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VeloNews magazine will bring you inside the sport of bike racing, with exclusive features, analysis, expert training advice, unbiased gear reviews and the. Digital magazine about bikepacking and long disctance cycling - read for free! download PDF | Read online. Issue 7 (English). Stories • The places we ride • Straight. News&Media: Bike Test Report: VELO MAGAZINE MAY News and Download the pdf document below. 31/07/ mtn-i.info ( kb).
See the reviews index. Bike reviews are usually a full four pages or more, allowing us room to really delve into the detail and to provide a thorough assessment. Try these PDF samples:. Show reports: Our show reports are the best in the business, capturing all of the real innovations and interesting ideas from the major trade shows. Bicycle design: Some practical, some just for fun, but all presented non-judgementally and professionally.
Practical cycling: Instead we pass on real-world practical cycling experience:. Lest this all seem a bit mundane, we have regular features about practical cycling in the most extraordinary circumstances, thanks to our wonderful correspondents from around the world. By cyclists for cyclists: Velo Vision is an independent, enthusiast publication produced by a small group of committed everyday cyclists, every one of whom is a campaigner for cycling in their own way.
With the much appreciated contributions from friends and readers worldwide, together we make Velo Vision unique, collectable and so readable! Issue 23 PDF — 18Mb The digital edition replicates the exact layout of the paper magazine — but adds clickable internet links and offers full text search facilities.
We typically choose bicycles as our escape vehicles, but this time we used a van to explore the dry and dusty Southwestern United States. Our van held four bikes and served as home base for carrying out short bikepacking trips and countless days of incredible trail riding. We rode some of the best trails and routes this country has to offer, and were fortunate enough to make friends along the way.
But what stands out are some of the three to five-day bikepacking routes we rode. After miles of near nothingness, we rounded a corner and were greeted by the beautiful, jagged vista of the Chisos Mountains.
The closest base camp to the action is a tiny desert hamlet called Terlingua Ghost Town. The town is an oddity. It was an incredible introduction to desert riding and big night skies.
Finding degree temps in January was priceless, of course. I contacted Scott Morris, founder of bikepacking. He insisted that we ride the Gila River Ramble, a route Scott concocted and has evolved over the last few years.
This beautiful slice of the Arizona Trail is not to be missed. A spring storm was predicted to bring snow, cold, and rain, so we high-tailed it toward southern California.
We spent a few days in Joshua Tree and San Diego before turning our sights to the infamous Stagecoach The mile route is a loop through a mosaic of contrasting landscapes. It leads riders from remote mountains through the seemingly endless Anza-Borrego Desert, into San Diego, along the sea, and back into the mountains. The Stagecoach is a masterpiece of dirt doubletrack, sandy desert roads, technical singletrack, urban bike paths, and rolling tarmac.
Mid-winter or early spring are the best the times to ride it. Bunyan Velo 38 Bunyan Velo 39 The Kokopelli Trail When the inland temperatures warmed back up, we made our way through Nevada, southwest Utah, and ultimately to mountain bike mecca. We had planned a meet-up to ride the Kokopelli Trail from Fruita to Moab.
Oh, and technical climbs, rugged descents, and graded terrain. I did see a little winter on this route.
The highest point en route is over 8, feet in the La Sal Mountains. Even in March, we found snow when we rolled through. It traverses the spectacular Canyonlands National Park.
It is popular among supported bicycle tour groups, jeeps, and motos, yet this beautiful loop is another essential route. The aptly named White Rim Road follows breathtaking plateaus along the Colorado and Green Rivers via slickrock, graded gravel, dirt roads, semi-technical rocky doubletrack, and thick sandy bottoms. Snow began to fall during the long, slow climb back to our van on our last day of cycling.
I held my fist to the sky and said a couple of words. We had a few more instances of dodging the Old Man while puttering around Colorado and bagging several more trails.
