Mountain biking has always been about getting out and finding new challenges and horizons, farther than what’s right out the backdoor. It’s a spirit of adventure that beckons us to keep moving onward and upward. In Mountain Flyer No. 71 we go a little left of center in that search. Follow us on a road trip across America in search of unique destinations and exceptional trails beyond random offramps along the U.S. Interstate System. Then, a first-time bikerafter learns the ins and outs of mixing bikepacking with rafting on a journey that creates new friendships and challenges while from riding a fully loaded bike (and paddling a fully loaded raft). We also get a fatbike history lesson from the cyclists who traversed rural Alaska during the gold rush at the turn of the 19th century. And we talk to legendary trailbuilder Joey Klein about how his work has influenced trails across the world.
THE PLACES IN BETWEEN
On her road trips across America, Leslie Kehmeier strives to get off the beaten track. And she's found some excellent diners, unique characters and exceptional trails beyond the random exits of the U.S. Interstate System.
GOLD RUSH RIDERS
Long before fat bikes came to Alaska, Edward Jesson and Max Hirschberg pedaled across the Last Frontier during the gold rush at the turn of the 19th century. Riding then, versus now, was both easier and harder.
The opioid epidemic has hit West Virginia harder
than nearly any other state in the country. But the organizers of the West Virginia Interscholastic Cycling League are looking to use mountain bikes to fight back.
IN THE HEART OF THE FOUR CORNERS
A first-time bikerafter finds friendship, challenge and novelty beneath Colorado's San Juan Mountains while pedaling, paddling and camping his way across the Southwest. Riding a weighted-down bike, he learns, can be even more fun that riding one unloaded.
Profile: Joey Klein
For two decades this trail specialist for IMBA has been a major influncer in trail building and design.
Chain of Fools: Objects in Motion
Zach Faulkner, who knowingly tips the scales as a Big Man, is proud to wave the Clydesdale flag. Even if it means breaking pedals.
Trail Anatomy: Rattling Creek, Pennsylvania
The Susquehanna Area Mountain Bike Association seeks to reinvigorate a community in south central Pennsylvania by expanding from an IMBA Epic trail.
Effecting Change: Time to Take Action
Molly Cameron has been dealing with issues- related gender dynamics in cycling for 20 years. Now, through a new advocacy organization, she's working to improve the LGBTQ+ experience.
Tested: Santa Cruz Blur CC TR X01 AXS
Tested: Niner Jet 9 RDO 4-Star Shimano XT
Wrenched: Why I Learned to Not Hate E-Bikes
As an e-bike newbie, Assistant Editor Jason Sumner self-reflects on the pros and cons of electric assist. Plus, mini-reviews of the Yeti 160E T1 and Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL Comp.
Framebuilder: Arthaya Nootecharas
Frame painter and artist Arthaya Nootecharas proves you don't need to fit the mold
to have a role in the bike industry.
Tailwind: Age of Enlightenment
A nostalgia-driven purchase of a 1986 Schwinn High Sierra brings the simple satisfaction of self-propulsion and a reminder that bike brakes in '86 really sucked.
On the cover: Brooklyn Bell cuts through old growth and tall ferns at Larrabee State Park, south of her hometown of Bellingham, Washington. [Photo] Joey Schusler
Department contents: By the middle of June in Aptos, California, after months without rain, the trails are typically starting to become blown out. “On this particular day, however, I noticed some very heavy black clouds in the mountains above our riding zone,” says Ian Collins. “So, I nudged Simon Silver to head out for a day in the woods with a camera. Having fog and wet dirt at that time of the year was quite a treat.” [Photo] Ian Collins