We arrived in the Kyrgyz city of Karakol in what has become a familiar state after a stretch in the wilderness… tired, hungry, desperate for a shower, and in need of clean clothes. It’s true that civilization never feels better than when you’ve been away from it for a handful of days, and for us, the timing was perfect to reset and not think about the bike or riding for at least a moment.
Bontrager has developed a line of bikepacking bags designed to specifically fit the Trek Checkpoint yet the three universal sizes will fit any number of other frames. These half-frame bags use water-resistant fabrics, easy-pull zippers, a bright fluoro interior, and use a soft strap that won’t marr your frame’s paint. Also included in this drop is a top tube bag. These bags are available at your local Trek dealer.
The Rocket Pooch is a system that combines a titanium cargo cage and a roll-top bag, via a 4-point velcro mounting system. The bag itself has expanding pockets, including a hidden stash compartment inside, and is completely waterproof.
Curve is currently having a pre-order for the Rocket Pooch, with a November delivery. The Rocket Pooch will set you back $229 AUD. Pre-order now at Curve.
Path Less Pedaled completes the 2019 Ochoco Overlander in part two of their video coverage. In this segment, they head back into Prineville, Oregon.
I put my bra back on and brush my teeth and walk from the dorm room past the pool table salon to the restaurant and out the door to my bike. It’s four in the morning and still dark outside. It’s a new day. I’m ready to ride. Rue is on her computer waiting at a table and follows me out.
For the Hell of It takes on the Second City Divide, a 600km between Glasgow and Manchester.
Georgiy Istigechev shares his 365km bikepacking trip from Southeast Altai, which included a bit of hike a bike.
This year at Grinduro, eight frame builders presented bikes in partnership with Maxxis, Sram/Zipp, Columbus, and Hope Tech. The theme? What is your ideal Grinduro bike? For each gravel bike in the morning, we’ll present a mountain bike in the afternoon. This round, we’re matching the BTCHN’ gravel bike with this Sklar Rigid 29+.
Francesco and Giorgio from Montanus explore their backyard in their latest video.
A few years back, we would post the bikes from the readers of this site, in a feature dubbed Readers’ Rides. Well, we’ve been getting a bunch of inquiries over the years as to if or when we’re bringing these posts back and the answer is yes! They will be cut and dry, down and dirty, cell phone style photos. As you can imagine, this will open the torrent of submissions, so hold tight until I can set up a new email address for this next week.
After yesterday’s OysterBar post, the designer of the bar shared his Moots and a little back story. I thought it was a perfect seque into relaunching this fun feature…
The gravel pit turns to good, hard dirt and I begin the ascent. It’s my favorite kind of road, an even grade that feels like climbing the fortress walls to the castle as the road snakes up. It’s the morning of day 3 and I feel like I’m on a quick training ride, almost like the past two days haven’t happened or they’re a distant memory. I’m listening to music and my legs feel fresh and I’m having so much fun. The climb is an hour of effort and then a quick winding descent to the valley floor and dry Lake Kel Suu. Towering, freshly snow-covered mountains surround that makes me feel really small. I pass a couple of other yurt camps on my way to checkpoint 2 until I see the SRMR banner. A couple of little kids cheer me in. Jakub the Slovakian is packing his bike. I have to keep my focus. I take off my gloves and change the track on my GPS and take a couple of puffs from my inhaler and get my brevet card and my wallet and a couple of plastic bags and go inside the yurt. The floor is grass, so I don’t have to take off my shoes. Inside, a volunteer stamps my card and we get to talking. In some way, she’s related to Yura, the man with my favorite guesthouse in Bishkek. Yura doesn’t speak much English, but he makes jokes with his eyes and his hands.
Three years ago when I was tossing around the idea of a long-term bikepacking trip, I had two primary options on my mind. There was Peru and the Andes of South America, which I had a tiny bit of familiarity with given my short previous stint there, and then the wild card… Kyrgyzstan. A small former Soviet country dotted with lakes and covered in glaciated peaks as tall as 24,400 feet. With a rich nomadic history due to its place on the ancient Silk Road trading route that passed through from neighboring China, it makes for an ideal locale to load up your bike and get lost in the mountains. So even while I was still in Patagonia, I was scouring maps of Central Asia for the possibilities that awaited in the faraway lands of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The Atlas Mountain Race in an unsupported bikepacking endurance race that starts in Marrakesh and finishes in Agadir with views to spare! If you’re looking for a challenge, consider this 1145 kilometre event that boasts 20,000m of climbing… See more at Atlas Mountain Race.
Santa Cruz has no shortage of bike shops. This sleepy little beach town might be known for its surfing and pesky vampires, but the road and mountain riding is exceptional. With a myriad of dirt and paved roads snaking their way through coastal redwoods, and dusty, steep mountain bike trails, any cyclist can spend days upon days exploring the terrain. Spokesman Bicycles is one of the powerhouse shops in Santa Cruz and just recently opened up what they’re calling Outpost on the West Side of town, right next to their friends Sawyer and Co, a surfing lifestyle shop.
This animated short features Kona Ambassador Gretchen Leggitt and friend Robin Kodner, as they embark on a 900km bike tour, with their bikes jammed packed with climbing gear. They rode from Bellingham, Washington to climb in the Bugaboo mountains.
Read Lael’s first Reportage at You Can’t Win a 1,700km Race in a Day: Lael Wilcox’s Silk Road Mountain Race 2019 – Part I
I open my eyes to daylight, take a couple of puffs of my inhaler, compress the air out of my sleeping pad and get out of my sleeping bag. A rider with bags cruises by waving, a reminder that we’re still in a race. I stuff my whole sleeping kit into a dry bag and strap it to my handlebar harness. I turn on my GPS and put the race track on and on goes my SPOT tracker, pressing the boot print to initiate tracking. I move a pastry from my framebag to my gas tank for breakfast. I chug a full water bottle and put on my socks and shoes. The whole process takes twenty minutes and I resent the time lost. This style of racing is all about economizing time. The valley is cold, even at low elevation. I’m still wearing my down suit and rain jacket and I’m back on my bike, pedaling washboard downriver. I pass a pulled over rider and he passes me back. We don’t talk.