Jeff Kendall Weed strapped his Ibis Exie onto his motorcycle and headed into the mountains on a road trip. Check out this video for a good mix of camping and rippin’ the new, sub-2000 gram US-made Exie.
Narrowing down my setup for Turkey was a bit tricky compared to some of my previous trips. In particular, because half of my gear that I was using in Central Asia was stranded in Nepal on lockdown, I’d have to try to piece together a rig using older equipment I had lying around as well as a handful of new additions to round it out.
To start, I picked up a Surly Bridge Club. I originally had intended only to have it as a do-it-all bike while I was home, but when I found out I was heading to Turkey, I was intrigued to see how an off-the-shelf $1150 bike with entry-level components would fare compared to higher-end setups like my 44 Bikes Marauder and Tumbleweed Prospector. I’ll post my full thoughts on the Bridge Club soon, but in the meantime, here is my full kit list along with six pieces of gear that stood out in the Taurus Mountains.
Nothing triggers the wanderlust quite like daydreaming about a springtime road trip to the desert while you’re still stuck in the endless throes of a long, cold winter. The real yearning sets in as you mindlessly scroll the Gram, where every post seems to somehow find a way to reference that thing that’s missing in your life. The real trick, of course, is to transcend all the daydreaming and the scrolling, to put an actual plan, with your actual friends, actually into motion. This past winter, as we began to see a tiny light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, convening a small group of friends in the Southern Utah desert felt like the best way to emerge from that long period of collective isolation. Our crew has a long history with the annual springtime trip to ride bikes in the desert, so finding a couple willing accomplices wouldn’t be too difficult, especially after the stay-home sacrifices we’d all made for so long. Like the faint glow of a distant lighthouse on the horizon, the revived annual desert trip became the beacon of hope and group adventures toward which we were all now pointing our bows.
In the outdoor space, few companies provide products as resilient as they are good-lookin’ as Snow Peak. Their titanium cookware lasts forever and their compact camping solutions have proven to be excellent allies on bicycle tours so it makes sense that Rapha would pair up with Snow Peak on a capsule collection, live now at their site. Sure, if you already have this gear, you don’t need to be bothered but if you’re a fan of Rapha and are curious about Snow Peak’s legacy, this is for you. I’ve been using the new Kanpai bottle for hot and cold-brewed coffee and its worked a treat.
See the collection at Rapha.
Dangle Supply, makers of the almighty DangleBong™️, recently revisited their roots and re-designed the titanium camp mug. You know, those camp mugs everyone dangles off their rear saddle packs? These newly-designed titanium cups are
400ml 420ml in volume, 85mm in outside diameter, and 90mm high (get it?). These are priced at $49.69 and are in stock now at Dangle Supply.
There is a case for wilderness in the American West, which is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “an uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region.” The problem is, this classification was written by colonizers and erasers of indigenous history. Humans have long inhabited these areas, before the Spanish or the Pilgrims infiltrated these lands, long before it was called New Mexico.
This topic is a heated one. Organizations like the Sierra Club lead the way in this classification, establishing rules about who can or can’t visit these lands: for instance, cyclists. I’m not here to talk about whether or not bikes should be allowed in areas classified as wilderness, so let’s step back a bit and discuss what that word, wilderness, means in the context of the original inhabitants of the Americas.
While we’ve all been staying local, our minds are out on the road. Summertime is for road trips and part of that experience is camping along the way. At least for us. While ground tents get the job done, it’s hard to deny the allure of sleeping anywhere you can park your car in a roof top tent. Be it at the trailhead, bike races, or at a basecamp for hub-n-spoke rides or bicycle tours, lightweight, easy to deploy RTTs are taking over. Go Fast Campers have just announced the lightest tent with the biggest interior and thinnest, most compact design on the market.
The SuperLite is just 80lbs, which is light enough for one person to install. It has a massive sleeping area of 50″x90″ thanks to the wedge design and features panorama windows on three sides with a screen option. Best of all, when it’s closed up, it’s only 6″ thick, so you can still pull into garages and carports.
Pricing starts at $1299. The SuperLite is available now for pre-order with an estimated fulfillment beginning in November 2020 just in time for holiday travel. Hey, let’s hope 2020 has some weeks of salvageable travel!
Tucked away in a sparsely populated region of Northern California, at the northern terminus of the Sierra Nevada range lies a land of dense, rolling forests, deep canyons, cold clear streams, and jagged peaks that tower over teal, post-glacial lakes. And weaving their way through this serenely beautiful landscape is a network of ever-growing trails, the vast majority of which can be traversed by bike.
Our friends at Latigo Coffee hold annual Campouts in the areas around their operations on the Central California Coast. Last year’s event took them to Kernville, a veritable gravel and mountain bike mecca, for some riding, running, swimmin’, good times, music, and of course coffee! Check out their vibes-heavy video.
