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Scarlet Zeigler: Erie Canal Individual Time Trial

In 2020, 11 year old Scarlet Zeigler set a personal goal for herself to ride 100 miles on her bike in one day. She accomplished that goal in the early spring and then set out riding several tours that year. One of those was on the Erie Canal where she decided to see how fast she could ride it. That year, she rode it in 2 days, 22 hours.

For 2021, Scarlet decided to see if she could beat that time and went back, fully self-supported, and rode from Buffalo to Albany NY on the Erie Canal trail. In November. She was responsible for buying all of her own food, finding water along the route and had to figure out the many detours completely on her own. I (her dad) simply recorded everything with a dated iPhone…

Here is the story….

Hope is a Function of Struggle: Sarah Swallow, AWRR, and the Swift Industries Holiday ’21 Dovetail Collection

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Hope is a Function of Struggle: Sarah Swallow, AWRR, and the Swift Industries Holiday ’21 Dovetail Collection

Riding 100 miles in the rain with a fully loaded bike from the San Juan Islands to Seattle, pushing a 50-pound touring rig up a mountain in Montana for 6 hours and 6,000 ft, getting stuck in Dallas after the last leg of my flight was canceled at midnight (more on that later)… as a cyclist, I’m no stranger to struggle. And according to Brene Brown, hope is a function of struggle.

When we encounter struggle, we face the moment when we don’t think we can make it and sometimes finding resolve within to not only survive but to triumph. The next time life offers a seemingly uncrossable water crossing, muscle memory kicks in, and we think, I’ve been here before, I can do this! That, Brown says, is how one becomes a person of hope.

Radar

Montanus: Vivid

Vivid, a short film by Montanus, explores the memories created by the most meaningful experiences found on two wheels. For Montanus the most vivid memory was their first bikepacking trip together back in 2013. Riding bikes with 26” wheels and carrying big, heavy backpacks, Francesco D’Alessio and Giorgio Frattale set out to bikepack before bikepacking was a thing. It was in the spirit of adventure that they took themselves 1900 meters above sea level to sleep in a little hut, because…why not? Eight years later they find themselves aptly equipped with the right gear and the right bikes-the Kona Hei Hei CRs. Easy on the climbs and fun on the way down, we’re sure they’re going to continue to create the most vivid memories from their experiences in the wild.

Searching for Positivity and a New Fork on the Tour Divide

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Searching for Positivity and a New Fork on the Tour Divide

“Well, what the hell now?” I thought to myself as I stared down at my carbon fork now resting on the ground in three separate pieces. A curb-sized, unassuming jump on a wooden arch bridge outside Breckenridge had taken me down, imploding my bike with me. The front brake cable was the only thing connecting my front wheel to the rest of my bike. I had never experienced a mechanical problem like this trailside. That’s it, game over. All the planning and anticipation, just to make it halfway through the Tour Divide.

A Look at the All New Wizard Works Pelagazam for the Pelago Rasket

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A Look at the All New Wizard Works Pelagazam for the Pelago Rasket

I love my Pelago Rasket on my Crust Bikes Dreamer but one of the things I’m not stoked about it is the limited bag offerings. After reaching out to a variety of bag makers, requesting a “custom” bag for my Rasket, the team at Wizard Works threw its wizard cap into the arena and offered to help me out. Well, after a few months, my Pelagazam bag designed specifically to the dimensions of the Raskett, showed up and I shot some initial photos of this nifty bag this morning, so let’s check it out in detail below!

The 5th Annual 2021 Nutmeg Nor’Easter: A Personal Account

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The 5th Annual 2021 Nutmeg Nor’Easter: A Personal Account

Arya and Ronnie, the two cuties that are at the front of our bike bag sponsor Ron’s Bikes, invited my partner Karla and me to come over to their event, the Nutmeg Nor’Easter. Described as “the non-competitive alt cycling world championship” and running its fifth edition, this would be the first Nor’Easter after a time where reunions were discouraged, but the organizers still took care of delivering an event 100% outdoors and only for vaccinated people, although no vaccination cards were verified. Because you see, this is the type of gathering where you are trusted to care for yourself and those around you, but in a non-coercive way. For Karla and me this would be our first time not only in Connecticut, but also east of the Rocky Mountains; the first impressions, provided by our Uber trip from the airport at 1 am, made us think we were in a good scenario for which stories, and local tales revealed we weren’t wrong.

