Mountain Flyer | Number 72

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Mountain biking has always been the off-beat culture of cycling. In Mountain Flyer No. 72 we explore ancient cultures from Utah to Guatemala and their connections to ancient peoples who came before us. We also take a compelling and humorous journey with Kevin Franks, a mountain biker who avoided a mid-life crisis by promising to climb 500,000-feet on the dirt for his 50th year around the sun. Then, Stevil Kinevil visits Donkalope Bicycles to get an inside view of this rouge welder in Framebuilder. In our new section called Outlaws we visit Cycle Chvrch Cycles and see why owner Timmy Nicholls is the perfect candidate to introduce this column. We talk to Thomas Jenkins from Shenandoah Bicycle Company and get an insider’s look at this thing we call Red Bull Rampage. 


Depending on who you ask, the sport of mountain biking has existed for roughly 45 to 50 years and few mountain biking events exemplifie the evolution of bike technology, rider ability and pursuit of pushing limits more than Red Bull Rampage.

Southwestern Utah has stories that are thousands of years old. Humans first lived there around 8000 BC, hunter-gatherers surviving from day-to-day. As mountain bikers, we are tiny blips riding fat tires as a way to enjoy life.

Kevin Franks avoided a mid-life crisis in the best way possible, he pledged to climb 500,000 feet at 50-years old in one year to celebrate his mile-stone birthday. All of it on a mountain bike. This is his story of success and failure.

A hut-to-hut, bikepacking trip in a foreign country is always an adventure. Add in a case of violent food poisoning, pouring rain and a whole lot of sheep and you get what's called the proverbial epic of a lifetime.


Editor's Note



Profile: Thomas Jenkins
A lot has changed since Thomas Jenkins started 86 Shenandoah Bicycle Company in 1999 but one thing 90 remains the same, his commitment to the community.

Trail Anatomy: Snowmass Bike Park, Colorado
Aspen Skiing Company has made a big bet, and a big investment, on the continued success of Snowmass Bike Park.

Chain of Fools: The Devil In The Details
Jen See knows a lot about surfing, mountain biking and writing. She knows a whole lot more about getting lost and not really knowing why.

Outlaws: Cycle Chvrch Cycles
Timmy Nicholls is doing things his own way with his one-man bike shop. He is a proper choice to be the first person featured in this new column.

Tested: Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 1

Tested: Evil Following

Tested: Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90

Wrenched: Reserve Fillmore Valves
Who knew the simple valve stem could be so complex. Managing Editor Jason Sumner takes a deep dive into a new way to air up your tubeless tires.


Framebuilder: Riding The Donkalope
How a dream and a love of donkeys led to the creation of a cult bike brand honed in mountain, cross, road, track and, of course, BMX bikes.

Tailwind: Skipping Stones, Jumping Bikes, Breaking Bottles
La Llorona was the most beautiful Mexican woman, with long black hair and pure olive skin, I needed to find peace with her on a river's edge.


On the cover: : You can't dampen the enthusiasm of youth. Jack Kiedaisch, 13, wheelies his way toward spring on a rural road in Hinesburg, Vermont. [Photo] Matt Keidaisch

Department contents: "As record setting heat and wildfires topped the news throughout summer in the Pacific Northwest last year, we were able to find temporary reprieve by camping and riding in the backcountry of British Columbia's Sea to Sky region," says Steve Storey. "It was devastating yet the sunsets were unreal and the ability to bikepack lightly due to the heat allowed us to go deeper into new territory." [Photo] Justa Jeskova

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