Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I can officially say physically and mentally I don't think I've felt more robust than I do right now. Working on 1200 photos from this trip to share. It was the most grueling thing I've ever done. There were borderline hyperthermic moments, tons of last minute clutch saves, there was a 22 HOUR day/night w/Shawn Pedersen from Hyak to Wenatchee over Colockum Pass through the night! Hundreds of miles off-road, gravel, singletrack, bone-chilling terrifying descents, miles of HAB through snow, every form of weather you can imagine and the steepest grades this state has to offer.

For 7 days I got to live out of bike bags, off of mountain water, diners, and gas stations, push myself further out of my comfort zone than I thought was possible, push my bike beyond it's limit, battle every outdoor element you can imagine, all while trying to wipe the biggest grin off my face. This is the only event I've entered and haven't finished and I couldn't feel more lucky/thankful/accomplished or happy with my performance. Like when fellow adventurer Bob Heim quoted Robert Browning while climbing through the Olympics - "A man's reach should exceed his grasp." For me that quote is this trip encapsulated. Bike is already up on the rack, have my XWA trail notes with me, already gearing up for the next Bikepacking adventure. 

More details and photos soon!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Leaving for the coast

I'm leaving for the 685mi XWA

It is primarily off road with lots of elevation

You can track me and look at the map here:


Can't wait to tell you all about it!

Monday, May 8, 2017

a few others

Flowers on Colockum

Rattlesnake Dance

Top of Coleman Falls

These were from Saturday
still working on a large photo backlog

Both of these lucky captures were earlier today.

Off the John Wayne Trail
(Great-horned owlet and owl)

(Red-tail family)

“We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Print in the forest

Pretty fresh black bear print
Off of Colockum Pass

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Getting to know the bike

Up towards Lion rock, still snow up there
All the weight from the gear kept traction surprisingly well

Great day to be on a bike, 83 degrees

Got way up there, played this a bunch
and took a nap

Bike feels great
Thunderstorm out there brewing

Monday, May 1, 2017

Fat bike to Plus bike

I haven't been posting as much lately because the XWA is 12 days away!

I'll have a spot tracker so you can follow me in real time
maybe I'll see some of you as I cross this great state!

I've been accumulating parts for a year now and finally put it together:

Handmade custom framebags with embroidery

New multi-position cockpit and touring saddle

While the new wheels are skinnier, they are also taller
and after tonight's ride definitely much faster!

Changed the gearing up front from a 30 big ring to a 40
Higher top speeds with skinnier wheelset and aero cockpit

Underneath the lights my new handle bar roll fits perfect

Sunset tonight

My mobile home, better fuel economy, much more flexibility ;)

Photos below from the day before

It was filthy

my handlebar roll

Felt so good to put everything together!

Once those are full and a sleeping pad is on the back
it will look so at home

Looks great without stuff too!

Old vs new

Impatient don't want to wait for the next blog?
If you have any questions about the bike or event you can always email me :)