Bikes or Death

de Patrick Farnsworth

Bikepacking podcast, cycling, bikepacking, gravel riding, gravel bike, camping, adventure

Episodios

Ep. 87 - East Texas Showdown

por Patrick Farnsworth

Join me in the van as I scout a re-reoute for this years East Texas Showdown and Slowdown. Back in July on a scouting mission we discovered a 25 mile section of road that looked good on the maps, but once we saw it in person it was an obvious "no go" for safety reasons. This left a huge hole in the route and with only 4 months until race day I had to scramble for a solution.

On this episode I take you along the journey as I scout a new section for the route. Along the way I share what to expect for people who are signed up for the race or may want to ride it at some point in the future. I speak directly to folks from all over the world who have never been to Texas and have know idea what to expect, but I hope locals will find it helpful as well.

As we go along I share updates on the progress and also important details about surface type, tire choice, weather, a little Texas history, and anything else that pops in my head. If you are considering creating a route/race like this you may also find this episode helpful as I share some of my reasons for this event, what I hope to accomplish, challenges I faced, and how I am tackling things that come up.

At the end of this episode I answer questions that have come up since releasing the route and I also announce the live Facebook event for race participants. This will be part route overview and part Q&A to tie up any loose ends that may still be dangling in the wind.

Showdown Route Stats

  • 373 miles
  • 15,800 ft. elevation
  • 60% gravel
  • The hardest part of this route may be the last 40 miles.  At mile 329 you will pass the Bullet Grill and you may be tempted to stop for a burger and beer, but will you get back out on route?? Time will tell!  If it helps, the last 20 miles on the route are some of my personal favorites.  

Slowdown Route Stats

  • 273 miles
  • 11,300 ft. elevation
  • 64% gravel

There are 2 days left to register and 3 spots left.


Episode Sponsors: tell them thanks for making this episode possible!

Ruby Coffee: This week Jesse shares some tips on brewing the perfect cup of coffee at home. Use code “BIKESORDEATH” for 15% off your first order or 20% off your first order of a subscription 
NM Bikepacking Summit: Matt Mason tells us a little about what they've got brewing for the first ever NM bikepacking summit on Oct. 22nd in Las Cruces, NM.

Thanks to this week’s newest sustaining Patrons and welcome to The After Party 🎉
Jonas Schaller
Christy & Ross Jones
Jim Barrow
Brandon Masters

Ep. 86 - Jeff Kerkove, Determined to Finish

por Patrick Farnsworth

This episode is all about determination and perseverance. In 2007 Jeff Kerkove took on the Colorado Trail Race (CTR) as his first bikepacking race. He came into the bikepacking world with an accomplished racing career in 12 and 24 hour events. That year he DNF'd due to trench foot, a mistake he never made again. He would go on to attempt the CTR 5 more times, each with the same result, a DNF on the CTR. This year would be different for Jeff. He lined up to the start line for his seventh time, armed with all the knowledge of his previous attempts, and just as determined to finish. This year his perseverance and determination paid off with his first finish on the CTR. He finished in a very respectable 7th place with a time of 5 day, 1 hour. I love this story and I'm so glad Jeff got that "monkey off his back" and he came on the show to share it with us.

Jeff is also one of the main folks behind Ergon USA, so I took the opportunity to talk about their grips and saddles particularly as they relate to bikepackers and ultra endurance cyclist. Hand pain, wrist pressure, saddle sores, are common issues that come up and they make some good products that help address these issues. *This is not an advertisement for Ergon, he happens to work there, and I was curious.

Visit www.bikesordeath.com for the full writeup, pictures of Jeff's CTR, and picture from a 2018 bikepacking trip Jeff helped me plan in Colorado.

Episode Sponsors: tell them thanks for making this episode possible!

Kuat: This week Tom Lampe came on to tells us a little about the Piston Pro X

Quad Lock: Ben Moore has been riding with QL for 4 years and he came on to share some of his experiences!

Thanks to this week’s newest sustaining Patrons and welcome to The After Party 🎉
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Ep. 85 - Chris and Marni Plesko, "The Parent Trap"

por Patrick Farnsworth

Chris and Marni Plesko, aka The Parent Trap, just became the first couple to complete the Colorado Trail Race on a Tandem. And I had a lot of questions. How is there relationship doing? How did they train while working and being parents of two boys? Who's idea was it and how did it go? We talked about the bike and their attention to detail with the build, and about their transition back to the real world after 10 days on the CT.

My partner Sarah and I just purchased our first tandem, which will be introduced to the world soon, and so I've had an increased interest in all things tandem. Which is how I found Chris on instagram. It just so happens he and his wife Marni were preparing to tackle the CTR on their tandem. During the race, I was glued to their dot, I would try to image what they were going through, and I couldn't to chat after their record setting race!

While researching this podcast I learned that Chris holds the current Single Speed Record on the Tour Divide. He set the record in 2009 and then he broke his record again in 2016 while chasing Mike Hall on his record setting run. His record still stands, so I took this opportunity to dig into his personal history. I equally enjoyed Marni's introduction to bikepacking and ultra endurance cycling, first as an observer and supporter of Chris, and then as his tandem partner in crime.

I walked away from this conversation with a smile on my face, my heart, and wishing we lived closer so we could trade babysitting and go on tandem rides. I hope you take away something from this conversation as well. I sure did!


Episode Sponsors: tell them thanks for making this episode possible!

Wren Sports: This week Cameron comes on the show for a quick chat about their Inverted Fork Tech. Check out their website, if you see something you like, put it in your cart, use code BOD10 for 10% off your order.
To learn more about their Inverted Tech check out Cameron's chat with Ryan Duzer on Youtube.

Thanks also to this week’s newest sustaining Patrons and welcome to The After Party 🎉
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Ep. 84 - Ned Bachanko, 2021 CTR Winner

por Patrick Farnsworth

This week I had an opportunity to catch up with Neil Beltchenko, who raced the 2021 CTR under the pseudonym Ned Bachanko. Neil is no stranger to ultra endurance racing, he's been pushing his limits on the most demanding routes since 2013. In 2014 he and his wife Lindsay started Bikepacker Mag which was an online publication about bikepacking, routes, and gear. In 2017 Bikepacking.com absorbed Bikepacker Mag and Neil. You will now find Neil creating some amazing content for Bikepacking.com's YouTube channel, which I highly recommend. Whether on the bike or behind the camera Neil is always moving the sport of bikepacking forward and we are lucky to have him in our community.

Neil and Lindsay, also put on the Bikepacking Summit, which is where I met them in 2019. I can tell you, they know how to throw one helluva bikepacking party. We talked about the future of the Summit on the podcast, but you'll have to listen to find out 😊

We were able to cover a lot on this episode, we chatted about content creation, his introduction to bikepacking and ultra endurance racing, his 2015 Tour Divide race, pre-race anxiety and pressure, his soon to be fatherhood, his bike setup, this years CTR 1st place finish, and of course we talk White Sox.

After almost 10 years we had a lot to talk about and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I mostly enjoy Neil's seemingly unlimited positivity, it's contagious and I like it.

Follow Neil on Bikepacking.com's YouTube Channel or on his instagram @neil_beltchenko, he takes a nice picture, check'em out!


Episode Sponsors: tell them thanks for making this episode possible!

Rockgeist - This week we had Jessica on to tell us about some new fabric offerings! If you haven't checked out their Fabric Page, you should! They have collected an impressive about of data and information about fabric types, how they wear, and suggestions on what may be best for you.

Quad Lock - Personally, I dumped my bike computer years ago and have been using Quad Lock on all my bikes ever since. For me it was about simplicity. One less thing to charge, upload, download, update, etc. It's been a great solution for me whether I'm going on a mtb ride or a 5 day bikepacking trip.

Thanks also to this week’s newest sustaining Patrons and welcome to The After Party 🎉
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Ep. 83 - Cameron Sanders, a Man of Many Hats

por Patrick Farnsworth

Cameron Sanders is a man of many hats. He's worn a spelunking helmet, a bicycle helmet, a race directors cap, and a work hat as the VP of Product Development and Marketing for Wren Sports. On this episode we focus on the Stetson hat he donned as a Park Ranger shortly after a armed group of far-right extremists seized and occupied the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon. Cameron went into a very difficult situation where tensions were high and a community was divide and, as a good outdoorsman, he left it better than he found it. Cameron used his love for public lands, the people who use them, and his love for exploring the world on his bike to help a community heal. That healing came by way of a gravel bike race that showcases the this region of Eastern Oregon in a whole new light.

