#bike-touring

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Tuscany Touring

Colt Fetters and his partner toured from Bologna to Rome last June. Alternating between following the Italy Divide and the Tuscany Trail, they embraced the credit card style of touring and spent time experiencing the culture of this beautiful country… check out the first of five videos here! Simply play the playlist to watch them all.

The Unknown Road to the High Pamir

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The Unknown Road to the High Pamir

Up to this point, the route-finding came easy in Kyrgyzstan. The North-Eastern zone of the country has seen its fair share of bikepackers floating along its gravel tracks to weed through the wealth of options available. As we made our way south from the small oasis city of Baetov, our direction was less clear. We knew we’d be heading for Northern Tajikistan, but had no real idea about how we’d end up there or what type of riding we’d be in for along the way.

Only Bread to Baetov: Food Poisoning in the Tian Shan Mountains

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Only Bread to Baetov: Food Poisoning in the Tian Shan Mountains

At 7am the alarm went off (feel free to cue up the “waves” ringtone on your iPhone to set the mood). We were in our cushy-ish hotel in Naryn city after having a couple of days off to rest. This is ALWAYS when it is hardest to pry yourself from the grips of city comforts. Knowing that we had more than a week between towns of any significance on the horizon only added to the challenge of getting moving.

Sand and Snow: Bikepacking to the Salton Sea from Palm Springs and Then Some!

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Sand and Snow: Bikepacking to the Salton Sea from Palm Springs and Then Some!

The Salton Sea first appeared to me back in 2016, a couple of days into the Stagecoach 400 bike packing trip with the Borrachos. It appeared to me then as it appeared on this passage, an out of place body of water in the desert landscape, planar and mirage inducing. It could have been the heat exhaustion the first time I saw it, but the sea seemed to bend the horizon. We only saw it in the distance at that time, as our Stagecoach route took us up and away into Anza Borrego. This time around though, we’d pedal straight for it.

Dances with Kyrgyz Wolves

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Dances with Kyrgyz Wolves

“You’re sleeping in a tent out there? Aren’t you worried about them?” a girl from Kyrgyzstan’s capital city who was enjoying a weekend trip to the local favorite Song-Kul lake asked us. I thought to myself wondering what she might be referring to.  After a moment she realized our confusion and clarified… “The Wolves”.

Steel and Rubber’s Sunshine Coast Overnighter Gallery

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Steel and Rubber’s Sunshine Coast Overnighter Gallery

Words by Morgan Taylor. Photos by Geoff Campbell.

A couple weeks back I shared a set of rider portraits from a trip we took out of Vancouver and across Howe Sound to the Sunshine Coast. It was a simple winter overnighter, mostly on rural roads, with a great group of friends. Geoff and Pat, who are preparing to ride the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route this summer, keep track of their rides at Steel and Rubber with route data, travel stories, and great photos.

Check out a selection of Geoff’s photos below and head to Steel and Rubber for the gallery and story!

Seven Rider Portraits from a Winter Overnight – Morgan Taylor

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Seven Rider Portraits from a Winter Overnight – Morgan Taylor

Photos and words by Morgan Taylor.

Here in Vancouver we’ve been experiencing one of the coldest winters in decades, with more days below freezing than I can ever remember. Over the past six weeks, since firing up #coffeeoutsideyvr, there’s been much talk of packing up and getting out for some overnights. And lately, with sunset already an hour later than it was at solstice, it was imminent that the talk become action.

They Told Us Not To Ride Bikes in Yellowstone National Park – Morgan Taylor

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They Told Us Not To Ride Bikes in Yellowstone National Park – Morgan Taylor

Words and photos by Morgan Taylor.

They told us not to ride bikes in Yellowstone National Park. Why? Mostly the roads: little to no shoulder and overrun by tourists in RVs. That’s enough to spur some questions for a potential traveler, and with a quick bit of research, you’ll find the camping situation looks dire – especially from a cyclist’s perspective. Where can you even buy food that isn’t in an overpriced restaurant? And what’s there to see beyond geysers and animals, anyway? Maybe they were right.

Morgan and Stephanie’s Soma Wolverine Dirt Tourers – Morgan Taylor

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Morgan and Stephanie’s Soma Wolverine Dirt Tourers – Morgan Taylor

Words and photos by Morgan Taylor.

There are many ways you can build a bike for traveling and all of them have their virtues; striking a balance is not as much a universal truth as it comes down to where you want to make sacrifices. When Stephanie and I set out to build these bikes, we had the long term in mind. Not just the fact that we intended to spend all summer riding them around the western United States, but that we wanted bikes that would be useful beyond that trip.

For us, the guiding principle along the way was that we wanted bikes that would be fun around town and commuting bikes when we came home, which is really what determined the frames we chose. We were building bikes for a honeymoon adventure but the lasting legacy was a bike that would fit in to our daily lives when that chapter came to a close. To put it simply, we didn’t want to tour on touring bikes. And after 4,000 kilometres of fully loaded riding, we’re happy we didn’t.

We Found Our Hearts in Montana – Morgan Taylor

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We Found Our Hearts in Montana – Morgan Taylor

Words and photos by Morgan Taylor.

Montana, oh Montana. In Montana we battled the desire for stillness with the impetus to keep moving. We sat and watched animals, we spent time in new places that excited us very much, we batted away mosquitoes and fled from them. We pedaled day by day, sometimes through remote terrain, not seeing anyone else for hours or possibly days at a time. We found our way.

A Pair of Honeymoon Hunqapillars – Morgan Taylor

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A Pair of Honeymoon Hunqapillars – Morgan Taylor

Photos and words by Morgan Taylor.

Being out on tour for the past six weeks Stephanie and I have met a lot of other people traveling by bike. The different ways people travel on two wheels has become a point of interest for us: despite the fact that we can get caught up in gear nerding and finding the perfect setup, it’s so rad to see all the different approaches to problems that anyone traveling by bike faces.

Troy and Jen were part of the larger group of people who descended on Missoula for the ACA’s 40th. It turned out that they, like us, were also on their honeymoon, on matching bikes. Since they’re from Nutmeg Country their tastes trend toward traditional aesthetics, and their Rivendell Hunqapillars are all class – and pieces of flair. These bikes were shaken down on east coast toodles through backroads with good friends before setting out on tour.

Mark’s Crust Bikes DFL 26+ Dirt Tourer – Morgan Taylor

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Mark’s Crust Bikes DFL 26+ Dirt Tourer – Morgan Taylor

Photos and intro by Morgan Taylor, words by Mark Reimer.

Does bike travel in the backcountry have to look a particular way? No, of course not. As you can see by the range of bikes being ridden in Spencer’s gallery, the #DFLtheDivide crew was a group that largely did not fit the mold of bike touring or bikepacking. That ride was all about doing things differently, living on the fringe and pushing the ideas of what traveling by bike looks like.

The Crust Bikes DFL occupies that space: not quite a touring bike, not quite a mountain bike – simply a bike built for traveling over whatever terrain you want to cover. John looked at Matt’s early version of this bike – at the time called the Evasion – and over a year later the DFL remains an intriguing idea that gets people asking questions and thinking about how they might build their own adventure bike.

Mark’s DFL hosts a great mix of domestically produced hard and soft goods, with a parts bin build kit carefully collected and selected over the years. The 9-speed XTR derailleur is hooked up to an indexed 10-speed Dura-Ace bar end shifter, using a Wolf Tooth road link to help the derailleur wrap around the SunRace 11-42 cassette. The Schmidt dynamo and Nitto racks and Carradice bags, so many details to pore over…

I’ll leave the rest to Mark because he captured the essence of this bike so well…