Sometimes the most gratifying journeys aren’t a product of being perfectly prepared; rather, they occur when you’re in the shit, working with the wrong tool for the job, and in spite of overwhelming odds, you scrape by. That’s precisely what took place this summer on a supremely challenging bike trip across the great Golden State.
I know this is a cycling site but over the years, we’ve covered so many events where car camping is a theme and have spent many a weekend in the wilds of the Southwest with MTBs in tow. I get a lot of questions about our setup, so I’m tackling a big part of it with this article. If you don’t like cars and think they have no place on a cycling website, no worries, you don’t have to read this…
For the past few years – since moving to California – I’ve traded the jet-set life for road trips. I used to fly two or three times a month out of Austin, Texas, all over the world. These days, I like to make longer, meandering road trips out of assignments, or events and spend the summer months almost exclusively living out of our truck, sleeping in the Go Fast Camper Roof Top Tent.
Not wanting to limit our traveling experience, we’ve tried a number of sleeping arrangements in the Cruiser, but the Go Fast Camper has really been the best overall. These rooftop tents are the best on the market and while it comes at a hefty pricetag, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Read on below for our in-depth look at these unique campers.
The Rigd Ultraswing, a spare tire carrier, and bicycle rack swingout system, just got a little more versatile as a car camping accessory with a camp table mount. Now when you finish a ride and return to camp, cooking on a camp stove just became easier. With drop gate real estate a top priority, the Rigd Ultraswing camp table gets the stove off of your drop gate, freeing it up for food prep and snacking.
Rigd offers a Front Runner table (pictured) or a Rago Fab table, offering up two solid options for your next MTB trip or gravel race weekend. Head on over to Rigd to see more.
Tomas Quinones was at the right place at the right time with the right equipment and saved an elderly man and his dogs from dying from exposure in the Oregon desert.
This project from New Belgium is awesome! As someone who lives for cycling and loves to 4×4 in the desert, it really resonates with me.
“Multi-use trails are just that, multi-use. Watch how Renee, a mountain biker, and Val, a wheeler, learn how each other use the trails in our public lands and how we all need to protect them. Fat Tire is donating up to $250,000 to organizations protecting our public lands. Visit https://www.publiclandsforall.com and share the full video to direct donations from Fat Tire to Trust for Public Lands and Tread Lightly.”
We’re all trail users, so be nice and say hi!
Four wheelin’ and cycling are not exactly a common pairing yet this merging of two hobbies for me creates all kinds of interesting problems to solve. For instance, finding a bike rack that lives up to the same standards as my truck’s other accessories. From the roof top tent’s aluminum structure, to the steel bumpers and other body armor. I need a rack that can take a few hits and keep on tickin’… or in this case, clickin’. That’s where 1-Up USA’s newest model, the Equip-D double bike rack comes into play.
Got a vehicle that needs to carry a spare tire on the back but you’ve gotta carry a bike rack too? Well, if it has a 2″ receiver, the RIGd UltraSwing Hitch Carrier Multi-Fit fits all vehicles now. The original UltraSwing only fit the 4th/5th gen 4Runner but the Multi-Fit works with just about any vehicle with a 2″ receiver. The offset receiver hitch keeps the bikes away from your spare tire and when you need to get into the back of your vehicle, it swings away, making access easy. See more at RIGd.
Readers of this website might know of Strawfoot Handmade‘s bike-related products. Garrett and Vince make saddle bags, musettes, and other on or off-the-bike portage solutions. In recent years, Strawfoot has pivoted to make more than just bike bags, or bags in general. With the growing popularity of Sprinter van buildouts and other forms of mini-RVs, Garrett began making insultated window shades for the various van models, allowing the owners to not only reflect heat but offer a bit of privacy from the outside world. As you can imagine with the increased popularity of van buildouts, Strawfoot is very busy. When I was in Santa Cruz before the Sea Otter Classic, I checked in with Strawfoot, who had just moved into Rock Lobster’s old space…
If you’ve got a 4th or 5th gen 4Runner and find yourself struggling with a simple solution to carry your spare tire and your bike rack, then check out the UltraSwing, a swingout system that allows you to easily access your liftgate. The unit simply attaches to your stock 2″ receiver and adds another 2″ receiver to the carrier, allowing you to attach a bike rack. Even if you don’t want to carry your spare – the wheel plate is removable – it can be used to carry just your bike rack, without losing precious exit clearance, an issue with other such designs.
