When you’ve been living in a place for ages, it’s easy to overlook its charm. Growing up just a couple of hours outside Emporia and spending most of my life in Kansas, I couldn’t fathom why people would travel from far and wide to race on seemingly dull and unchanging roads. But then, amid a grueling nearly 25-hour journey, a realization hit me like a lightning bolt. As I pedaled along the ridge, the undulating emerald hills stretched for miles while ominous thunderclouds loomed above—a quintessential Kansas storm rolling in to welcome me back. There was nothing to do but smile and hope it wasn’t too harsh. Soon, a refreshing 30-minute drizzle came to my rescue, and I found myself grateful for the momentary respite from the heat and electrified by the surrounding beauty.Continue reading
Written, shot, and ridden By Benjamin Carpenter
Changing plans is an enevitable element of life I find myself in constant confrontation with be it the weather, my body, my family or my work life. It’s a constant flux, and maybe probably for good reason. Change keeps me on my toes, and constantly adapting, but the same is true about bikepackng, or any long ride that covers many miles in a prolonged amount of time. Dealing with change and adapting is how I flourish.Continue reading
Words and images by Evan Christensen with supplemental images by Stephen Fitzgerald
When I walked through Tom’s door and saw a flood of bikes and bags and cameras sprawling over the floor on the other side, I knew I was walking into another adventure entirely. Bo and I had been alone, just the two of us, for months up to the point. We’d ridden with other people for two days at the most, and in the three months riding to Armenia together we had developed a harmonious rhythm. It had been dug deep and as we fell deeper into that entrancing rut we rode through splendor and excitement and pangs and a new world at our own pace. We were happy with it. I felt like it could have gone on forever.Continue reading
Photo credit Eddie Clark.
As bike enthusiasts or even, dare I say, bike nerds, we obsess over bikes, gear, weight, suspension (or lack thereof), geometry, and tires. We can’t help but keep track of what are the the latest trends and tech. So when bikepacking.com releases their the famous list of participants bikes and photos tackling an event, we can’t help but ogle at the myriad of choices. We are giddy with excitement for what is to come; often untold hardship and profound moments for the participants. On the other side dot watchers are all over checking in at various points throughout the day only imaging the vast terrain that yields slow, but steady progress.Continue reading
On the eighth episode of the podcast, Nik and Stephen virtually catch up with Ashley Carelock and Dr. Seth Wood. They both recently competed in the 2020 Arkansas High Country Race and both set Fastest Known Time(s) (FKT). Your hosts dig into the experience the only way they know how, excitedly asking questions about what happened, like gear choices, or in Seth’s case a single gear!Continue reading
On the seventh episode of the podcast, Nik and Stephen dig into which Star Wars movie was best. Just kidding! Rather they regale the trials and tribulations faced when attempting the iconic Kokopelli bike packing route from Fruita, CO to Moab, UT. We cover the motivations behind the trip, gear highlights as well as some choice meals. Most of the recap revolves around how to prep or not prep for a multi day bike pack.Continue reading
On the sixth episode of the podcast, Nik and Stephen sit down with Evan Christenson. We talk about Evan’s multitude of bike touring trips, how he ended up getting his second choice pick of a custom bicycle–a Flaanimal 4.0– a bike he immediately took bike-packing in Morocco and Uganda. He seemingly hasn’t looked back, but if he isn’t out under the stars he has been at protests across the West photographing and taking part in the Black Lives Matter protests and handling customer service at Rodeo Adventure Labs.Continue reading
The Tahoe Twirl is a deceptive beast- short in mileage but long with rocky technicality, it packs alpine summits and long, sweeping fire road descents into a literal breathtaking package and puts a big fat lake and a Cabela’s right in the middle of it all. The Tahoe Twirl is a beast. It’s no spring fling and no two-step shimmy. This one you plan for, pack for and train for. This one, you need to make an effort to come and see.
So naturally I threw all caution to the wind and showed up without looking at the route and with whatever was left in my truck. I’m off navigation duty this week, so I’ll bring an extra camera battery and settle in for some mindless pedalling. Ben and I chocked this up as a rest week and the finish line for getting my project car on the road and to Lake Tahoe in time. We spent two weeks burning quarts of midnight (and motor) oil to finally show up late, miss the rally location, and start hours behind the others we’re meeting up with. Hard on the gas out of the gate- What’s a vacation.Continue reading
What did it take to go from already busy dad / husband / bike company guy to someone who is prepared to bikepack across Morocco? Here how the last three months looked to me.Continue reading
I’m in the air right now. Denver to Dallas, Dallas to Madrid, Madrid to Marrakesh, Morocco, Africa.