This armed takeover of a government building is complicated with a history that goes deep. To have a better understanding of the issues in this episode, that we only touch, we recommend that you check out the Bundyville Podcast. They do an excellent job of detailing this event, it's well done, and I binge-listened to the whole thing! Or you can read the cliff notes on Wikipedia.

For a full write-up on this episode with pictures please visit www.BikesorDeath.com.  

Support for this episode is thanks to...

Ruby Coffee - Use code "BIKESORDEATH" for 15% off your first order or 20% off your first order of a subscription ☕️ 🎉
Wren Sports - Use code "BOD10" for 10% off your entire order 🚲 🎉
Patreon - Sign up to help support future episodes.

This weeks NEW Patrons
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Thomas Sutton, Derek Atkins, Mike Wallace, Joe Vunchetich, John Hickman, Kyle Forshaw, Randy Windle, Kyle Anstine, Butt Cheeks 😂
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Ep. 82 - Jefe Branham, Colorado Trail el Jefe

por Patrick Farnsworth

Jefe Branham's just completed the Colorado Trail Race for the 9th time, and he's won 4 of them!  He lives in Gunnison, CO which puts the Colorado Trail in his "backyard", his relationship with the trails goes back almost 30 years.  He is also the race director, so you can see why he's earned the title Mr. Colorado Trail.

This year he completed the race in 4 days, 16 hours, and 8 minutes on his Why Cycles El Jefe, setup single speed.  After setting a new AZT 300 ss record earlier this year some were looking at Jefe to potentially take down the Colorado Trail Race ss record this year as well, but weather wasn't on his side.  And as we learn in this episode, the record time of 4d, 6h, 39m held by Timon's Fish, may be a tough one to beat.  

Jefe's accomplishments are greater than my knowledge of them.  Mostly because he isn't one to tout them.  Instead he focuses his time and attention on the doing, and he's damn good at it.  

To follow Jefe you can find him on Instagram or his Blog.  

                                        * * * * * * * *

Today's episode was made possible with support from Kuat and Quadlock

Thanks also to this week’s newest sustaining Patrons. This show is made possible by the community. If you’re enjoying the show please consider signing to help keep the lights on and the podcast flowing.

Mike Munroe 
Lee Johnson
Matt Winsor
Mark Bryson
Pierre-Mi Jauvin
Steve Capps
Bas Bertrand
Brieann O'Neill
Eric Elbert

Ep. 81 - Tyler Wacker, Quit his job to cycle around USA!

por Patrick Farnsworth

At the beginning of 2020 Tyler Wacker quit his engineering job to cycle the circumference of USA on his Surly Long Haul Trucker. His plans were derailed when COVID shut down reliable camping and provisions along the way. When he did continue his tour, it wasn't to complete his tour around USA, instead he pointed his bike NE towards Boston. Where he would hop on a plane to Iceland where he is now a grad student in Isafjordur, Iceland, studying Coastal Communities and Regional Development. His bike exploits don't stop in Iceland!

Listen to this episode and learn about what motivates Tyler to pursue a life a little different than the norm.

I got to meet Tyler in Austin, TX while he was home during a break from school. I really appreciated the way he meaningfully approaches life by making choices that enhance his own life as well as the ones around him. He is also a wealth of information when it comes to Active Transportation, which is a subject we both enjoyed.

Tyler is heading back to Iceland, follow him on instagram @tyler_vision


Today's episode was supported by the new Wishbone from Rockgeist! It's a U shaped metal bracket that bolts to one of the seat tube bottle bolts and supports the side of the framebag from the outside. So basically an exoskeleton for the framebag, positioned low where the crank arm rotates around. It prevents the bag from ballooning out and getting a hole where it rubs the crank arm. 

Thanks also to this week’s newest sustaining Patrons. This show is made possible by the community. If you’re enjoying the show please consider signing to help keep the lights on and the podcast flowing.

Angela Freeman
Christopher Grady
Brad Lankford
David Boswell
Derek Bowers
Jerod Foster
Sally Turner
Bryan Anderson
Larin Davis
Erin Wood
Joshua Spiers
Kyle Johnson
Pat Smith
Brian Arfmann
Peter Stewart
Luke Galloway
Nic Doyle
Bobby Ellis
Kasey Hochmuht (Hawk-moot)

 

Ep. 80 - Sarah Swallow, professional Adventure Cyclist

por Patrick Farnsworth

Sarah Swallow was introduced to bicycles, and the cycling community, at the young age of 12 when she started working for a bike rental company in Ohio. She wasn't a cyclist at the time and had no idea that one day she'd be a sponsored Adventure Cyclist. Today Sarah has carved out a cool career for herself that allows her to pursue the things in life that brings her joy and share them in a way that is authentic to herself.

She’s worn many hats over the years. From bike rental to, bike shop owner, route creator, race director, and spreader of stoke and adventure on 2 wheels. Her most recent exploit was on this years Tour Divide Classic where she earned a 2nd place finish.

Her Tour Divide attempt almost didn’t happen. As she was driving to the start her bike flew off the back of their truck and the impact cracked the carbon frame. With only days before the race she scrambled to piece her bike and gear back together and thanks to efforts from many members of this community she made it to the start! The stoke she received from the outpouring of the community set her up for a successful ride.


Today's episode was supported by Ruby Coffee. Listeners of this show receive 15% off their first order or 20% off the first order of a subscription, just use "BIKESORDEATH" at checkout!

Thank you also to this week's newest sustaining Patrons. This show is made possible by you. If you're enjoying the show please consider signing to help keep the lights on and the podcast flowing.

Christopher Buratta
Carrier Denis
Miles Camp
Brian Farren
Mike Zande
Timothy Dufault
Ryan Gilmore
Ryan Zimmer
Katy MaGuire
Bradley Ortego
Lars Smith
Martin Holdrege
Johnny De Martin
Brent Young
Genevieve Birch
Kevin Emery
Blake Kingfischer
Kristen Wiley
Andrew Cullen
Kevin Keilitz

Ep. 79 - Brendan Heinig, when a Tour Divide 2nd feels like winning

por Patrick Farnsworth

When Brendan Heinig lined up to the start of this years Tour Divide "Classic" he didn't have any idea he'd be at the pointy end of the race with TD veteran Jay Petervary. If you didn't watch the dots as this race unfolded you missed a 1,500 mile "nail-biter"!!! That's because Brendan and Jay were able to put a lot of distance between them and their competitors, but not each other. In fact for the last 1,500 miles of the race they were rarely more than just a few miles apart and they often yo-yo'd back and forth for first place.

They were so close towards in end that they both found themselves in Pietown, NM at the same time and shared a pie for Jay's birthday. After that.....well, you'll just have to listen and find it!

I love an "underdog" story and this one hit all the right cords for me. I learned that Brendan began his Tour Divide journey in 2015 and only managed to break his bike and body. This is a story about his 6 year journey to get back on the Tour Divide and this time finishing was the only option. Being in contention for the lead, that's just a bonus.


This episode was made possible by support from these amazing Companies and Patrons.

Rockgeist - A cottage gear company specializing in custom framebags, accessory bags, and welded, waterproof gear from their Porcelain Rocket acquisition.

Ruby Coffee - A small coffee roasting company that sources their coffee from local farms and all of their coffee is roasted to order so it's always fresh.

Thanks to this week's newest supporting Patrons.

Jim Dunne
Gil Mireles
Jessica Auell
Matt Burris
Chris Ross
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isaac ramos
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LL Rae
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Andrew Schneider
Leo Ronan
David Graham
Bradley Craig
Kyle Aldridge
Bobby Wintle
Matt hickey
Rick glenn
Simon
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Thomas Lane
Anthony J Patterson
Lewis Clark
Jonathan Robert
Amos Mayberry
Brad Cook
Aaron Chamberlain
Robert Vanderbloemen
Ryan Williams
Barry Spies
Paul V Ress

 

 
 

Ep. 78 - Jessica Alexander, Bikepacking from Arkansas to Austin during a Pandemic

por Patrick Farnsworth

I've been familiar with Jessica peripherally as a member of the Austin cycling scene and also from her published work in Bikepacking.com. She's penned two works for them, Discovering Aloneness on the Arkansas High Country can be found online. Her other piece, River Road Rendezvous, is featured the in the 2021 edition of the Bikepacking Journal. So when I received my July '22 issue of TPWD Magazine I was surprised, but not shocked, to see an article she wrote for them about bikepacking during the pandemic.

