#bikepacking

tag

Escape to Santa Catalina Island

Reportage

Escape to Santa Catalina Island

It’s not every day you’re presented with an opportunity to step out of the routines of daily life and to reconnect with a couple of old friends in a beautiful, fairly isolated environment; and to get to fully experience that place from the saddle of your bicycle. When a couple of my oldest friends, Josh and Alex, invited me on a bikepacking adventure – and asked me to assist with a video they planned to produce about the trip – help with logistics, carry some gear, etc. – I gave an enthusiastic and immediate, “I’m all in.” Josh and Alex had secured a generous grant from Kitsbow to capture our time on camera, in hopes that our experience would inspire and motivate others to get outside, unplug from life a bit, reconnect with old friends, and explore an exciting and accessible environment within a reasonable window of time. What cyclist wouldn’t want to throw their bike in a travel bag, fly down to Los Angeles for a 3 day weekend, and spend the bulk of that time pedaling around on Santa Catalina Island with a duo of old friends?

The Porcelain Rocket Mr Fusion Has Been Revised

Radar

The Porcelain Rocket Mr Fusion Has Been Revised

For fans of the Porcelain Rocket Mr Fusion, you’ll notice some key updates to this stable saddle pack platform. The support bar is now curved to match the line of the pack. Now, Mr. Fusion comes in a 12 or a 15 size. Mr. Fusion 12 is the same size as the old Mr. Fusion.  The included drybag has a capacity of 8-12L.  Mr. Fusion 15 is the new Mr. Fusion XL.  The included drybag has a capacity of 10-15L.  See Porcelain Rocket for clearance requirements. These are in stock now, although the XL is momentarily sold out… Head to Porcelain Rocket for more!

Vapcycling’s Unique Butterfly Guns Handlebar Bikepacking Bag Harness

Radar

Vapcycling’s Unique Butterfly Guns Handlebar Bikepacking Bag Harness

While a lot of attention has been put into stable support mechanisms for saddle packs, there have been few attempts at solid cargo carrying methods for handlebar bags. Vapcycling’s Butterfly Guns system is being used on the Silk Road Race as I’m typing this. It offers a stable and secure way to carry up to 10 liter dry bags. The kit is available in either a drop bar or a flat bar application with a standard bag size or a small bag size, to ensure your kit is as dialed as it can be. The unique support rack allows for the mounting of lights in front of the bag, is made in Italy, and in stock now at Vapcycling.

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

Reportage

“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.”

Silk Road Mountain Race 2019: Race Report 2

Reportage

Silk Road Mountain Race 2019: Race Report 2

A lot can happen in 48 hours. At 4 am on Tuesday morning (local time) James Mark Hayden was the first rider to reach CP2. After suffering from altitude sickness in the first stage of the race, the two-time Transcontinental Race winner has made a remarkable recovery and is currently leading the race. While the main contenders were taking a much-needed rest in the deep hours of the night, James pushed through to be the first to get his brevet card stamped.

Velo Orange Announces Complete Polyvalent and Piolet Complete Bikes

Radar

Velo Orange Announces Complete Polyvalent and Piolet Complete Bikes

Velo Orange has historically only offered their  Polyvalent and Piolet as framesets until now. They just announced the details of their new Complete Polyvalent and Piolet Complete Bikes. The Polyvalent has two build kits:  Drop Bar or Upright Bar. Both options come with SRAM 11 speed kits, a full-component kit of VO parts and accessories, and Teravail 650bx47mm Rampart Tires. Polyvalent Complete: $2,400 USD

The Piolet features their Curvy Bars and an 11 speed Shimano SLX drivetrain, Deore Hydraulic Brakes, and Teravail 29×2.4 Honcho Tires (or 26×2.4 Maxxis Ardent for the Small size). Piolet Complete: $2,200 USD

Head to Velo Orange for more details and read Morgan’s review of the Polyvalent here.

Silk Road Mountain Race 2019: Race Report 1

Reportage

Silk Road Mountain Race 2019: Race Report 1

At the dawn of Day 3 of the PEdALED Silk Road Mountain Race 2019, it’s becoming clear that the second edition of this 1705km long endurance race through Kyrgyzstan will be a close pursuit. While last year’s winner Jay Petervary was in the lead for the first 360km of the race, first time competitor Jakub Sliacan overtook him on Sunday afternoon before they arrived at CP1 within 30 minutes of each other. After only a very short break at the checkpoint, both riders continued on their way.

Radar

Watch Music for Free!

So glad this video is out!

“Music For Free” is a musical celebration of wild people and places on the Great Divide from Canada to Mexico. After half a decade of musical tours powered by a bicycle, musician and poet Ben Weaver will ride 2700 self-supported miles from Banff Canada to the US Mexico border carrying his banjo and guitar giving free concerts to the communities along the way. Following the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route on its 20th anniversary year the objective of this journey, aptly titled Music for Free, was to celebrate the people who have supported this iconic route and its riders while dissecting the question “What is wildness?”.

