How does riding mountain bikes leads to progress in society, in life and on the trail? Mountain Flyer No. 69 tells the stories of the people, places, nonprofits and gear that are leading the way and exploring the limits of what's possible on two wheels. Kathryn Bertine is one of those people, working to fix the gender pay gap in cycling while providing a wintertime training base for racers through her Tucson, Arizona-based Homestretch Foundation. So is the Silver Stallion Mobile Bike Unit, which has spent the last year traveling throughout the Navajo Nation, repairing bikes and helping the Diné people ride together and connect with the land. Progress happens on the ground, too. And in this issue, Mattias Fredriksson returns to Åre, Sweden, where he once lived for two decades, to observe a ski town that's gone all in on mountain biking. Then Aaron Thiesen visits Spokane, Washington, to explore how this former extraction community has turned the corner on cool, bringing an entrepreneurial, workmanlike spirit to its eclectic trail scene. Finally, we take a look at the progressive end of gear, with assistant editor Jason Sumner testing and experimenting with a DIY mixed-wheel bike setup to determine just how far geometry can go. And Herb Belrose profiles Boston's Firefly Bicycles, observing how their bespoke process and experimentation are pursuing perfection.
The days are long, tree line is low and views spill into Norway from 63 degrees north in Sweden. Trails abound, with flowy park tracks and singletrack weaving across rocky terrain. Welcome to Sweden's only true mountain town: Åre.
Taking Hold in Navajo Nation
With a mobile bike unit serving the Navajo Nation, the nonprofit Silver Stallion is providing more than just mechanics. Repaired bikes
are helping the Diné people ride together, improve health and connect with the land.
Washington's Gritty Underdog
Once known as an extraction community, Spokane has turned the corner on cool. But don't call this outdoor community
in eastern Washington flashy; the entrepreneurial workmanlike spirit still reigns, especially in its eclectic trail scene.
Moments of wonder mix with physical challenge for two Type II fun-seekers during an off-season fat bike circumnavigation of Katahdin, bringing the history of Maine's northern landscape to life.
Profile: Kathryn Bertine
Ever since she was in kindergarten, former pro road racer Kathryn Bertine has wanted to be a "fix-it woman." She's still "fixing" things today, including the gender pay gap in cycling.
Chain of Fools: Terrorizing Terroir
Are digital trail finders, such as TrailForks, MTB Project and Strava, killing local mountain bike culture?
Trail Anatomy: Mineral Wells, Texas
A new singletrack system in a city-owned park is just the beginning of two brothers' vision for the community.
Of Bikes and (Near) Beer
Columnist Dan Loftus is away for this issue, so we take a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to extoll the virtues of nonalcoholic beer.
Effecting Change: Bearings Bike Works
A community bike shop helps Atlanta youth earn bikes, gain hands-on work experience and develop life skills.
Tested: Trek Slash 9.8 XT
Tested: Rocky Mountain Instinct 70 90
Wrenched: Project Mullet
Assistant Editor Jason Sumner examines the pros and cons of a DIY mixed-wheel bike.
Framebuilder: Firefly Bicycles
On the path of human evolution, Boston's Firefly Bicycles is headed toward perfection with its bespoke processes and experimentation.
Tailwind: Ode to the Old Cedars
Columnist Lace Lawrence pays homage to a grove of trees that breathes new life into her every time she rides.
Steve Storey dodges puddles after getting caught in a downpour while riding the classic Slickrock Trail in Utah. [Photo] Justa Jeskova
At the 63 parallel north in Åre, Sweden, Janne Tjärnström takes full advantage of long summer nights on Mt. Åreskutan. [Photo] Mattias Fredriksson