It's about a 700 mile trip that her and a riding companion created and road during the later stages of the pandemic. The began their journey in Little Rock, AR and used a train to get them to their starting point. From there it was 700 miles of mixed terrain riding back to their hometown of Austin, TX. Like any trip they have their highs and lows, but they are always jam packed with lessons and knowledge you didn't have before.

Jessica is an accomplished bikepacker and photojournalist and her two passions intersect to inspire people to get out and ride their damn bike, and that's something we can dig over here at BoD. On this episode we learn a little about Jessica and then we learn from her about bikepacking, route planning, and how to share them to inspire others!

After we parted ways she was off to teach a women's clinic on crit racing. Jessica's desire to grow the bike community is seemingly endless and I appreciate her coming on the show to share some of that with us.


There is a special message to the listeners at the beginning of this episode. I hope you will take the time to listen. These episodes aren't possible without your support, literally. To find out how you can help keep the lights on please visit Patreon.

A big thanks to this week's newest Patrons!!
Jeremy Gleason
Michael Gerwig
Tom Boss
Dave Lewis
Valerie Ruiz
Dave Easley
Bill Gercken
Matthew Wells
David Criswell
Stephen Outten
Neal Sivula
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Charley Lingerfelt
Katy Cummings
Ashley Nicole Ferris

Ep. 77 - Bobby Wintle, We Trained all Pandemic for This

por Patrick Farnsworth

Many of you will know Bobby Wintle as the larger than life figurehead of District Bikes and MidSouth Gravel (formerly Land Run 100). That's how I knew him too until my interview with Dr. Seth Wood, when I learned how he had donated a portion of the proceeds from the very first Land Run to help with Seth's medical bills, and then continued to foster than relationship to this day. Hearing that story told me there was a lot more to Bobby than just great hair, a perfect smile, a great hugger, and I was eager to hear his side of the story.

Just a month after my interview with Seth I found myself back in Stillwater, OK across a picnic table at Lake McMurtry from Bobby Wintle with a bottle of fine bourbon for us to share. And share we did! After fours hours, and almost a full bottle of bourbon later, we pushed stop on the recorder. What we captured that evening is a side of Bobby that I think few get to see because he is so busy and has so much demand on his time. It's a rare thing these days to be locked into a conversation with someone in this manner. It's why I love long form conversations, you can't fake it for 4 hours (especially not when borbon is involved), so what you get is a truly authentic window into who a person is.

I appreciate Bobby so much for his willingness to honestly and authentically share so much of himself on this episode. It was an absolute pleasure getting to know him and I'm so stoked he's on Team Bike. For this episode I recommend you schedule a long bike ride, or pull up a chair and pour a glass of your favorite drink, and join Bobby and I for our conversation at Lake McMurtry....

I'll see you there!


These shows aren’t possible without your support! This episode was captured on a recent podcasting trip to Oklahoma.

Thank you to our newest sustaining Patrons!
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Bryce Webster
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Ep. 76 - Texas Hill Country Route w/ Maxwell Johnston

por Patrick Farnsworth

On this episode I get a private tour of the new Texas Hill Country Overnighter with it's creator Maxwell Johnston. This is one of only four routes listed on Bikepacking.com in Texas and two of those are in Big Bend, which is beautiful, but also very remote, requiring a 10+ hour drive from Central Texas.

When I got into bikepacking I quickly learned that the lack of Public Lands in Texas creates a barrier to accessing the outdoors via bike, because 97% of Texas is privately held land. The genius of Maxwell's route is that he used Private Campgrounds as a way to string together some of the best gravel roads in the Hill Country.

This route was originally submitted to Bikepacking.com and you can find all the route info with gps file by searching in their route library.  

I can't tell you how many messages I've received over the years asking if I knew of a bikepacking route in the Hill Country, and I'm happy to have an excellent route I can share next time I get a message! This route quickly became my favorite route in Texas. The roads are idyllic and lightly travelled that will treat you to a wide diversity of flora and fauna. We road it in the late spring and the wildflowers made for an extra special trip, but Maxwell is quick to point out that this route is also beautiful in the winter; and a little cooler!

Today's episode takes a deeper look into this new route. What really sells this route is the pictures!

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These shows aren’t possible without your support!

Thank you to our newest sustaining Patrons!
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The Eggman Cometh!!
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EP. 75 - Liam Glen, Winner of the HT550 on a Rigid SS

por Patrick Farnsworth

On May 22nd Liam Glen lined up at the start of the Highland Trail 550 on his fully rigid single speed Stooge Cycles Scrambler against the likes of James Hayden, Josh Isbett, and others. He would go on to win with a time of 3d, 10h, 55m which was good enough to get the SS Course Record and almost enough to best the Course Record set by Neil Beltchenko in 2017 (3d, 10h, 20m). Liam is no stranger to this event, he also won it in 2016 with a time of 4d, 2h, 48m. After a 2019 DNF on this route he switched up his bike and his mindset which proved to be the winning receipt.

No doubt about it, this was an impressive run at this course, but when you factor in that he was riding a steel, rigid, ss (34x20) it's kinda mind blowing.

The Highland Trail 550 is a route created by Alan Goldsmith in the northern region of Scotland, covering 550 miles with 52,500 ft of climbing through Scotland's rugged terrain and unpredictable weather.

It was great to catch up with Liam for a chat. I wasn't familiar with him prior to this event, but that's what's exciting about being a podcaster in this space right now. It's so much fun to talk to someone who accomplished something absolutely remarkable, but yet we know so little about them. I hope you'll enjoy hearing about this amazing accomplishment, but also what it took, and his path to get there.


These shows aren’t possible without your support!

Thank you to our newest sustaining Patrons!
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michael battjes
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Kevin L Fath
Garrett Fardon
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Ep. 74 - Andrew Onermaa, 2020 ARHCR Digging Deep

por Patrick Farnsworth

Like many of you I didn't know who Andrew Onermaa was before he signed up for the 2020 Arkansas High Country Race. And if you still don't recognize his name, maybe you'll know him as the guy who was going toe to toe with Ted King before he ultimately went on to set an FKT. Andrew withdrew from the race around mile 700 after pushing himself further than ever before. Literally pushing his mind and body to it's limit. Sitting there on the side of the road, eating McDonalds pancakes, Andrew turned on his cell phone and captured those raw emotions he was feeling in that moment. After watching that video I knew I had to talk to this guy, he is all heart and I wanted to hear his story.

Six months later I was able to meet Andrew in person and hear his story from the banks of the Mulberry River, there in the Ozark National forest where the race took place. His story is truly incredible, but it became a little more so for me when I learned that he didn't even get his first gravel bike until May of 2020, which means he only had 5 months of experience before signing up for the ARHCR!! Think about that for a second. Think about how hard he must have pushed himself leading up to and then during the race. He lined up at the start line on an entry level Salsa Warbird with 5 months of experience against a former world tour pro who has transitioned over to gravel earning the title King of Gravel. At some points of the race he was leading, but it was always close, as Andrew pushed his limits and probably pushed Ted King to dig a little deeper.

This story typifies one of the best aspects of this sport, it is an equalizer. It shows that anybody can do this, anybody who is willing to train hard, ride hard, push hard, and dig deeper than ever before can do this if they choose. It's not easy, in fact it is very hard, but it is possible and I love that about this sport. For this event Ted King's decades of experience paid off earning him a well deserved FKT and I couldn't be more happy for him. I'm equally happy for Andrew Onermaa for the courage it took to push himself that hard, to find his limit, and for his willingness to share so openly his story.

I think it can be easy as a dot watcher to be numb to how hard these efforts really are and how hard the athletes dig to find the courage to keep pushing when their mind and body are rebelling. As I've interviewed many of the top athletes in endurance cycling I am guilty of this myself, which is why I'm grateful to Andrew. His story really resonated with me as a reminder of how personal these efforts are and the heart it takes to push yourself to the limit. Easy words to type, but they come to life through Andrews telling.

GPS Coordinates to where this episode was recorded: 35°39'32.2"N 93°51'28.9"W

When he's not working or training Andrew is busy developing routes and the gravel community in NWA through the Ozark Gravel Cyclist. They are doing great things in that area, so definitely check them out if you are in or visiting that area.


These shows aren’t possible without your support! This episode was from my recent trip to Oklahoma and Arkansas to capture interviews for the podcast.

Thank you to our newest sustaining Patrons!
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Michele Aguilera
Mat Long
Joseph Harrington
Shanelle Hayes
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🚨 ADnouncement 🚨

This episode is supported by Experience Fayetteville and the Fayetteville, Arkansas community.

