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Bikingman Corsica: The Mountain in the Sea

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Bikingman Corsica: The Mountain in the Sea

Biking Man Corsica: The Mountain in the Sea
Photos and words by Ryan Le Garrec

Bikingman Corsica is a mere 700 kilometres race, sounds short for an ultra distance race, well, add 14.000 meters to climb, crazy temperature drops, freezing wind gusts, potholes hiding inside the dark, standing cows on the roads and pigs and boars coming along, wandering dogs and all kinds of wildlife. A beautiful tortuous island with no flat road at any point.

It almost feels like a waste to race it.

Sonoran Overnighter

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Sonoran Overnighter

Sonoran Overnighter
Words and Photos by Spencer Harding

It’s easy to get lost in the dreamy imagery of bike tours to exotic far-off lands. I’m always making myself feel like everything has to look like a crazy-ass skid backlight by a Kodachrome sunset at the end of the world…but let’s be real in a world of unreal imagery.

Pepper and Sam came down to Tucson to start their trip on the Sky Island Odyssey. Pepper was in from Australia after being away from the states for many years on her way up to a new job in Seattle.  Sam, running from the winter on Prince Edward Island and needed no excuse to come down and get sunburnt. Monique and I had been talking at the shop about going camping for a few weeks without any plan coming to fruition. We decided to take Pepper and Sam on a little shakedown ride into the mountains near Tucson before sending them down south on their odyssey. Colin, fresh off getting an OK from the doctor to do some light pedaling after he tore his Achilles, joined us until the route turned uphill!

A Weekend Pedal Across the English Isle with Pannier

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A Weekend Pedal Across the English Isle with Pannier

A Weekend Pedal Across the English Isle with Pannier
Words by Mark Finster, photos by David Sear and Stef Amato

The folks at UK-based cycling adventure co. Pannier are doing great things. From before I ever started backpacking and touring, I’d had a romantic vision of touring around the English countryside – stopping into pubs when I needed food and rest, waving at sheep. The “usual stuff” had always prevented me from actually doing it – namely, the logistics of mapping a route and flying a bunch of gear across the pond. So it felt like divine intervention just a few weeks ago when I discovered the Route Beer Ramble – a 200km weekend group ride from London to Bristol, wrapping up with custom-brewed beers (and a brewery tour) at Cocksure Brewing Co.

I was told by Stef and Dave (Pannier head-honchos) that I’d only need to bring a helmet, pedals and cycling shoes – they’d essentially handle everything else. This removed my biggest obstacle – and as the sole international traveler, it made booking this trip last-minute infinitely do-able. Upon arrival, Stef had me fully setup with a beautiful Surly Straggler with fat gravel tires and Ortleib weatherproof bags. All the necessary camping gear (tent, pad and bag) would be ready and waiting for me upon arrival at our first checkpoint. This was really almost a bit too good to be true.

Unapologetic. Relentless. Persistent: A Machines for Freedom Expedition in Utah

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Unapologetic. Relentless. Persistent: A Machines for Freedom Expedition in Utah

Unapologetic. Relentless. Persistent. A Machines for Freedom Expedition in Utah
Words by Aimee Gilchrist, photos by John Watson

The Utah desert, or desert in general, does not often offer comfortable accommodations to outsiders. High winds, isolated vegetation, sun-soaked and shadeless valleys, rapid nocturnal cooling and infrequent precipitation. The desert can feel like a bitter and unforgiving stranger. Lucky for us, Utah was well-behaved. Late March riding and a window between April showers painted the varying landscape with fragrant sage and spring blooms. Barren mesas were glowing with red and gold dust. And instead of the reliable, wind-blown silence often found on these remote roads, our Machines for Freedom team shared conversation and laughter that could be heard echoing in the canyons for miles.

A few months earlier, Jenn Kriske from Machines for Freedom gathered a group of ladies to ride an aggressive route mapped by John Watson. Our MFF riding team consisted of seven badass, hilarious, strong athletes from Santa Barbara and LA to Portland by way of Bozeman and Durango: Jessica Baum (Santa Barbara), Gritchelle Fallesgon (Portland), Mason Griffin (Bozeman), Stephanie Ortega (LA), Ginger Boyd (LA), Sarah Swallow (Durango) and I (LA). Heavy winter snow and rain this Spring impeded the original route and last minute adjustments were made exchanging knee-deep mud for pavement. Our goal was to ride 350 miles from Tropic, Utah to Green River, Utah in 4 days. We were well suited for this undertaking.

