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2018년 October 23일

PaperSky

FARRIDE with Papersky in Japan

Far Ride with Papersky in Tokyo

At Far Ride Magazine, traveling for work is quite common. When we visit a city, it is typically on two wheels, riding the streets and gathering information for our recurring City Exploration stories. Our schedule is always busy, with days spent rushing around the city from interesting spot to interesting spot, trying to learn as much as we can about these exciting urban environments. Last month we headed to Tokyo, one of the busiest cities of them all, to spend a hectic week searching for the spirit of the capital of Japan.

Visiting Tokyo, it only made sense to hook-up with our friends at Papersky and learn about the city they call home. We’ve been friends with Lucas and team for years and always enjoy a chance to hang out. To make our day-to-day bike-travel easier, Papersky shared some of their Travel Tools for our City Exploration.

Papersky Travel Tools are created from interesting collaborations with various Japanese brands of quality. They have a wide range of products, offering many that were a perfect fit for our bike-based needs. Let me introduce some of the things we used on our trip:



The Papersky Tavel Towel is well designed both aesthetically and practically. With graphics and colors inspired by different areas of Japan, it can be used as a backpacker’s towel, a kitchen towel, a scarf, to wrap and carry food for a picnic or to wipe away sweat during a late-season Tokyo heatwave, as we experienced. Keeping one of these handy at all times, especially on hot city bike rides, is highly recommended.



One of the more interesting products we used was Papersky’s Bike ‘n Hike bag. Made in collaboration with Japanese bag-maker RawLow Mountain Works, the Bike ‘n Hike bag is perfect both on and off the bike. When riding, simply strap it to your seatpost and carry all your goods hands (and back) free. When you reach your destination, leave the bike and take the bag. Secret straps come connected that transform this from bike-bag to backpack instantly.  The cool Papersky blue adds to the overall style of this particular piece.


Avoiding helmet-hair is an ongoing challenge for all city rides. The Papersky Jet Cap helps solve this problem. Carefully-crafted and packable, the Jet Cap can be worn alone, under a helmet or tucked in a back pocket or bag. It looks good in any situation, keeping the sun out of your eyes and your messy hair hidden.



The last product that we were particularly pleased with is Paperky’s Camera Strap. Working together with Japanese brand DIAGNL, this strap is perfect for carrying a DSLR comfortably and securely—a task that becomes even more challenging on a bike. The strap’s unique sliding adjuster means that cameras can be safely secured in less than a few seconds with a simple tug. To loosen the strap, pull in the opposite direction and shoot away. In our line of work, having a solid strap is crucial. This one from Papersky exceeded our expectations.

 

 

Travel Tools really is the perfect name for these products. Carrying a few well-designed, minimal products simplified our City Exploration and let us focus on what we came for: finding out what makes Tokyo tick.

2018년 October 16일

Tour de Friends

Rad Race: Tour de Friends

Words by lngo Engelhardt
Photos by Carlos Fernandez Laser

Five Questions with Rad Race: Tour de Friends


Can you please introduce yourself? 

Hi, my name is Ingo and I am from Hamburg, Germany. I am one of twelve friends who founded RAD RACE in 2013. We started organizing fixed gear and road bike races in 2014 and formed our own cycling team, the CANYON RAD PACK, soon after. We wanted to create races that did not exist, races that are more like a skateboard contest. All of us are addicted to cycling or other kinds of sports—one of the founders, for example, is an ex-basketball pro. We just wanted to bring people events that are fun to race AND to watch.

What is RAD RACE Tour de Friends 4?

The TdF4 is the fourth edition of our event called RAD RACE “Tour de Friends”. The first three editions in 2017, 2018 and 2019 were designed to bring 500 riders across the Alps and Dolomites in a mixture between a stage race, a long-distance alley cat and a group ride with friends. The fourth edition will take place in March of 2020, and it will happen in Colombia. There will be five stages that will lead 400 riders from Bogota to Cali.





Where did you get the idea for this trip?

We wanted to try out a crazy idea. We have done races in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Italy and Belgium, and we wanted to try out our concept of the Tour de Friends on another continent. We thought that Colombia would be great since it has an amazing cycling culture. We just said, “let’s try to build a route that we can then use for a possible TdF4 in 2020.” Worst case scenario: we have a good time and cycle through Colombia. Best case: we can make this dream come true for 400 cyclists in 2020.

So that’s why you went to Colombia?

