GTFO!

101 NEC­ES­SARY, FRIV­O­LOUS, SEN­SI­BLE, SILLY, IN­GE­NIOUS, AND OB­SCURE IN­SIGHTS FOR TAK­ING YOUR BIKE OFF THE GRID WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY YON­DER JOUR­NAL*

Bicycling (South Africa) - - Stories -

In 2015, we trav­elled to New Zealand, Bo­livia, Cal­i­for­nia, Bri­tish Columbia, and Aus­tralia. We took bikes, cam­eras, and cu­rios­ity. The theme: moun­tain passes. Our goal: find the clean­est, most in­ter­est­ing, most stylish line from one side of a moun­tain to the other – like skate­board­ing or surf­ing, only with loaded bikes. We called this project Dead Reck­on­ing.

¶ We rode on fat bikes, road bikes, and 29er gravel bikes. We were self-sup­ported or at the very least self-re­liant, ex­cept when we weren’t, won­der­ing the whole time if the route would be pos­si­ble, and if it was pos­si­ble, how badly it would hurt, and if it did hurt, how much fun it would be to hurt that badly. ¶ The point is that bikes are an amaz­ing form of sport and trans­porta­tion. But they’re also an ideal tool for ex­plo­ration and ca­sual an­thro­pol­ogy. As it turns out, 25km/h is ex­actly the right speed at which to ob­serve the world. ¶ And for what it’s worth, in ad­di­tion to rid­ing them, you can put bikes in a bush plane, strap them to a he­li­copter, lash them to your back, and tie them to a raft. Ba­si­cally, they go where you go. And if worst comes to worst, you can al­ways just ride them on the down­hills. Prob­a­bly. ¶ What fol­lows is a col­lec­tion of metaphors, anec­dotes, and tips from our bikepack­ing ad­ven­tures, which when taken as a whole, might, with some luck, amount to some­thing ap­prox­i­mat­ing 101 in­sights into get­ting way the hell off the grid with your bike, a back­pack, maybe some strangers, and plenty of good friends.

The Alti­plano near Hi­chocollo, Bo­livia.

Near Iron Pass, Chilcotin Moun­tains, Bri­tish Columbia. Op­po­site: Loch Leven, Inyo Na­tional For­est, Cal­i­for­nia.

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