It was a constant dance to avoid stray spring snows. Unfortunately, we had to head back east when winter was officially over, right before the alpine riding thawed out. BV Learn more about these routes at bikepacking. Every kind of road. At least for a little while, now and then. There is a lot to learn from a road, but you can, and should, take opportunities to veer off it. See, feel, smell, and listen to the land it goes through. Stop, get off your bike, and stand there with your receptors set to Wonder where you are.
Just like a great work of art utilizes positive and negative space, or a good narrative requires some reading between the lines, a great ride out on your bike should be done in tandem with awareness of the environment. Bicycles have occupied three of my four decades. Even those of you with shorter histories of bicycle symbiosis know why. Bikes are the best. There are universal commonalities among us, like the feeling of freedom on our first ride and frustrating flat tire stories.
From there, the reasons we ride vary greatly. At the very least I keep a list of questions that I can find answers to when I return. Understanding where you are adds another dimension to your ride. Knowing about that former rail corridor makes the placement of the little towns along the way make sense. I like to imagine what it was like when the prosperity of living among that new technology was peaking, and to think about what had already changed by the time the trains stopped running.
Without inquiring, you can never know what a place is like from the short time you spend in it. You might have caught it during a bout of atypical weather. Maybe you rolled into a place when The Town Charmer or The Hilarious Ranger had the day off, keeping you from that unsolicited area knowledge that would have changed your view. Arriving by bike is a pretty disarming way to approach someone and start a conversation. Does it matter that Sayner, Wisconsin, is the birthplace of the snowmobile, or snow toboggan as it was called, when you roll through as a cyclist?
I think it should if you can relate to the human desire to overcome the terrain. If you could go back to and ride alongside snowmobile pioneer Carl J. I know about Carl because I stopped, looked around, and asked the first time I was through there. My friend Craig is fortunate to have a cabin in Northern Wisconsin surrounded by hundreds of miles of rolling grav- el roads.
Yet, on a ride in a new section of forest, we unexpectedly met the woman we now refer to as Ursula.
We stopped by a creek for beers and lunch and heard the familiar sound of a straining truck engine. She got out with her Chesapeake Bay Retriever, as surprised to see us as we were her. As her dog pulled tree roots out of the ground, this something former Indian reservation lawyer, currently living a few towns away, shared how much she loved the area, and how she was teaching herself Mongolian before heading there for the Peace Corps.
These trails, we learned, navigable only by the kinds of machines we both chose for the task, were once far busier and better maintained when more people lived in the area.
Paved roads and conveniences likely led the hands of the old inhabitants into surrounding population centers. But, like Ursula, there are still folks around who know the history. The woods swallowed any evidence we might have stumbled upon by ourselves.
Maybe that history will become less and less available over time as the people who know it move on. You can make the right time in the right place. The world is not only small, but also full of people with vastly different backgrounds who figure out how to exist within the well-defined parameters dictated by an environment.
Sometimes you both happen to find yourselves in those environments. Ask yourselves, why are we both there? Then there are the places, free of people, that you can safely bet have never been reached via bicycle.
I experienced that recently on a fatbike trip with my friends Benton and Hansi near the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota. Bunyan Velo 61 As first-timers-far-as-we-can-tell types, we alone could explain the details of some of those locations.
We made sure to take in as many as we could. We were presented with new sights, sounds, and smells because we arrived open to absorbing it all. The thing that hooked us was about far more than the bike. Moments like those are invaluable and increasingly rare unless you put yourself out there. When I found out later that what we were on was a mountain range two billion years ago, it made the brief time we were riding a bicycle over it even harder to wrap my brain around.
The things the land has seen are impossible to fathom. Remember to replicate and build on the feeling of freedom we all felt the first time we rode somewhere far from home. Go back if you can. Keep your eyes and ears open. Keep asking questions. There will always be times when a quick spin is all you can squeeze in, but for every other ride, take the opportunity to flood your senses and imagination with the space around you, finally knowing where you are.