Trophy of Nations, You’ve Got my Mind Racing – Kyle von Hoetzendorff

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Trophy of Nations, You’ve Got my Mind Racing – Kyle von Hoetzendorff

Trophy of Nations, You’ve Got my Mind Racing
Words by Kyle von Hoetzendorff, photos by Sven Martin

The EWS (Enduro World Series) and the UCI recently announced The Trophy of Nations.  A multi-day enduro race with a team racing component. Since 2013 the EWS has been run independently from the UCI and for good reason. It allowed the EWS to develop and hone the series from track selection to race format and rules without the bureaucratic lethargy and bungling that is typically associated with the UCI.  Chris Ball and the rest of the EWS staff deserve high praise for taking the mandate to independently foster the growth of this series.

Baja Divide, La Sierra Norte – Daniel Zaid

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Baja Divide, La Sierra Norte – Daniel Zaid

Baja Divide, La Sierra Norte – Daniel Zaid

Words and photos by Daniel Zaid

In 2016 I rode my bike through the Baja California pennisula on the only paved highway, the Carretera Transpeninsular, and as pretty as it was, having to look over my shoulder all the time prevented me from fully enjoying the ride. I ventured in some dirt roads and after some very bumpy rides I thought I’d also look into getting another bike, something that could put more cushion between the rocks and my bones. Few weeks before finishing I read about the Baja Divide project; I saw a photo of the map and did the Cape Loop and thought “This is what I needed.” Three years later I’m finally able to go back again, this time though on a bike made expressly for dirt road touring: Ultraromance´s #RoseEmojiBikes aka the Warthog Wash Wiper aka “Rosita”. Also I’m joined by my partner Karla on her Surly Krampus, who has been dreaming of doing this route for months.

Riding on Fumes at the Nova Course During the Eroica California 2019

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Riding on Fumes at the Nova Course During the Eroica California 2019

The world of gravel racing is still very foreign to me. At least the competitive side of things, yet I find myself getting roped into these races, namely the ones where they boast features like timed sections. These enduro-inspired gravel races, like Grinduro, adopt this format in hopes that people will hang out and make the event more casual, rather than an all-out battle for who crosses the finish line. In events like Grinduro, this works perfectly, keeping the pace party-level and the conversations lively. This party vibe isn’t easy to cultivate. You’ve got to convince people it isn’t worth charging ahead, stringing the group out.

So maybe that’s why I felt compelled to try out the Eroica California’s Nova race. It boasted timed segments, chiller riding vibes, and I have ridden in the area, twice before, as well as the Eroica California’s course, back when it began and ended in Paso Robles. With this year’s event starting in the sleepy town of Cambria, it surely would be one to remember. Oh, and it was.

WTF Bikexplorers: Grassroots Ride Series for 2019

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WTF Bikexplorers: Grassroots Ride Series for 2019

For 2019, the WTB Bikexplorers have a new Grassroots Ride Series launching. These rides are a movement toward creating a stronger, more connected WTF Bikexploring community. They are seeking ride leaders to organize multi-day self-supported adventure rides in their local communities and to register their 2019 rides, which are then listed on the Grassroots Ride Series page. Right now, there are rides in Colorado, Pennsylvania, DC, Vermont, TX, and more. If you are a WTF and would like to host a ride in your area – like LA for instance! – head to the Grassroots Ride Series to sign up by May 31st!

NAHBS the Hard Way: Bikepacking off the Beaten Path from Santa Rosa to Sacramento

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NAHBS the Hard Way: Bikepacking off the Beaten Path from Santa Rosa to Sacramento

NAHBS the Hard Way: Bikepacking off the Beaten Path from Santa Rosa to Sacramento
Words by Nicholas Haig-Arack and photos by Derek Bolland, Rie Sawada, Brendon Potts, Toyoshige Ikeyama, Adam Sklar, and Nicholas Haig-Arack

I’m sitting here eating a bowl of melting ice cream trying to recollect a few hazy days of sungold and lime-green-tinged moments in the rolling hills and burnt panoramas of remote Northern California, where our international band of amigos took the long and dirty way to the world’s greatest handbuilt bike show.

Let me set the scene with a quick prologue: Three years ago I rode from Santa Rosa to NAHBS in Sacramento by way of scenic Hwy 128. Two years ago I took a meandering MTB road trip to NAHBS in SLC by way of Sedona and Moab, with plenty of memorable stops for singletrack sessions along the way. Last year I skipped the show in Connecticut – too far to ride, too far to road trip – but I was there in spirit since my personal purple haze hardtail was on display in the Sklar booth. After last year’s show was over, when I heard that the Handbuilt Bike Show was making a return to California’s capital in 2019, the wheels were set in motion. I had to plan a route to top them all. More mileage, more dirt, more fun, more friends, more fence-hopping, more roughin’ it.

