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Building Routes and Community for the 2023 Komoot Women’s Slovenia Rally

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Building Routes and Community for the 2023 Komoot Women’s Slovenia Rally

Katja says, in Slovenia when a family has salad for dinner, they all eat from the same bowl. The bigger the family, the bigger the bowl. One person gathers vegetables from the garden– green leaves, fresh beans, tomatoes and cucumbers, onions and herbs. One person chops them up. One person dresses the salad with oil and vinegar, salt and pepper. One person tastes it to make sure it’s just right. They place the bowl in the middle of the table and everyone digs in with their own fork. There’s the usual family back and forth– who’s eating too fast, who’s picking out only the best parts, who’s pushing down too hard with their fork. When the vegetables are all gone, someone picks up the bowl and drinks the juice.

When I think of our route-building project in Slovenia for the upcoming 2023 Komoot Women’s Rally there, and all of the people that played a role, this story sticks with me.

Radavist X Komoot: New Beginnings on the Baja Divide

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Radavist X Komoot: New Beginnings on the Baja Divide

Jutting out into the Pacific Ocean south of California, west of Mexico, the Baja Peninsula encompasses four deserts, roughly 3,000 kilometers of coastline, and the right mix of challenge and remoteness to attract intrepid travelers of all kinds. For those of the bikepacking variety, a relatively new route has quickly become a must-ride: the 2,692-kilometer Baja Divide. Those with schedules to keep may take on the Divide in sections, riding for a week or two before hopping on a bus back to where they started. And then there’s Sònia Colomo.

Trail and Path: A Love Letter to Bike Touring the C&O Canal Towpath

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Trail and Path: A Love Letter to Bike Touring the C&O Canal Towpath

When I first started gathering the necessary gear to give bike touring (or “bikepacking” in the parlance of our times) a go, the concept struck me as an opportunity to escape from the predictable, mundane, “rinse-and-repeat” order of everyday life. An opportunity to embrace a new kind of freedom of aimless wandering through paths and tracks out in the near-endless natural landscape. After a couple of trips, though, I found the reality of touring isn’t the carefree meander I had envisioned. It can involve weeks or months of planning, trail markers, GPS tracks, resupply points… Which is not to say that escaping on a multi-day trip isn’t freeing, it is – very much so – but maybe not in the conventional sense of the word. I think author Robert Moor says it best in his written exploration of travel, On Trails:

“But complete freedom, it turned out, is not what the trail offers. Quite the opposite – a trail is a tactful reduction of options. The freedom of the trail is riverine, not oceanic. To put it as simply as possible, a path is a way of making sense of the world. There are infinite ways to cross a landscape; but the options are overwhelming, and pitfalls abound. The function of the path is to reduce this teeming chaos into an intelligible line.”

Iceland’s “Forgotten Coast Route” Part Three: The Route Within

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Iceland’s “Forgotten Coast Route” Part Three: The Route Within

For the final installment of our coverage documenting the Forgotten Coast Route – a bikerafting trip connecting all of Iceland’s southern coast – expedition photographer Ryan Hill writes a series of short stories recounting some memorable moments from the media team’s point of view. Follow along with Ryan and the rest of the team which includes videographers Bryan “Bobcat” Davis, Jeremy Bishop, and Icelander Sigurdur “Sigi’ Petur.

Iceland’s “Forgotten Coast Route” Part Two: Chris Burkard’s Daily Journals

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Iceland’s “Forgotten Coast Route” Part Two: Chris Burkard’s Daily Journals

The Forgotten Coast Route starts in the small eastern Iceland town of Djúpivogur and traverses 300 miles over mostly continuous beaches, spits, ocean islands, and sandbars, to the town of Thorlakshofn. Using a combination of fatbikes and packrafts Chris Burkard, Steve “Doom” Fassbender, and Cameron Lawson navigated a portion of Iceland’s coast seldom seen. With over 40 river crossings and covering some of the windiest and weather-riddled parts of Iceland’s coastlines, the route presented serious challenges for the team.

Below are a series of daily, first-hand accounts of the expedition. These daily journals are based on interviews with Chris Burkard and written by trip photographer Ryan Hill.

Iceland’s “Forgotten Coast Route” Part One: Chris Burkard’s Preparations

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Iceland’s “Forgotten Coast Route” Part One: Chris Burkard’s Preparations

Iceland’s South Coast is one of the island’s most visited zones, but its beaches are seldom seen. It sounds like an audacious claim, but with 49 rivers strewn across the island’s southern beaches, this famous stretch boasts hundreds of miles of rarely explored coastline, with access being its biggest challenge. The goal of Chris Burkard’s “Forgotten Coast” trip is to link them all in one route, using a combination of fatbikes, to travel across its black sands and pack-rafts, to cross the rivers that break up these stretches of sand.

Eating and Riding Italy’s TranSardinia Trail

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Eating and Riding Italy’s TranSardinia Trail

During the final weeks of October 2021, Bec and I teamed up with new friends, Tristan and Belén to ride Europe’s longest off-road mountain bike route: The TranSardinia Trail.

A lesser-known, 450-kilometre trail starting at Olbia (Italy) in the north and flowing south, the TranSardinia follows a crocheted masterpiece of natural forest trails, dusty shepherd tracks, and jagged mountain passes – eventually finishing in the city of Cagliari. With 13,000 metres of total climbing, stunning camp cooking, a broken derailleur, and some pretty gnarly descents down baby-head strewn trails, the TranSardinia Trail kicked all our asses… in the best possible way!

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!