I think apprehensively that he is scrutinizing my bright, form-fitting, western-style clothes. On the final leg of our flight, we sit behind a man wearing a traditional four-paneled white felt headdress and a woman outfitted in a scarf that ties behind her head.
Every so often, they exchange wide, gold-tooth smiles and steal glances in our direction. We land in Bishkek a day before Nooruz, a central Asian celebration that marks the beginning of the Persian year. When the match is over, we head over to Ala-Too Square to watch locals pay a couple som to weigh themselves on a scale, pummel a punching bag, lurch themselves up and over a pull-up bar, and throw darts at balloons. We ride in search of dirt roads and mountain passes. We find so much more.
We stop pedaling and wait for them to reach us. Red-cheeked and out of breath, they share their names and high-fives. We part ways in awe of each other. We alternate pedaling and pushing through the sludge for a couple days.
Inside, small stools surround a brightly colored tablecloth, half-cured meat hangs from the ceiling, a hen tends to her chicks, and a kettle sits atop the wood stove boiling water for tea. As we discuss venturing back toward an alternative route, he calls out.
Bunyan Velo 74 I look at his home, a dilapidated railcar partway up the mountain, and make up my mind. Then I look at his hopeful face and change it. We just need to take a different route. Visions of yurts, yaks, and barren, high-altitude landscape dance in our heads as we plot a new course toward the Pamir Highway, the second highest international highway in the world. We race children on their singlespeed, brakeless bikes.
We empty market shelves of stale cookies and apple brandy and fill up our water bottles in streams next to locals. When the weather turns bad, we spend two nights in an abandoned Soviet-era factory outbuilding and make friends with a fellow squatter. We consider our options, and after more than a week of pedaling, we decide to push on. Thirty-two switchbacks greet us on the first 8,foot pass, and it takes us two days to reach the final kilometer of our ascent.
When the dirt turns into mud at the top, we slip on our Russian galoshes acquired at the bazaar in Bishkek, trudge past a dump truck stuck in the thick muck, and finally make friends with gravity again as we roll downhill. Once we reach the destitute and isolated settlement of Kazarman—inaccessible during winter months due to its location between two tall mountain passes—our efforts thus far prove futile.
With a smirk, he offers to give us a ride for an exorbitant amount of money. The ten or so officers who have gathered around break into a fit of laughter. Corruption plagues Kyrgyzstan at every level of government. We decline, find what appears to be the only guesthouse in town, and with it find a bit of relief when the owner offers to negotiate a fair taxi price for us.
Front row seats! And what a show it is. Our first stop is to pick up another passenger. Our second is to gather documents from a person on the side of the road. Our third stop is to collect yet another passenger one more than our vehicle comfortably allows.
Our fourth is to load sacks of food in the back of the van. On our fifth stop, a note is hand-delivered to one of the passengers sitting in the row behind us. Our sixth stop is to fill the tires with air. Dodging cows, sinkholes, stray dogs, donkeys, tractors, and small children, we twist and turn on a single set of tire tracks that snakes down the right and left side of the road.
Speeding up the freshly graded canyon faster than we pedaled down it the day before, we nearly collide headon with a bulldozer around a blind corner. Luckily, both of us are driving on the wrong side of the road. The animals part and we speed through while their shepherd wobbles on his horse, holding a plastic two-liter bottle of beer. We honk for cars, dump trucks, children, sheep, bicyclists, horses, and dogs. My seatbelt is perpetually taut.
But at least I have one to wear. By the time we reach Bishkek, every warning icon on the dashboard is lit up. There is a sense of comfort in returning to a once-foreign place that now seems familiar. At least in our household. First, a suitable route needs to be considered and approved by all those involved. Riding hours have to be tallied. Gear evaluated. Entertainment considered.
