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2019 Tour Divide Race: Part 1

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2019 Tour Divide Race: Part 1

Words by Spencer Harding, photos by Spencer Harding and Rugile Kaladyte

Last year, Rue propositioned me about helping her document the Tour Divide race in which Lael Wilcox intended to best her previous record, I jumped at the opportunity. Later, Jay Ritchey would be added to the team to help Rue with the film they intended to produce about the race.  I was tasked with focusing on photographing her attempt and the race itself.  Rue has been flipping between photo and video very deftly and has some incredible images to add to this gallery.  Here is the first installment of our ongoing coverage of the 2019 Tour Divide Race. 

A Father Son Tour Divide Duo

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A Father Son Tour Divide Duo

Happy Father’s Day!

On our road trip up to Bozeman for the Swift Campout, we mosied up through Abiquiu to visit some friends who own a nice little tract of land in the hills. At a favorite lunch stop of ours, we bumped into a father and son bikepacking duo from Arkansas. They are riding the Tour Divide from south to north, beginning in New Mexico. They were 14 days into their trip when we bumped into them. They looked cooked!

Get Pumped for the 2019 Swift Campout!

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Get Pumped for the 2019 Swift Campout!

It’s coming! June 22nd is rapidly approaching. Do you know where you’re going for the 2019 Swift Campout? Head to Swift Industries to see who is hosting a Summer Solstice Campout in your city. We’ll be in Bozeman with Alter Cycles and Sklar Bikes. We’ll be doing around 20 miles of dirt road climbing up to Mystic Lake to camp under the Big Sky!

Share your local ride details in the comments and check out some inspirational photos below!

Fast Friends: Big Thoughts Through Big Sur

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Fast Friends: Big Thoughts Through Big Sur

Words by Tenzin Namdol, photos by Ronnie Romance

I was looking at everyone’s legs. The group of 13 included professional and semi professional racers, life-long athletes focused specifically on their relationship to the bicycle. There aren’t six packs; there’s, like, eight to ten pacs. Some even have muscular faces! How is that even possible to accomplish? Seeing my own soft animal body as lesser than their impressive builds. The grass kept getting greener and greener on the other side of my eyeballs and I felt myself getting smaller and smaller. Where in my body is this discomfort living? I had three days and the grand views around beautiful Big Sur to find the site of where this discomfort lived in my body. Aside from physical discomfort from physical exertion, I came up empty. Instead, I found an interstice where feelings of awe grew and that became my saving grace.

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2019 Tour Divide Race Prep With Lael Wilcox

Part of Lael’s preparation for this year’s Tour Divide was to ride from Boulder, CO to Emporia, KS where she raced the Dirty Kanza XL, which is featured in today’s gallery! Leave it to Lael to ride 700 miles before racing 350 miles! She’s going to be prepared and ready for the TDR this year!

A Promising Introduction to Riding in Patagonia

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A Promising Introduction to Riding in Patagonia

While I’d already been into the area that is technically considered Patagonia a couple of times by this point, entering towns like Pucón in Chile, and San Martin de Los Andes in Argentina marked a noticeable shift from all of the regions I’d been in previously, which still felt largely unchanged by tourism. It was still quite early in the season for the hordes of travelers to have taken over these places, but the signs are there. Fancy chocolate shops. Overpriced hostels. Cafes on every street corner selling $8 artisanal muffins to a looping soundtrack of Adele and Sam Smith.

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Ride To Extraordinary: a Bikepacking TV Show

More of this please! High production value, great scenery and interesting story.

“Ride To Extraordinary is a new on-demand documentary series. Season #1 focuses on the TNGA (The Trans North Georgia Adventure). TNGA is more than a bikepacking race. It’s a test of will and endurance. It’s 357 miles filled with more than 50,000 feet of grueling climbs, wicked downhills, river crossings, hike-a-bikes, wild bears, boars, snakes – all in the blistering heat and unrelenting humidity of a Georgia summer. What makes someone do this? Ride along as bikers push past their own limits and face the darkest nights of their souls in the quest to go from Ordinary to Extraordinary. Season #1 kicked off April 30th with Episode #1, with new episodes and content available weekly on Tuesdays until completion of the series in July.”

Check out the full season at Vimeo.

Cinq Adventure and Touring Forks Can Turn Your Bike into a Touring or Bikepacking Bike

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Cinq Adventure and Touring Forks Can Turn Your Bike into a Touring or Bikepacking Bike

Got a rigid MTB or an all-road bike you’d like to do some touring or bikepacking on? Not satisfied with the current carbon fork offerings from the more popular brands? Check out Cinq’s new Adventure 27.5+ / 29er fork and Touring 650b / 700c fork, designed to convert your daily rider to something more capable. Each utilizes “no-thread” cargo bosses to ensure no threads will ever be stripped, internal dynamo routing, light and fender mounts, with a pricepoint of €590.00. Head to Cinq to see more information on the Adventure and Touring forks.

Baja Divide, El Valle De Los Cirios

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Baja Divide, El Valle De Los Cirios

The name “California” was first given around 1535 to what’s now Baja California Sur when it was rediscovered by the Spanish conquistadores, and the term didn’t extend to the now USA-California until 85 years later, a territory commonly referred to as New Albion. Some years later for land management purposes the former was then named Antigua (old) or Baja (lower) California, and the latter Nueva (new) or Alta (higher) California; in 1848 as a result of the Mexican-American War, Alta California becomes the American state of California. Then in the 1970s a trend is born: Newcalifornians start calling peninsular California simply “Baja”, as a brand name for investing in commercial, touristic and real estate development.

What Tent Should Ryan Wilson Use?

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What Tent Should Ryan Wilson Use?

Howdy, you wonderful people. After pushing the limits of his ultralight bikepacking tent, Ryan and I think it’s time to move on to a more rebust platform. Right now, we’re looking at the Hyperlite or the Zpacks tents but wanted to reach out to you, the readers, to see what experiences you have had with tents? High winds, rain, and constant use are the deciding factors we’re concerned with. What thoughts do you have?

Craters and Cinder Cones with El Grupo Bikepacking

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Craters and Cinder Cones with El Grupo Bikepacking

Throughout the Spring I was unfortunate in that I had to miss all of the El Grupo Bikepacking overnight trips except our final one, the big end of season trip.  Colin had devised a modified Craters and Cinder Cones loop so that we could do a half loop as an overnighter.  Now, most of our trips are totally self-supported, but as Colin was still recovering from his Achilles injury, he planned to drive the van and meetup to camp with us.  Nonetheless, the kids still carried all of their gear, but we were lucky to have a little water and snack angel along the way.