Covid has brought about new fastest known time records on various trails. Last week, we received an announcement of Kurt and Kait setting new FKT on the Kokopelli, and this week the mighty White Rim had a new FKT set by Peter Stetina.
We romanticize the outdoors here at the Radavist and this election, many of our favorite places in the Western United States are under the scalpel for oil and mineral extraction. That’s just the tip of the iceberg too. Civil rights, liberties, Covid-19, and the list goes on and on. A lot is on the table this election. Most importantly, the vessel for change lies within local elections too! Your local voting is just as essential as the presidential vote.
Please, VOTE! Head to Vote.org to find your local polling place. A lot is on the line and even if it doesn’t affect you directly, it does for many others.
Recently, the Navajo Nation reinstated a 57-hour weekend lockdown due to the spikes in COVID in several communities. This put a hold on our first official Dzil Ta’ah Adventures youth bikepacking series outing in Nazlini, which was originally slated for September 26th. Once the lockdown is lifted, which we hope will be soon, we will proceed as planned with the Dine Composite participants. With the postponement of our first trip, we felt like this was an opportunity to leverage the extra time and continue to shape our mentorship program and build more of my team’s dexterity with an outing in John’s Canyon, Utah, at the southwestern base of Cedar Mesa.
The hot desert sun beats down on us. Sand whips around as the wind picks up speed. We follow a narrow path that hugs the base of prehistoric cliffs with contrasting sandstone layers, each representing a different geological epoch. Birds fly in and out of small “huecos”, holes carved into the rock high above. Glove Mallow flowers sway in the wind. My friends Franny Weikert, Torie Lindskog, Suzy Williams, and I are approaching the steepest climb of our bikepacking trip through the San Rafael Swell in Utah. We’re weekend warriors and set aside a few days to bike the route. We fled to the desert in hopes of a break from the stress of our everyday lives. What we thought would just be a 3-day bikepacking trip and a chance to make some new friends, turned into an unexpected adventure full of memories we’d never forget.
With two branches under the new women’s gravel line, the Devote and Devote Advanced, Liv has developed gravel bikes in both aluminum and carbon, with clearances for a 45mm tire, and build kits that rival other offerings on the market. This video alone, set in Canyon Country, has our interest piqued but see more information for yourself at Liv.
Follow along as Mike Hopkins takes us on a not-so-typical gravel ride…
Last year, ENVE opened its doors to the public for an Open House event. Once inside, visitors took a tour of its Ogden, Utah facilities and were greeted by two-dozen custom bikes from builders across the globe. This year the pandemic forced ENVE to pivot a bit, holding a virtual tour and framebuilder showcase they’re calling the Builder Round-Up. We’re pleased to once again host this showcase, with two-part coverage, so read on below for part two of a full breakdown on these Beautiful Bicycles along with a few teasers of new ENVE product…
Last year, ENVE opened its doors to the public for an Open House event. Once inside, visitors took a tour of its Ogden, Utah facilities and were greeted by two-dozen custom bikes from builders across the globe. This year the pandemic forced ENVE to pivot a bit, holding a virtual tour and framebuilder showcase they’re calling the Builder Round-Up. We’re pleased to once again host this showcase, with two-part coverage, so read on below for a full breakdown on these Beautiful Bicycles along with a few teasers of new ENVE product…
The essay below was written for Bikepacking Roots’ Bears Ears Loops Landscape and Route Guidebook to provide bikepackers with one perspective about how the landscape in its entirety is sacred to Indigenous groups. The designation of Bears Ears National Monument marked the first time in history that a National Monument was created in response to the voices and advocacy of the Indigenous groups who call the landscape home. Leaders from the Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, and Ute Indian Tribe formed the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition in 2015 to represent a consortium of tribes unified in protecting and promoting the cultural, archeological, scientific, historical and natural resources of the Bears Ears region. Just 11 months later, the Trump administration reduced the Monument’s size by ~85%. And in a direct affront to the request of the Intertribal Coalition, the southern unit of the reduced Monument was named the Shásh Jaa’ Unit (using the Diné name for Bears Ears). The Coalition had insisted upon the use of the English “Bears Ears” name for the Monument rather than in any one tribe’s language in solidarity and unity.
