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Announcing the Western Wildlands Route: A New Name for the Wild West Route

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Announcing the Western Wildlands Route: A New Name for the Wild West Route

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.

Bikepacking Roots: BIPOC Bike Adventure Grant Applications are Open!

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Bikepacking Roots: BIPOC Bike Adventure Grant Applications are Open!

If you’re a BIPOC cyclist, who enjoys bikepacking, or perhaps you’d like to give it a try…

The BIPOC Bike Adventure Grant is Bikepacking Roots’ grant program created to help reduce the barriers to bike adventure for BIPOC individuals.  The BIPOC Bike Adventure Grant will support recipients by helping fund fun and empowering bike adventures.

Apply between now and November 8th. We anticipate requiring ~4-5 weeks to review and follow up with all applicants, meaning we plan on announcing the recipients and their planned adventures in mid-December.

Qualified applicants are those who
-have any level of experience riding a bicycle.
-would benefit from support in order to pursue a specific bike adventure.
-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color).
-live in the United States.
-are any gender identity, age, class, body size, or ability.

Proposals can include requests of $500 to $3,000+ for the autumn 2020 grant cycle. The next grant cycle will open in late spring of 2021. Some equipment support will also be available as needed.

Apply now at Bikepacking Roots!

Bike Mag: Solutions for Smaller Bikepackers – Magazine to Fold

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Bike Mag: Solutions for Smaller Bikepackers – Magazine to Fold

With the news today that Bike, Powder, Snowboarder, and Surfer Magazines have been shuttered by their owner, American Media, we can’t help but feel an immense loss in print magazines. This news was shocking, as Bike Mag’s content has always been sharp, including the last entry on their website, penned by Bikepacking Roots‘ Kurt Refsnider dubbed “Solutions for Smaller Bikepackers” which offers up a lot of pointers for cyclists who don’t ride a size large frame. Head on over to Bike Mag to read all about it.

Bikepacking Roots is Seeking New Members for Its Board of Directors

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Bikepacking Roots is Seeking New Members for Its Board of Directors

Bikepacking Roots is expanding and diversifying their Board of Directors and are welcoming applications from individuals looking to be a positive influence for and within the bikepacking community. The Board of Directors is made up of passionate volunteers who act as representatives of the organization and as advocates for the bikepacking community, the experiences we collectively seek, and the landscapes through which we ride. Read on below…

Undivided: Diné Bikéyah – Held by Our Land, Held by Our Ancestors

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Undivided: Diné Bikéyah – Held by Our Land, Held by Our Ancestors

The essay below was written for Bikepacking Roots’ Bears Ears Loops Landscape and Route Guidebook to provide bikepackers with one perspective about how the landscape in its entirety is sacred to Indigenous groups. The designation of Bears Ears National Monument marked the first time in history that a National Monument was created in response to the voices and advocacy of the Indigenous groups who call the landscape home. Leaders from the Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, and Ute Indian Tribe formed the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition in 2015 to represent a consortium of tribes unified in protecting and promoting the cultural, archeological, scientific, historical and natural resources of the Bears Ears region. Just 11 months later, the Trump administration reduced the Monument’s size by ~85%. And in a direct affront to the request of the Intertribal Coalition, the southern unit of the reduced Monument was named the Shásh Jaa’ Unit (using the Diné name for Bears Ears). The Coalition had insisted upon the use of the English “Bears Ears” name for the Monument rather than in any one tribe’s language in solidarity and unity.⁠

Bikepacking Roots: A Look at the Bears Ears Loops Bikepacking Route Network

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Bikepacking Roots: A Look at the Bears Ears Loops Bikepacking Route Network

Bikepacking Roots is releasing the long-awaited Bears Ears Loops bikepacking route network – 700 miles of riding options through the high deserts and subalpine wilds of central and southeastern Utah. Their goal with these routes are to empower riders to confidently and safely immerse themselves in the remarkable but intimidating landscape, develop an informed sense of place, and experience some of all that is at risk to be lost if the Bears Ears region is not protected.

Blackburn and Bikepacking Roots Bring Bikepacking to NICA

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Blackburn and Bikepacking Roots Bring Bikepacking to NICA

This is an exciting announcement from our friends at Blackburn and Bikepacking Roots!

“The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), Blackburn Designs, and Bikepacking Roots are excited to announce a new partnership that establishes a bikepacking curriculum and traveling gear library for NICA student-athletes and coaches. Bikepacking Roots is providing the on-trail expertise and Blackburn is providing the funding and bikepacking kit for 20 riders as part of their Bronze Level sponsorship with NICA for 2020.”

Keep an eye here on the site for more coverage from this exciting announcement!

Finding Common Ground

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Finding Common Ground

I’m not at all accustomed to talking about my love for backcountry mountain biking within the confines of a stale hotel ballroom. In a past lifetime as a geologist, I gave plenty of ballroom presentations about glacial erosion, cosmogenic radionuclides, and Arctic climate change – it’s easy to get academics to connect to your words in such a bland setting. But how do a couple of mountain bikers get an audience of equestrians to connect with a shared passion for the backcountry from within the confines of a suburban cube?

Bikepacking Roots Announce the Beginner’s Guide to Bikepacking is Available for Digital Download!

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Bikepacking Roots Announce the Beginner’s Guide to Bikepacking is Available for Digital Download!

Originally published in 2015 thanks to Salsa Cycles, Bikepacking Roots has just announced this 90-page field guide is now available for digital download after you donate $5 to the non-profit. This guide was written by Kaitlyn Boyle and Kurt Refsnider and was created to help incite a love for those looking to get into bikepacking by providing helpful information and various pointers to get your bike loaded up and pointed down the trail.

Head to Bikepacking Roots to check it out!

Reflections on the Border: Bikepacking the Wild West Route Part 02

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Reflections on the Border: Bikepacking the Wild West Route Part 02

The grass grows steadily, towering over us until we can no longer see the San Pedro Trail. My partner and I hadn’t seen anyone else that day and it was peacefully quiet. We can only hear the bees buzzing, ignoring our presence among the thicket of yellow flowers growing wildly across the trail. It was still early in the afternoon and we already had an eventful morning – dodging thorny bushes cutting both our arms and legs, navigating muddy streams covered with overgrown grass, surprising a few jackrabbits from their homes, and getting startled by two rattlesnakes lying across the gravel path.

Jambi Jambi and the Soft Time Tour d’Idaho with Friends

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Jambi Jambi and the Soft Time Tour d’Idaho with Friends

It has been a month since returning from the most recent trip to the US. That’s 4 weeks to digest all the colours, flavours, energy and emotions that come from every foray into the wild world of the United States of America. For this write up I am picking my favorite part – Soft time Tour d’Idaho w. Friends – Not the official name but rather what I recall it as. It was a modified version of the Idaho section of the newly formed Wild West Route. Pioneers of fresh route from Bikepacking Roots!

“Is this your property?” Lessons Learned from Bikepacking the Wild West Route

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“Is this your property?” Lessons Learned from Bikepacking the Wild West Route

Today is a hot one in southern Idaho, 90 degrees and rising.  My partner, Skyler, and I are stopped for snacks under the few shaded bushes along a lonely dirt road.

We hear the tell-tale signs of a lonely car and a white-haired woman drive towards us.  She slows down to approach us cautiously. Her window rolls down as the car stops and from inside we hear “There isn’t a road that goes through there.”