Fayetteville is excited to once again be the host community for the 2021 Arkansaw High Country Race.

Quickly becoming known as one of the most challenging bikepacking races in the country, the 1000+ mile Arkansaw High Country Race departs from Downtown Fayetteville on Saturday morning, October 9!

The race follows the perimeter of the Arkansas High Country Route – a series of three mixed surface loops that connect several of the state’s stunning natural regions including the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains and the Arkansas River Valley.

New for 2021, race officials have announced the creation of the Short Circuit Race – an opportunity to experience just the Northwest Loop of the route. The shorter 240-mile distance is perfect for the weekend warrior looking for a limit-pushing course.

Registration for the 2021 Arkansaw High Country Race and the Short Circuit Race opens June 1, 2021. Each race distance is limited to a field of 50 competitors and expected to fill up fast. Additional race information including links to register can easily be found by searching High Country at ExperienceFayetteville.com

 
 

Ep. 73 - Dr. Seth Wood, from ICU to FKT

por Patrick Farnsworth

I met Dr. Seth Wood at a wedding in Oklahoma back in 2019. I was early in my podcasting journey and I was shocked when I learned that he was using the Bikes or Death Podcast as part of his circulam at OSU, where he still teaches today. So shocked, that I completely blanked when he told me about it! I took this opportunity to indulge myself and find out what he could possibly be using my podcast for in a college course?!

More importantly, I wanted to hear Seth's story about his journey from almost losing his life in Feb. of 2013 after being ran over by a car while commuting on his bike. To then go on to set a Singlespeed FKT on the Arkansas High Country Race. The collision nearly cost him his life, but a year later he competed in the 2nd ever LandRun 100 (Now Midsouth) and he finished! All while wearing an eye patch as a visible reminder that he was still recovering from the injuries he sustained.

He would go on to race the Tour Divide in 2016 and 2018 completing it both times and taking home 8th place in 2018. Then in 2020 he set the ARHCR FKT on a Singlespeed.

I learned from our discussion that this is a story much larger than himself. It's one about this community and how much impact it can have on the lives of those it touches. I learned that the cycling community in Stillwater, OK, that is spearheaded by Bobby Wintle and the District Bicycle crew, is a special one. When a local cyclist, who they didn't know, was hit and nearly killed by a college man driving a car they stepped up and not only provided financial support, but they also poured out love and gave Dr. Seth Wood a new family and community.

This probably the most moving episode I've had the privilege to be part of. I hope that it will serve as a reminder of how special this community is, the power that it has, and that we should remember to embrace ALL cyclist, regardless if you know them or not.

Thank you Seth for sharing your challenging journey with us. Thank you to Bobby Wintle and the District Bike Family for being examples in our community. I truly believe this community is made up of some of the best humans on earth and you are all examples of that.


These shows aren't possible without your support! This episode was from my recent trip to Oklahoma and Arkansas to capture interviews for the podcast.

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🚨 ADnouncement 🚨

This episode is supported by Experience Fayetteville and the Fayetteville, Arkansas community.

Fayetteville is excited to once again be the host community for the 2021 Arkansaw High Country Race.

Quickly becoming known as one of the most challenging bikepacking races in the country, the 1000+ mile Arkansaw High Country Race departs from Downtown Fayetteville on Saturday morning, October 9!

The race follows the perimeter of the Arkansas High Country Route – a series of three mixed surface loops that connect several of the state's stunning natural regions including the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains and the Arkansas River Valley.

New for 2021, race officials have announced the creation of the Short Circuit Race - an opportunity to experience just the Northwest Loop of the route. The shorter 240-mile distance is perfect for the weekend warrior looking for a limit-pushing course.

Registration for the 2021 Arkansaw High Country Race and the Short Circuit Race opens June 1, 2021. Each race distance is limited to a field of 50 competitors and expected to fill up fast. Additional race information including links to register can easily be found by searching High Country at ExperienceFayetteville.com

Ep. 72 - Route Building, with Kevin from RWGPS

por Patrick Farnsworth

When we did our Bikepacking Basics episode earlier this year we got a lot of questions, but the most asked questions where about route building. So I reached out to Kevin Prentice with RideWithGPS to see if they would be interested coming to do a episode on route building and (spoiler alert) they said yes!

On this episode we get to know Kevin and some history on RWGPS and then we get into the maps! And we go deep. But, we also cover very basic topics. This episode was designed with the hope that it will be a resource for you to build your own routes, modify existing ones, or fly by the seat of your pants using heatmaps. Even if you think you're a RWGPS expert I can guarantee you'll learn something on this show, I sure did!

For me Route Building is one of my favorite parts about bikepacking. With the tools and information available to us now it's truly remarkable what you're able to do from your laptop in the comfort of your home. This is where you can hone in and find the perfect camp spot or best gravel roads. Regardless of how well you plan, we all know that even the best plan can go wrong. So it's also important to know how to navigate when things don't go according to plan. After listening to (or watching) this episode you will be able to know more about doing both!

This episode is available where ever you get your podcast and also in video format with timestamps so you can comeback to it as often as needed.


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Ep. 71 - Ryan Stoyer, Bikerafting on the Buffalo

por Patrick Farnsworth

When I contacted Ryan Stoyer about coming on the podcast it was with the idea that we would talk about his unique lifestyle and how it allows for him to life a more fulfilled life. I still like that topic, but Ryan had other ideas. After the official BoD instagram invite was sent, his reply was an enthusiastic yes, followed by a suggestion, "how about we go bikerafting?". My response was equally enthusiastic and I gave no thought to the fact that I'd never been bikerafting, or had a raft, or new how to build a route, etc etc. But we had 5 weeks and that turned out to be the just enough to assemble the necessary gear and courage to tackle new adventure territory. The plan was to create a bikerafting route and share our experiences through a podcast.

As I learned more about Bikerafting, I learned that there is a lot of interest in this re-emerging sport. The first recorded bikeraft trip was in 1987 by Roman Dial, but it seems to be growing in popularity in recent years. So the focus of the podcast shifted from being about Ryan and our trip, we also tried to provide some information that may help you prepare for your own bikerafting or packrafting trip! We discuss where to get packrafts, what to look for, how they handle, how to pack, how to plan a route, etc. It was a huge learning experience for me and I'm excited to share what I learned. I'm a complete newb and my tips reflect that, which is why it was good to have Ryan who brings more experience. It came in handy on the river and on the podcast.

The route my friend Connor Thomas created in NW Arkansas is a real beauty. I will be publishing that route soon!! Unfortunately, you can't plan the weather and we got Cold and Wet every day we were there. So our trip had an extra element of Type 2 fun sprinkled in to keep it interesting. I will let the podcast speak for itself, but I can tell you that every person on that trip had a great time and the ones that didn't have packrafts are all now wanting some. Bikerafting was a little scary to me at first. It doesn't make sense that a 195 lb guy + 55 lbs of gear can float safely down a river on a 5 lb inflatable raft. Call me crazy! Any initial fears I first had were quickly squashed and I found bikerafting quite to my liking, and as Ryan says, "It's a great rest day after a long day on the bike". Not only that, but it opens up so many possibilities both with routes and with scenery.

I'm glad that Ryan challenged me to do this. It was barely on my radar, but I'm not one to shy away from a new adventure. I equally enjoyed getting to meet and learn from Ryan. He is a wealth of information on a variety of topics that I find fascinating and meaningful.

We cover a lot on this episode! To make it easier for you to enjoy and refer back to this episode at a later time I've included timestamps in the show notes so you can quickly find the topic/s you're interested in.

Timestamp:

13:45 - Talking Tiny Home
22:15 - Maker Space - Elijah, GA
26:10 - Ryans First Bikepacking Trip
33:25 - Ryans First Bikerafting Trip
38:30 - What is Bikerafting
44:15 - Rockgeist fanboy talk
47:20 - Resources for renting, buying, or building a packraft
48:33 - Renting backraftings from https://backcountrypackrafts.com/
51:00 - What is it called?  Bikepack Rafting or Bikerafting?
52:15 - What kind of features to look for in a packraft that will work for bikerafting
57:45 - Creating a Bikerafting route
62:40 - Our Bikerafting Trip 
65:00 - Packing a packraft on a bike
83:00 - Continuing our Bikerafting trip Day 2
85:00 - How to pack your gear and bike on your packraft
94:15 - Description of the water on route
98:10 - Trip Continues - Day 3
106:20 - Random tangent about Psychotropics
120:00 - Beginning of the End

 



 

Ep. 70 - Rebecca Rusch, Queen of Pain

por Patrick Farnsworth

Today's episode is with a true living legend. Rebecca Rusch has had a long and successful career spanning many different sports, but in the past 15 years has dominated the mountain bike scene, which as spilled over into bikepacking and gravel racing as well. She's been referred to as the Queen of Pain since at least 2004 and she was inducted into the MTB Hall of Fame in 2019. Here list of accolades and victories is as long as her storied career.

