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Do It Because You Want To: The Arna Westfjords Way Challenge

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Do It Because You Want To: The Arna Westfjords Way Challenge

The route is just under 1,000km tracing the Westfjords of Iceland, the most remote area of a sparsely inhabited country in the Arctic. The challenge is to finish the mixed gravel and pavement route in 4 stages. The weather can be harsh. The wind can be fierce. But that’s what makes this place. It’s stunning and it’s brutal. Treeless mountains rise out of the sea. There’s very little development. Beyond a flawless road system, humans have left little impression. It’s a wild place and we get to ride our bikes through it.

The MountainCat 100 is the Best Mountain Bike Race in America!

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The MountainCat 100 is the Best Mountain Bike Race in America!

“It’s the best” must be one of the most common, purely subjective statements made so regularly with enthusiastic conviction. We do it all the time, but it’s ludicrous. You have to define a word like “best” in your own terms. It’s a value statement. Saying something is the best only tells you a little bit about the thing in question, but a lot about the person saying it and what they value. What’s the best gear ratio for a single-speed 29er? What’s the best tire choice for a course that’s littered with mud pits, rooty singletrack, and rock gardens, but is also interspersed with long, hot, 15 miles stretches of pavement? Do you like to mash or spin? Are you a confident bike handler and want to make the long road stretches easier? Are you strong-legged and get annoyed at spinning out on the flats?

So what am I really saying when I write that the MountainCat 100 is the best bike race in America?

Bluebird Skies and Blazing Rides: The 2022 East Texas Showdown

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Bluebird Skies and Blazing Rides: The 2022 East Texas Showdown

The East Texas Showdown is a bikepacking event founded last year by Patrick Farnsworth, notoriously known as the host of the Bikes or Death podcast. The event includes two distance options: the 380-mile SHOWdown or the 280-mile SLOWdown. With the event’s theme revolving around the community, the offer of two distances provides intrigue to both seasoned and newer bikepackers.

Pines and Puddles: The Return of The Croatan Buck Fifty Cycling Event

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Pines and Puddles: The Return of The Croatan Buck Fifty Cycling Event

Each visit to the Croatan National Forest leaves me a little more enamored with its leggy pines and dirt lanes. The properties bordering the forest with their wooden barns and houses are often centuries-old, their tin roofs rusting from the continuous salty breath of the Atlantic Ocean. The early spring smoke lingers amongst the pine trunks from controlled burns like a ghost. It is haunting as it is soothing in the early morning sun—Dogs bark in response to a rooster crow. The water of the inlets lays black and calm but even in its most still hours, the forest whirs with insects in tinnitus effect. I can’t help but feel that I have entered through some portal into a Faulkner novel.

Before & After: 2022 Mid South Rider Interviews

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Before & After: 2022 Mid South Rider Interviews

Comparing what riders think they are going to experience vs what they do experience, as well as what they are taking away from the ride, has always been a fascination of mine. We all bring our hopes and, yes, our fears to the start line. After a nearly two-year layoff from in-person events, I wanted to see what this year’s Mid South participants brought with them to the race. What did they think was going to happen once they rolled over that start line? What were they hoping they’d take away from it all after they crossed it again to finish?

Cycling is Rhythmic: A Mid South 2022 Weekend Immersion

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Cycling is Rhythmic: A Mid South 2022 Weekend Immersion

A lot. A little. Eb. Flow. Ping. Pong. Southwest. Midsouth.

My brain is lost in a myriad of memories from the past two weeks as my schedule jettisoned itself from over two years of stagnation to two weeks of back-to-back events and Radavist Reportage. Last weekend was the Mid South, a gravel race/ride/experience located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, hosted by District Bicycles. While people travel from all over to cut their chops on some Oklahoma red clay dirt, gravel, and mud, I am so fond of this event for the ultradian rhythms found in its hosts, attendees, and volunteers. That’s why I told Bobby from District to expect me to park and sleep in his driveway for a few nights because I was coming to get a heavy dose of rhythmic balance…

Vos is Boss-Pidcock of the Walk at the 2022 Cyclocross World Championships

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Vos is Boss-Pidcock of the Walk at the 2022 Cyclocross World Championships

A strange sensation grips the mind when a long drive begins in the darkness of predawn. The city remains still, holding onto its final few hours of sleep, and the highway remains virtually empty. There is a promise in the loneliness of the opening hours of long highway travel. Exits flutter by in the darkness; distant lights of tractor-trailers and roadside oasis’ are the only possible signs of life beyond the confines of my car. The falling snow has narrowed my concentration to the reflecting lines on the asphalt as I navigate south and west on my way to Fayetteville, Arkansas, for this year’s Cyclocross World Championships.

My Name is Windy: The Scene at the 2021 CX Nats

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My Name is Windy: The Scene at the 2021 CX Nats

Act One: We Can’t Stop Here, This is Nats Country!

In which our anti-hero-TeamLifeLOL-genderwhatever sets the stage with cold takes on Chicago-lite.

What a December it was for The Cyclocross in Chicago. I’ve seen a few different versions of this: rain and sleet off Lake Michigan for Montrose; 60 degrees (and a hot tub at both!), bitter cold and wind at Afterglow; and for USAC CX Nationals in Wheaton, IL, there was a complete fall-to-winter seasonal transition.

Smells Like ‘Cross: The 2021 Cyclocross National Championships

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Smells Like ‘Cross: The 2021 Cyclocross National Championships

As I sit here looking through the rolls of film shot at this year’s Cyclocross Nationals in Chicago, IL, the feeling is bittersweet. Traditionally, Nationals marks the end of the domestic racing season, but as I wandered through the parking lot catching up with old friends, it felt more like the beginning of something. After two years of canceled events, postponements, and isolation, gathering in Chicago for this year’s race almost felt ‘normal.’

The Grounded Nebraska Gravel Race is Coming June 25th, 2022

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The Grounded Nebraska Gravel Race is Coming June 25th, 2022

Photos by @snowymountainphotography

Grounded Nebraska, a gravel race set in the backdrop of a day-long festival, is coming next year on Saturday, June 25, 2022, in Roca, Nebraska. Presented as a gravel festival, it embraces the community culture of gravel racing. But, the event is made to be enjoyable for non-riders and riders alike with amusement park-like attractions, live music, clinics, local food, and on-site camping.