There it was, carved into the side of the mountain like a serpentine scar, slithering its way up toward a sky riddled with barren peaks; their toothy prominences ripping through the leading edge of a building storm. A keen eye and a pointed finger could trace its path, lurching upward from where we stood at the western edge of the Great Basin Desert, zigzagging all the way up through Pinyon/Juniper woodland, wandering between stands of Ponderosa and getting steeper as the Foxtail pines got shorter. Miles away it could still just barely be seen, emerging atop an alpine ridgeline some four thousand feet above.
Tenkara Rod Co takes advantage of the bicycle to access areas hard to get to by car or foot for Cutty opening day on the Yellowstone River…
A note: Western American rivers are uncharacteristically warm this summer, please check with local agencies for fishing restrictions before wetting a line…
It’s not often that I have to buy a fishing permit to do a Shop Visit but when Why Cycles and Revel Bikes offered up a good time riding and fishing in and around the Western Slope city of Carbondale, Colorado, I couldn’t resist the offer. The collision of outdoor activities is my favorite and knowing a whole weekend of mountain biking and fly fishing awaited me, I was eager to see how it would play out, all while learning about the brands the entire bike industry seemed to be talking about…
‘Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride’ is one of those famous quotes by John F. Kennedy, famous perhaps for the wisdom that it carries, more than for the person who said it.
All those who have recreationally ridden a bicycle should know that Kennedy was right. However, the ex-president didn’t realize (and possibly neither many of us) that something that may be compared to and even surpasses that addictive pleasure is to combine pleasures.
A bicycle is a freedom machine that allows us to carry out different activities while simultaneously enjoying the bike itself. It is up to each one of us to choose those activities that generate the greatest pleasure. For example, in my case, a good bike packing trip combined with a fly fishing session does it for me. What in this world could compare to this pleasure overdose? A new adventure was being cooked.
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.
DISCLAIMER: Travel is limited to New Mexico at this time and there is a mask requirement. This trip was planned before the recent changes and we adjusted to ensure safe distances and to limit any small community contact. Be safe.
Starting at the border of Colorado and following along the Continental Divide Trail, some friends helped hatch a plan to traverse the central highlands of New Mexico by bike over 3 days, covering 100 miles of unbelievably-beautiful country.
The current worldwide situation has forced Kyle and I, along with everyone else, to rethink our spring activities. With mountain bike races cancelled and out-of-state trips a no-go, we were suddenly left with a lot of empty weekends and an excuse to explore more of New Mexico. We finally had the time and motivation to give this bikepacking thing a try, something that had been at the back of our minds for quite some time. Despite both of us having spent thousands of miles backpacking the Sierra Nevada, Cascade Mountains, and the canyons of Southeast Utah, we still were new to the world of bikepacking.
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.
This video is beautifully shot and will speak to fly anglers and mountain bikers alike!
In remote Baja, Mexico childhood friends stumble upon an untapped Mecca for two dissimilar passions – stalking striped marlin on the fly and progressive, freeride mountain biking. But in this part of the world, almost nothing, other than a cold beer at the end of the day, comes easily, and through hardscrabble adventure and misadventure this motley crew hopes to find never-before ridden terrain and experience marlin exploding into chaotic topwater action.
Be on the lookout here for the full feature-length when it drops online.
The Skid Lizards are Oregon-based friends with bikes, bags, and jobs. Flies fear them; fish do not. This mission would involve exploring the Metolius River’s length, purity, and gravel – from head to tailwaters and back again.