In years past, we’ve often found ourselves meandering through the deserts of the Western United States. The Colorado, Mojave, Sonoran, and Great Basin all have provided ample inspiration to my tired body and mind. While many of these ecoregions feel familiar, by far the Chihuahuan is the most mysterious to me. It’s the one region we haven’t spent much time in and with our relocation to Santa Fe, I was looking forward to spending days meandering through the various public lands in southern New Mexico.
It’s no secret that for the past few years, we spend a lot of time on the road traveling to bike events. We often spend 7 months on the road, visiting gravel races, MTB events, framebuilder showcases, or just checking out the cycling communities and rides in various towns all over the Western United States. 2020 put a damper on that with Covid-19 but this year I’ve been building out a desert tourer and road trip vehicle of a different sort, an HJ75 Troopcarrier from Australia. This “long van” is one of the most capable and compact RVs in the world and unfortunately, we never got this specific model of Toyota here in the States.
When BF Goodrich caught wind of a recent interview with me where I discussed desert touring… by bicycle. They had to know more. How in the world do you ride in the desert on a bike? So I sat down with them for an interview about the Radavist and what it means to “Shred Lightly.”
Guide books like this are where I get a lot of inspiration for bike rides and tours.
The piece might be common knowledge for a lot of y’all but it’s always nice to push a positive message for outdoor recreation on a large platform like that. Head over to BF Goodrich Garage to check it out.
As reported in the Sustainable Trails Coalition last week, there’s been a bit of development in the often debated topic of whether or not bicycles should be allowed in designated wilderness areas:
“Agency staff testified before a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee regarding S.1695 – the Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act, introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R.–Utah). Click here for video of the full testimony.
S.1695 would remove the agencies’ blanket bans on bicycling in Wilderness and revert to the Forest Service’s 1981 rule, allowing line officers to treat bikes as they do horses, hikers, campers, and hunters—i.e., allow or prohibit access based upon local conditions.”
This is a massive undertaking, with many details that would need to be ironed out if it passed.
Read the full report and many more details at Sustainable Trails Coalition.
Do you remember the crazy trans-Icelandic voyage featuring our friend Chris Burkard from last month? Well, we’d like to give his video UNNUR a shout out here. Enjoy this somber piece on your Friday afternoon!
“Elli Thor is an Icelandic photographer, surfer, and former kayaker. A decade ago Elli nearly drowned under a waterfall while kayaking a challenging Icelandic river. The near death experience became a catalyst for personal growth and his professional career. After walking away from kayaking, a newfound passion for surfing and the birth of his daughter Unnur gave him a new perspective worth living for.”
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.
e-Bikes aren’t going anywhere. They are a part of cycling and they’re here to stay. That means various forestry management departments are trying to find out what regulation these electronic bicycles need. I’m well are this is a heated topic and there are a lot of opinions about e-bikes, so now’s your time to let your voice be heard.
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest Service is requesting public input on proposed updates to the agency’s internal directives on how e-bikes are managed on national forests and grasslands. These proposed updates are in alignment with the Secretary of Agriculture’s direction to increase access to national forests and grasslands, and would provide needed guidance for line officers to expand e-bike access while protecting natural resources and other forest uses.”
Read more at the USDA website, where you can learn how to submit a public comment.
If you’ve read the above-linked memorandum, then you see how important it is what we VOTE!
There is a case for wilderness in the American West, which is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “an uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region.” The problem is, this classification was written by colonizers and erasers of indigenous history. Humans have long inhabited these areas, before the Spanish or the Pilgrims infiltrated these lands, long before it was called New Mexico.
This topic is a heated one. Organizations like the Sierra Club lead the way in this classification, establishing rules about who can or can’t visit these lands: for instance, cyclists. I’m not here to talk about whether or not bikes should be allowed in areas classified as wilderness, so let’s step back a bit and discuss what that word, wilderness, means in the context of the original inhabitants of the Americas.