Álamos is a town in the southeast of the Mexican state of Sonora popular for its colonial architecture and for hosting an annual art and music festival and is also part of the network of “Pueblos Mágicos” in the country. After taking the long way from the nearest city which took me and my friend Javo five days instead of the 65 km on the main road, we arrived looking for the commodities of a town with full services. As we ride on the cobbled streets and alleys that give this town part of its essence, the fresh memories from the days that brought us here are slowly replaced by the blurry, drunken memories from my college days coming to the biggest music festival in the state. I recognize porches where I slept or found my friends sleeping, and the house where an old man invited me for a morning sip of lechuguilla, a distilled liquor made from a local species of agave, which he was drinking from a repurposed coca-cola bottle.
In the summer of 2017, Lael Wilcox rode all of the major roads in Alaska, totaling 4,500 miles on mixed pavement and gravel. Lael is fourth-generation Alaskan. This is where she began endurance riding and her goal to get to know her home state.
In 2020, Lael went back to Alaska with her girlfriend Rue, a photojournalist, to ride together and document her project of riding all of the roads.
This scholarship is intended to enable another woman to design and ride her own 1,000 mile Alaskan adventure in the summer of 2021. This scholarship is open to a woman (including femme, trans and non-binary) of any age with any level of bicycle touring experience. We are looking for positive energy and a strong desire to experience the remote roads of Alaska and have some fun.
The recipient of the scholarship will receive a Specialized Diverge bicycle, Revelate Designs bikepacking bags, PEARL iZUMi apparel, a premium subscription to Komoot, Easton wheels, a Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM GPS, Big Agnes camping equipment, Rene Herse tires, a year subscription to Bicycle Quarterly, Trail Butter, and a $1,500 travel stipend provided by Easton.
Prepare a digital application based upon the questions on the following page and send to Lael Wilcox and the selection team at email@example.com no later than February 6, 2021. Provide your responses as the text of an email. The recipient of the scholarship will be announced April 5, 2021.
The scholarship selection team includes Lael Wilcox, previous scholarship recipients Kailey Kornhauser and Brooke Larsen, Abigale Wilson from PEARL iZUMi, Cari Carmean from The Radavist, and Natsuko Hirose from Bicycle Quarterly.
Head to LaelWilcox.com to apply for this scholarship!
Kialani Hines knows while there is always space for a shreddy edit, focusing on her riding, she decided to take “Validation” in another direction:
“My goal with the short video is to share something I’ve been passionate about, help welcome all to something that has created a safe space for me, and to encourage new faces to fall in love with what makes them happy (hopefully that is mountain biking!). It’s been an incredible experience and privilege creating my vision with Heather Young and Grow Cycling Foundation. I hope that it inspires all to follow whatever path they envision for themselves.”
Today’s Reportage shines a light on a movement that has been a ray of light in this tumultuous year. The LA Bike Academy is getting the youth of the greater Los Angeles area stoked on bikes, using our favorite two-wheeled transport as a vessel for learning real-life skills. We’re pleased beyond words to share the work of Alonso Tal (photos) and Michael Cedeño (video) today with you and to use this post to announce LABA’s partnership with Easton Cycling for 2021…
“The bike world is undeniably insular. It’s always been divided into categories, but as we add more subcategories, riders become more confined to fitting into their neat little boxes of road, cyclocross, gravel, XC, enduro, downhill, freeride, BMX, street. Riders pick a box and stick with it, rarely acknowledging that the others exist.
Andrew Jackson is out to break down those barriers.”
PEARL iZUMi‘s Go Connection series features stories from all over and this Dig Episode two takes us to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee in North Carolina:
“Cherokee, North Carolina, is home to the people of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee. The Tribe took advantage of their land’s beauty to generate an eco-tourism economy and improve their people’s health through an active lifestyle. They have created a network of trails to enjoy the beauty of their land while riding, hiking and running. The Fire Mountain Trails is a little over 10 miles of trail purpose-built by Trail Dynamics. With wooden features, berms and jumps, any rider of any ability can get out to get connected to their natural world.
