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A Look at the New Agave Products Handlebar Bag: the Arroyo Backpack

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A Look at the New Agave Products Handlebar Bag: the Arroyo Backpack

One of the joys this website has brought me over the years is helping out small companies jettison their products into the world. From component manufacturers, apparel brands, frame builders, and yes, bag makers, there’s something special about watching a brand bloom over time and having been a part of that process. Last week, I met this fella named Jeff at Sincere Cycles where he showed me a new prototype bag he’s developing under the moniker Agave Products called the Arroyo Backpack.

Jeff and Agave are based in Austin, Texas, my old stomping grounds, and so this project plucked at my heartstrings a bit. Read on for a more in-depth look at the Arroyo Backpack…

Kyle From Outer Shell’s 160mm Travel Falconer Hardtail MTB Ultra Light Loaded for the CDT

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Kyle From Outer Shell’s 160mm Travel Falconer Hardtail MTB Ultra Light Loaded for the CDT

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…

Stefan Griebel and the Origin of the Colorado Trail Race – CTR

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Stefan Griebel and the Origin of the Colorado Trail Race – CTR

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.

Radar

Matty and Clare: Lost Captures Trailer

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’…”

Radar

Ruta Chingaza: Bikepacking for Conservation

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

Bike-Camping Along Michigan’s North Country Trail on the Bombtrack Beyond+ ADV

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Bike-Camping Along Michigan’s North Country Trail on the Bombtrack Beyond+ ADV

The North Country Trail

Way back in the mid-80’s I was born about 30 minutes outside of Detroit, Michigan. The area I was in did not exactly lend itself to cycling becoming a hobby at the time, so I really never became interested in bikes and the outdoors until I moved to California and found the mountains as an adult. Fast forward to 2020 when my plans to ride through far-flung mountains in Asia all summer came grinding to a halt along with everyone else’s lives, I found myself back in Michigan for an unknown period of time.

Dzil Ta’ah Adventure’s Navajo Youth Bikepacking Adventure Series:  John’s Canyon

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Dzil Ta’ah Adventure’s Navajo Youth Bikepacking Adventure Series: John’s Canyon

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.

Learning to Love Local: Bikepacking in the Age of Covid

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Learning to Love Local: Bikepacking in the Age of Covid

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.

Radar

Swift Campout Video Challenge Finalist: Trikepacking Some Assembly Required

the Swift Campout Video Challenge has been narrowed down to a few finalists, including this beautiful short from Alaska:

“Last winter Geoff purchased a Schwinn tricycle in the hopes of easing himself into riding a bike of the two-wheeled variety and embarking on health-conscious commutes to work. Geoff spent the brief but vibrant Alaskan 2020 summer familiarizing himself with his tricycle. A singlespeed grocery-getter in nature, the trike wasn’t the ideal candidate for someone’s first bikepacking steed but – a firm believer in ride what you got – I set out modifying the trike with Geoff’s first bikepacking journey in mind. These modifications included finding a home for a Hamerschmidt internal gear crankset (originally intended for Downhill MTB use) I’d had tucked away for just such a frankenbike undertaking.”

Check out more information at the Swift Industries Youtube!

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!

Film Rolls, Two Burritos, and One Fast Mountain Trout: Bicycle Touring the Northern New Mexico CDT

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Film Rolls, Two Burritos, and One Fast Mountain Trout: Bicycle Touring the Northern New Mexico CDT

As someone who tends to spend seven months out of the year on the road, away from home, 2020 has been a welcomed change, albeit with some major adjustments. Stay at home orders in New Mexico are some of the strictest in the United States and this forced me to look to my new home state for rides and trips. Suddenly, I found myself living at the threshold of beautiful high-country riding with endless possibilities for bicycle touring and mountain biking. To put it mildly, my relocation to Santa Fe has opened up a whole world of opportunity.

It took me a while to adjust to living at 7,000′ and a big part of that adjustment has been facilitated by riding with my fast and fit friend, Bailey Newbrey. Bailey’s accolades need no introduction here and it should be no surprise to any of you that he is an incredible rider. He’s so fast that I jokingly refer to him as the “mountain trout on two wheels.”

Radar

Inclement Tripping On the Old Ghost Road

Deane Parker shared his latest video, from New Zealand’s Old Ghost Road:

“We got slapped by Mother Nature above the bush line and dragged our butts like popsicles into Ghost Lake hut as the full ferocity of a storm hit. This scuttled a chance to do the full out and back but we still ended up with riding 104km of the gnarliest sections twice! The few who had booked for this mid week period must of canned due to the forecast. We essentially had the trail to ourselves except for the toiling of the Old Ghost Road trail crews. An unforgettable way to celebrate 48 times around the sun w a couple of super mates…”

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.

Condensare Pack List: Bailey’s Moné Hardtail 29er Loaded Up for Touring the Northern New Mexico CDT

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Condensare Pack List: Bailey’s Moné Hardtail 29er Loaded Up for Touring the Northern New Mexico CDT

Tomorrow, we’ll be sharing our Reportage from our tour of the CDT in Northern New Mexico but today I wanted to give Bailey a showcase on his Moné and how he packs for a three-day trip…

The poet Basil Bunting, while poring over an antiquated German-Italian dictionary, found the German verb dichten (to write poetry) translated as condensare (to condense/shorten). This became one of the guiding principles of Modernist poetry;  which would state; “Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost degree.” In my early 20s, I fancied myself a student of Modernist writing and, unsurprisingly, many of its ideologies found a place in my daily life. This concept in particular is one that has remained important to me and thus, my approach to touring/bike packing. If one can distill their gear down to items that have the utmost meaning or necessity, while doing away with any superfluities, the result is a light and nimble bike, allowing the rider maximum enjoyment of the terrain to be traversed without compromising their safety and comfort along the way.

Disputed territory, A Visit To Akimel O’odham Land

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Disputed territory, A Visit To Akimel O’odham Land

Security in México is a topic I don’t usually talk about; in order to keep myself from falling into hopelessness, I try to focus and highlight the good actions of people. Nevertheless, it’s like a pebble that you always carry in your pocket: you know it’s there, you touch it when you reach for other stuff, and although you are mostly used to it, some days it just decides to poke your leg. Adventure cyclists in the country generally have this factor in consideration at different levels depending on region and other circumstances, so here we’ll go a little over the topic but hey, there are some happy parts in this story too, for good balance.