Bikepacking Roots Announces the 630 Mile Western Lake Superior Northwoods Route

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Bikepacking Roots Announces the 630 Mile Western Lake Superior Northwoods Route

Bikepacking Roots’ latest route – the Northwoods Route – is a ~600-mile-long circumnavigation of the western half of Lake Superior, primarily following gravel roads, relatively smooth two-tracks, rail trails, and short sections of pavement through thick forests and along countless lakes of all sizes. This loop has been created to be inviting to riders on both mountain or gravel bikes, and riders will find that resupply options are relatively frequent along the way. Singletrack alternates and trail networks along the way offer options for riders looking for more technical riding opportunities – loaded or unloaded – and to experience the many unique trail systems built near communities along the way.

Head to Bikepacking Roots for the full breakdown of this epic route!

Revolta Art’s Babad Do’ag Backroads Postcards!

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Revolta Art’s Babad Do’ag Backroads Postcards!

Tucson-based artist Revolta Art illustrated the map from Spencer’s Babad Do’ag Backroads 138 mile route we posted a little while back and she just updated her Etsy store with these amazing little postcards of the map. Order one or a few and send them to your friends to invite them to partake in this slice of Sonoran heaven. These cards are $3 a pop at her Etsy shop!

A side note: I hope everyone is respectful when they travel to Tucson. Please be nice, say hi to trail users and be sure to tip well in town!

Touring Turkey’s Lycian Coast

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Touring Turkey’s Lycian Coast

From the comforts of the coastal city of Antalya, I took to the surrounding hills for short rides between the abundant days of rain that come with the wet season in this region. Turkey had imposed significant covid restrictions for the first time since I was in the country, including full weekend curfews, so this gave me plenty of time to plan out what kind of route would still be possible when the situation improved.  Accepting sudden changes in plans and having some patience has always been important for bike touring and that is especially true these days.

A First Look at the Tailfin Suspension Fork Mount and Cargo Cages

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A First Look at the Tailfin Suspension Fork Mount and Cargo Cages

I always have my eyes peeled for new ways to mount, strap, and stuff things on my bike. Conjuring up ideas in my head of what the perfect setup would be, to meet my needs on a particular trip. First, I want enough space for everything I need without having to mash it all into a few tiny bags. Second, I don’t want anything constantly rattling around or shifting and sliding. The more options the better! So, when a package showed up from the UK-based brand, Tailfin, with a few new mysterious pieces of kit inside, I was intrigued to check them out.

Wind, Chile, Chonk, and the Monumental Loop: the 2021 Dangerbird in Las Cruces

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Wind, Chile, Chonk, and the Monumental Loop: the 2021 Dangerbird in Las Cruces

Washboard roads, rocky doubletrack, creosote, cacti, centipedes, tarantulas, and vistas for miles. The Monumental Loop provides it all in a healthy mix, featuring the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, BLM, and state lands surrounding the town of Las Cruces, New Mexico. With the mighty Organ Mountains looming in the background, it’s hard to imagine a better touring or bikepacking route in Southern New Mexico. When you add in the delicious food on the route, you’ve got yourself a winning combination. To help celebrate this monumental achievement (tee hee), Matt Mason, co-founder of the Loop, throws a grand depart each year dubbed the Dangerbird which took a brief hiatus last year due to the Pandemic. With Covid protocols in place and our numbers remaining slightly elevated in New Mexico, Matt made sure the entire weekend’s events took place outdoors, so I felt safe to head down to experience this gem of the Chihuahuan Desert…

Scenes from the 2021 New Mexico Bikepacking Summit and the Dangerbird Grand Depart Rider and Bike Portaits

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Scenes from the 2021 New Mexico Bikepacking Summit and the Dangerbird Grand Depart Rider and Bike Portaits

New Mexico has a lot of really amazing bicycle touring routes, from the mountainous aspen forests to the southern deserts. One such route is the Monumental Loop, which is based out of the Southern New Mexico city of Las Cruces, co-founded by Matt Mason. The Monumental Loop is a passion project for Matt but this year, he wanted to do something special to celebrate the cycling community in New Mexico. Part of that includes the first-ever New Mexico Bikepacking Summit. The weekend’s events included a Makers’ Mart at Outdoor Adventures, a local bike shop, and a grand depart for the Dangerbird, Matt’s nickname for the Monumental Loop. As you can imagine, after photographing the weekend’s events and touring the northern loop, I’m super zonked, so let’s get to it!