Author: Frances Hacker

  • Gender and Bikepack Racing

    Gender and Bikepack Racing

    “Why is my phone not charging?” I thought to myself through my sleep-deprived brain fog. It was day four of the 2023 Colorado Trail Race, and I was stopped by a small creek about 5 miles east of Breckenridge. Up to that point, I had surprised myself by sticking to my goal pace during my…

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  • Faces Behind the Dots – DOOM & Despair

    Faces Behind the Dots – DOOM & Despair

    Easter weekend, a brave group of bikepackers set out with the Grand Depart of DOOM, a notoriously hilly, challenging gravel route in the backcountry of Arkansas, created by Andrew Onerma. As Hannah Simon puts it, “this route was very representative of the roller coaster that is ultra racing.” We asked the WTFNB participants 408-mile DOOM…

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  • The 2023 Log Driver’s Waltz Grand Depart – Exploring the many ways one can love adventure riding

    The 2023 Log Driver’s Waltz Grand Depart – Exploring the many ways one can love adventure riding

    The Log Driver’s Waltz (LDW) is an 805 kilometre (500 mile) bikepacking route through the Ottawa Valley and Outaouais regions of Ontario and Quebec, Canada. Starting and finishing in the rural town of Almonte, its mixed surface roads, trails and farm tracks entail 9,000 metres (29,500 feet) of elevation. I co-developed the route with my…

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  • Katie’s AZT 800 – Reflections and Video

    Katie’s AZT 800 – Reflections and Video

    When I lined up for the Arizona Trail Race, an 800-mile mostly singletrack route from Arizona’s border with Mexico to its border with Utah, I had one major goal: Finish with healthy lungs. To be honest, I didn’t know if that was possible for me. Asthma has always been something I’ve had to contend with…

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  • Conquering the Monster in My Mind – Big Lonely 2023

    Conquering the Monster in My Mind – Big Lonely 2023

    By: Cassidy Howard At the beginning of 2023, I set a singular goal: to finish a bikepacking race. Completion of the 2022 Smoke ‘n’ Fire had eluded me due to a mechanical issue, leaving me with a desire for redemption. With three races penciled into my schedule, I had three opportunities to achieve this goal.…

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  • Women of the 2023 Triple Crown Challenge

    Women of the 2023 Triple Crown Challenge

    When it comes to the most intimidating of bikepacking “events,” one has to think that the Triple Crown Challenge stands apart from the rest. With the goal of completing the Tour Divide, Colorado Trail Race, and Arizona Trail Race during their Grand Departs in the same calendar year, it’s a massive undertaking and a huge…

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  • I’m Going to Need a Bigger Shovel- Attempting to Dig Out of Holes on the Colorado Trail

    I’m Going to Need a Bigger Shovel- Attempting to Dig Out of Holes on the Colorado Trail

    Keep moving forward. A simple, yet difficult task, especially when you are talking about the Colorado Trail. I could hear my friend Hannah Dhonou constantly saying, “We’re closer than we’ve ever been,” a phrase she continued to say as we rode the last 80 miles of the Idaho Smoke ‘n’ Fire race last fall in…

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  • Grappling with Fear and Exhaustion on the Colorado Trail

    Grappling with Fear and Exhaustion on the Colorado Trail

    There’s something to be said about fear in ultra-endurance endeavors. You take yourself out into the wilderness alone with only what you yourself have decided to pack on your bicycle. You’ve asked your friends, acquaintances, and strangers on the internet and at the coffee shop who rolled up with loaded-down bikes, glinting with the dirt…

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  • Selfies and Self-Reflection on the Colorado Trail Race

    Selfies and Self-Reflection on the Colorado Trail Race

    This year’s Colorado Trail Race saw fifteen women and non-binary riders at the start line. In this competitive field, Katya Rakhmatulina took the win and set a new women’s fastest known time at 5 days, 1 hour, 53 minutes. Lael Wilcox, Ana Jager, Alexandera Houchin, and Karin Pocock also bested the previous women’s FKT of 06…

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  • Lost Elephant- Women Rule!

    Lost Elephant- Women Rule!

    On July 22, 58 bikepackers set out on the Lost Elephant, a self-supported race starting in Cranbook, British Columbia. The race includes two route options, the 520km Jumbo and the 316km Dumbo, both of which form a loop in the Kootenay region on the Western slope of the Rocky Mountains. The challenging route includes high…

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