On this episode we get insight into some of the wisdom that she has gained through her career. Her perspectives are deep and well thought out. You can tell they've been forged in her mind over the years and countless endurance endeavor that have pushed her to grow and challenge who she is as a person.

For the uninitiated, here is a very brief history of Rebecca Rusch. She began her career as a professional athlete in Adventure Racing, which was popularized by the Eco Challenge and the subsequent TV show produced by Mark Burnett. She competed at a high level, often on the winning team or threatening the lead, from 1997-2006. She faced a pivotal point in her life and career when one of her teammates, Nigel Aylott, died in an adventure race in front of her and her team, the same year they lost their major team sponsor. With some time left on her Red Bull contract she decided to give MTB a shot. In 2006 she signed up for, and won, the USA Cycling 24-Hours MTB National Champion in the Women's Solo category. But she didn't just win her field, she had the fastest time out of all participants, women and men! And this was in a discipline that she said in her own words was her worst sport. This win catapulted her fully into the MTB world where she continues to be a real threat any time she signs up for a race.

Her accomplishments are not limited to the mountain bike. She also won the ITI 350 in 2019 and 2021, She is the Smoke n' Fire women's record holder, Unbound Gravel XL 350 winner in 2018, and she held the FKT on the Kokopelli Trail until just recently when Kait Boyle took it away by a meer 13 minutes. Her list of accomplishments is much longer, but I hope this paints the picture that Rebecca is a lifelong endurance athlete who has been competing at a very high level for a long time. In those years she has gained a rich understanding of human powered movement in the outdoors.

For me it's daunting to put keys to pad and conjure up words to describe someone who has been a personal source of inspiration for me. Luckily, we recorded a podcast so you can hear directly from the Queen of Pain herself!


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Arkansaw High Country Race - Registration Opens June 1st
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Ep. 69 - John Watson, owner of The Radavist

por Patrick Farnsworth

Happy 420 everyone! My guest on today's episode with John Watson is one that I've been looking forward to for a while. We had plans to record this one a while ago, but covid put it on pause. On my recent trip to AZ and NM I was able to meet John at his Santa Fe office where he runs The RADAVIST. His office is quaint and simple with merchandise bins tidily lining the walls and stacked to the ceiling. I felt a kinship immediately as I pictured him editing photos, writing articles, fulfilling orders, etc etc. Despite his obvious success, what you may not see immediately is the 15 years he's been doing, the passion that started it, and the long hours that took to fuel it.

In 2006 he began capturing urban bike culture for his blog that was at that time called "Prolly is not Probably". He was debating 650b v. 700c before you even had your first bike. He's been called a "Bike Snob", "Respected Tastemaker", a "Prolific Photographer" and more over his years in the industry. John made his mark by following his passion and using his camera and keyboard to share and shape the bicycle culture. If you are high af and want to go down the rabbit hole, google (or use DuckDuckGo) "Prolly is not Probably". You can find his original blogger page and hundreds of articles he's written or than have been written about him.

Now The RADAVIST is a staple in the bike industry for its tasteful photography, wide range of articles and resources, and thoughtful articles that cover a large swath of the bike industry and culture. And from my perspective we are all the benefactors of his 15 years of hard work.

It was an honor to meet John in person. Behind the scenes over emails he has always been very supportive of me and Bikes or Death. He has been a person that I look up to professionally for his work and personally because he's just a damn nice guy. So if for any reason you haven't been visiting The Radavist on a daily basis it's time for you to get your life together and start! Both his instagram accounts are equally worth a follow @johnprolly and @theradavist.

After the interview the light was getting good and John asked if he could photograph my bike, which was a dream come true for me. Find those pictures and a write up by John on The Radavist and you can read my blog reply on Bikes or Death.

Shred Lightly my friends.


These episodes aren’t possible without your support. This episode is the result of my recently podcasting trip covering 2,500 miles, 2 states, and 3 interviews in 4.5 days. If you’ve been on the fence about becoming a Patron this would be a great time to sign up and help get BoD back on the road! You can Sign Up here or leave a one time Donation on Paypal.

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East Texas Showdown – Presented by Bikes or Death

 
 

 

Ep. 68 - Lael Wilcox

por Patrick Farnsworth

It's always an extreme pleasure to sit down and chat with Lael Wilcox. Her positivity and honesty is infections as is her drive to push herself to extremes all in the name of bike racing. She's an inspiration to so many of us in this community and I am no exception. She has been a huge source of inspiration for me as I dipped my toe into the bikepacking waters. There is something about her fearless approach to bikepacking that lulls you into a false sense of achievability, but make no mistake she works hard and has been at this a long time.  This sport has come a long way in a short time and Lael has been at or near the tip of the spear for the entire time.

This was the third time Lael has been on the podcast and each time I have to reign in my personal tendencies to be star struck. Luckily, Lael is a total pro and is so easy to talk to. This time we met on Mount Lemmon outside of Tucson, AZ at the Gordon Hirabayashi Campground. Interesting side note, the road up Mt. Lemmon was built by prisoners in the 1930's and to house the criminals they built prisons as they went. The campground we recorded at was a former site of a Prison Camp.

They say you should "never meet your idols". I've met one of mine three times now and have never been disappointed. Lael is Lael, what you see is what you get. The person I watched in the 2016 film from REI is the same person I met on a park bench on the side of Mt. Lemmon. Success, fame, racing results, through it all she has been able to stay humble, gracias, and kind. Maybe the saying should be, "get better idols". Personally, I'm grateful to Lael for just being her and pursuing what she wants in a way that is authentic to herself. We talk about this a little in the episode, but sometimes knowing yourself and staying true can be easier said than done, especially with some of the controversy she has faced, but in even in success she continues to navigate it all in a way that seems authentic to herself.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

These episodes aren’t possible without your support. This episode is the result of my recently podcasting trip covering 2,500 miles, 2 states, and 3 interviews in 4.5 days. If you’ve been on the fence about becoming a Patron this would be a great time to sign up and help get BoD back on the road! You can Sign Up here or leave a one time Donation on Paypal.

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6AM WorkShirts – Patrons receive 20% off
East Texas Showdown - Presented by Bikes or Death

 
 

Ep. 67 - Matt Mason, Co-Creator of the Monumental Loop

por Patrick Farnsworth

This episode is the first one to come from my recent road trip to New Mexico and Arizona to interview guest for the podcast. My first stop was in Las Cruces, NM to meet up with Matt Mason to ride a portion of the Monumental Loop. We rode up to the base of the Organ Mountains and camped in perfect weather. In the morning we recorded this episode under little outcropping before descending 10 miles back to town on some epic singletrack.

You may have noticed that the route was revised and released as the Monumental Loop 2.0. These changes were made for several reason, but all in an effort to make the route more enjoyable and attractive to a wider range of riders. We get into all the specifics on this episode and it left me wanting to spend more time than I had available on this trip. I will be back!

*Outdoor Adventures The place to go for route information, gear, advice, and community 
https://www.bikelc.com

*Friends of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Friends are on the frontlines of protecting and providing access to the public lands around Las Cruces. 
https://organmountainsdesertpeaks.org

*Southern New Mexico Trail AllianceSNMTA works tirelessly on advocating for new trails, maintaining current trails, and hosting the Sierra Vista Trail Runs. 
https://snmta.org

*Doña Ana SheWolves A group of FTW riders providing support and community.  Several of their crew are certified bike instructors and their skills clinics are highly recommended.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthernNMDirtGirls/?ref=share

*MTB New Mexico Jose Solis has a YouTube channel and rides centered on a welcoming environment for beginner mountain bikers.  MTB NM’s videos are equally informative and entertaining. 
https://youtube.com/c/MTBNewMexico


These episodes aren’t possible without your support. This episode is the result of my recently podcasting trip covering 2,500 miles, 2 states, and 3 interviews in 4.5 days. If you’ve been on the fence about becoming a Patron this would be a great time to sign up and help get BoD back on the road! You can Sign Up here or leave a one time Donation on Paypal.

