It’s been a little while since we’ve done a roundup of our favorite things from the bikepacking world, but we’re back! A lot has happened in the past four months, and we’re excited to share a few pieces that caught our attention. We’ve got a collection of videos and articles covering events like the Arizona Trail Race, a story about plastic free racing, a feasible option for pulling espresso shots in the backcountry, and a reflection on the privilege to travel and be outside on a bike. Read on for this and more below!
The Rhino Run
Three years ago I had the good fortune to meet Sarah Hammond, partner to Curve’s Jesse Carlsson, in the Australian Outback, and we briefly talked about a route they were planning in Africa. As a host of other events such as Race to the Rock, I knew that whatever they were scheming up would be both stunning and challenging. Fast forward through Covid and lockdowns, the Rhino Run finally came to fruition with its inaugural date set this past October. The course covered 2,750 kilometers through South Africa and Namibia and drew quite the international field of endurance racers.
The film does a wonderful job of showing off the beautiful landscapes of these two countries while following the pointy end of the race between Abdullah Zeinab and Kevin Benkenstein. In a race of this distance, it doesn’t often come down to a photo finish, but it was dang close this time around.
Among a very strong field of riders were three emerging talents from Uganda – Kato Paul, Wasswa Peter and Nakaggwa Florence. These three athletes have received support over the last couple of years from the Masaka Cycling Club Foundation whose vision it is to “bring global cycling together to remove barriers and fight for a more inclusive cycling community free of inequality.” As a longtime supporter of the Foundation, it’s been inspirational to see these and a host of other Ugandan riders grow in their endurance racing. As you’ll see in the film, some hard lessons were learned, and it reminded me how wonderful the bike can be to showcase the human spirit and bring to bear growth opportunities.
More news from the past few months…
- Arizona Trail Race: Ana Jager and Andrew Strempke completed the Triple Crown of Bikepack Racing with this year’s AZTR. Ana became only the second woman to do so, and Andrew set the singlespeed record for all three events at 34 days, 6 hours and 49 minutes. Andrew’s recap video here and a piece on Ana here.
- Bags X Bird Tail Grab: another thoughtful bag from the Tucson-based maker. Easy access for around town with a sensible opening that faces the rider.
- Wacaco Picopresso Review: cafe-quality espresso on your next overnighter? Yes please!
- (Almost) plastic free racing with Taylor Doyle: small steps and a mental reframe for the trash we produce while recreating.
- While we’re on the topic, Ryan van Duzer goes plastic-free grocery shopping.
- Video of the Bicycle Nomad’s ride celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Buffalo Soldiers’ journey from Fort Missoula to St. Louis.
- Riding Han: set to premier at next year’s Bicycle Film Festival; trailer available now.
- La Ruta Chichimeca: a wonderful writeup and set of images from a 4,000km event just south of the border.
- Cycling to Argentina: episode 3 is out in what looks to be a consistent video series of Greg and Victoria’s years-long trip from Alaska to Argentina.
- Guilt and the Outdoors: perspective on navigating the freedom to travel by bike with the expectations of pursuing your dreams as an immigrant.