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A Tourist in My Hometown: Riding Singletrack in West Michigan

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A Tourist in My Hometown: Riding Singletrack in West Michigan

“You can never go home again.” Martin O Blank’s defining line from the film Grosse Pointe Blank has stuck with me since I first heard it in the late ‘90s. It stuck with me because I thought, until recently, that it was bullshit. I moved away from Grand Rapids, MI for work and school in Colorado in 2004 but would go back to visit at least every year. And nothing seemed to change. My friends and the city itself seemed perfectly preserved in time. It always felt like home. But after a big move to Arizona and a pandemic, nearly five years passed without a visit. Then, after that time away, when my family and I road tripped Michigan this past July, I realized that Blank might have actually been onto something. My friends and the city had changed. In exciting ways to be sure, but things were markedly different and the area felt less homey for the first time in my life.

Bikepacking Roots Announces the 630 Mile Western Lake Superior Northwoods Route

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Bikepacking Roots Announces the 630 Mile Western Lake Superior Northwoods Route

Bikepacking Roots’ latest route – the Northwoods Route – is a ~600-mile-long circumnavigation of the western half of Lake Superior, primarily following gravel roads, relatively smooth two-tracks, rail trails, and short sections of pavement through thick forests and along countless lakes of all sizes. This loop has been created to be inviting to riders on both mountain or gravel bikes, and riders will find that resupply options are relatively frequent along the way. Singletrack alternates and trail networks along the way offer options for riders looking for more technical riding opportunities – loaded or unloaded – and to experience the many unique trail systems built near communities along the way.

Head to Bikepacking Roots for the full breakdown of this epic route!

Midwest Dirt Legion is Building a Better Bike Community

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Midwest Dirt Legion is Building a Better Bike Community

This past July I was lucky to attend a downhill day with the rad humans who put on the Midwest Dirt Legion. I had heard tales of their group from my partner and friends, so I was very stoked to finally meet them and see what they were up to.  Time after time I hear from non cis male people that they feel there is a lack of places they feel comfortable riding and learning in the mountain bike world, which makes the work that Steph and Ash are doing that much more important. I caught up with them for a spin around the local bandit jumps and got a testimonial from their biggest fan, Chelli. If you are looking for amazing people to ride with in the midwest, check out the Midwest Dirt Legion!  -Spencer

Midwest Dirt Legion is here to build a better mountain bike community for marginalized genders.  Based in Minneapolis, the group was founded in February 2018 by Steph Aich (she/her) and Ash Murray  (they/them) . Our focus is on bringing passionate people and organizations in the Twin Cities together to increase ridership for transgender, gender non-binary, and cis women riders.