Don't miss our December issue, available on newsstands or digitally here. In its pages, you'll find stories that salute some of hardiest souls in the sport, starting with a profile of bikepacking badass Lael Wilcox.
Sketch: Divide and Conquer
Wilcox smashed records on the Tour Divide and Trans Am races in between mapping a new bikepacking route in Baja, Mexico and bikepacking all over the west. In fact, for all intents and purposes, Wilcox lives on her bike, a lifestyle decision that has shaped a large part of her existence.
In "Earned Equity," senior writer Graham Averill and crew attempt to follow Adventure Cycling Association's Hot Springs Route through rural Idaho, but mostly end up scouting dive bars. Along the way, they encounter demoralizing hike-a-bikes, surly locals, soul-soothing singletrack and, eventually, the hot natural pools that originally drew them here.
TEMPTING THE TOIYABE
Next, writer Kurt Gensheimer rallies a group of three buddies to return to the remote Toiyabe Crest Trail to face their failure from five years before. This time, he brings along photographer Scott Markewitz to document their attempt to ride the 35-mile trail–the same ride that left them lost, stranded on a cliffside and the subject of a Search and Rescue operation during their first mission. Although not terribly long, the Toiyabe Crest Trail is rugged, remote and overgrown, and requires high-altitude backcountry riding in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. It's a truly remote experience–bring your maps, water purification systems and plenty of supplies–and one that's at risk of disappearing due to lack of use.
Finally, it's every staff member's favorite assignment of the year: Dream Builds. Each of us picks a frame and outfits it with cream-of-the-crop parts, resulting in six drool-inducing beauties. We hope you enjoy reading about our dream bikes as much as we enjoyed building them.