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Ep. 66 - Aventure Media 2021, Part 1

por Patrick Farnsworth

On March 6th, 2021 twelve college students in the Adventure Media class at Texas Tech University set off on a bikepacking trip as part of their course curriculum. This year the classes challenge was the Caprock Canyon State Park and Trailway, which in total was 66 miles with very little climbing, but the wind made up for what the elevation profile lacked! This course is the brainchild of Dr. Jerod Foster who somehow convinced a University to allow him to take students bikepacking in remote places as part of a college course he created and teaches called Adventure Media.

To be honest, when you read the words, or hear someone tell you about this Adventure Media course it doesn't click immediately. At least, it didn't for me. When Jerod originally laid out the course in Episode 3 I kinda got it, but I didn't really get it until I went on their class trip in 2019 to Big Bend Ranch State Park. The Terrior film was produced from that 2019 trip and it's a visual introduction into what this class is all about.

When you show up in a remote destination with rugged terrain, hours away from any medical assistance, and you look around at the 16 college students assembled ready to tackle whatever comes. And their gear is a mess, and they are wrecking, and bags are falling off, but I can promise you none of that is what defines this or any of the other trips like this.

This episode is different from anything we have ever done before. It takes place in an Arroyo in the Caprock Canyon State Park at dusk. It was a beautiful setting to have a discussion about the experiences and feelings that were had and shared throughout the day.

This will be part one in a two part series from this trip. In the next one I will be following Elysa and Tom on their personal journeys during this trip, with narration and commentary by Jerod Foster and I.

These episodes aren’t possible without your support. If you haven’t heard Bikes or Death is going back on the road to do in-person interviews again! My first trip with Van or Death with be to NM and AZ covering 2,500 in 4.5 days and interviewing 4 great guest. If you’ve been on the fence about becoming a Patron this would be a great time to sign up and help get BoD back on the road! You can Sign Up here or leave a one time Donation on Paypal.

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Bikepacking Roots 4th Annual Survey
6AM WorkShirts - Patrons receive 20% off

 
 

Ep. 65 - Miles Arbour with Bikepacking.com

por Patrick Farnsworth

Miles is BACK! The first time we did an interview was in his van at the Bikepacking Summit in 2019. This year, thanks to COVID, we are relegated to Zoom, but that didn’t stop us from having a good ole time. We sang, we laughed, and there was some really great chats about Bikepacking.com and other super interesting bike stuff that you won’t want to miss! Including, but not limited to, the best shoes for bikepacking, thoughts on old mtb restorations, guidelines on submitted events and routes to Bikepacking.com, plus so much more.

Miles and I are friends and this conversation reflects that. We can get a little silly, but who couldn’t use a little dose of that right now? I think we were able to squeak in some good information in between the silliness. I’d go far as to say that maybe this episode is the perfect blend of silly and serious, but I guess you will have to be the judge of that.

Most importantly, if you are anticipating a 2nd verse of the Bikes or Death Theme Song you’re in luck! Just like the first episode Miles surprised me with a second verse, performed live on his guitalele. And I can tell you now, it’s hot fire, but you’ll have to wait to the very end of this episode to hear it.

If you missed my first episode with Miles Arbour you can Listen Here.

This episode listeners have a chance to Watch if that is your preference!


These episodes aren’t possible without your support. If you haven’t heard Bikes or Death is going back on the road to do in-person interviews again! My first trip with Van or Death with be to NM and AZ covering 2,500 in 4 days and interviewing 4 great guest. If you’ve been on the fence about becoming a Patron this would be a great time to sign up and help get BoD back on the road! You can Sign Up here or leave a one time Donation on Paypal.

Thank you to our newest supporting Patrons!
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ep. 64 - Bikepacking Basics: You ask, we answer!

por Patrick Farnsworth

Over the last couple of years I’ve received a lot of request for episodes that address some of the “how-to’s” and “what’s what” of bikepacking. I’ve delayed for a couple of reason. One, a personal belief (or lack thereof) that I should leave that to more experienced and knowledgeable people in the community. The other problem, was figuring out a way to deliver the information in a podcast format. I kind of always thought it needed to be a YT video and maybe I would get into that one day. 

I believe now, through my conversations with a variety of guest, that everyone has something to contribute, and that includes myself. I pulled in my friend Connor Thomas to shoulder some of the weight too! Connor and I met at my LBS and as we got to know each other we learned that we shared a similar interest in the outdoors and adventuring. We’ve been able to go on a number of great trips and I know him to be an a person whose passion for the outdoors is equalled by his knowledge of it. When he agreed to record a podcast on some Bikepacking Basics I was stoked, because I think a conversation about these topics is far more interesting that a monolog, and he brings his own unique experiences to the table as well. 

In this episode we use a recent trip to Big Bend National Park as the backdrop to answer your questions. Ultimately, we received 41 questions, that boiled down to 18 questions and we tackle them all! The most requested topic was on Route Building, which was really perfect because our trip to BB was a route finding mission. We saved that one for last and answer your other questions as we build up to it, but you won’t want to miss “How to make cake while bikepacking” (video coming soon) or our thoughts on e-bikes!

