Ruta Del Jefe Film Release, 2020 Event Date Announcement, Latest News, and Action Items

In February 2019, I hosted Ruta Del Jefe, a 125-mile self-supported adventure race following dirt roads around the Santa Rita Mountains and the lair of El Jefe, one of the few remaining North American Jaguars to live in the U.S.
Ruta Del Jefe is not just any adventure bicycle race. This film shares how the event is used as a platform to raise awareness of environmental and political threats affecting the U.S./Mexico borderlands of Southern Arizona where Ruta Del Jefe takes place and to inspire action among bicyclists. To learn more about Ruta Del Jefe, click here.
Racing Along the Ruta del Jefe in the San Rafael Valley


Racing Along the Ruta del Jefe in the San Rafael Valley

Over the past few years, there’s been an awakening of sorts within my scope of reporting and documenting cycling: when I travel to cover an event, or set out to ride in even a familiar landscape, I like to know the geopolitical, geographical, and geological history of the land in which I’ll be pedaling across, over and through. As much as this awareness contributes to a better understanding of the land we all recreate on, it’s also a way to pay respects to the prior inhabitants of these fragile landscapes.

This interest in the background and history of a place was a large motivation for me to take part in the Ruta del Jefe: a race through the San Rafael Valley, and Santa Rita Mountains, coordinated by Sarah Swallow. Last weekend, the race went down, and up for that matter, all around the San Rafael Valley, but the weekend had much more on the agenda than just riding bikes: it was a lesson for us all in how to sustainably use the land and how we could offer up our recreation as a resource.