I’m a sucker for movies like Love Actually and novels like Let the Great World Spin that seek to capture how, taken as a whole, the paths of individual lives become interwoven to create a meaningful story. During my time riding in Slovenia at a recent Komoot Women’s Rally and hearing snippets of different rider’s journeys to the start, it felt like I was living in one of these tapestry-like narratives in real time. The thing is though, we’re all doing this all the time but we just can’t always see it. Having the common thread of the bicycle and a shared destination to ride brought our collective overlap into sharp focus but this is a story that runs off the page in both directions—each woman in attendance has a rich history that predates these words and one that will surely continue long after. But, I felt grateful to experience a shared, if brief, chapter during our time in the saddle in Slovenia.
The inaugural Rapha Yomp Rally took place in early May and saw nearly 100 riders embark on a 390-mile mixed-surface route, from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica, through the remote Los Padres region. Hailey Moore rode the route and provides a from-the-saddle recap alongside photos from Rugile Kaladyte, Sean Greene, Anton Krupicka, and a few of her own. Read on for reflections on the Yomp and non-competitive bikepacking rallies.
North South Colorado is a bikepacking race that traverses the Front Range, stitching together mountainous passes, singletrack, and plenty of dirt. From the rolling, exposed hills on the Wyoming border, alpine aspen groves, to the high desert of Trinidad, the 600-mile route treats riders to the full breadth of the state’s varied biomes. After dropping from the race during the inaugural 2021 edition, Leonardo Brasil toes the line again in 2022 filled with uncertainty but arrives in Trinidad (spoiler alert) with a renewed sense for ultra-cycling ambitions.
Fresh pulls of espresso waltz through a cold September morning, dancing alongside a particular brand of nervous excitement. It’s a certain hum I’ve come to understand as unique to the start of bikepacking trips and the suckers who choose such endeavors as their vacation. Strangers who will become good friends in a few short miles clear the frogs from their throats to answer early morning queries about their hometowns, bike set-ups, and handlebar tchotchkes over hot breakfast burritos and steamy lattes slung by Autobahn Coffee as we all wait for the start of the Salsa Cycles Ochoco Overlander.