Álamos is a town in the southeast of the Mexican state of Sonora popular for its colonial architecture and for hosting an annual art and music festival and is also part of the network of “Pueblos Mágicos” in the country. After taking the long way from the nearest city which took me and my friend Javo five days instead of the 65 km on the main road, we arrived looking for the commodities of a town with full services. As we ride on the cobbled streets and alleys that give this town part of its essence, the fresh memories from the days that brought us here are slowly replaced by the blurry, drunken memories from my college days coming to the biggest music festival in the state. I recognize porches where I slept or found my friends sleeping, and the house where an old man invited me for a morning sip of lechuguilla, a distilled liquor made from a local species of agave, which he was drinking from a repurposed coca-cola bottle.
With four build tiers, Focus’ new gravel bike, the Atlas rolls on an aluminum chassis with a carbon fork, outfitted with cargo bosses to fit racks, fenders, and other accouterments.
This video showcases the Atlas’ possibilities but to see the build kits in detail, head to Focus.
Drawing cycling portraits admittedly started as a self-serving venture. Looking for a breather from the largely geometric aesthetic I gave my illustration work, I dug down deep to my formal college Drawing 2 class and after a seven-year hiatus, I gave realistic portraiture another shot. After some hesitation, I decided to publish them but still didn’t have the courage to tag the people referenced. The internet can be a small place and they were quickly tagged for me but this served as the little form of validation I needed. I figured if people could be recognized, then they couldn’t be that bad right?
When I organize a ride you should know what to expect: 8-10 mile an hour pace, lots of breaks to session cool features, take pictures, and definitely eat a lot of snacks. I aspire for all my rides to basically be glorified picnics.
Coming off a week of downtime after one of the most tumultuous years of our lives has brought clarity to this annual retrospective. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect as Covid-19 gripped the global community and changed life as we know it. We looked to our new home in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the surrounding areas for inspiration, pinged our good friends for their penmanship, and listened to communities that have been underrepresented in cycling. What resulted were a lot of articles that tackled some big issues and the realization that we still have a lot of work to do.
I’ve spent the past few weeks mulling over our content and have compiled a list of some of the most meaningful and fun pieces from the past twelve months. Read on below for a selection of memorable moments from 2020, in chronological order…
Recently, as I was telling the story of this trip, and this moment when, after a hard day of hill climbing in the rain and a miserable night of freezing cold sleep, we finally saw Klickitat punched out against a clear blue sky – Someone responded – “don’t you mean Mt. Adams?”
Since I’ve committed to learning the precolonial names of the outdoor spaces I explore, some understandings have begun to emerge about how we as human beings interact with the natural world. Indeed, Klickitat itself was also named Pahto by the tribes of the region. Later named for a U.S. president who was born and died in Massachusetts. Only the mountain knows what other names it’s been called. ‘Intelligent’ (I’m skeptical of anthropocentric definitions of virtue) hominids may have lived in the area for 15,000 years. What did they call the mountain in 13,000 BC, if anything at all?
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.
Who says you can’t do-it-all, or at least most, on drop bars? Industry Nine‘s newest video blends in multiple disciples all on drop bar bikes…
If you’ve had the chance to use the Big Agnes Bikepacking tents, then you know how convenient they are. With the short tent poles and bike harness pack, these tents pack down to a manageable size for bicycle touring. New for 2021 comes the Copper Spur HV UL3 and the Tiger Wall UL2/UL3 Bikepack Solution Dye (pictured). Head to Big Agnes to check out the full Bikepacking line in detail.
While I can’t recall when the seed of this idea was planted, by early spring our plan to escape the reality of 2020 by riding from San Francisco to San Diego was beginning to take root. The year had started upbeat as I’m sure is the case for most people at the beginning of most years, but before long it took a hard turn in the other direction. Starting with a whiplash-inducing breakup that led to moving back to my parents’ house outside of Denver; those events seem small now in the context of everything that followed. As Covid 19 swept the planet and most of humanity began to shelter in place, our collective grief and anxiety began to feel like the status quo. As the days passed at a glacial pace (that was somehow simultaneously lightning fast), the snow in Colorado melted and this idea began to sprout as the earth began to thaw. At the same time, my best friend was dealing with his own lockdown situation down in Baja. Lorenzo had moved down to Ensenada late in 2019 to open a Gelato place (appropriately named “El Gelato”) and was absolutely killing it in the gelato game, helped in no small part to being probably the only gelateria in all of Baja. But when Covid hit, it hit hard and the dusty little town he was calling home completely shut down. With nowhere to go and nothing to do, I started receiving regular text messages from him about riding away from all this bullshit.
