With ancient podocarp forest blanketing the trail beneath me, I stand, perched on the escarpment about halfway through the Paparoa Trail. The mountain wind forces tears from my eyes and between the momentary breaks in the cloud, I catch a glimpse into the deep channels of Pike River valley, which once held the Pike River Mine.
When we lost our image bucket from 2014-2015 a few years back, a bunch of really great content went blank. Over the years, I’ve been slowly re-upping our archives when I want to add a back-link to a current post or story. That happened last week when writing about the Buckhorn Bags Panniers. I remembered our “Escaping Black Friday” Reportage and tracked down the film scans, allowing me to re-up the fun. I also added the RideWithGPS route to the archive as well. If you’re in the Austin, Texas area and are looking for a good (and difficult) road tour, don’t miss this one!
If there’s a story you remember and really would like to see re-posted, drop it in the comments!
It’s pretty clear that I really like bikes, and I really like camping. A lot of us are here because we like combining the two. I’m also very lucky that my partner also likes bikes and camping, and we live in a place where it’s fairly easily accessible to do both. However, For whatever reason, I’ve never managed to actually do a trip over the Swift Campout weekend, and, it looked like the same thing might happen this year! So, we decided that we might cheat a little, and do a close-to-home, Thursday night camp and take advantage of some beautiful weather. All the while still getting our respective work, and school days in. Ideally leaving the rest of the weekend open to *maybe* sneak another ride and camp night in, you never know.
La Costa de Hermosillo is the name for a vast expanse of land that covers from the west of the city of Hermosillo all the way to the coast of the Gulf of California, 100 km (60 miles) away. Once part of the territory where the Comca’ac Natives thrived, nowadays it’s mainly used for agriculture; during the 19th century, the Comca’ac, most frequently called “Seri” which means “people of the sand” in Yaqui language, were persecuted and almost wiped out completely by the Mexican army and ranchers who had interest in this territory, and the few survivors of the already dispersed Comca’ac Nation were progressively displaced further and further towards the coast till they reached the land they occupy today, where water is scarce and life conditions are harsh. Rain is not often seen around here, and agriculture is only possible via drilling wells and bringing water from other parts. La Costa de Hermosillo is flat as it is possible for land to be, so making long distances by bike in this region is a matter of keeping your bars straight and moving early, because it’s usually around noon that the wind picks up.
This year, the Swift Campout Video Challenge brought in dozens of submissions from all over the world but one stood out above the rest: Wira Samudra’s submission from Jakarta, Indonesia’s Psychloop. Give it a watch here!
Our friends the SKID LIZARDS take sharing the gospel of bike-camping every bit as seriously as they take spreading the stoke of the skid! Once again, we’re collaborating with them to launch the SWIFT CAMPOUT VIDEO CHALLENGE! That’s right, Campers, it’s your time to shine! Consider this our challenge to you — we want to see your 2021 Campout experience: the good, the bad, the ugly, the hilarious.
Capture your Campout on vid — iPhone is cool, pro gear is cool too, it really doesn’t matter. We’re looking for creativity, entertainment, hilarity, and meditative scenic inspiration here. Surprise us! One talented winner will have their project shared on the Swift IG and YouTube channels, and will receive A GIANT PRIZE PACKAGE stacked with gear ‘n goodies from Snow Peak, Reyr Gear, Nocs Provisions, Kitsbow, Bedrock Sandals, Rapha, Ombraz, Six Moon Designs, Swift Adventure Co, Black Coffee Roasting, and The Radavist!
*** Edit and share footy to IGTV the week of June 21. Deadline Midnight June 27!
*** TO BE ENTERED INTO CONTEST:
Must be no longer than 5-mins in length!
Must meet June 27 deadline!
Bonus points for sharing to Stories, Reels, and main feed ;)
I feel like I’ve known Martina and Jason from Swift Industries since the brand’s inception. It must have been the 2010 Philly Bike Expo where we first met. Later, I bought an Ozette bag for my Geekhouse touring bike in 2011, and for a number of years, we’ve stayed in close contact. Both the Radavist and Swift Industries grew at parallel trajectories. It’s now 2021 and I realized I’ve never interviewed Martina about the Swift Campout, so today we’re pleased to host a quick interview to stoke the flames for the 2021 Swift Campout, which is coming up fast, on June 19th-20th! So read on below for some insight into this wonderful event!
In the Navajo Nation town of Kayenta, Arizona, Jon Yazzie runs a guide company called Dzil Ta’ah Adventures. Its intent is to educate visitors on the history of the areas surrounding Kayenta through guided bike trips. This particular route is one he’s been working on for a while which parallels the mighty Comb Ridge before climbing the Sandstone Backbone via an old Mormon dugway, overlooking Kane Valley where the US government drilled into the Earth, uncovering uranium for the Manhattan Project. The result would send waves of radiation through the community for decades to come…
Do you remember that feeling way back when you learned to ride a bike? I had just begun school when I got my first bike. Day in and day out I would sit on the seat and push myself along the roadside curb with my right foot. My strides became longer and longer until one day I put caution to the wind and took my first pedal strokes. That day, the bike became my freedom machine. The world suddenly grew bigger, right in front of my tiny handlebars. I never looked back.
The Swift Campout is a global call to go bike-camping on June 19th and 20th, 2021. For the seventh year in a row thousands of adventurous spirits will load camping gear on their bikes for a weekend adventure. In the words of Martina Brimmer, Swift Industries head honcho and the visionary behind Swift Campout, “Here at Swift, we believe that there’s little better than spending the longest day of the year on a bicycle and the shortest night of the year sleeping under the stars. The entire Swift crew, from our stitchers to our coin-counters, is driven to delight our communities toward bicycle adventure.