We wanted to test the route for the event in 2020. We set up two trips with five stages each. But on stage four, we learned the hard way that bringing 400 riders across a street called “La Linea” wouldn’t be ridable for 400 people—too many trucks, traffic, dogs and just way too long, tough and dangerous. We don’t want only endurance people. We want people in our events that love the sport but also wanna have a beer or two at the finish. The TdF is about riding with old and new friends and not only about collecting as many k’s as possible.





How can people join the 2020 race?

Sign up for the newsletter on http://www.rad-race.com/tourdefriends/ and then the registration for the TdF3 starts December 10 at 3pm on RAD-RACE.COM

For TdF4, everyone can join from July 13th, 2019 only on RAD-RACE.COM

Since both events will have more entries than we have possible-spots, we will raffle the 400 tickets among all registrations. There will be three price categories: one for Colombians, one including a plane ticket and one without a plane ticket.

Thanks to Carlos Fernandez Laser for his magic photos. Thank you so much for the interview. We love your mag!!!

A full documentary about Rad Race’s Colombia recon trip will be available later this year on vimeo.com/radrace

Stay tuned, ride out.








2018년 September 13일

Berlin Meets Seoul

Berlin Meets Seoul

Keirin Berlin and Far Ride

An interview with Mo from Keirin Cycle Culture Café
Photos by Far Ride

We first met Mo a few years ago at his bike shop in Berlin—Keirin Cycle Culture Café—or Keirin Berlin for short. After fourteen years, Keirin has closed its doors and Mo has hit the road, traveling across Eastern Europe and Central Asia on two wheels, one gear and no brakes. We caught up with Mo in our city, Seoul, and sat down with him at local frame building shop Rookey Bike to eat, chat and learn about his new life on the road.


First, can you tell us who you are?

I’m Mo. I’m from Berlin. I wouldn’t consider myself a cyclist. A cyclist is someone with shaved legs and spandex and a helmet. I’m an urban cyclist, maybe. I was a messenger for many years and I had a bike shop for nearly the same amount of time—fifteen years messengering, almost fifteen years with the bike shop. It was called the Keirin Cycle Culture Café.  It was a bicycle shop with a coffee shop. We specialized mainly in fixed-gear track bikes and messenger culture.

I [recently] had to close the shop after fourteen years because the lease ran out. This was maybe harder for others than for me. Now I’m on a bicycle trip from Berlin to Japan. That’s who I am—just a guy who likes riding bicycles.

How long have you been traveling for so far?

I left mid-May, so four months. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been traveling for two years, depending on what country I’m in. And sometimes it’s like, “Fuck, man. I can’t stop."

It’s really weird because, basically, when you travel with a bicycle and you have to go from point A to point B, the only thing you have to worry about is getting from here to there, getting food and finding somewhere to sleep.

In a way it can be really exhausting, though, depending on the country. But it’s nice to see how the world is pretty much the same everywhere yet still really different.

What’s been the most difficult country you’ve visited on this trip?

I mean, Kazakhstan is really exhausting. Kazakhstan is really big—like big. I spent three weeks in Kazakhstan. After one week I wanted to get the fuck out of there. It was like 200-kilometer rides everyday—275 on one day—because there is nothing. I don’t carry a tent. A good tent costs too much money and it still weighs two kilos. I’m traveling with a fixed-gear bike and a focus on minimal weight—just getting from A to B as fast as possible.

If you ride four days in a row for 200 kilometers each day, you’re like “fuck, man." You finally come to a village and look for a hotel and there’s only a brothel. If somebody asks you, “How many hours do you want to stay?” and you’re like, “I want to stay for the night!” You check in and the bedding is like Gucci bedding. This is weird. This is odd.

The thing is, I couldn’t leave Kazakhstan because my Russian visa started at a certain point.

So you were kind of in Limbo?

I was stuck in Kazakhstan. I didn’t want to take a train, so I did a lot of riding. In Kazakhstan, I rode a lot.



What has been your favorite country?

Armenia was the most beautiful country, but also the most brutal because of the mountains and the streets. I mean, I really liked the Ukraine because the Ukraine is a place I’ve been before. It still feels a little more like home. I know people there. I was familiar with it. But I really like Armenia. The food was good, the people were nice, the countryside was amazing. There are not so many tourists. I mean I’m a tourist, so it’s kind of weird. But coming to Korea and going to the supermarket, I was like “Oh, fuck. White people." I’d rather go where the locals are. Those are the real places.

In Ulaanbaatar, I asked the guy I was staying with, “Where’s the bad neighborhood?” I wanted to see how the locals live, not where the foreigners shop.

