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On the Road – Mike Bybee Rides to Canada

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Mike Bybee never thinks small. His latest odyssey took him from his native Arizona north to Canada, taking in the Grand Canyon, Park City, Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Forest, Idaho, Montana and Washington along the way,  1,590 miles in total. His Sola SL and custom rack carried him and all his gear the whole way.

Mike sometimes calls himself a photographer and sometimes a blogger and sometimes a bike-packer, but what he really is, is an adventurer, a description that serves the other things he likes to do well. Other bike-packers listen to what he has to say, mostly because they recognize his passion and the size of his imagination. We are deeply grateful that he chooses to ride a Seven, because we know he will test our bike to its limits…and send us great pictures of it in action.

Here are just a few of his fine photos from this trip. Get over to his TrailChat blog for the words and even more photos.

"Heading from the North Rim into Kanab"

“Heading from the North Rim into Kanab”

"Seven Cycles Sola at Dixie National Forest. Too many trails for me to ride with the time I had. Definitely must return"

“Seven Cycles Sola at Dixie National Forest. Too many trails for me to ride with the time I had. Definitely must return”

"A mountain biker enjoying the Tidal Wave at Deer Valley in Park City, Utah"

“A mountain biker enjoying the Tidal Wave at Deer Valley in Park City, Utah”

"Start of the Deer Valley trails in Park City, Utah. This one has amazing views and is an overall easy and fast ride with great flow"

“Start of the Deer Valley trails in Park City, Utah. This one has amazing views and is an overall easy and fast ride with great flow”

"Finally got to the Salt River Pass, Wyoming on my Seven Cycles Sola. This was a really hard day - climbing up to 7,630 feet."

“Finally got to the Salt River Pass, Wyoming on my Seven Cycles Sola.
This was a really hard day – climbing up to 7,630 feet.”

On the Road: Dan Sharp’s Bay Ridge Hot Lap

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
When adventurist/photographer Daniel Sharp is short of time, he just concocts short adventures and invites some friends along for the ride. This time he’s on the Bay Area Ridge Trail, actually a series of connectible trails that circumnavigates the San Francisco Bay. It stretches north Napa and Marin and south to San Jose.

What makes this trip so cool, in our eyes, is that it doesn’t skip the ugly parts. Put another way, Dan and his friends engaged in the urban parts of this route, too. The Bay Area is a part of the world that serves up a lot of natural beauty despite its overall population density, and in some ways the reward of those views is enhanced by pounding the pavement from the city center to see it.

Here are some of Dan’s always-inspiring photos, and some brief prose about the trip:

They say the hardest part of any adventure is getting out the door, especially this time of year when in the Pacific Northwest rainy days start to outnumber sunny ones. For this, my fourth adventure of this project, the hardest part was choosing a route and finding a crew that could take time off to do a ride.
The word “ambitious” became the buzz word whenever we mentioned the route and our planned time frame. I took that to be a euphemism for crazy or just plain stupid. Well, if that’s the case then maybe this is a 3-day fastpacking trip within urban boundaries. Why get so hung up on terminology? Let’s just go ride mountain bikes around the bay and see what that’s like, so that’s exactly what we did.
The Bay Area Ridge Trail is not a classic bikepacking or endurance mountain biking route, not yet. According to the website, the first ridge trail segment was dedicated in May of 1989. Existing trails were quickly added and it opened 100 miles in 1990 and 200 miles in 1995. As anyone that’s ever ridden in the Bay Area knows, land access is tricky and the 300th mile wasn’t added until 2006. Today the Bay Area Ridge Trail boasts 350 miles of trails. A quick look at the interactive map reveals the reality that to complete the route, one will have to link dirt trail with plenty of pavement.