Juliet was one of those smiling faces in Nam and Benedict’s story yesterday. In this video, she walks us through what she brought on that epic Big Sur trip. Head to her site for a more in-depth breakdown on her gear.
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.
“Travelling and meeting people is both a way of life and a perpetual source of inspiration. The landscapes we’ve crossed matter as much as the way we’ve looked at them.” – Antonin Michaud-Soret
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!
I can’t imagine the joy an experience like this must bring. Check out more from this trip at XPDTN3.
The We Love Where We Ride series continues with Brady Lawrence, a videographer, who in 2015 rode 7,500 miles to raise support for the National Parks Service.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
While visiting the midwest in a cover of snow might not seem like the most fun, I was able to take a load off and warm up inside of Cedaero this past February. You remember Cedaero right? They made some waves a while back with Kid’s trout-themed Salsa Blackborow.
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.
Giveaways and contests like this are like turning this plane – the website – into a mirror. It opens the viscera to expose how people ride and recreate. All with a simple click! It shows and shares their passions and their communities. That’s the easy part. The hard part is picking winners! After lots of back and forth with a few judges, the two posts that everyone agreed on were these two photos!
Kawika‘s caption didn’t hurt either! “Fuck these half ass tied, fake food flys… but hey, selfie time, get my good side!” ~ Mr. Peacock Bass
Jose‘s group shot on a bikepacking trip around Real de Catorce showcases his community and the caption is so good!
We’ll be sending off a Leatherman Free to each winner.
NorthSouth takes us on a ride with Sarah and Jesse, who sold everything they owned. Instead of making room for more ‘stuff’, they decided to collect experiences instead. Their whole lives are now strapped onto 2 bikes. They feel free, and on a ride that could quite literally take them anywhere.
To help satiate the rapidly-growing bikepacking community’s desire for new long-distance routes, Bikepacking Roots recently released the 2,700-mile-long Wild West Route. This Canada- to-Mexico epic links together dirt roads and rough 4×4 tracks through Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona, showcasing the vast expanses of wild and public lands in the Intermountain West.
We’d like to give this video another little nudge, after featuring it in the post about Ben and his Kona which he used on this trip.
Words and Photos by Spencer Harding
It’s easy to get lost in the dreamy imagery of bike tours to exotic far-off lands. I’m always making myself feel like everything has to look like a crazy-ass skid backlight by a Kodachrome sunset at the end of the world…but let’s be real in a world of unreal imagery.
Pepper and Sam came down to Tucson to start their trip on the Sky Island Odyssey. Pepper was in from Australia after being away from the states for many years on her way up to a new job in Seattle. Sam, running from the winter on Prince Edward Island and needed no excuse to come down and get sunburnt. Monique and I had been talking at the shop about going camping for a few weeks without any plan coming to fruition. We decided to take Pepper and Sam on a little shakedown ride into the mountains near Tucson before sending them down south on their odyssey. Colin, fresh off getting an OK from the doctor to do some light pedaling after he tore his Achilles, joined us until the route turned uphill!