Why are you traveling on a fixed-gear bike?

Well, September will be the twentieth anniversary of me riding a fixed-gear bike. When I first saw a fixed-gear bike I thought, “This is stupid. How can somebody ride with no brakes?” But then I was a New York messenger back in 1998, and a lot of messengers were using them. When you’re a messenger and you’re riding twelve months a year, five days a week in all kinds of weather conditions, you constantly have to replace your gear—a new cassette, new chain rings, a new chain, brake pads, another rim. For messenger work, I think a fixed-gear bike makes the most sense. Of course, it depends on the city. I don’t think they’re best for San Francisco. I don’t know San Francisco that well. For messenger work, fixed-gear bikes are low maintenance.

I’d done a trip on a track bike before, so for me, if something happens on a fixed-gear bike, I can always repair it. You can always get a chain. Your chain ring’s not gonna break, or your cog or whatever. What are you gonna do if you have a Campy 11-speed Record thing in the middle of Kazakhstan and you need a new 11-speed chain? Of course, an 11-speed chain doesn’t normally break, or the derailleur, but if it does…you’re fucked.

For me, a fixed-gear bike is the safest bike. This was not always the case in Armenia, of course. I think cycling, in general, is dangerous. If you’re used to your bike, you should stay with that bike. Fixed -gear has the best distance performance and low-maintenance combo for me.

What gear ratio are you running on this trip?

I have a flip-flop rear hub. I have a 47-17 and a 19 on the other side, which I used in Armenia and Russia a lot. Mostly, though, I stayed with the 47-17.

What’s been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced on this trip?

I think Armenia with the mountains was really crazy and Kazakhstan with the distance. The thing with Kazakhstan is, there was a lot of distance to cover and there was a strong headwind. There was one day I rode 200 kilometers with a 200-kilometer headwind. Fuck this.

Another day I rode for eleven hours and for seven hours it was raining—for seven hours! This was in Kazakhstan again. Because there are no villages, there are no bus stops. Because there are no bus stops, you can’t sit for twenty minutes to take cover and relax. I’m familiar with riding in the rain from messenger work. You wake up the next day and it’s raining again so you go into your wet rain gear. So, I’m used to it, but I’m also not 25 anymore.

Tell us about the bike you’re riding.

I went to Kocmo. Kocmo is outside of Berlin. They’re titanium builders and I’ve known André forever. They’ve been building frames since ’94 and I’ve known him since ’98 maybe. I guess I’m at the age that I can get a titanium frame.

I went to him with my Cannondale track bike and said, “I want a titanium frame with this geometry. I want to do this trip.” He was like, “Aw, man. When are you going to grow up? I can build you a frame and we can hide the brakes where no one sees them.” You know how it is when you have a track bike. You try to explain it to people and they say, “But it has no brakes. How do you ride this?” I think you understand this. It’s not that difficult. But this is a secret. Don’t tell anyone. People think skidding is difficult. It’s not.

So, we made the bike with track geometry but with a little bit wider clearance so I can run 32c tires. I think 32c is the widest fast tire.

Is there anything you would change about your set-up after all this time on the road?

It’s funny because I have these bars that Blue Lug gave me from Nitto. They’re 75 centimeters. I cut them four centimeters before the trip. I wouldn’t cut them now. I would ride them even wider. This whole wide thing, MASH didn’t invent it. I went to an alley cat in Boston in 2000 and they were all riding fixed-gear with handlebars like this. And this was in 2000. We were all making fun of them.

Of course, in traffic in Ulaanbaatar, these bars weren’t so good to fit between the cars, but I can bunny-hop really well with them. Bunny-hopping is a thing that not only saves lives, I think it’s a really important skill as a cyclist to know. There’s always a situation where you’ll say, “Oh, shit! jump.”



Next you go to Japan. What’s your plan there? This will be your tenth trip to Japan?

I don’t know if this is the fourteenth or fifteenth trip to Japan. What’s the plan with Japan? I’m going to go over to Fukuoka. My friend lives there. I can stay with her. I will ride from there all the way to Tokyo. It’s pretty funny because I’ve ridden so far—I think 6,000 kilometers in the last four months—so this kind of feels like a piece of cake. I don’t know how many kilometers it is from Fukuoka to Tokyo. Maybe 1,500. I have no idea. It doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s because I’ve been to Japan so many times that it feels like I’m going to my friends. I don’t have to search for a hotel. I don’t have to worry about anything—just focus on riding.

