Mountain biking is defined by the trails upon which we travel. And those trails are defined by the people, places and communities that build, maintain, foster and enjoy them. Mountain Flyer No. 70 celebrates all these stories. First we dig into the trails—literally—heading to Oregon, where the volunteers and stewards of the Oregon Timber Trail are reviving the four-year-old long-distance route after a devastating summer of wildfires. Then, from central Vermont’s Slate Valley, Caitrin Maloney and the Velomont Trail Collective are building and connecting a trail that will run the length of the state. Later, on the Portuguese island of Madeira, Alex Gouveia is using ancient rockwork techniques to maintain a seaside network of world-class enduro trails. Finally we hit the trail, whether that’s The Crusher, a 100-mile self-supported race in Marquette, Michigan, or the Tour Divide, the 2,745-mile race between Canada and Mexico that photographer Eddie Clark has captured for more than a decade. And on trail, we test and review the Esker Rowl, Pivot Trail 429 and Alchemy Arktos.
Four hundred fifty miles west of Morocco's coast lies Madeira, a 286-square-mile island crisscrossed with trails that welcomes an annual enduro race and has twice hosted the Enduro World Series.
Competing for Green
Until recently, the bike industry has lagged behind when it comes to sustainability. Now, thanks to research, initiatives and passion projects by a few brands, retailers and advocacy organizations, things are poised to change.
Trial by Fire
Recent wildfires have devastated more than 20 precent of the four-year-old, 670-mile Oregon Timber Trail. Thanks to a series of stewardship events and a massive outpouring of volunteer support, the trail will soon be rideable again.
To Crush or Be Crushed
During an ultra-challenging, pandemic-year edition of Marquette, Michigan's 100-mile Crusher gravel race, a quartet of Colorado riders experience the rugged and remote terrain of the Upper Peninsula the hardest way.
Profile: Eddie Clark
For more than a decade, the Boulder, Colorado- based photographer has captured the riders, landscapes and emotions of the Tour Divide, the 2,745-mile race that extends from Canada to Mexico along the Continental Divide.
Chain of Fools: Padded Up
A full suit of body armor might seem like overkill to some riders. But for others it's a key to confidence and riding again tomorrow.
Trail Anatomy: Black Hawk, Colorado's Hard Money
The city of Black Hawk is betting on attracting new visitors with its new directional downhill trail.
Of Bikes and Beer
Columnist Dan Loftus wants you to stock your refrigerator and stay the heck home.
Effecting Change: Velomont Trail Collective
The organization behind Vermont's Velomont is seeking to connect and build 485-plus miles of trail to run the length of the state, interlinking communities and trail networks along the way.
Tested: Pivot Trail 429
Tested: Alchemy Arktos
Tested: Esker Rowl
Wrenched: ENVE AM30 Wheels
ENVE's new budget wheels still cost $1,600. Are they worth it?
Framebuilder: Thomson Bikes
Thomson Bikes has been building components in Macon, Georgia, for nearly three decades. When the pandemic hit, the company kicked their MTB frame production into overdrive and hopes to become a force in East Coast mountain bike fabrication.
Tailwind: Thanks, Ned
When a bike is stolen at a mid-'90s NORBA race, what better superhero could save the day than Ned Overend?
On the cover: Billy Lewis kicks up some dust before the setting sun in Whatcomb County, Washington. [Photo] Eric Mickelson
Department contents: “Nothing beats riding—and shooting—dream-like trails bathed in beautiful late light, but this one finished with a bonus,” says Dan Milner of this photo of Ludo May and Yann Guigoz in Val d’Anniviers, Switzerland. The bonus: the historic Hôtel Weisshorn, which was built 130 years ago and sits at 7,000 feet. “We stopped there for post-ride beers and beds with a view, before starting the dream all over again right out the door.” [Photo] Dan Milner