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Bike’s May Issue Is Available Now

Into the Island of Ice

Bike’s May issue is on digital and print newsstands now. Between the covers is a diverse mix of stories, including a fatbike-borne Arctic adventure and a look at an emerging controversy over high-alpine zones in British Columbia.

Writer Alex Frankel and photographer Kari Medig spent a bunch of time pushing fatbikes and freezing their balls off to bring us this story.

In “The Big Empty,” writer Alex Frankel, photographer Kari Medig and adventurer Carl Moriarty embark on a hastily organized ride of a new 100-mile route through Baffin Island. With temperatures hovering around zero, the trio sets out into the frozen, polar bear-inhabited wastes hoping to find rideable snow and a good story. Don’t miss the video trailer.

“High Country Hustle” is by Matt Coté, and features photography by Bruno Long.

“High Country Hustle” is about a different kind of fresh tracks. High in the unregulated backcountry of British Columbia’s Purcell Mountains is a playground of seemingly infinite natural, big-mountain lines. But with use growing among various user groups, locals are struggling to strike a balance between access and preservation.

Photo: Anthony Smith

With consumer-direct sales on the rise and Shimano undercutting its own dealers, no one knows what the future holds for local bike shops. But Chris Kelly, owner of Topanga Creek Outpost and subject of this issue’s “Sketch,” isn't especially worried. Back in 2008, he bought a cottage in Topanga, California, and has created a unique spot dedicated to goods that shoppers won't find elsewhere, including leatherwork by Kelly himself. The shop and its staff-which as Kelly said "doubled down on being ourselves"-has built a dedicated following with its midweek UnPredict Your Wednesday overnighters.

Photo: Anthony Smith

Our flat-pedal aficionados test a range of flat pedals from DMR, Crankbrothers, Bontrager, HT, Deity and Loaded. Comparisons of feel and performance provided by our testers will hopefully give you solid footing for your next flat-pedal purchase.