The pandemic has caused a huge ripple in our day to day lives and in the bike industry, it’s left event organizers scrambling to adapt to these trying times. Last year’s ENVE Builder Round-Up was a lot of fun and I was sad to have to miss out on shooting all those bikes this year. Luckily, for all of us, ENVE is holding a virtual show. See the details below…
Bikepacking Roots is releasing the long-awaited Bears Ears Loops bikepacking route network – 700 miles of riding options through the high deserts and subalpine wilds of central and southeastern Utah. Their goal with these routes are to empower riders to confidently and safely immerse themselves in the remarkable but intimidating landscape, develop an informed sense of place, and experience some of all that is at risk to be lost if the Bears Ears region is not protected.
I’m not at all accustomed to talking about my love for backcountry mountain biking within the confines of a stale hotel ballroom. In a past lifetime as a geologist, I gave plenty of ballroom presentations about glacial erosion, cosmogenic radionuclides, and Arctic climate change – it’s easy to get academics to connect to your words in such a bland setting. But how do a couple of mountain bikers get an audience of equestrians to connect with a shared passion for the backcountry from within the confines of a suburban cube?
Through the arid silence, you could hear the past rumble and scream.
The clangs and grunts and dust penetrated time, a ghost of the hurried chaos of carnotite extraction, the very earth from which we amassed the mineral components of uranium to drop the bombs on Japan. Makeshift stone huts, left behind by the miners, could be mistaken for thousand-year-old relics from the relentless winds, sun, and sandblasting of central Utah.
Last Fall when planning my trip to Colorado for a beta-trip with Lizzy Scully and Steve “Doom” Fassbinder of Four Corners Guides bikepacking in the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park, they invited me to double down for the week and do a bike rafting trip near Kayenta, AZ on the Navajo Nation. If you are like me and have literally spent hours pouring over maps and cryptic hints trying to decipher some of Doom’s trips then the obvious answer to being invited on a bikerafting trip with Dr. Doom himself was a no-fucking-brainer. I just had to prep myself to not be too star-struck.
November 23rd, 2019 brought the absurd to Santa Clara, Utah with the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships. Less about racing, and more about chaos on a bicycle, the SSCXWC travels to a different destination every year to showcase a variety of terrain and whatever shenanigans the host city decides to throw at racers.
ENVE has pulled together quite the SSCXWCUT recap video!
“Oh, the Single Speeder. Heroic, Athletic, Stout, Bibilous, and Brave. Each year SSCXWC brings together the greatest well-rounded riders in the world to test their mettle through Feats of Strength and the most demanding cyclocross courses known to man. The red rock deserts of Southern Utah played host to this mythical event for 2019, introducing St. George to a cyclist it has only ever heard of in storybook legends.”
Hats off, team!
“See that rock formation over there, and the other skinnier one in the distance?” Jon Yazzie says, “they represent the story and fate of Big Snake and Owl Maiden. Big Snake came from what is called Sugar Loaf near Mexican Hat, Utah slithering its way down, and eventually ending up coiled around Agathla Peak or (what Kit Carson called) “El Capitan.” The Owl promised to look over Big Snake until he came back to life again. Owl is frozen in sandstone looking right at big snake on Agathla Peak.” Having passed through Kayenta countless times, driving from the southwest US to Moab, or further into Colorado, these prominent volcanic plugs and sandstone towers rising iconically out of a sea of sandy fields and sandstone mesas have always caught my eye. As we rested there just a few miles into the ride, legs slung overloaded bikes attempting to absorb everything Jon was telling us about the surrounding landscape, I knew this was going to be a special weekend.