These trails have opened the door to the world of mountain biking many only thought about or didn’t know. For some, riding Fire Mountain keeps them focused on progression and improvement not only on the trail tread but in their daily lives. These trails have been a catalyst for reconnecting to generations of stories and harmony with the land.”
We have all been on rides that, at some point, require us to dig deep. But we still find a way to get that last bit of energy out of our bodies. We fight, we endure. And on the other side of these rides, we emerge stronger. We need to make the same commitment to anti-racism that we do to become stronger on the bike.
Cheech, founder of Casa Verde and partner with Matt at Crust Bikes reflects where she’s going in her life…
The Western Wildlands Route as seen from the Paria Plateau in northern Arizona, traditional homelands of the Ute, Southern Paiute, Pueblo, Hopi, and Diné Tribes.
At Bikepacking Roots, our mission includes “advocating for the landscapes through which we ride.” Indigenous peoples are an integral part of the future, present, and past landscapes in U.S. America. Thus, as advocates for a healthy, vibrant, and whole Western landscape, we are responsible for communicating and educating ourselves, our members, and the riders of the routes we design in a way that progresses Indigenous liberation from colonial trauma. With that intent, we’re announcing the renaming of the 2,700-mile-long Wild West Route to the Western Wildlands Route.
Our good friend Namz wrote a beautiful piece for Bedrock Sandals’ blog. Here’s an excerpt:
“Thunder Moon of July:
-I’m smiling a lot because my friend Sam is observing this one with me, all the way in another state. We both listen to N.K. Jemisin’s “The City We Became” to deepen our bond.
-Learn that the opposite of depression is not happiness but playfulness and remind myself to be a little more playful.
-Decided on wearing a linen cycling jumpsuit which allowed for airflow and a breeze all day (and I thought I looked really cute) but still wearing clipless cycling shoes and suffered pruned up, soggy feet at the end of the day.”
Head on over to Bedrock Sandals to read the whole piece!
Filmed by Bike is pushing for a substantial BIPOC filmmaker grant to help Supporting Black, Indigenous and all People of Color tell their bicycle stories via video:
“We spend eight months of the year digging into the far-reaching corners of the internet in search of the world’s best bike movies. (Really, it’s not as scary of a place as you might think it is.) You know what we’ve learned over the years? The world is dreadfully devoid of films created by or about BIPOC.
That’s not to say the films aren’t out there, it’s just to say they are rare and precious gems – the quantity of which does not reflect the population of people who are passionate about riding bikes. We know there are many barriers to filmmaking, and funding is a huge barrier. So we decided to do our part to help bring more representation to the world of bike movies. We hope you’ll join us by applying for a grant, spreading the word about this program, and making a donation today.”
Today at 4pm CT, Cyclista Zine is holding a discussion on Instagram Live with Renee Hutchens to commemorate Indigenous Peoples Day. Here’s what they will be discussing and if you’re interested, you should check it out:
“It’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Today is about more than just honoring and respecting Indigenous people, which we should do every day. Today we explicitly question and counter the story that conquering land gives you a right to it, that Native people only exist in the past, and that the future is inevitably a colonial one. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Outdoorspeople have long been avid tellers of this story. We love to use colonial and Columbian metaphors to describe what we do. Adventure. Discover. Conquer. Explore. #NeverStopExploring, right? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Today, and every day, let’s unequivocally reject this celebration of Columbus and the 528 years of violent exploration and adventure he represents. When we hike, when we climb, when we paddle, when we cycle, when we take and post pictures, whether in National Parks or in urban spaces, we must #StopExploring and acknowledge the land’s original stewards. Language is part of the struggle, part of defining who we are and what we do, so let’s be intentional. Stop exploring and learn to fight for an indigenous future. #publiclandisnativeland⠀⠀
Follow Cyclista Zine.⠀⠀⠀
If you’re a BIPOC cyclist, who enjoys bikepacking, or perhaps you’d like to give it a try…
The BIPOC Bike Adventure Grant is Bikepacking Roots’ grant program created to help reduce the barriers to bike adventure for BIPOC individuals. The BIPOC Bike Adventure Grant will support recipients by helping fund fun and empowering bike adventures.
