The Swag Family World Ride – January/February ’24 Bikepacking News

It’s our first news roundup of the year (Happy 2024!), and we’re excited to bring you a pretty rad collection of stories, events, and gear that’s peeked our interest so far this year. The theme starts off with some unique long-distance travel stories and then narrows down to events closer to home. When you’re done here, don’t forget to take a look at our upcoming calendar of events, including Breakfast by Bike and an overnighter to Colossal Cave. Enjoy!

Around the world for 3 years… with 3 kids!

In 2019 my wife ran across Australia, and I supported her on my bicycle+trailer carrying everything we needed to cross the Outback 100% under human power. After an initially rough start with mechanical issues and mega-doubts about whether or not we’d make it, we hit a groove and started feeling pretty good about ourselves, feeling that we were surely the most adventurous, out-there couple in the Outback that season. Then we met the Swag Family.

Andrew and Nicola were another couple in the Outback that year, albeit accompanied by their kiddos Hope (then 5 years old) and Wilfy (then 3 years old), pedaling tandem bicycles around Australia. We met them on the side of the Victoria Highway just west of Katherine and were absolutely blown away at what they were doing. We took a shade break together, shared some snacks, and Wilfy used Katie’s foam roller on his feet. It’s one thing to keep travel at the forefront of a growing family, but it’s quite another to incorporate that in a trip around Australia. Now five years removed from that trip, they’ve set off again, and it’s even more impressive this time around. 

The Swag Family departed Tasmania a few weeks ago for what they anticipate will be a 3-year ride around the world, and their family has now grown to five with the addition of their youngest daughter Jeannie at only 1.5 years old. Their setup now includes a triplet+trailer and a tandem complete with a baby seat for the youngest. As if getting this show on the road isn’t enough, the trip is focused on adventure learning and sharing the joys and benefits of leading an adventurous life. Along the way they’re producing podcasts, blogs, and lesson plans for teachers to use in classrooms around the world as a way to inspire travel and curiosity. I support them on Patreon, and you can do the same here!

More news!

  • Erik and his year+ on the Omnium Cargo: Erik’s a friend of the shop, and we help him build up his cargo bike before setting out in late 2023. He’s pedaling around the country, dumpster diving most of his food, and racking up more miles than anyone in the world.
  • 3 races, 3 continents, no airplanes: Racing the Atlas Mountain Race, the Silk Road Mountain Race, and the Hellenic Mountain Race with pedal-powered transit in between.
  • Hulsroy bottle cages: A soothing little video on a unique approach to making bottle cages.
  • Maple Syrup Hunk: Tired of the same old oatmeal? This pouch of wood-fired goodness has become my go-to sweetener for that dreadful bowl of morning grool while out camping, or the perfect amount of sweet for a mid-ride boost.
  • Horse Cycles Pack Knife: A beautiful handmade tool for touring and bikepacking with a unique carrying system. Currently testing one out for myself!
  • The EXPLORE Act: Passed in the House back in January, aims to improve access and resources for the growing interest and needs of outdoor recreation.
  • The videos of Thomas Silva: My introduction to Thomas’ videos came with his piece on the legendary french rider dubbed Velocio, but he’s got a larger archive worth exploring as well.
  • Daniel Zaid’s Monte Tláloc reportage: For the Spanish speakers out there, a lovely trip report and beautiful photos of traveling in Monarch butterfly habitat in México. Also, Daniel is the Mexican counterpart to the upcoming Ruta del Jefe!
  • Ruta del Jefe: Though the 2024 edition is sold out, you can still support the effort to raise $45,000 for borderlands organizations. We’re very excited to be there supporting the event as we have the last several years!

Leaving you with a view down Box Canyon Road from an early Winter ride at the end of 2023.

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