By Vernon Felton
The November issue of Bike has begun hitting newsstands and if you haven't pried the sucker open yet, you're missing out.
For starters, we've anchored the issue with a massive feature chronicling the world-first expedition to Afghanistan’s remote Wakhan Corridor. Bike editor, Brice Minnigh, joined Matt Hunter, photographer Dan Milner and the crew from Anthill Films on the expedition as they created the grist for Anthill Films' new movie, “Forgotten Dirt.”
If you’ve seen the film or checked out our web feature, it’s probably clear that the trip took its toll on the entire crew. But Islamic militants and the inevitable automatic weapons were the least of their concerns. The route took the crew deep into some of the world’s highest mountains, where military and political concerns are virtually non-existent. In the inhospitable no-man’s land where high-altitude desert and glacier grapple for top honors, the relentlessness of the elements is the great equalizer. Grueling hike-a-bikes at 16,000-plus-feet of elevation, sudden blizzards and potentially deadly river crossings were their primary concerns.
Check out the feature.
The November issue also highlights adventures closer to home. Graham Averill tackles the trails of Canaan, West Virginia (the birthplace of 24-hour racing) and finds the going tough, but ultimately rewarding. It's a great piece that reminds us, once again, of just how amazing the southeast is.
There's also a ton of gruel for your inner gear geek. The November issue features a hell of a collection of new bikes. We've got the first print review on Giant's 2014 Trance Advanced—a do-it-all rig that has quickly become the gun of choice for Giant's enduro racers. We also managed to score the Evil Uprising—a carbon-fiber unicorn of an all-mountain rig that riders have been clamoring to get for years. The Dave Weagle-designed (DELTA) suspension is front and center on the new rig. Was the bike worth the wait? You'll have to read our gear editor's review. And then there's the Yeti SB95c, the Trek Lush 29, the Specialized Rumor…. See? A veritable cornucopia of bad-ass bikes.
And we're just scraping the surface of the November issue here, because the mag is loaded with great columns and articles by Mike Ferrentino, Kristin Butcher and the rest of the staff.
In short, you should get your hands on the latest issue. It's at better bike shops, super markets, book stores, truck stops, Cajun fishing camps and in the waiting rooms of cooler dentists (though you'll feel like a douche for stealing your dentist's magazines).
If you don’t already subscribe to Bike magazine and you don't want to pay the newsstand price because the guy at the checkout counter is your ex-girlfriend’s older brother, has chronic halitosis or just plain skeeves you out, you could always get nine regular issues of the mag for the price of two off the rack. How? Click Here to subscribe.