Thanks to everyone for their questions, we hope you find this information helpful, and if you enjoyed this episode please let me know. I bet I can get Conor to do another one if we ask nice.

~~~~~~~~

BoD Theme Song by Miles Arbour

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BoD Theme Song (Cover), by ian Cherry

por Patrick Farnsworth

When Miles Arbour dropped his original BoD Theme Song Live on Episode 30 I was equally flattered and blown away. Since we've been running it at the beginning and end of each episode I've received numerous messages from people who echo my sentiments. It inspired one listener, Ian Cherry, so greatly that he wrote and recorded his own version.

The intro to his cover song was featured on Ep. 63, but you can listen to the full song below and read a note from the artist.


Bikes or Death Theme Song "Cover" by Ian Cherry

I am humbled to share this tribute to Miles Arbour's Bikes or Death theme song with fellow fans of the podcast, and I’m very grateful to Patrick and the show's many guests for hours of wonderful conversations. I enjoy riding my trusty-rusty 1980's Schwinn between traffic in New York City, and a recent-ish Rivendell Atlantis everywhere else (from dodging lapping waves at Rockaway Beach, finding the magic road in the sweet spot of the sand, to practicing pedal technique in the rooty woods near my hometown in South Jersey), but have not yet gone bikepacking. When the world becomes safe to do so, I hope to ride with friends (where there are bears) and alone (where there are not bears) on every continent, and look forward to the challenge of plant-based eating, along the many roads (and decidedly not roads), wherever they may lead. 

After hearing 'this version' of the theme song in my head and singing it around the house I decided to make the song a reality. I hope to hear other listener’s jams to the opening theme as well!

Thank you again Patrick. Wishing you happy and healthy holidays. I hope you know this podcast made this year a lot better for a lot of people. You gave people a space to dream about the "great outdoors" in a time when we couldn't be.

Warmest regards,

Ian Cherry

Ep. 63 - Jacob Hora

por Patrick Farnsworth

The first episode of 2021 is with the very inspirational Jacob Hora. At only 15 he's accomplished more than most regardless of age. I didn't know who he was before watching the Trackleader dots of Jay Petervary's Fat Pursuit. The first place finisher was Jacob, so I clicked on his profile and was immediately intrigued when I saw he was only 15!

You may remember that the first episode of 2020 was with, 15 year old, Alana Rose Parent. I thought that was such a great way to start off the new year, with a inspirational story from the younger members of our community. Hearing their enthusiasm for cycling and the outdoors truly makes me feel good about the future of this sport and community we love.

I knew very little about Jacob going into the interview; which I always enjoy. I got to be truly surprised by him, his accomplishments, goals, and perspectives. What I heard from him was nothing but positivity, excitement, and love for bikepacking. But as you'll hear, accomplishments don't just happen, Jacob has already learned the value of hard work to accomplish goals. There are no shortcuts here, he's putting in the work and making the sacrifices to do the thing he loves and to pursue his goals.

He's currently training for the ITI 350 in February, so make sure to follow his dot and send him some love.

You can follow him on instagram @jacob_hora

To listen to the FULL version of the BoD Theme Song (Cover) by Ian Cherry Click Here.

2020 BoD Awards

por Patrick Farnsworth

Welcome to the first ever Bikes or Death Awards! It has been a challenging year for everyone, but through it all BoD has continued to share uplifting and inspirational stories from the cycling community. The truth is that every guest is a winner in our books. It is the collective commonality of bicycles that brings us together, but it is the uniqueness of each individual that makes this community so great. So while these awards aren't to diminish anyones story, it is an opportunity to reflect on some of our favorites from 2020. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who was willing to share their story with the BoD fam. So without further ado....drum roll please!!!!

By the Numbers

Top 3 episodes in 2020 that received the most downloads in the first 30 days.

First

Ep. 48, Bailey Newbrey

Photo by John Watson

4,792 downloads in the first 30 days

I got to meet up with Bailey Newbrey in his new-ish shop, Sincere Cycles, in Santa Fe, NM. Bailey made a some noise in 2018 when he finished the Tour Divide in second place overall on a Singlespeed! We chat a lot about his 2016 and 2018 Tour Divide runs and his reasoning behind running SS. He also makes some bold predictions towards the end of the podcast that is worth sticking around for. You can revisit this episode here.

Second

Ep. 47, James Hayden

James Mark HaydenPhoto by Lian Van Leeuween

4,440 downloads in the first 30 days

James Mark Hayden came on the ultra endurance bike racing scene in 2015. Since then he’s been putting down some incredible performances, winning the Transcontinental Race twice, shared 1st place at the Italy divide, getting 4th at Silk Road even though he was robbed by men on horses during the race, and most recently he finished 2nd at Atlas Mountain Race to Sofiane who came in only 4 hours earlier. You can revisit this episode here.

Third

Ep. 52, Chris Burkard

Chris BurkardPhoto courtesy of Burkard Studios

4,149 downloads in the first 30 days

Chris Burkard has become a personal source of inspiration for me and it was an honor to have him back on the podcast. He was first on way back at Episode 17 to tell us about his WOW Cyclothon Record that he set in 2019. That episode really fired me up and motivated me to push myself in more ways than just on the bike. How can revisit this episode here.


Listeners Choice

We asked YOU to vote for your favorite podcast of the year and a runner-up, and boy was it close!! There was a total of 31 episodes, 44 hours, and 2,634 minutes of content for you to choose from, which made your job more difficult. However, after counting, recounting, and making sure there was no election fraud, the BoD Voting Committee is ready to reveal the Listeners Choice Award for 2020:

~ Winner ~

Bailey Newbrey, Ep. 48

Bailey Newbrey, Sincere Cyclesphoto by John Watson

You VOTED, we heard you! Patrick's interview with Bailey swept both categories By The Numbers and Listeners Choice.

I followed up with Bailey with some questions since our last chat. Check out that that q&a below.

Bailey Newbrey - 2020 BoD Award Winner

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Honorable Mentions

This was such a tight race, it's worth mentioning that these two episodes both were only one vote shy of sharing first with Bailey.

Ep. 54, Katie & Andrew Strempke

Katie and Andrew became the first people to Yo-Yo the Colorado Trail, they did it on Singlespeed's!!!

You can revisit this episode here.

Ep. 43, Jerod Foster

Jerod has a stacked resume in the outdoor industry, but he's also a Husband and Father. It was awesome to hear from him about balancing an adventurous career and lifestyle with his home life.

You can revisit this episode here.


~ Runner Up ~

Ted king, ep. 61

Ted King is no stranger to cycling. He started his pro road cycling tour in 2006 and had a 10 year career before entering the gravel world where he won the DK200 in 2016 and 17. However, he had never even attempted a bikepacking race before this past Oct. when he lined up at the start of the Arkansas High Country Race. No one could know how his experience and successes in other disciplines would transition to ultra endurance bike racing. Like many of you I was glued to the dots as they charged the course. A local, Andrew Onermaa, kept the race very close for the first 700 miles, but ultimately Ted was able to finish in first and get a new FKT at the same time. In a year with limited racing, this has got to be one of the greatest storylines of the year. It was an honor to have Ted on the podcast and will be looking forward to seeing what he does going forward. Listen again!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Honorable Mentions

Again, this was another very close one! We had two episodes that were one vote away from sharing first with Mr. King and we wanted to give them their

Ep. 44, Pepper Cook

Pepper Cook

Pepper Cook is a legend in the bikepacking and touring community. She’s known for her witty puns, quirky humour, and almost a decade of epic solo bike trips. It was an honor to have her on the show and like you, I really enjoyed this episode. Listen again!

Ep. 52, Cinthia Pedraza

Cinthia Pedraza calls Austin, Texas home. Some recent experiences in her hometown led her to write an article titled “Bike Racing, White Privilege, and the Coronavirus” that was published on The Radavist. Her story obviously resonated with many of you and I appreciate her coming on the podcast. Listen again!


BoD Product of the year

This year we released some new items in the webstore. BoD merch is a fun way to make a little cheddar to support the show and give you rad ways to show your support.

Winner

Titanium Drinkware

These were a very late edition to the lineup, but they came on the scene with a big splash. The Ti G'mornin Cup sold out in the first few hours, but there are a still a few of the Ti G'night Flask left if you need to upgrade your #whiskeyoutside experience. If you missed the first round of cups, don't fear, we'll be restocking soon-ish, and we may even have a couple more surprises up our sleeves.

Second Place

Sweat Tech Tee Technolgy

BoD Sweat Tech Tee - Olive

Remember the 90's? They were rad and so is this shirt. The message on the back isn't revealed until you SWEAT for it! We've been having fun with this design concept. Expect to see more of these in the future. For now they come in Olive and Blue.

Third place

BoD + Voile Straps

Voile Straps are the quintessential bikepacking "must-have" piece of gear. Their almost limitless in their usefulness. You could make an argument that all you need to be a bikepacker is a bike and a nice supply of BoD Voile Straps to attached you gear to your bike. You can order One, but you should probably get at least TWO.

Ep. 62 - Kait boyle, FKT on the kokopelli

por Patrick Farnsworth

On the morning of Christmas Eve 2018 Kait Boyle was at the height of her ultra endurance racing career, having won the 24 hour World Championship in 2018 and set a new record on the AZT 300. Her life would take an unexpected turn later that day when she was involved in a horrific vehicular accident that left her with a long list of injuries and a long path to recovery. Like many of you, I watch her social media feed for months as she dedicated herself to rehabilitation and ultimately back to fitness.

Almost a 2 years, and a pandemic later, she finally found herself at the top podium again. This time in the form of an FKT on the Kokopelli Trail. On Nov. 6th, 2020 Lael Wilcox, Kurt Refsnider, and Kait all met in Moab at the start line of the Kokopelli, each of them on ITT's with FKT's on the mind. Kait was able to finish with a time of 13 hrs, 7 mins, which was good enough to beat the long standing time set by Rebecca Rush by 25 minutes. In doing so, she answered 2 years of questions and uncertainty. She was equally rewarded for her hard work, perseverance, and PATIENCE. As a personal fan, I remember cringing seeing the gruesome pics from her crash and injuries. It was hard to watch, I can't imagine how hard it was to live.

Pictures courtesy of Rugile Kaladyte

In addition to her accomplishments on the bike she is also the Co-Founder of Bikepacking Roots, which supports and advances bikepacking, the growth of a diverse bikepacking community, and access to and the conservation of the landscapes and public lands through which we ride.

