Still reeling from the loss of my father in February of 2020, I was in the depths of grief and drowning in the weight of his absence when I decided to accept my friend Jalen’s offer to go bikepacking for the first time. In his youth, my father loved spending time moving across mountains, and since I loved being outside too, I felt like going on this bikepacking trip was less of a pure adventure (although adventure would ensue) and more of a way to honor him by doing something that he enjoyed when he was young. I felt like doing something productive with my grief, to move my body forward and look back on all our memories together while observing how much he shaped who I am. In his youth he rode through Mexico on horseback transporting cattle between ranches and, while I was pedaling my bike on this trip across the land, I often thought about similar experiences we might have shared. As I rode through the Kokopelli trail on my first bikepacking trip, I took in the scenery and imagined what my dad felt when he was in the Sierras of Mexico every time I stared off into mountains or observed the star-filled night sky. I envisioned him looking at similar things as if we were sharing a moment.
I love being alone all day, deep in remote and wild areas, reliant only on myself to move through the landscape, over difficult terrain, and in bad weather. I enjoy utilizing the various ultralight backcountry travel skills I’ve gleaned since my early twenties. And I feel immense joy when I can be efficient and accomplish goals. I’m also really afraid of the dark. Not so much of wild animals, but rather of wild weirdos who wander the woods and kill innocent middle-aged women. I know. Super unlikely. But I never sleep much at night while on solo adventures.
Mostly I have backpacked alone or solo aid climbed big walls. But I stopped climbing after a gnarly accident where a friend fell 100 feet and nearly died. I also quit backpacking because the annoying arthritic autoimmune disease I suffer from incapacitates me if I hike more than a few miles with weight on my back. Luckily a few years ago I discovered the horizontal world of multi-sport adventure travel.
For this morning’s Readers’ Rides, we’ve got Carl’s ’97 GT Avalanche, with its signature triple triangle, amidst some glowing gold aspen leaves. Read on below for more!
Our Radar Roundup compiles products and videos from the ‘net in an easy-to-digest format. Read on below for today’s findings…
Our Radar Roundup is where we take some of the news items to come across our inboxes into an easy-to-digest dump of sorts, culling down the clutter from our homepage and making it easier to stay on top of what’s going on in our little corner of the cycling industry. This will come particularly in handy when it comes to spring/summer product drops from our favorite brands.
Check out our Radar Roundup below with products, videos, and a Radavision entry…
Ever wonder where stolen bikes end up? Well, Bike Index has an in-depth look at a Facebook reseller in Mexico that was selling stolen bikes from Colorado. Alexander’s Bikes had been operating since 2019 and Bike Index uncovered dozens of bikes listed as stolen in Colorado on the Facebook page. This is a really great pice of journalism so be sure to check it out if you have time!
Earlier this year, Hailey Moore set out with a small group of riders in the first North South Colorado Bikepacking Race, a self-supported race event on mixed terrain – from Fort Collins to Alamosa – through the Rocky Mountains. Continue reading for Hailey’s immersive trip report and photos from along the route.
Chaffee County, Colorado is home to a near-perfect mountain bike climate. Meet some of the local figures who keep the wheels turning (and learn what a “banana belt” is) in the second episode of Salsa‘s For the Love of Dirt film series…
There’s no shortage of bag makers out there but it’s rare to find a company bringing some new ideas to the table when it comes to bicycle portage accessories. San Util is doing some fun stuff with an interesting spin. They have a Kickstarter campaign, along with some stock on their website, so head on over and check it out. Our favorites include the Salmon Big Stache Daddy, MTB Hip Pack, and the Mini Beer Tote.
Last year marked a sea change for the cycling industry. On one hand, cycling saw a boom with many companies shifting to a work from home model, and employees looking for a new outdoor hobby to spend their free time. On the other, supply chain shortages ran rampant throughout the industry and suddenly the supply couldn’t meet the demand. Depending on who you talk to, parts shortages happened for a number of reasons but the bottom line is if you have the ability to sell bikes, or even frames in 2021, consider yourself lucky.