This year’s featured artist is none other than bike industry mainstay Chris McNally, whose signature watercolor style conjures a dreamscape of fantasy environments with cuddly critters to explore on two wheels. The scavenger hunt theme of the new Campout microsite invites digital exploration, too! Campers are encouraged to lose themselves in Chris’s wonderland, discovering fun and informative hidden gems as they “pedal” through. In its 7th year, the Campout recipe of partnering with like-minded outdoor brands to amplify the encouragement for cyclists of all experience levels and abilities to take to the trails for a weekend of bike-camping is a timely and relevant invitation to re-engage with the community in cherished outdoor spaces. Swift continues to push the envelope as a gear brand that has put roots in a unique space between the cycling and outdoor industries–two marketplaces whose cultures did not overlap when Swift Industries entered the arena in 2008.
Swift keeps nurturing their culture by gathering a unique blend of cycling and outdoor brands such as Bedrock Sandals, Black Coffee Roasters, Kitsbow, Nocs Provisions, Ombraz, The Radavist, Rapha, Reyr Gear, Six Moon Designs, Snow Peak, and Swift Adventure Co.
Head to Swift Campout to read all the details!
The Helmet Kids Youtube channel pulled together an edit from the Ron’s Bikes Nutmeg Nor’Easter this year and it’s got all the vibes we need for a Monday morning.
Recently, the Navajo Nation reinstated a 57-hour weekend lockdown due to the spikes in COVID in several communities. This put a hold on our first official Dzil Ta’ah Adventures youth bikepacking series outing in Nazlini, which was originally slated for September 26th. Once the lockdown is lifted, which we hope will be soon, we will proceed as planned with the Dine Composite participants. With the postponement of our first trip, we felt like this was an opportunity to leverage the extra time and continue to shape our mentorship program and build more of my team’s dexterity with an outing in John’s Canyon, Utah, at the southwestern base of Cedar Mesa.
March 14, 2020, seemed like a normal Saturday ride for our group of gravel enthusiasts (the “Dirty Bird Crew”). Our route guru Brian had put together another fantastic route, exploring dirt roads and trails a short drive from New York City. Every weekend, year-round, we are out exploring the (surprisingly!) high-quality dirt roads and trails in the greater NYC area. We’ve gone out in nearly every weather condition, from swimming holes in the summer, to snow rides in the winter, and even riding across frozen lakes with studded tires when it’s bitterly cold, but nothing had prepared us for the months ahead. Drinking post-rode beers there was some talk about Covid-19 and the possibility that we may be working from home for a few days. We said our goodbyes until next weekend, but little did we know this would be our last group ride for months.
The Great Basin region of the western US stretches from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Wasatch range, and from the Columbia Plateau all the way down to the Mojave Desert. This expansive, high elevation desert has a nickname, the Sagebrush Sea, and I live right on the beach. I’m tucked away in a rural area at the northern end of the Eastern Sierra.
“Our friends, the SKID LIZARDS, are known for Slowing Down Fast and layin’ down some of the stylin’est skid-treats in the Tri-County region (we still haven’t figured out which 3 counties they’re talking about).
They take sharing the gospel of bike-camping every bit as seriously as they take spreading the stoke of the skid. And this new short-vid drop does just that! Volume up, please.
In collaboration with the SL crew, Swift Industries is stoked to launch the SWIFT CAMPOUT VIDEO CHALLENGE! That’s right, all you campers, it’s your time to shine! We wanna see your 2020 Campout experience, the good, the bad, the ugly, the hilarious.
Capture your Campout on vid — iPhone is cool, pro gear is cool too, it really doesn’t matter. We’re looking for creativity, entertainment, hilarity, and meditative scenic inspiration here. Surprise us! One talented winner will have their project shared on the Swift IG and YouTube channels, and will receive A GIANT PRIZE PACKAGE stacked with gear ‘n goodies from Topo Designs, Kitsbow, Bedrock Sandals, Dangle Supply, Camp And Go Slow, Sixmoon Designs, Fat Tire, MiiR, Black Coffee Roasting, and Hey Hi Hello Magazine!”
*** Edit and share footy to IGTV the week of Sep 28. Deadline Midnight Oct 4! ***
TO BE ENTERED INTO CONTEST:
-Must tag @swiftindustries @skidlizards #swiftcampout #swiftcampoutvidchallenge in post!
-Must be no longer than 5-mins in length!
-Must meet Oct 4 deadline!
-Bonus points for sharing to Stories, Reels, and main feed ;)
Our friends at Swift Industries are putting on a fall equinox campout this year in lieu of the normal summer solstice campout. This year, they’re offering dozens of overnighter routes, all over the globe and are like always, pairing this outing with lots of information and product. Due to the Covid19 pandemic, Swift Industries is encouraging everyone to take care when bicycle touring. Check out WTF BX for 8 guidelines to consider.
Head to Swift Industries to learn more!
This pandemic has us scouring social media for videos to share, in an attempt to transport us back to the time when group rides were the norm and our calendars were filled with fun rides. That’s what brought me to find this recap video from the 2019 Nutmeg Nor’Easter.
When it comes to ultralight bikepacking and cyclo-touring, redundancies in gear don’t cut it. Hydrolight’s new 2L reservoir is now available. It’s a clever solution for those looking for a substantial way to illuminate their campsite, without having to carry the extra weight of a lantern. Their innovative design allows you to plug in your favorite headlamp into their bladder to create campsite illumination, all for $35. Not bad if you ask me. Check out their video above, see more information at Hydrolight, and let us know what you think…