The Oregon Timber Trail: Past and Present
The perfect amount of adventure. That’s what I’m looking for.
Over the years I have developed a reputation for “liking to be the first”; not to the finish line in a bikepacking race, an outcome such as that is unlikely with this body of mine, but to be the first to ride a new route. It’s not so much that I actually desire to be the first person to lay a continuous set of tire tracks on a newly released bikepacking route, but that I am looking for the “right” amount of adventure. Developing a novel long-distance bikepacking route is a labor of love and a time-intensive commitment, not one I have undertaken (yet). But I *do* love the sense of adventure that comes with riding a route where not every aspect of the route is fully known, documented, and …
Bonus time: My journey back from the edge
Please note: this article contains material of a highly sensitive nature, including mention of suicide, that may be triggering for some individuals. If you or someone you know is suicidal, please contact your physician, go to your local ER, or dial 988 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
I can’t f*cking believe that I am actually out here doing this.
That thought passed through my head hundreds of times during the 2021 Pinyons and Pines bikepacking race. It was sandwiched in between the more typical long race thoughts such as:
I’m so f*cking tired.
My ass hurts.
I should probably eat something.
I wish I had brought a raincoat.
After 82 hours of pedaling 302 miles through headwinds, epic Arizona sunshine, rain, and temperatures ranging from 20 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, I arrived back at the Flagstaff Bike Revolution shop. I was the last finisher, but half the …
Faces Behind the Dots: Pinyons and Pines 2023
Starting this Thursday in Flagstaff, Arizona, the Pinyons and Pines has a strong field of women lining up for either 300+ or 500+ mile routes. This event is fast becoming one of the classic bikepacking races in the west. In fact, it’s become so popular that it filled up in a matter of hours when registration first opened. Luckily, everyone on the waitlist ended up with a spot in the end. This year’s Pinyons and Pines could serve up some interesting conditions. With high levels of snowfall over the winter and unsettled spring weather, there’s a good chance for some high-quality mud slogging out on the course. The women of this year’s race have a wide variety of goals, experience, and outlooks. You can follow the dots over at Trackleaders.com.…
Lilly (Frances) Hacker (she/they)
Home: Madison, WI
Bike: Salsa Woodsmoke
Solo or Duo? Solo
Past Pinyons and
PolarRoll Ultra – My First Winter Ultra
Two years ago my husband Al and I watched the documentary Safety to Nome. If you’ve not seen it, it’s about the 350/1000-mile human-powered (by bike, foot, or ski) race through the Alaskan wilderness in the dead of winter. By the way, it’s going on right now. As we’re watching, Al turns to me and asks, “Do you think it’s fucked up that I secretly want to do this?” I have to carefully temper my response. What I want to say is “Fuck yeah it is.” I know what’s going on here. He’s laying the groundwork for something.
New Year, New Look
Welcome to the new year (plus a couple of weeks, but who’s counting?) After taking a bit of a break for the holiday season, we’re back at it and looking forward to a year filled with amazing stories, photography, and more. We’ve also got ourselves a new logo, which was designed by none other than Arizona-based bikepacker, Shannon Villegas. We love it, we hope you do too!
To Be an Athlete
It’s dark outside and I laugh at myself as small balls of ice hit my face. Perhaps it’s just cold rain falling quickly from the clouds that circle above me, but either way, it is slightly painful. How many hours have I spent inside, on my trainer sweating profusely in a grand attempt to prepare myself for the heat in Morocco? Countless. As I dream of home and the indoor heat, a formidable wind pushes my mountain bike and I across the road. Grateful that there isn’t any oncoming traffic, my mind is no longer back home in Colorado. I’m in the present, in Morocco. Pushing against the wind and rain, up an extremely steep hill, I repeat to myself that I am strong and capable as I give my all in the Atlas Mountain Race.
Winter Adventure and the Warmth of Community
I first met Jay Petervary, ultra-endurance cyclist, ambassador of sport, and the founder of Fat Pursuit back in 2017, at a winter workshop hosted by Pedal of Littleton in Colorado. Captivated by his passion, knowledge and experience with fat biking in events like Arrowhead 135 and Iditarod Trail Invitational I was inspired to dream bigger with my own brand new obsession of fat bikes and human-powered travel in winter. I was curious and he was, and always will be, eager to teach.
Jennifer Hanson’s Fat Pursuit
Jennifer Hanson lives in Florence, one of the hottest parts of the arid state of Arizona. While many people around the country are fleeing the cold winter temperatures of the north, often ending up in southern Arizona, Jen and her husband Jason headed up to Idaho for the 200km Fat Pursuit. Even as a desert dweller, Jen is an accomplished winter ultra racer with finishes in both the 2022 Fat Pursuit and the Iditarod Trail Invitational. She’s shared some beautiful images from this year’s Fat Pursuit and a quick recap of how her race went down.
Faces Behind the Dots – Fat Pursuit 2023
Based out of Island Park, Idaho, Jay Petervary’s Fat Pursuit is one of the most highly regarded winter ultras on the calendar. Covering 200 kilometers of “groomed” trails in the Yellowstone area, the event is notorious for lots of snow, difficult conditions, and extremely cold temperatures. One of the more unique aspects of this winter ultra is the organization’s desire to help people develop winter backcountry experience. They run a camp beforehand teaching winter skills and make sure that the racers in the event have more winter know-how than just the ability to ride a bike fast. Somewhere along the course, all racers have to stop and bring eight ounces of water to a boil using only the gear that they’re carrying on their bike. The Fat Pursuit is more than just a race, it’s a chance for people to test their winter skills in a remote environment with the safety net of checkpoints and a race organization.
Whoa Baby!! Mountain biking Throughout My Pregnancy
I went for a little backcountry ski with my partner in mid-January of 2022. It was awful. The conditions were sun-affected and variable, and I felt like trash. It was the slowest and sluggish-est I’d felt in a very long time. Maybe I was finally getting COVID? Later that day, my breasts started to hurt. A LOT. It was enough to make me use one of the home pregnancy tests that had been sitting in a bathroom drawer for ages. I expected to see just the one line, like I had the handful of times I’d peed on the stick over the preceding years. I was bewildered at the instant twin pink lines indicating pregnancy. I reacted to the shock with my usual therapy- I went for a bike ride. Unlike during the ski tour earlier that day, I felt like my normal self with my normal energy on the singletrack, though the cold air did make my boobs hurt even more.