Faces Behind the Dots- Arizona Trail Race 2022
The Arizona Trail Race (AZTR) starts this Thursday, October 20. This year, seven women are racing the AZT 300 and two women are racing the AZT 800. A truly singletrack route, the AZT 300 is 92.4% dirt and the AZT 800 is 88.7% dirt. The route starts at the border with Mexico and traverses north through stunning desert country, goes into the alpine of Mt. Lemmon, and continues on rugged and rocky terrain where the AZT 300 ends at the Picket Post Trailhead in Superior, AZ. Two women (Alexandera Houchin and Ana Jager) will continue their trek all the way north to the Utah border. These women will even have to disassemble their bikes to carry on their backs across the Grand Canyon! Read more about the “Faces Behind the Dots” of the AZTR!
Q&A with Meaghan Hackinein: The Big Lonely FKT
Last week, Meaghan Hackinen set a new fastest known time (FKT) on The Big Lonely, a self-supported bikepacking adventure through Central Oregon. She was the first woman and third overall finisher with the time of 33 hours and 35 minutes, breaking the record previously held by Lauren Brownlee. Find out more about Meaghan and her record-setting race in this Q&A. Photo by Seth DuBois, Instagram @sethdubois
Katie’s Utah Mixed Epic
This fall, Katie set out on Tim Tait’s notoriously difficult Utah Mixed Epic (UME), a bikepacking race from Moab, traversing three mountain ranges connected with remote desert. During the 638 miles of the UME, Katie discovered her recovery-first approach to her bikepacking season helped her to be successful in this race and allowed her to push her limits when her competitive spark lit up during the final push. Read more about Katie’s race and watch her video with footage from the ride.
Touring the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route vs. Racing the Tour Divide
Racing or touring a bikepacking route, is one choice more fun, more fulfilling, or more challenging than the other? Katie has done both, touring the route with her husband Andrew in 2018 and racing Tour Divide in 2022 (finishing second woman and first singlespeed woman). In this piece, Katie reflects on both experiences, weighing the pros and cons of each approach. The takeaway? There is no right answer, and we should do our best to be honest with our motivations.
Buttcrack Jenny: Bicycles as a Vehicle for Creativity
Jenny Acker, aka “Buttcrack Jenny,” is a cyclist and artist who has found great joy in combining her love for bikes with her creative spirit to create “Stravafarts,” a term she coined to describe the GPS art she makes while riding her bicycle. You read that right, “Strava-farts,” and for those who know Jenny, that makes perfect sense. Jenny’s energy is infectious. She shares her Strava art, pictures of out-of-the-ordinary items she finds on bike rides (this post may not be suitable for small children), dog photos, and a revolving fashion show of her creative, hand-made costumes made for bike racing at her Instagram @buttcrackjenny. Read more about Jenny’s “Stravafarts,” and how she uses her bicycle as a vehicle for creativity, and the origin of her IG handle, and get ready to laugh.
Q & A with Annie Evans: Making of The Longest Night
This past winter, Annie Evans became the first person to complete the Highlands Trail 550 in the winter, documenting the effort in her new film The Longest Night. We at the Townie wanted to know more about the making of the film, and Annie was kind enough to answer some of our questions. Check out the film and more about Annie in this article.