Apply between now and November 8th. We anticipate requiring ~4-5 weeks to review and follow up with all applicants, meaning we plan on announcing the recipients and their planned adventures in mid-December.
Qualified applicants are those who
-have any level of experience riding a bicycle.
-would benefit from support in order to pursue a specific bike adventure.
-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color).
-live in the United States.
-are any gender identity, age, class, body size, or ability.
Proposals can include requests of $500 to $3,000+ for the autumn 2020 grant cycle. The next grant cycle will open in late spring of 2021. Some equipment support will also be available as needed.
Apply now at Bikepacking Roots!
Security in México is a topic I don’t usually talk about; in order to keep myself from falling into hopelessness, I try to focus and highlight the good actions of people. Nevertheless, it’s like a pebble that you always carry in your pocket: you know it’s there, you touch it when you reach for other stuff, and although you are mostly used to it, some days it just decides to poke your leg. Adventure cyclists in the country generally have this factor in consideration at different levels depending on region and other circumstances, so here we’ll go a little over the topic but hey, there are some happy parts in this story too, for good balance.
Bicycle Nomad, that handsome cyclist from the California Golde project and beyond, has teamed up with Blackburn to become a brand ambassador. As someone who has played a small role in Blackburn’s bicycle touring lineup, this makes me excited. Erick Cedeño (Bicycle Nomad) is a beautiful human and I’m personally looking forward to seeing where this goes. I think Erick’s quote sums up the importance of this partnership:
“The cycling industry needs to have more representation in its marketing, so adults and, more importantly, children, can see themselves on a bike exploring their city, their country and their world,”
If you’re interested, the full press-release is below…
Logo by Sam Scipio
While it was the most violent in Illinois history, the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 still remains widely unknown to many. The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 Route Campaign honors the centennial of the riot in 2019 and is a collaboration between PeopleForBikes, Ride Spot, Newberry Library . The CRR1919 Commemoration Project to educate riders about a bitter piece of Chicago’s past while supporting a better future through Blackstone Bicycle Works’ efforts with youth on Chicago’s South Side.
-The goal is to inspire 300 riders to complete the CRR1919 route before Oct 31.
-If we succeed in activating riders and sell all of the CRR1919 Guidebooks, we will raise $7500 for Blackstone Bicycle Works, a non-profit program to expanding the educational and vocational opportunities of BIPOC youth on Chicago’s South Side and contribute to the CRR1919 Public Art Commemoration Project.
This year, riders can follow that same route thanks to Ride Spot. By downloading the mobile app and joining the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 Route challenge, riders will be guided by turn-by-turn directions to each stop along the route.
They can also download or stream an audio tour or purchase a limited edition 1919 CRR Route Guidebook for $10 with 100% of the proceeds donated to Blackstone Bicycle Works and The CRR1919 Commemoration Public Art Project.
To learn more, see the route and access the companion guides, visit CRR1919.COM.
Remember the Underground Railroad ride and video project? Well, in order to raise awareness and funds for the project, the team is selling three shirt designs. Two long-sleeves, one white, one black, and a short-sleeve heather grey. The back of the shirts have each city the ride will pass through. Delivery on these shirts is 4-6 weeks so if you’d like to support this project, you can purchase one now. Head to Underground Railroad for more.
Last night was the premiere of the roundtable discussion Swift Industries hosted called Black in the Saddle. Head back to this post for more information and watch the whole video here.