Since I knew I was going to be doing a lot of bikepacking with my Surly Krampus I, like many others, wanted to be able to run a light and have USB power. The reasons for the long-distance rider are obvious: you want to be able to ride with good illumination into the night and make sure that cell phone or GPS are always topped off.
This past June I was invited to join the biking and beer drinking Tour de Force that is BBTXL. Pronounced Bubba Tixel, this was to be the 5th iteration of Bicycle Beer Time eXtra Large. As a newcomer to the group, it seemed only appropriate to initiate a first on this site by asking my friend Ben (this year’s ride organizer) to be a guest contributor and explain both this incredible tradition and this year’s Bicycle Beer Time eXtra Large: Riding All Up In New England (BBTXL: RAINE, Rainy). He happily agreed, so drink it up…
This weekend, my friend Ben and I set out for the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont for two days of what can only be described as bikepacking and riding bliss. The plan was simple, centering around riding sections of the 240 year old Bayley-Hazen Military Road (BHMR) and connecting as many breweries, jeep, remote gravel, and class four roads as possible.
Much has been written about bikepacking the infamous White Rim trail, with great resources to be found on bikepacking.com as well as many other sites! Suffice it to say, I am not going to attempt to restate the wealth of information contained within those many great route descriptions. Rather, what follows are pictures from my overnight solo bikepacking trip along the White Rim at the end of March.
Approximately 5 hours northeast of Boston (depending on traffic…) lies a natural paradise well known for its incredible hikes, beautiful Atlantic coastline, and lobstah bisque. We are of course talking about Acadia National Park and the neighboring communities on Mount Desert Island. Perhaps lesser known, or easier to overlook for the cyclist in search of their next outing, are its 45 miles of car-free gravel carriage roads.
This weekend I set out for Deerfield, Massachusetts with my friend Jonathan to take part in another great riding adventure: D2R2 2015. If you are not familiar with D2R2, their website has a pretty apt description:
“The Deerfield Dirt-Road Randonnee was conceived in the 1990’s as just a favorite dirt-road loop in the hilltowns of Franklin County, Massachusetts. Since its birth as an organized event in 2005, many have hailed D2R2 as the hardest, most beautiful, most fun, most traffic-free, most unique, and overall best ride that they have ever done.” – Franklin Land Trust D2R2.
That’s right, we name our bikes, and our Raspberry Girl here is a beauty: A true labor of love. As I mused about in Part 1, since moving to Boston I have wanted to build my wife a bike flexible enough to handle the kind of varied riding we do here in New England. The All-City Space Horse was a perfect fit, and with a solid component spec we couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out. In the interest of brevity, let’s just jump right to the build details… Continue reading
Not long ago both my wife and I hailed from Minneapolis – a town that many cyclists likely know as the source for, and money sink of, all the products you have undoubtably ordered through QBP (the mothership behind such bike brands as Surly, Salsa, All-City and many others). To us Minneapolis has always been home. Having lived there for a decade (plus or minus), it is a city filled with amazing friends, wonderful food, stress-free living, and (of course) the brutal winters that helped fuel the popularization of fatbikes! It is also host to amazing trail systems, growing urban bike infrastructure, and an excellent community of cyclists, all of which fostered my passion and obsession for riding. Continue reading
This past weekend my friend Jonathan and I set out of Boston for a weekend of bikepacking in Vermont. I had been eyeing the Green Mountains for some time, and after a trip to REI where I picked up some National Geographic maps of the region, one of the places that stood out immediately was the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area east of Middlebury, Vermont.