Plus, rather than dumping $2,000 on a steel bumper, the UltraSwing is available for pre-order at an introductory price of $825. Pre-order one now at RIGd!
A week ago, I embarked on a journey across Highway 50 in Nevada, seeking out mountain bike trails. We’ve come to call this trip the “Nevada Highway 50 MTB Road Trip.” This is the second installment.
Say you’re heading west, or east for that matter, from or to Moab, Utah for a mountain bike trip. You look at the map and your options are pretty straightforward. Next time you’re traversing Nevada, don’t skip over Highway 50. This road was dubbed “the Loneliest Highway” but it’s anything but that for mountain bikers. Strung along this ribbon of highway are gems of towns looking to draw in mountain bikers to experience their local trails, both new and old.
RockyMounts’ BackStage Swing Away Rack Makes Road Trips Easier
Words and photos by Locke Hassett
Living in my truck a few months out of the year with 2+ bikes just got a whole lot easier thanks to the BackStage Swing Away Rack from Boulder, CO based RockyMounts. For the past few years, I have been utilizing my truck bed as a mobile studio apartment while driving all over the American West, including my twice a year migration between Montana and Arizona. Usually, I throw an old sleeping pad over my tailgate and pile my bikes into the back with the front wheels hanging out. Sure, this works, but it is cumbersome to transition into kitchen/bed mode and my tailgate and forks don’t love this method either. It was time for a change.
Intent. In my design school education, we were taught that design without intent was vapid, lifeless, disposable, “junk space.” Yet, in the same breath, we were taught that intent should be interpreted without excessive explanation. That the work itself should stand on its own and most importantly, have meaning. Now, that’s design school and this is the real world. I look at college as highly concentrated cold brew coffee. Sure, you can drink it, but it’s going to wreak havoc on your day, or you can water it down a bit and enjoy the soft, edgeless buzz of caffeine. Not that I’m implying intent should be watered down, I’m just saying this is the real world and in a digital era, I’ve come to terms with the fact that people just want to look at pretty photos. Mostly…
Deserted’s definition means a place void of people and that’s good and all, but in this age, that’s almost impossible to achieve and in fact, many people don’t like solitude, instead, they organize caravans of their friends or like-minded individuals to explore with them. Spend enough time in the desert and you’re sure to see trains of 4×4 vehicles slowly careening through the landscape, HAM radios buzzing in the still air. There’s a lot to be said about the inherent safety of such a weekend trip. If someone gets stuck, or something breaks, it’s nice to have other people around to help. But the tedium of slow-moving exploration isn’t for everyone. In fact, having an agenda greatly alters the Lovecraftian intent of exploration; the unknown, the unplanned, and the inevitable “oh shit” moment. The latter keeps us feeling alive, as it strikes a balance between the “what if,” the “what it could have been,” and the denial of either potential outcome. Go explore, but be prepared for the inevitable.
It had been a wild 48 hours at White Pocket in Northern Arizona. At one point, we turned to each other and expressed, rather reluctantly, that we didn’t think it could get any better on this trip. What we saw was a geologist’s dream site and as a photographer, I couldn’t have asked for a better backdrop for a full day’s worth of meandering and analysis. It seems the crescendo had come and gone. Or at least that was our perception. We made our way back to civilization, via a myriad of deep, sandy roads. In order to plan our next few legs of the trip, we needed strong coffee, food, and wifi.
In this zone, there’s only one place to go for such modern amenities; Kanab, Utah.
Geological wonders are the largest attraction for Cari and myself to Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. The Kanab, Utah region has countless zones that look like they’re straight from a science fiction film. One of the most popular being the Coyote Butte region and “the Wave.” The problem is, with popularity comes demand and thus, human impact. From people walking on the crypto soil to toilet paper and even the wear and tear on the delicate Navajo sandstone from walking on its surface. The Bureau of Land Management throttles visitors to this space by running an online lottery, four months in advance, or an in-person at the Kanab BLM office, for the following day. Each morning, hundreds of people show up for the Wave lottery, or one of the other Coyote Butte zones; North and South.
Surfing, overlanding and riding mountain bikes, all from a classic FJ. Nicely done guys! Now who makes that rear bumper?!