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Deer and Wolves: Josh Ibbett on the GBDURO 2020

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Deer and Wolves: Josh Ibbett on the GBDURO 2020

Josh Ibbett just won the GBduro. A 2000 km mostly off-road Ultra Distance race from the most southern tip of the UK to the most northern in Scotland.

This is the second edition of this race.

The first one was won by Lachlan Morton last year.

The Racing Collective, organizers of the race, best described by themselves as “the UK’s flagship not-for-profit bikepacking club” had to change their race format this year. They did it, brilliantly.

There were no stages anymore, the race described as “a scrappy rolling picnic through Britain’s ever-changing landscapes” had that new daunting rule about it, you had to be “self-sufficient”, no stopping allowed in shops, cafe, restaurant or hotel, whatsoever, so you carry your own food, filter water from streams or sources and mind yourself and your bike ‘till the end. There is a new level in the game of Epic.

Lael Rides Alaska: Touring the Dalton Highway and Gear Breakdown

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Lael Rides Alaska: Touring the Dalton Highway and Gear Breakdown

Dalton Highway

We land in Deadhorse on the North Slope of Alaska in the evening under sunny skies and drag our cardboard bike boxes out of the single gate terminal. We’re the only passengers on the flight not starting a two-week work shift on the oil fields. The wind is ripping so fast, it’s hard to put the bikes together. We help each other. We velcro bags to our bikes and load up our camping gear. It’s cold enough that we put on all of our clothing layers. We cram days’ worth of food into every pack. The workers at the airport are kind and helpful. A woman gives us directions to the shop where we can buy a camping stove canister and a can of bear spray that we couldn’t bring on the plane. She asks us to leave our bike boxes in storage. They always save the big ones for hunters.

Gabe’s Moné Bikes Boca de La Roca

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Gabe’s Moné Bikes Boca de La Roca

I’m a diehard fan of tough and playful hardtails. My affinity probably started with an invincible brick of a Schwinn BMX back when I was 13. It eventually evolved—I ditched my full suspension bike for the first generation of Surly’s infamous Krampus, morphed into the slacker front and tighter rear of a Carver Gnarvester, eloped with Tony’s personal Breadwinner Goodwater for a week, and then fell in love with Cjell Monē’s La Roca.

Calling it Back in: Revisiting a Problematic Article

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Calling it Back in: Revisiting a Problematic Article

It was brought to my attention almost two years ago that my framing of Ariel’s encounter in our TEMBR reportage as a cultural exchange glossed over the history of systemic restriction of women’s access to reproductive health in Ecuador and Central/Southern American countries.  This  framing allowed the possibility for it to be construed that the family is responsible for their ignorance (cultural), rather than being victims of a cruel system meant to strip them of their rights (systemic).  Glossing over these conditions only perpetuates the erasure of the experiences of women, especially indigenous, in Ecuador.

Through The Wardrobe: Exploring the Oregon Timber Trail’s Anaxshat Passage

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Through The Wardrobe: Exploring the Oregon Timber Trail’s Anaxshat Passage

Last Autumn, I found myself wondering, “How do I pack for a bike ride through Narnia?”. I had just been asked to sample a small section of the wonderful Oregon Timber Trail by my friend Gabriel. I packed a grocery bag full of Voile straps, my foul weather gear, a laminated local mushroom-foraging pamphlet, and prepared to step through the magic wardrobe.

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Forgotten Highways

‘Forgotten Highways’ is a film of documenting self-supported travel bike bicycle and cultural discovery set in the Whanganui District of New Zealand.  The film is a journey through a challenging landscape following the historical trails to and from one of NZ’s most significant rivers (or Awa).

Review: BINGO Components B1 Headset Spacer Gives a Lashing Point for Your Stem Caddy Bags

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Review: BINGO Components B1 Headset Spacer Gives a Lashing Point for Your Stem Caddy Bags

BINGO Components is a new company that is looking to make problem-solving products for your bike, beginning with the B1 headset spacer. These 5mm thick 6061 aluminum alloy spacers are anodized black and feature two loops to attach stem caddy-style bags.

You can run them above or below the stem and it even works with shorty MTB stems. These are made in Oregon and retail for $20 at BINGO Components.

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.⁠

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Pedal Through

REI‘s latest video showcases a group of female black cyclists as they embark on their first-ever bikepacking trip. Watch the premiere here with a panel discussion with the film makers after.