The Pronghorn is Revelate’s ultralight, race-ready handlebar pack, for all minimalist tourers and bikepackers. It recently received an update, with an all-new material, Stratex 400, that’s lighter and more rip-resistant.
-Internal fiberglass stay provides a stable, lightweight mounting platform
-Dual cam locking straps integrated into handlebar mount secure your load
-Cam locking head tube strap with EVA foam spacer
-Removable spacer blocks to allow you to adjust for brake lever clearance
-Includes pocket clips to allow the addition of a front pocket
-Waterproof drybag built from Revelate’s new UHMWPE based fabric, Stratex 400
-Stratex 400 fabric is 60% UHMWPE woven fibers by weight
-Waterproof drybag constructed from Stratex 400 is more abraision resistant than other leading -lightweight fabrics
-Made in USA with domestic and imported materials
see more at Revelate.
The Western Wildlands Route as seen from the Paria Plateau in northern Arizona, traditional homelands of the Ute, Southern Paiute, Pueblo, Hopi, and Diné Tribes.
At Bikepacking Roots, our mission includes “advocating for the landscapes through which we ride.” Indigenous peoples are an integral part of the future, present, and past landscapes in U.S. America. Thus, as advocates for a healthy, vibrant, and whole Western landscape, we are responsible for communicating and educating ourselves, our members, and the riders of the routes we design in a way that progresses Indigenous liberation from colonial trauma. With that intent, we’re announcing the renaming of the 2,700-mile-long Wild West Route to the Western Wildlands Route.
Northern New Mexico’s section of the Continental Divide Trail is quite the experience and with its popularity, more and more cyclists are coming to New Mexico to ride 70 miles of singletrack over a 90-mile route. One of my friends, Kyle from Outer Shell, recently came through town with his Falconer hardtail to take on the CDT, so I shuttled him to Cumbres Pass and bid adieu. After his trip, I linked back up with him and shot his wild Falconer hardtail, “loaded” for his time on the trail…
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.
Bombtrack-sponsored riders Matty and Clare took to Norway for a bicycle tour and have pulled together a full-length video documenting their travels. Here’s the trailer for Los Captures:
“Norway is a country close to Matty’s heart, a connection which only came to light after unearthing his Grandfathers previously unseen photo albums shortly after his death. They show a young and cheerful man, with a dry wit, exploring beautiful Norwegian nature by bicycle, endless gravel roads, stave churches and cascading waterfalls. All in the 1950’s. We both knew that we had to try, in some small way, to trace and commemorate his journey and visit some of the same locations and beautiful panoramas. Maybe, we dared to think, even recreate one of his images and come to find his ‘Lost Captures’…”
Markus Stitz documents his trip on the John Muir Way, which connects Helensburgh in the west with Dunbar to the east, crossing Scotland coast to coast in his latest video…
In February, legendary ultra-endurance cyclist Lael Wilcox, Joe Cruz, and the filmmaker Rugile Kaladyte traveled to the Colombian capital of Bogota, in partnership with Conservation International, Wahoo, and Bikepacking.com, to launch the Bikepacking for Conservation Program. The project was designed to explore and scout a bikepacking route that would connect the bustling metropolis of Bogota with rural communities and the Chingaza National Park. The resulting route — Ruta Chingaza — will help cyclists connect to nature and better understand the ecosystems upon which life and livelihoods in this area depend.
Chingaza National Natural Park is currently closed to cyclists, but Conservation International is collaborating with park authorities to make cycling a part of the park’s tourism strategy, and anticipate that cycling experiences (including bikepacking) will be permitted by sometime in 2021, though it is hard to anticipate when exactly due to COVID-19. Please do not travel to the park at this time
Film shot and edited by Rugile Kaladyte
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.