Mike Bybee – From Above Payson

It’s always good to see Mike Bybee‘s name in the Seven inbox. It means we have good tidings (and great photos) from one of our favorite Seven riders out in the expansive American Southwest.

Mike says:

Rode out from Payson AZ and up a mix of trails to a ridgeline and a summit about 5k’ that overlooked Tonto National Forest and Mazatzal Peak (in the back there).

Cleaned up some trail trash on the way back, and found a buddy with a pickup truck who’s going to come help me remove a couch and a CRT someone chucked along the way. The ride down from the little summit was a blast, with a couple 3′ + dropoffs and lots of stuff that was more fun to go *down* than *up*.

He also sent along this summit panorama.

Mike rides a Sola SL 29er.

 

A Study in Contrast

It was 13F at ride time this morning. Small flakes darted around on the wind. As the morning progressed, they got fatter, drifting and chasing each other into small cottony piles. We rode, and it was nice.  We like pushing ourselves through the falling snow, and there are usually fewer cars on the road.

It’s hard not to think of warmer days too, though.

Here’s a photo from FOS (Friend of Seven) Mike Bybee who was kind of us to put us in his new Sights of the Southwest 2018 calendar. Mike is an ardent explorer, bikepacker, and photographer. We built him this Sola SL 29er adventure rig a few years ago, and so he’s taken us on some incredible adventures.

On the Road – Mike Bybee Rides to Canada

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 Trail – Up to Canada, Down to Mexico with Mike Bybee

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Mike’s Sola SL

When we built this Sola SL for our friend Mike Bybee, the svengali of Trail Chat, we knew he had some big rides planned. Over the months that followed delivery of his new Seven he rode it through his native Arizona landscape, wrote a review, and worked out the kinks.

Now he’s ready to really rock. We got a note from him the other day announcing his plan to ride north to Canada, then return to Arizona and head into Mexico. Check out the Trail Chat site for live updates here, and watch this site from some select views from his epic journey as well.