Rides

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Sink Into the Earth: Lael Wilcox Rides the 827 Mile Arizona Trail

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Sink Into the Earth: Lael Wilcox Rides the 827 Mile Arizona Trail

On April 12, 2022, Lael Wilcox set out to ride the 827-mile Arizona Trail faster than anyone had before. She completed her ride in 9 days, 8 hours, and 23 minutes on April 21. This is her story.

Note: Lael’s time is not recognized by the AZT Race administration which prohibits media coverage. The current official records: Men’s – Nate Ginzton – 9:10:44; Women’s – Chase Edwards – 10:18:59

Beyond the Divide: Mountain Biking in Baja Sur

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Beyond the Divide: Mountain Biking in Baja Sur

There’s more to biking in Baja than the Divide

Twenty minutes after sunset and the sky has a glowing ember look. Night is taking over. In the distance — in the hills — you can see the front and rear lights of a bike. At first, it seems like it must be a motorcycle, but there’s no noise. It’s a mountain bike. The rider zooms up and down small climbs and descents, and then flies past us in a cloud of dust we can’t quite see, but can smell. The person on the bike, whoever they are, is having a great time.

I’m driving the entirety of Baja — with my husband and our dog — from Mexicali to Todos Santos. We started in Colorado. All in, the trip south is over 2,000 miles. We camp a lot — in a little van we built out last year. It’s great, but not quite van life. More, a step up from tent life. We’ve got our mountain bikes — an Ibis Mojo and a Revel Ranger — and a lot of peanut butter.

An Exercise in Agency: Hailey Moore Reflects After Her Ozark Gravel Doom Route ITT

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An Exercise in Agency: Hailey Moore Reflects After Her Ozark Gravel Doom Route ITT

My mom worries about me when I’m out riding my bike, for multiple days at a time, alone. By the way, I turned 30 in March. She says it’s not that she doesn’t trust me, it’s other people she’s worried about. And while she’s never outlined this explicitly, I’m sure the fact that I’m an only daughter—not an only son—also plays a role. But, to her credit, she’s getting more comfortable (or, better at hiding her discomfort) with the idea of me pursuing solo endeavors. This time around, when I called her from the car to let her know I was en route to the Ozarks to attempt an Individual Time Trial on the 380-mile Ozark Gravel Doom route, instead of a flat-lined, “…what?” I heard her pause, then—on the tail-end of an exhale—say, “Okay.”

A Weekend at The Cub House’s 2022 LA Invitational

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A Weekend at The Cub House’s 2022 LA Invitational

Los Angeles is home to one of the most diverse and eclectic cycling communities in the world. People from all walks of life have found that the bicycle is by far the best way to traverse this sprawling urban mass, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the San Gabriel mountains. Catering to this community are a number of bike shops, but one of our favs is The Cub House, which over the years has played host to a number of fun events, most notably the bike and car shows! To up the ante this year, Sean, Carla, Danny, and the team at The Cub House hosted the LA Invitational, a Euro spin on the weekend which included big rides on Saturday and the bike and car show on Sunday. John and Josh made it out to the City of Angels to document the people, bikes, rides, and more, so check out a chubby gallery and some words from John below!

Between a Rock and a Willow: 45 Hours on the Stagecoach 400 Cycling Route

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Between a Rock and a Willow: 45 Hours on the Stagecoach 400 Cycling Route

A boulder stops me in my tracks. There is a dry creek bed below, a huge boulder ahead, but no trail to be seen. I put my bike down and try to think logically. First I inch my way around the boulder to see whether the trail will somehow materialize. It doesn’t. I then walk as far to the left of the boulder (west) as I can, hoping I will find a way around. Nothing. I backtrack a ways to see if I missed a crucial turn. I didn’t.

The rock is an impenetrable vertical bridge. I’m suddenly repeating ‘YOU. SHALL. NOT. PASS!’ over and over in my head. Am I Gandalf or the Balrog in this situation? Or Frodo? Or an orc? Hard to say.

And there in my periphery goes that damned black animal again, wildly running away into the sandy night just past my vision. It’s roughly the shape of a boar but it runs like a gorilla. I’ve seen it a half-dozen times at this point, though, so nothing to be concerned about. It’s harmless.

It’s mile 335 of the Stagecoach 400, I’ve gone over 36 hours without sleep, and I’ve been stuck at the transition to The Willows for over 30 minutes.

Radavist x Komoot: Silver Linings on the East Devon Trail

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Radavist x Komoot: Silver Linings on the East Devon Trail

Katherine Moore, a zoologist by training and a cycling writer by trade, has just launched a new bikepacking route through her home turf in East Devon. Besides the gorgeous coastal tracks and sleepy wooded trails further inland, quaint thatched villages, and colorful seaside towns, the East Devon Trail features a twist: linking up nature reserves and bird hides along its 115-mile length. While the release of this accessible weekender trail has been the cause of much excitement, its development sprung out of a much darker and unexpected place.

Note: This article is part of a sponsored partnership with Komoot. We’ll always disclose when content is sponsored to ensure our journalistic integrity.

Bikepacking the Kokopelli Trail Helped Me Grieve

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Bikepacking the Kokopelli Trail Helped Me Grieve

Still reeling from the loss of my father in February of 2020, I was in the depths of grief and drowning in the weight of his absence when I decided to accept my friend Jalen’s offer to go bikepacking for the first time. In his youth, my father loved spending time moving across mountains, and since I loved being outside too, I felt like going on this bikepacking trip was less of a pure adventure (although adventure would ensue) and more of a way to honor him by doing something that he enjoyed when he was young. I felt like doing something productive with my grief, to move my body forward and look back on all our memories together while observing how much he shaped who I am. In his youth he rode through Mexico on horseback transporting cattle between ranches and, while I was pedaling my bike on this trip across the land, I often thought about similar experiences we might have shared. As I rode through the Kokopelli trail on my first bikepacking trip, I took in the scenery and imagined what my dad felt when he was in the Sierras of Mexico every time I stared off into mountains or observed the star-filled night sky. I envisioned him looking at similar things as if we were sharing a moment.