Her contributions on and off the bike are both impressive and valuable to this community that we all love. It was great to share in this milestone with her and hear about her journey over the past couple of years. Kait, congrats on the FKT, and we look forward to rooting for you in future races.

You can learn more about Kait on her website or follow her on social media.

Episode Sponsors (check them out as a way to thank them for supporting this podcast)
~ GOODR Sunglasses
~ KUAT Racks

Did you know?
1% of all store sales go to the Bikepacking Roots BIPOC Adventure Grant Program

Ep. 61 - Ted King, FKT on the ARHCR

por Patrick Farnsworth

From 2006 to 2016 Ted King was a professional road cycling before switching to gravel where he took 1st at the DK200 in 2016 and 2017. Earlier this month he completed the 1,000+ mile Arkansas High Country Race in first with a time of 4 days, 20 hours, which was good enough to snag the FKT set by Jay Petervary in June of this year.

The ARHCR is no walk in the park either. It may be easy to have your guard down when you see that the highest point on the route is only 2,745 ft. elevation, but in the words of friend and route creator Chuck Campbell "The valleys are low and the grade is steep". I got to preview a portion of the route in February and I got a first hand taste of the steepness. The route is littered with sharp grades going both up or down. There is very little flat sections, in most cases you're either going up or down.

On Oct. 31st 2020 twenty ultra-endurance cyclist started from Fayetteville, AR. Racers can choose to go either CW or CCW, but regardless of which direction you go there is still 1,037 miles and over 80,000 ft of climbing through the Ozarks and Ouachitas in NW Arkansas. Of the 20 that started only 7 finished, which in itself is a testament to the toughness of this route.

This was Ted's first attempt at an ultra endurance bikepacking event. He didn't have much experience bikepacking either, but that didn't stop him from signing up to tackle a very challenging course. Like many of you, I followed his dot closely to see if his wealth of experience in other disciplines of the sport would transfer over, or if the local Andrew Onermaa would be able to keep the crown away from King. In the end Ted would ultimately grit it out to win by beating out all previous FKT's, but for much of the race Andrew was on his heels never taking the pressure off. He recorded a video shortly after scratching that's worth watching. If you want to know how hard it is, this video scratches the surface of what it takes to compete at a high level against one of hell of a professional cyclist.

Ted, congrats on your FKT, welcome to bikepacking! I can't wait to see what you set your sites on in the future.

Ep. 60 - Aaron Chamberlain, Tour de Texas

por Patrick Farnsworth

I caught up with Aaron 4 days after he finished becoming the *first person to circumnavigate Texas on a bike! In total he rode 3,014 miles in 58 days and he wrote weekly articles about his journey that you can read on Texas Monthly. In 2019 he rode every street in his hometown of Austin, TX, but towards the end of that project he started thinking bigger. Like the whole state of Texas bigger! In the fall he started planning a route, starting first by connecting towns that were about 60 miles away. By January he had a completed route and all he had to do now was convince his employer to allow him to do it!

Aaron's laid back approach to these endeavours is refreshing. No KOM chasing or FKT attempts here, just fun, maybe silly, reasons to go ride your damn bike!

*Maybe the second, but who's counting?

Ep. 59 - Erik Binggeser aka Truemarmalade

por Patrick Farnsworth

Erik and I met at a Bikes or Death group bikepacking trip right before the world shut down thanks to a coronavirus. Since then he's been wholed up in his Austin apartment in lockdown. With some extra time stuck indoors he's been finding ways to stay active and engaged with the cycling community. Early on he rode 1,000 miles on his training in a month, then he gave himself a stick and poke tattoo, but his latest project really caught my attention, along with many of you I'm sure. You may have seen his animated film "Studio Ghibli Campout" featuring a bearded wizardy looking character riding through a Studio Ghibli Film. Erik is the creator and stars in the film that was made with the assistance of Alison Mae Bonham. It is a uniquely beautiful film that fills you with emotion. For me I watched with a tinge of somberness as it felt like Erik was reaching out to the cycling community and saying "I really wish I could be out riding with my friends, but here's a beautiful gift that I made from my apartment instead". I found myself longing for simpler times and looking forward to group rides again.

Like his film, Erik is a beautifully unique person and our conversation is a reflection of that. We talk robots, hacking, pokemon go, bikes, padded vs non-padded, riding with diabetes, and lots more good stuff.

Erik, it was great to catch up again, stay well my friend, and we'll ride again some day soon!

Ep. 58 - Chris Burkard

por Patrick Farnsworth

Chris Burkard has become a personal source of inspiration for me and it was an honor to have him back on the podcast. He was first on way back at Episode 17 to tell us about his WOW Cyclothon Record that he set in 2019. That episode really fired me up and motivated me to push myself in more ways than just on the bike. Chris' passion for life is contagious and I highly recommend you go back and listen to ep. 17, although you don't need to listen in order to enjoy.

After setting an Icelandic record in 2019 he started on his next project, the first ever traverse through the interior of Iceland via bike! First means, he had to hire a cartographer to sketch out a route, then take some super jeeps out to test parts of it, and then convince a few friends to try it! Those friends were Pro XC racer Emily Batty, Eric Batty, and Adam Morka. You'll have to listen to hear how it went, but check out these pics to see the diversity of terrain they covered!

Shortly after he was back at it on a bikepacking trip in the Sierras with Lael Wilcox, Rue Kaladyte, and Erik Nohlin. This adventure included a 30ish mile pack-a-bike using custom made transformer packs that Erik designed specifically for this trip.

Routes and films are going to be published from these trips, but get a sneak "listen" now!

In this episode I also took the opportunity to talk to him about his successful photography career and work/life balance before we got into his two most recent bikepacking adventures. It's his ability to manage successful career, be an involved father/husband, and still go on these epic adventures that I'm really inspired by. It's not an easy path, so I was eager to find out some of his thoughts and perspectives. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did!

Ep. 57 - Talib Abdullahi, Black History Ride

por Patrick Farnsworth

In July Talib Abdullahi created and organized a Black History Ride in Austin, TX. Motivated by the BLM movement he wanted to create a positive event that would both be education and fun. Originally, he was thinking it would be him and maybe 20 of his friends, but word quickly got out, and within a week he was leading his Black History Ride with 400ish cyclist in tow.

In August I met up with Talib and a few of our friends to ride the route and record a podcast. The format for this show is much different from past episodes. We met on his route at The Quickie Pickie and recorded an intro and then we stopped at various locations along the route and recorded segments at each one. This is just a preview of the route, you'll have to get on your own damn bike if you want to give yourself the full tour!

I believe it was in Malcolm Gladwell's book "Outliers" that he says, "The world is starved for leaders". Talib's actions shows what happens when you turn your passion into action. He lead a ride that he created and 400 cyclist showed up in support. Hopefully, many more people will do his route in the days and years to come. Follow THIS LINK for all the ride/route info, go Ride Your Damn Bike and learn something!

Talib, thank you for leading and being a positive example and helping to educate me and many others.

Ep. 56 - Patrick Farnsworth, host of BoD

por Patrick Farnsworth

This week I'm in the hot seat as my friend Ryan ask me YOUR questions! He interviewed me once before on Ep. 8, but a lot has changed in 48 episodes and thanks to your questions we had plenty to talk about.

If you've been listening for a while you've probably heard me talk about my lack of expectations for the podcast. Not in a self-deprecating way, but in the way that you do something that you're passionate about for a community you love without expectations. I didn't tell anyone about the podcast or promote it outside of an obscure post on a small instagram account, but that didn't stop me from quickly realizing not only the popularity of Bikepacking, but the desire for these types of interviews and stories. Admittedly, there is a part of me that wanted this podcast to remain small and obscure. That part of me is insecure, self-conscious, and it can be riddled with anxiety and doubt, but I've tried my best to produce the show authentically and to the best of my abilities with the time and talent I have. In the process I've grown considerably as a person, and while I'm still not 100% comfortable in this roll and feel like I have so much to learn, I am ready to fully embrace this opportunity and take it to the next level.

In the past few months I have been working in the background to shift my focus on Bikes or Death from a hobby to a career. I will be announcing many new and exciting changes in the coming months, but for now I'm excited to share that for the first time ever I'm partnering with companies that believe in BoD and are equally committed to its success. I'm only partnering with brands that I dig and believe my listeners will benefit from, and most importantly aren't going to silence or censor the show in any way shape or form. We discuss this topic more in-depth on this week's episode, so give it a listen won't ya?!

This week's episode was supported by Rockgeist, who wants you to know about their monthly raffle benefiting organizations committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity in bikepacking and the outdoors. Learn more, and enter for your chance to win a CUSTOM Mudlust Framebag, at Rockgeist.com.

I'm also stoked to share with you my new favorite sunglasses from Goodr. When I lost my expensive ass sunglasses a month ago I sought out to find an affordable alternative that didn't sacrifice on quality or style, blah blah blah....sunglasses. Check out some of my favs at Goodr.com/BikesorDeath.

Ep. 55 - Dave Nice, aka Fixie Dave

por Patrick Farnsworth

This weeks episode I chat with Dave Nice who is known on the interwebs as @fixiedave. His username gives away the fact that he rides fixie, but it says nothing about his completion of the Tour Divide in 2012 after attempting it 5 times before. I have to assume it takes a determined person to ride a fixie, but what adjective should I use to describe the determination of someone who takes on such massive route, fails 5 times, before ultimately accomplishing said goal?

Dave was originally inspired by John Stamstads 1999 ITT run on The Tour Divide. By the time that Ride the Divide was being filmed in 2008 Dave was there lining up for his 3rd attempt as many of us were just hearing about this race/route for the first time. He's been at this far longer than most of us. He went on to attempt the divide 5 times before finally completing the entire route in 2012 in 33d, 14h, 4m. Since then he attempted Route 66 fixed, but had to scratch after 1,863.

These days you'll find Dave working at Kids on Bikes in Colorado Springs where he is passionately working with kids to inspire the next generation of cyclist.

Dave doesn't own a car, he uses a flip phone, and rides fixed. Simple. I can dig it.