“Despite never having camped or ridden a bike off the pavement, Analise Cleopatra sets out to take on a week-long backcountry mountain biking adventure in Central Oregon on a journey of self healing and growth. Along with fellow beginner Dejuanae Toliver and professional mountain biker Brooklyn Bell, she discovers the joy of sleeping under the stars, the power of biking and the strength that comes with pedaling through.”

Yeah Buddy! The Dugout Boys on the Tour Divide

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Yeah Buddy! The Dugout Boys on the Tour Divide

Since no one is out riding the Tour Divide this year and I’m locked away in a lake house in Wisconsin, why don’t we take a trip down memory lane? Like, I found a backup of these images on my iPod kinda trip down memory lane, back to 2014 baby. This was my first proper “bikepacking” or off-road touring trip. I borrowed my dad’s 90s hybrid and put a Surly fork and some racks on it and hightailed it to Missoula after finishing my first few weeks working as a tour guide in Oregon. I met Kurt and Sam as they were working their way down the Tour Divide as the inaugural Blackburn Rangers, which I had applied for too, but didn’t get, so why not just crash their party anyway?

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Drovers

Perthshire Gravel worked on this lovely project, titled Drovers:

“Filmed on the Drovers Trail, a new 331-km-long gravel bikepacking route in Scotland, ‘Drovers’ tells the story of the ancient drove roads, an important part of Scottish history, which inspired Scotland’s greatest writers like Burns and Scott. The new video from round the world singlespeed cyclist and film-maker Markus Stitz follows him on his adventure on the route, retracing the footsteps of the cattle drovers on their journey from the Cairngorms through the Tay Valley to Crieff, which became Scotland’s most important cattle market in the end of the 17th century.”

Nordest Cycles: Sardinha 2 Rigid MTB Frame Pre-Order

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Nordest Cycles: Sardinha 2 Rigid MTB Frame Pre-Order

Nordest does such a great job of instilling local lore in with their brand and for their newest release, they look to Nordeste (Portugal) and an ancient occupation, held by the almocreves; austere merchants who carried their saddlebags with goods to supply the Trasmontanos from village to village. One such product they carried on were sardinhas (sardines) on the backs of pack animals. This tale has inspired the name of their new Sardinha 2 rigid MTB, a bike ideal for bikepacking. This frame can clear a 27.5 x 3.0″ or a 29″ x 2.6″ and features a steel fork. With the pre-order pricing of 532,23 € for a frameset, it’s hard to overlook. Head to Nordest Cycles for more.

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.

Tour de Pikes Peak: Reflections on My First Bike Tour

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Tour de Pikes Peak: Reflections on My First Bike Tour

The journal entry following my first bike trip reads: “Why does recording life events feel so vital? Because memories can’t be trusted to stay in place. Because in their wake remains the shadowy outlines of phantom feelings—forms so great and vague that we long to recall the experiences that gave them flesh and weight. Okay. Bike trip.” On the next page I taped five sheets of 3×5 pages, carefully ripped from the pocket journal that I carried with me on the bike. I did this for the sake of chronology in my journaling, so that all of my day-to-day reflections remained bound together, in order, but in leafing through the past, I enjoy the three-dimensional quality that my inserted notes lend to the entry.

Lama Packing the San Juan Mountains

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Lama Packing the San Juan Mountains

The latest story from Salsa is not to be missed:

“For years now, I have had an idea percolating in the deep recesses of my adventure mind. Living in the picturesque mountain town of Durango, Colorado, I am lucky to have access to one of the world’s most stunning mountain ranges, the San Juans. Encompassing more than 17,000 square miles, the range is a playground for all mountain enthusiasts. I have hiked, climbed, skied, kayaked, and biked much of the range. For most, an exploration of the range begins in the towns of Durango, Pagosa Springs, Telluride, Ouray, or Silverton. The scenic byways of 550 and 160 provide quick and easy access to high alpine lakes, trout streams, rocky summits, and deep gorges. Additionally, because of the bisection of the range from the Durango-Silverton railway and the presence of the famed Colorado Trail, a north-to-south (or vice versa) traverse of the area is common. Few ever think of crossing the range from the other cardinal points of east and west.”

Check out the full story at Salsa!

Two Years and a Few Falls on the Ron’s Bikes Dirt Tourer

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Two Years and a Few Falls on the Ron’s Bikes Dirt Tourer

I had been holding back on these notes for about a year now because I felt that calling it a “review” sounded like too much. The audience here is used to deep comprehension reviews and it’s very intimidating to put it in the same category when my experience with bicycles is reduced to the five I’ve owned in my adult life, this one included. So instead this is more of a short story about a bicycle, with hints of technical information where it feels required.