Edited, Directed and Filmed by Keenan DesPlanques
(This film was filmed completely from the power of Keenan’s legs, he rode the entire length of the route with Ben)

Producer and musician: Ben Weaver

You can also catch screenings of the video at the following locations and dates:

9.19 – Bike Fun Fest, Missoula, Montana
9.21 – Whitefish Bike Retreat, Whitefish, Montana
9.22 – The Stray Bullet Cafe, Ovando, Montana
9.24 – Fitzgerald’s Bicycles, Idaho Falls, ID
9.25 – Saturday Cycles, Salt Lake City, UT
9.27 – Wolverine Farm, Fort Collins, CO
9.28 – Pedal, Litteton, Co

Lael Wilcox’s 2019 Silk Road Mountain Race Specialized Fuse Bikepacking Setup

Reportage

Lael Wilcox’s 2019 Silk Road Mountain Race Specialized Fuse Bikepacking Setup

With the 2019 Silk Road Mountain Race beginning tomorrow, we thought we’d give a break-down for what Lael Wilcox will be carrying on her bike for the duration of the event. Lael is hoping to finish the 1700 kilometer course with 27,000m elevation in 7-9 days. In order to do that, she has her setup dialed. Check out the full list below for those curious as to what an ultra-endurance racer carries on their bike.

Kona’s Unit X Rigid MTB Looks AMAZING for $1399!

Radar

Kona’s Unit X Rigid MTB Looks AMAZING for $1399!

There aren’t a whole lot of options on the market for those seeking a rigid MTB for shredding trail or bikepacking on. So when a brand like Kona, with their expansive dealer network, puts out something like the Unit X, it piques our interest. With a 29 x 2.6″ wheel platform, multiple bottle bosses, including on the fork, a compact geometry for easier mounting, and SRAM Eagle gearing, it seems like a no-brainer for those looking to make their home trails a little more engaging, or for someone trying to tackle singletrack touring. See more information at Kona.

The End of the Andean Road

Reportage

The End of the Andean Road

When I started this trip through South America almost 3 years ago I had no idea what to expect. My bicycle “touring” experience could all be summed up in a tumultuous three week trip to Perú where I spent half of the time with my head hovering over a toilet while suffering from typhoid and a quick one week trip through Norway that resulted in an emergency room visit with frostbite on my toes that still affects me today. I was working on roughly a 5% success rate. Would I quit my “stable job” of almost ten years only to head off into the Andes all by myself and realize that this just wasn’t my thing? Come crawling back a few weeks later, asking for a do-over? I honestly had no idea and these were extremely realistic possibilities in my mind. All I knew was that I’d regret it if I didn’t try.

EVOC Announces Boa Fit System Bikepacking Bags

Radar

EVOC Announces Boa Fit System Bikepacking Bags

These days, just about every portage company has developed some sort of bikepacking bag line, yet in this sea of strap-on bags, Evoc has done something truly unique. Their new bikepacking lineup utilizes a Boa fit system to ensure a stable and versatile attachment. This system is unlike anything else on the market, allowing users to build out their bikepacking setup with ease. Included in this launch are a Boa Fit Seat pack, a Boa Fit Handlebar pack, a multi-fit bag, and a top tube bag. The Boa line will be available in August of this year, while the top tube and multi-fit bags are available now, so keep an eye on Evoc for more information. See some more product sneak peek photo and specs below.

Radar

2019 Blackburn Rocky Mountain Rangers

Interestingly, it seems the Blackburn Ranger program might be ramping back up, after being canceled last year…

“In early July 2019, three Blackburn Rangers set out to ride the Colorado Trail. At a length of more than 500 miles, and with climbing that adds up to more than 70k feet of elevation gain, the CT is no small feat in a normal year. The week before they departed, Colorado’s snow pack was 40 times higher than normal following a spring solstice storm. Emphasizing “Fun Over Fast,” this is the preview of their story.”

I can’t wait to see where this is going!

The Salted, Green, Grassy Hills: a Bicycle Tour Into the Marin Headlands

Reportage

The Salted, Green, Grassy Hills: a Bicycle Tour Into the Marin Headlands

Long before July’s sweltering heat, we were enjoying the pleasant month of March. I had been sitting on my porch sipping coffee when my friend Todd texted me, “I’m going to email you about the thing, so look out.” We’ve collaborated on many wild ideas, and Todd’s been a good friend for over a decade. I usually perk up when he reaches out about “things” because he’s a great adventure planner, so I kept a close eye on the inbox.  Lucky for me, it was an email saying that all the plans were coming together for an idea we had been tossing around for quite a while; a multi-day bike camping trip to uncover the inspiration for the Coal x Swift collaboration project with artist and illustrator, Chris McNally in the Marin Headlands of California.