On the last Friday of April, four strangers convened at the Bradfield Campground near Cahone, Colorado at dusk. Our two rigged up trucks and one camper van were parked neatly near the start of what would turn out to be a grand adventure: a weekend of sanctity, the fruition of an obsession, training in preparation for a big tour, and then checking off of a box to confirm that yes, all of the time, energy, and research spent assembling this could lead to something quite special.
Salsa’s Gravel and Gratitude series continues, with Brooke Goudy starring in the latest video:
Cycling can take you on journeys, not all on the road or dirt. This summer, I will attempt to ride the entirety of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR). It’s a ride that claims not to be technically difficult, but a battle of endurance and the mind. My goal is to rekindle the joy of my childhood while reckoning with the emotions, hardships, and toils of being an adult. It will be a journey of the soul.
My bike has been taking me on adventures since I was kid. I’m flooded with memories of getting off the school bus, rushing through my homework, and getting on my bike. I would cruise the sidewalks of my neighborhood and find people to visit and places to explore.
Check out the video here and pop on over to Salsa to see the full piece.
The second installment of Gravel and Gratitude has launched, featuring Leonardo Brasil:
“Freedom, adventure and self-sufficiency. This is why I ride bikes. In a world so dominated by motor vehicles and technology, my bicycle represents simplicity, a way to see the world powered by nothing more than my legs, imagination and loads of carbs. I am a Brazilian landscape and adventure photographer living in Colorado, who is passionate about storytelling, coffee and long days in the saddle.
I grew up riding a yellow 26’ aluminum hardtail mountain bike on hard packed gravel roads through farms and old villages with my dad in Brazil. I remember feeling a strong sense of freedom by being able to ride from one town to the next. In a lot of ways, my riding style has never really changed.”
Continue reading this story at Salsa Cycles!
Things are moving a bit slow over here this morning after I spent the weekend in Arizona with the Silver Stallion team riding trails with kids and documenting a very busy Sunday in Fort Defiance at the Silver Stallion mobile bike shop pop-up in the Navajo Nation. Being present while this team worked all day in the sun and wind on its community’s bikes was a wonderful thing to witness, so expect some Reportage coming up next week. For now, I just wanted to say thank you to the entire Silver Stallion team for being such great hosts.
Our friends at Swift Industries have continued their virtual Stoked Spoke Adventure Series in a pandemic period correct Zoom format. The latest episode features a panel of BIPOC guests with stories aplenty. Give this one a watch or play it in the background while you work at your desk…
Our friends at Giro have sponsored a new collective of athletes and brands that stand united in a common goal to introduce new audiences to cycling. Read the full press-release on this group below!
For today’s Reportage, we linked up with Bay Area artist Ariel Wickham Earnhardt to discuss her artwork, her riding, and her role in the Full Circle Cycling Project video we posted earlier this month, which supports the Coast Miwok’s work to share and preserve their culture, by selling artwork inspired by the land, cycling, and community. Read on below for an interview and a look at Ariel’s local rides…
In its first year, Dead Man Gravel is the newest race to join the gravel racing circuit. Today, the DMG registration is open for women and BIPOC participants – and general registration opening on March 23rd for everyone else. The event is scheduled for July 31, 2021 in Nederland, Colorado. This unique event strives to be both inclusive – as organizers believe everyone should feel welcome, regardless of experience, race, gender, or sexual identity/orientation – and challenging – as very few other races have as much climbing, technical sections, and sustained elevation.
To strike a balance between challenging and inclusive, Dead Man Gravel will feature three courses: the 66 mile Tungsten loop, the 41 mile Gold loop, and the 25 mile Silver loop, providing three distinct experiences for riders of all levels.
DMG is also partnering with Ride for Racial Justice and Shark Tooth Cycling, two non-profits doing incredible work in bringing new, and typically disadvantaged, athletes into the sport by helping to increase awareness and reduce barriers to entry.
Register today if you’re BIPOC, or female at Dead Man Gravel.
Reasons to go on a bike trip have different origins; this one, in particular, originated when I saw a photo of several rock pillars lined together and I wanted to see them in person. Located in the heart of the Guarijío/Makurawe Native’s land in the southeast of my home state Sonora, “Los Pilares de San Bernardo” have witnessed the centuries that the Guarijío have made of this place their home, and in the last decade, the construction of a controversial megaproject by the federal government. Promoted with the idea of building a dam to prevent floodings further down the Mayo Valley and provide the local communities with water all year long, this project was given a fast forward before being fully evaluated and is also splattered with shady agreements between the government, big agricultural and mining companies and “local authorities” that some of the Guarijío don’t recognize as such.
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.