Going into the 5th year of Grinduro California coverage on this website, I really wanted to do something different and boy, did I get just that. In addition to covering Team Brooks‘ debut at Grinduro, a series of events made this otherwise familiar race a little more unpredictable. Things weren’t looking so great the week leading up to this incredible event…
Illustration by Creep
Latigo Coffee is planning a weekend of fun camping in Kernville, California on the weekend of October 25th and they want you to come along. Enjoy some live music by the campfire on Saturday evening by Amelia & Rosy. Bring a bike, trail running shoes, or just some good vibes and register at Event Brite for the event!
Brady Lawrence from Seattle was in attendance for Grinduro Scotland, where he made this recap video that really captures the vibes at these races. Who’s going to Japan and California?
If you’re looking to get off the beaten pack of European gravel routes and explore one of Central Europe’s most beautiful National Parks, then be sure to check out the Bohemian Border Bash. It takes place on the border between German and the Czech Republic. While the Bohemian Border Bash is not a race, it will provide many challenges as you navigate through sandstone pinnacles, gorges, streams, and winding gravel roads for as far as your eye can see.
Check out the full press-release and more information below and you can register now at the Bohemian Border Bash.
“For every picture-perfect tent shot on Instagram, there is an entire gallery of images you should see — but rarely do. When we share a photo on social media, we can’t monitor who it reaches, and a lack of knowledge (or worse yet, a blatant disregard for the rules), can ruin some of our favorite campsites, trails and parks. From garbage to human waste, I’ve dealt with all kinds of foul things when setting up camp, and it only seems to be getting worse.
Platforms like Instagram are directly linked to this problem, but they can be just as effective in educating people and encouraging them to behave more responsibly outside. I was thrilled to see Leave No Trace (LNT) recently share a set of social media guidelines, concerning both geotags and the message a photo can send. As lovers of the outdoors who sleep in the dirt in the digital age, it’s important to keep this discussion going — and understand how we can better preserve the places we cherish. ”
While it’s amazing that so much beauty is open for all to use, there needs to be a system of checks and balances in play. The BLM and Parks Department is understaffed, so any chance you get to clean up, pack it out, and leave it better, please do so! Continue reading this piece at Big Agnes.
One of the things I’ve learned while spending time on the road is going with your gut. When I found out Easter Jeep Safari conflicted with our time in Utah, I knew we’d have to find camping outside of Moab. A few locals told me that town was mobbed, forcing them to seek refuge in Green River while people from all over the United States arrived in the Jeep mecca to drive the trails and show-off on Potato Salad Hill. I was bummed out, since I had been looking forward to this trip for some time, but figured something new and hopefully better would arise.
That’s when it happened, in a serendipitous way, as it often does. At the Green River Rock and Mineral Festival, we were mistakenly lead to a zone called Klondike Bluffs to rock hound with the group. Turns out, our group was supposed to be rockhounding nearby, but not at the bluffs specifically. While there, I noted what appeared to be an extensive trail network nestled in the rocky outcroppings and rolling hills. This zone backs up against Arches National Park, so it had views as well. Not Moab views, but views nonetheless. There was also free dispersed camping and a pit toilet. We were there on a Saturday morning and it was packed, with mountain bikers of all sorts from families to guys with pads and full face helmets. It seemed that I found our zone.
It had been a wild 48 hours at White Pocket in Northern Arizona. At one point, we turned to each other and expressed, rather reluctantly, that we didn’t think it could get any better on this trip. What we saw was a geologist’s dream site and as a photographer, I couldn’t have asked for a better backdrop for a full day’s worth of meandering and analysis. It seems the crescendo had come and gone. Or at least that was our perception. We made our way back to civilization, via a myriad of deep, sandy roads. In order to plan our next few legs of the trip, we needed strong coffee, food, and wifi.
In this zone, there’s only one place to go for such modern amenities; Kanab, Utah.
We’re on a two-week road trip in Utah, from Kanab to Moab, exploring various places in between and riding bikes as much as we can. Expect an epic, geological, mind-blowing gallery when we get back! For now, follow @JohnProlly for some snippets along the way.
After South Africa, I realized two things. The first being my knee injury will have me off the bike for a few weeks and the second; it’s finally the perfect time for the desert. Rather than stewing at home, unable to ride and constantly being surrounded by the thing that I can’t do right now – riding bikes – I decided that a trip to the Mojave was in order. A nonprofit artist organization, the High Desert Test Sites, was doing their annual symposium in the Joshua Tree area. Cari has worked with them in the past, so I thought it’d be an awesome excuse to get out to the Mojave for a short trip.
The problem is, Joshua Tree this time of year is a zoo, so finding a camping spot on the weekend is a challenge. My rough plan was to drive out to the Cady Mountains, camp, wake up to look for Big Horn sheep and explore the slot canyons, then drive to Joshua Tree for the festivities. We’d then bail out back to the Mojave and explore some more areas I’ve got saved for just such an occasion.