur and a quick disconnect.

Oddity made a pretty wild bar for multiple hand positions and longer days in the saddle, so naturally, it made its way onto this build. A White Industries rear hub and SON Dynamo front hub should have this bike service-free for the entirety of the trip and then some.

A Box Components drivetrain and Paul Klamper brakeset round out this gorgeous build. The sleeved internal cable routing should keep things tidy while on tour and should something happen, still remain serviceable. All in all this is one hell of a clean bicycle that is full of features to make life easier when you’re out there. Check out more at Clockwork Bikes.

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Three Days on the Tour Divide with the Salsa Cutthroat

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Three Days on the Tour Divide with the Salsa Cutthroat

Stories. We all have to have stories to coincide with photos right? Nowadays, someone has to get lost, or their life threatened, or lose a battle to nature’s mood swings. Catastrophe, calamity and someone’s a casualty of what everyone seems to be dubbing “adventure.”

Truth is, a bike ride is hardly ever an “adventure.” Much less a bike launch. I don’t like that word: “adventure.” It tends to envelop so much of our day-to-day lives, especially those of us who spend a great deal of time outdoors. Was it an adventure? No, it was a hike. Or we went swimming. Or we got lost for an hour. “Adventure.” It’s been watered down, branded, packaged and delivered to us in a freeze-dried, waterproof pouch. We share our curated lives exposed through meticulously VSCO’d / Photoshopped vignettes on Instagram.

While this may seem cynical, I can assure you it’s far from that. It’s more of an explanation, or a primer if you will and here comes to the top coat: while the word adventure’s definition is subjective, the spirit of conquest is the thing that ties all facets of that word together. For some people, conquest lies in what others might deem an obtainable task. For others, it’s something so far-fetched that it’s more of an impossibility than a probability… Whatever it is, “adventure” means different things to different people, but we should all be more creative in how we define it. According to my opinion anyway.