What’s in a Name: A Recap of the 2019 Land Run 100 – Sarah Swallow and Brian Vernor

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What’s in a Name: A Recap of the 2019 Land Run 100 – Sarah Swallow and Brian Vernor

What’s in a Name: A Recap of the 2019 Land Run 100
Photos by Brian Vernor and words by Sarah Swallow

You might be wondering, out of all the gravel events popping up around the world, what makes the Land Run 100 special? Why ride gravel in Oklahoma, in a place known as “Tornado Alley”? If you are wondering this, you are not alone.

Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in my first Land Run 100 gravel race. Bobby and Crystal Wintle host the event from their shop, District Bicycles, in the center of historic downtown Stillwater, Oklahoma. The race attracts two thousand gravel cyclists from around the country and has some legendary stories attached to it. For instance, in 2017 rain soaked the red dirt roads to the consistency of peanut butter mud and only ~25% of the riders who started the race finished. Despite the treacherous conditions that bad weather can bring on race day, the Land Run 100 has established itself as a must-do event on the gravel race circuit. Before I talk about why I think that is and what I learned from my experience there, I’d like to acknowledge the history behind the name of the event.

Imperfect Asphalt: Riding the New Salsa Warroad in Los Angeles

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Imperfect Asphalt: Riding the New Salsa Warroad in Los Angeles

Salsa hasn’t had a true road bike in their lineup for some time now. Sure, they have the Warbird, which is a gravel racing road bike, but with that, comes a more stable geometry with a longer wheelbase. The Warroad is a straight up endurance road bike, with two wheel sizes and multiple build kit options. Warroad is a new platform for Salsa, designed to take on chunky, imperfect asphalt, with what Salsa is calling their “Endurance Road Geometry.”

Two Tucson Mixed Terrain Rides I Highly Recommend

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Two Tucson Mixed Terrain Rides I Highly Recommend

At the end of most trips, I end up with left-over photos or photos that don’t have a home in any one specific gallery. Yet, while in Tucson, I found myself carrying a camera and shooting photos on just about every ride, resulting in some pretty stout photographic documentation of a handful of rides. Without diving deep into the history or the meaning, I decided to simply present these routes with ample photographic documentation.

Winter is Coming to Lanín of Neuquén

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Winter is Coming to Lanín of Neuquén

Winter is Coming to Lanín of Neuquén
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson

The signs are all there. Only a couple of weeks ago the autumn nights were just “a bit chilly”. The rainstorms came and went over a matter of hours. Now they linger on for days as the snow line along the mountain top creeps slowly down the hill. Campsites aren’t picked by the most scenic view to wake up to, the most practical surface, or the most secluded location. Now I’m looking for the spot with the best line-of-site to where the sun will creep over the horizon the next day. Put the tent right next to a road? OK. In direct sight of houses? Sure. A few days of stuffing a still iced-over tent into your bags with numb hands has a way of shifting your priorities.

The Sandal Boiyz do Mallorca: Toros De Gravel – Ultra Romance and Kyle Kelley

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The Sandal Boiyz do Mallorca: Toros De Gravel – Ultra Romance and Kyle Kelley

The Sandal Boiyz do Mallorca: Toros De Gravel

Words by Benedict Wheeler, photos by Kyle Kelley

Note: this article contains NSFW imagery. Blame Benedict!

Mallorca was a place that every true fan of pro road racing knows about.  Especially if you are into the DEEPly nuanced euro trash aspects of the sport…

Mallorca is where the professional teams come to train and party in the winter months. Scores of doping scandals, both performance and party enhancing, have clumsily unfolded with the spanning mountains and electric blue waters of Mallorca as a scenicback drop.  Would simply going to Mallorca allow me to be immersed in cycling scandal like all of my heroes of the golden doping age?  Would Michelle Ferrari notice my talents on the beach and pump me full of ox blood in his secret lab/discotheque??

Veld Notes: Rubber Side Up Hoogstraten Belgium – Andrew Juiliano

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Veld Notes: Rubber Side Up Hoogstraten Belgium – Andrew Juiliano

Veld Notes: Rubber Side Up Hoogstraten Belgium
Words by Andrew Juiliano  and photos by Tomás Montes

Start Graf

The wind gusts. Rain blows straight through my skinsuit. I shudder. It’s Forty American degrees and pissing Belgian rain.  The grey buildings of Hoogstraten’s fruit-packing district try to blend into the angry sky.

“Dertig seconden…Thirty seconds to start!”

Neither rain nor wind nor biting chill will stop the penultimate stop of the Telenet Superprestige today, and this is the weather the sport lives for. The fans lick their chops at the shivering, skinny bike racers. The clock ticks toward start time, 3:03 p.m. on a wintery Belgian Sunday, and muddy entertainment awaits the Flemish masses.