Riding Across the Ocean, Kinda: Fat Biking North Carolina’s Bald Head Island

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Riding Across the Ocean, Kinda: Fat Biking North Carolina’s Bald Head Island

In the deep sand, the bikes don’t seem to operate in accordance with the normal laws of bicycle physics. Turning right might send you left. Turning left may hold your line. And doing either, at any moment, can send you flying. And while falling off your bike on soft beach sand hardly hurts, you still feel like an idiot as you remount your bike while the kite flyers, frolickers, and shore fishermen lining the beach look on.

The Great Nutter Butter Discovery on Mount Gleason

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The Great Nutter Butter Discovery on Mount Gleason

Whenever I stop riding for a while because of work, or life, or hurting myself (usually while sleeping, etc, etc), I obsess over these big rides that I am going to do once back on the bike. Like many of you, I can easily spend hours looking at maps trying to piece together the “perfect” route. But cycling, like most fitness-based activities, can be fickle. It doesn’t care that you used to do it a lot.

That certainly doesn’t stop a brain like mine from dreaming. So when I saw my 43rd birthday on the calendar, a group text started with some friends. In the past, we’d done some really ambitious rides for my special day, like the ‘Clouds to Cacti’ ride, for example, featured here a few years back.

El Camino de Cotahuasi: Riding the Deepest Canyon in the Americas

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El Camino de Cotahuasi: Riding the Deepest Canyon in the Americas

Rocks slid from above, along a loose slope, showering the dirt road in front of me with a fresh layer. While treacherous in the rain, the locals warned that even an early afternoon breeze was enough to turn this road into a nightmare of falling debris. “Keep your ears and eyes open at all times,” a man in the nearby town of Huambo said as he made a motion imitating someone frantically pedaling a bike as fast as they could spin their legs.

The Misplaced Optimism of Summer: Riding Scotland’s Deeside Trail in October

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The Misplaced Optimism of Summer: Riding Scotland’s Deeside Trail in October

For the young men of post-war Britain, the train from London King’s Cross to Aberdeen was not unfamiliar. Hundreds of conscripts were required to board the carriages as part of their National Service. The train would pull away from the platform on a Friday night and arrive at the Scottish coastal city by Saturday mid-morning. Iconic red Routemaster buses exchanged for grey-stone buildings and seagulls. There was the novelty of a Highlands map, marked with unknown Gaelic quantities: Glens, Munros, and Gorms, and excitement for rural air, combined with blissful ignorance of the military enforced misery that lay ahead. Or so the old man told us.

Road Trippin’ to Sea Otter: Riding Gooseberry Mesa

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Road Trippin’ to Sea Otter: Riding Gooseberry Mesa

My friend Sinuhe Xavier and I have always been “out of context” friends. By that, I mean that we’ve only hung out at coffee shops or lunch spots until a few weeks ago. The contextual slip is that we’re both known for our photographic work in the backcountry. He’s well known in the moto and auto world as always doing shoots deep in remote areas of the American West, and I, too, love those “big country” vistas but with cycling.

When my plans for Sea Otter were shaping up, I dropped him a note, asking if he would be anywhere on the Colorado Plateau in the coming weeks. We hashed out a plan and sent each other options for a campsite meet-up. Precious GPS coordinates were shared, and we settled on a date. The road to Sea Otter had begun…

Dirt by the Seaside: Bike Touring Texada Island

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Dirt by the Seaside: Bike Touring Texada Island

The ocean felt like bathwater. A welcome reprieve from the usual cringe-producing ice bath of the West Coast of BC. I eased my way in step by step, the water picking away at the grime and sweat of a full day, mid-summer ride. Alycia strode into the water with confidence, and purpose, more at ease around water than I am. I’m always worried about hurting my feet. We climbed onto the trunk of a huge old-growth tree just out of the water, a relic of the island’s history. I could see a white motorboat in the distance, drifting lazily. I tilted my head to see if I could hear the inevitable music, cheering and the yells that I imagine would be happening on a party boat. I hear nothing, only silence and the lapping of the water on the beach.

Push, Paddle, Pedal: Solo Packrafting with Lizzy Scully of Four Corners Guides

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Push, Paddle, Pedal: Solo Packrafting with Lizzy Scully of Four Corners Guides

I love being alone all day, deep in remote and wild areas, reliant only on myself to move through the landscape, over difficult terrain, and in bad weather. I enjoy utilizing the various ultralight backcountry travel skills I’ve gleaned since my early twenties. And I feel immense joy when I can be efficient and accomplish goals. I’m also really afraid of the dark. Not so much of wild animals, but rather of wild weirdos who wander the woods and kill innocent middle-aged women. I know. Super unlikely. But I never sleep much at night while on solo adventures.

Mostly I have backpacked alone or solo aid climbed big walls. But I stopped climbing after a gnarly accident where a friend fell 100 feet and nearly died. I also quit backpacking because the annoying arthritic autoimmune disease I suffer from incapacitates me if I hike more than a few miles with weight on my back. Luckily a few years ago I discovered the horizontal world of multi-sport adventure travel.