Naps scheduled. Roadside treats acquired. But, like all of our family excursions, its rewards are undoubtedly bountiful. For a start, it began with a train ride. Besides, other than the undeniable pleasure of rolling out from your front door, the cathartic ke-klunk of a locomotive is perhaps the most satisfying way of easing into a bicycle tour.
The former encouraged Sage to exercise his growing command of the language, and promised, for the lucky pilot, the chance of a toddler back massage. Bunyan Velo 89 Aspiring tykepackers would do well to consider their environment next, if the toddler spiral of discontent is to be avoided.
Route finding is especially pertinent to the success of such a voyage: traffic-free riding rules when it comes to clannish touring. Seeking to imbue our route with historic intrigue, I devised a route that borrowed from a network of abandoned mining roads that coursed their way through Los Cerrillos Hills, an undulating ripple of land where Native Americans once dug for turquoise and prospectors later searched for gold. Of course, half the excitement of any bike tour is in the unknown; when we were confronted by an unexpected barrier across public land, my heart burst with pride as I watched my son do the toddler limbo under his first gate.
As for our accommodation, it was not only sublime, but both eminently practical and inspiringly educational. After all, toddlers are walking, running, jumping, climbing human sponges. Filtered rainwater quenched our thirst, which he measured out for himself from a glass bottle.
Portable lights powered by solar panels illuminated the casita at night, which we taught him to leave basking in the sun during the day. A single chunk of firewood kept us toasty and warm when darkness fell.
Best of all, the view from the platform of our elevated bed looked out into the inky black expanse of the New Mexican sky, crammed with stars, providing a humbling backdrop as we all snuggled together for bedtime stories. Family bike tours are not just about biking.
Come morning, once breakfast had been expertly rustled up by Nancy — corn chips, crispy bacon, and scrambled eggs — we forgo bikes to explore by foot, scampering into the rocky expanse of the desert, climbing up to viewpoints, balancing on outcrops, spying features in the land before us. Woe betide us should he miss it. Sage snoozed while we pedalled furiously, awakening for the train ride home, of course.
Even a night out is likely everything you and your child can ask for. Namely, undiluted family time, and life lessons around every turn. Even the humble overnighter will warm the heart and feed the soul, for everyone involved. Twenty-eight days total, 20 of which are spent riding. Two days of rain and 26 days of blasting sun. No fixed route. Just a plane ticket to Tbilisi and a return ticket from Tehran 28 days later.
Always shot out of the saddle and spontaneously. Nothing was prepared, set up, or rehearsed. Everything was captured on the move, as it happened. Bunyan Velo Bunyan Velo Check in. The air conditioner is blasting and the room is cold. At first it feels good, a welcome relief from the sweat and staggering heat outside.
But after a few moments the cool air makes me cringe, makes my soul cringe. I get up and go back outside. The heat meets me in the doorway. It slows me down and embraces me, melts me, opens my soul to what will come. I accept the heat and with it comes the prickling realisation: adventure is ahead!
Bunyan Velo I love traveling. Being on the go. Seeing new things, being challenged, getting out of my comfort zone. Riding km with more than 1, meters of climbing every day is hard on its own. It breaks your body down, but more than anything, it challenges you mentally. Even though we ride as a pair, we mostly ride in silence. The riding becomes a part of you, the pedal stroke the rhythm of your life. And this is usually enough. The ride. Bunyan Velo Bunyan Velo This time, however, there is the photography.
Not only do I haul extra equipment, but I have to scout the surroundings for possible shots. You might call it taking in the scenery, something we all hopefully do as we ride along. But it is more than that. The reward is total immersion in the landscape and its people. Georgia, Armenia, and Iran all have beautifully winding roads, fantastic mountains, crystal clear lakes, rolling hills, unfamiliar forests, and mesmerising deserts. The diversity of the nature is a surprise, and although the heat is almost unbearable, the landscape is refreshing.