Before the pandemic, Sabrina and Max Clauson wanted a change of pace from their normal day-to-day lives so they purchased VYNL Bikes. Now they’re running it as a passion project from their home in Boulder, Colorado. While I was in town earlier this year, I swung by their house to take a look at the new VYNL brand and to shoot Max’s /rd Rim brake bike along with Sabrina’s /gr Disc Gravel bike. These no-nonsense machines come in stock geometry, have the option for custom paint, are made in the USA, and are perfect for a rider looking for a straight-up utilitarian bike for pavement or gravel.
Let’s take a look at these two builds below…
The beauty of bikes is in the people who ride them—and how they all have a story. I have little doubt that everyone—serious riders, aeroed and grimaced, and carefree cruisers alike—have experienced that epiphanous fresh-air feeling of freedom that accompanies spinning your legs astride two wheels. Sometimes we just enjoy it at the moment—letting the short-lived wave of release and clarity wash over us during a weeknight burrito run, or a trip to the coffee shop. Other times we chase that feeling down with the hope that, somehow, it might change our life.
What first intrigued me about Josh Uhl was, however, not his history with bikes but his podcast Here For Now, which he started in February of 2021. Josh uses this platform to have intentional and intimate conversations with his guests about motivation, struggle, and the big whys of life. Listening to an early episode with Peter Hogan, where the recovering addict asserts that “Bikes aren’t God,” and to a later episode where the writer Zoe Röm reflects on the delusion of “authenticity” on social media, I found myself frequently nodding along. Yes, exactly.
This post is old, for the latest update on the status of NAHBS, please see this post.
The North American Handmade Bicycle Show is returning next year to the host city of Denver, Colorado. After a two-year haitus due to the pandemic, we’re stoked to hear that this showcase will return. As always, we’ll be on hand documenting our selection of bikes for you to drool over and it’s nice to have something to look forward to in the coming year already!
Check out more information at NAHBS’ Facebook and if you’re hankering for some beautiful builds, check out our Related Archives below for the gamut.
Why Cycles and Revel Bikes, one of the quickest growing bike companies in the US, are hiring for full-time work in its Carbondale, Colorado facility. This is one of the coolest companies we’ve profiled over the years, run by people who enjoy the outdoor opportunities the Western Slope of Colorado offers. Current positions they’re hiring for are:
Check out our Inside/Out Shop Visit at Revel and Why in our Related Archives below and email Revel/Why for more information.
The Cheerios and fresh-cut strawberries were still swirling around in my mouth as I applied sunscreen. My bike was ready to roll, quietly leaning up against the fence outside the van. My rear brake was rubbing, but I decided that I’d rather ride with a little more resistance than be late. I hate being late for group rides.
A few nights prior, I saw Taylor Phinney post a flyer on Instagram. The plan was simple: a mixed surface adventure ride to an art show. Some of the pieces had never been shown before, but all of them helped him transition out of the world of being a professional athlete. Taylor strolled around the group, chatting with both friends and newcomers. Clad in a cotton t-shirt and denim shorts, you might not think that this is someone who was the world champion in something, let alone competed in the Olympics. But that’s the funny thing about a place like Boulder; you never quite know who you’ll run into.
While the relationship between ranchers and cyclists can be tenuous at times, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, SBT GRVL has worked closely with local ranchers to strengthen this relationship.
With my partner Cari’s birthday always falling on the Summer Solstice, it’s usually up to her to decide how we spend the longest day of the year. This year, with temps in the 90s here in Santa Fe, we were excited to get out on the river in our Alpacka rafts with our friends Doom and Lizzy from Four Corners Guides, where we spent our Solstice evening on the San Miguel river…
Just past the Animas River and tucked into a neighborhood back alley lies a modified garage holding one of the newer secrets of Durango. There is no signage, no storefront, no Google Maps locator. Nope, your only hint at what lies behind these doors is a subtle triskelion logo on the side door. This is the headquarters for Myth Cycles, the most recent continuation of handbuilt bicycles in Durango, Colorado.