Bunyan Velo Even more beautiful are the people. Never have I met such open and friendly people. People pay for our food wherever we go, despite our best attempts to refuse. They invite us into their homes, bring tea, fresh fruit, and bread to our campsites. Heart to heart. We laugh, we smile, we shake hands, we embrace. We communicate with sign language and laughter.
The world becomes smaller. I travel to find this connection with people, and to let my compassion and empathy grow. Although taking photographs is an important part of this trip, there are countless occasions when taking my out camera would create a barrier between me and my new friends, so it stays in its bag.
I was shivering in my damp clothes, wet with sweat after our ride along the frozen banks of the Red River. A few sections of the trail were blown over with deep snow, forcing our group to try smashing through before inevitably dismounting and pushing. What had I gotten myself into? Anyone who lives in a cold climate knows that moisture is your biggest enemy when the mercury drops.
The feeling in my fingers left instantly as I awkwardly fumbled with the straps using my bare hands. I was getting colder by the second. One strap open. Time to shove my hands down my pants for a minute and warm them up. Boy, I sure wish I remembered where I put my head lamp. Two straps open, here we go! Front pannier. This is going very badly. I love riding my bike and going camping.
The winters are long and very cold in my hometown of Winnipeg, Canada. Most cyclists I know seem to transition to cross-country skiing or riding trainers during the winter months.
In Winnipeg, that is downright weird. Completing this streak would require sleeping in some very cold temperatures. I was no stranger to riding in the cold and had done a number of s24os that ended at a heated shack of some sort, but this would be different. Still, once the idea hit me, there was no shaking it. It was time to learn how to winter camp. Over the next few months I not only learned how to sleep outside in winter, but how to have a really good time doing it.
Sometimes that can take well over two to three hours to ride. I had zero experience with winter camping before I decided to try this, but I knew some people who did. Having someone who will share their experiences can help you avoid rookie mistakes and have the best possible experience.
It made sense to ease into it over time. For me, that meant picking camping spots with warming shacks. Often, areas that are popular for cross country skiing, snowmobiling, or winter hiking will have small shacks with a wood stove inside. These make for great bail-out options if you get too cold. They also act as an insurance policy if things go south. I slept inside shacks for a few seasons before making the move outside. It will suck. No fat bike? No problem. A Wald basket on the front of your beater will do just fine.
Truthfully though, I hate being cold. Bunyan Velo Winter camping is rewarding and well worth the effort of figuring out what works for you. There is nothing like waking up on a frozen river bed, with the full moon lighting up the hoar frost in the trees, while the snow absorbs every sound but the occasional deep crack and groan of expanding ice below.
You never know when someone might come by in the middle of the night at miles an hour. Bring a heavy ziploc bag and put your camera inside it before returning inside from the cold. It causes condensation to form on the bag, rather than inside your camera, keeping the electronics safe and lens clear.
I shake all the snow off, then wrap plastic bags around them before getting into my bag. A vapour barrier can add a few degrees of warmth to any sleeping bag. Eat a bit of dark chocolate or something else with carbs before sleeping. It kickstarts your metabolism and helps your body produce more heat while you sleep. Keep essential items like a down jacket and headlamp where you can easily access them without taking your gloves off.
Those old wood stoves tend to belch smoke inside rather than out. I started bringing a battery operated carbon monoxide detector with me after waking up with a massive headache. I hope these tips will help you have a great time winter camping! I slice them into pizza toppings on the plastic hummus lid with a pocket knife. I score the avocado, pull the halves apart, remove the pit, and scoop out the meat.
I slice the purple-green tiger tomatoes, then a cucumber into spears, then a yellow onion. I open five rolls and we assemble sandwiches — a thick layer of hummus on one side, avocado on the other, tomatoes, onions, and olives in the middle.
Nick closes them with cucumber and packs them in plastic. I set the alarm for five and fall asleep once the jackals stop screaming. In the morning the sandwiches are heavy in my hands. I pack four and give one to Nick. Will it be enough?