In Tokyo from the 25thof October to the 5thof November, I have an exhibition about this trip. I’ve been taking pictures. I always have on me my lovely Contax T2. My grandma gave me this in 1995. This is my baby. It’s a pretty good camera. It’s not just the name. It’s not a Cinelli. You can print that!

After having a bike shop for fourteen years, I don’t have a job. I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I can’t live from being cool and traveling and having exhibitions. Maybe I’ll make some t-shirts and some cycling caps. I already have some designs, but I don’t know if this is really me—to become a label. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Maybe Far Ride is hiring, haha.

So the adventure continues.

The adventure always continues.

You can follow Mo on all his adventures on Instagram @keirinberlin

2018년 August 23일

PODIA GRAVELVENTURES

Podia Gravelventures

Photos and Words by Constantin Gerlach

In May, I had the chance to join the Podia guides on an a five-day-long gravel adventure in the wild terrain of Beskid Niski, Poland.

Beskid Niski is one of the Beskid Mountain Ranges, part of the Carpathian Range that lies to the south of Poland. It is an unspoiled, vast area of well-preserved and wild nature.

Its turbulent history can still be felt among the numerous remnants of ancient settlements.

The region is known for its varied terrain, numerous river crossings, steep hills, exhilarating descents, rocks, dust and a healthy dose of mud.

With guests joining from Germany, Poland and the UK, it took only a short warm-up ride for friendships to be made. And these friendships only grew stronger through the experiences of the weekend. Sharing unforgettable landscapes, nestled in the wilderness far from any other person during the day, enjoying beers and food over an open fire in the evening—the spirit of adventure was strong.













2018년 August 16일

Joel Caldwell

Full interview with Joel Caldwell

Joel Caldwell

Interview by Far Ride Magazine
Photos by Joel Caldwell

A few month ago, we sat down with photographer and adventurer Joel Caldwell in his bright Brooklyn apartment. The full interview continues below.


How did you first get into photography?

I’ve been interested in photography for a long time, starting with film back in high school. But growing up in the town I grew up in, it wasn’t very realistic. No one encouraged you to try to make a living taking photos, probably because it would be impossible. So, it was a slow realization that maybe this was something I could do. 

When I met Hailey, she’s always been kind of the exact opposite. She’s never had a job where you trade “X” number of hours for “X” amount of dollars. She’s always done something creative. That was really eye opening to me. This was around the same time when I was at the point of barely being able to drag myself out of bed to go to work in the mornings, so the decision ended up being a very conscious one. I had to figure out what I wanted to do that would continue to be interesting and would allow me to have a lot of different experiences—a lot of variety—where I’d be able to tell stories. I kind of settled on photography.

 

How has cycling played a role in your adventures?

Riding bikes and travelling by bike is something I’ve always been really drawn to. I did my first tour, down the California coast, when I was in college. The speed of travel, having to earn the miles and ending up in the interesting in-between places, I really love that. There’s something about the pace of riding a bicycle. It allows you to really get to know a place. When I came across bikepacking, I immediately fell in love with it. It’s such a combination of things that I’m interested in; it’s self-supported, it’s adventurous. With fat-bikes now you can go anywhere. You can make your own trail using google maps or even thirty or forty-year-old soviet maps. You just travel on a bicycle carrying everything that you need to survive in the middle of nowhere.

Bicycles can also act as a universal language. People all over the world are interested in bicycles and can relate to them. If you’re in a pretty remote part of the world where you don’t speak the same language, people can understand a bicycle—even if it’s a pretty crazy looking one like a fat-bike.

What do you think draws people to bikepacking?

I think a lot of the attraction, especially for people who were originally backpackers, is to get out into the middle of nowhere. This is something that maybe wasn’t available as much with traditional touring. To be able to go off the beaten path and into wilderness areas and not have to contend with cars flying by, to be able to get out into the mountains with the added experience of riding a bike, ripping it downhill, I think that is the attraction.

The first bike-packing trip I ever took—which I still think is one of the best bang-for-your-buck trails—is the Kokopelli Trail from Western Colorado into Utah. It was three or four days riding the trail from outside Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah. It’s the home of adventure, blood red sandstone country. It’s got Canyonlands and Arches National Park. From there, we spent another two days exploring the outback. The landscape is just breathtaking.

A bit more extreme was our three-week trip through Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. It was a lot more travel and super remote—high elevations and a semi-nomadic culture. It’s just such an exotic place and an amazing place to ride bicycles.

Can you tell us about your use of photography as a tool for conservation?

Specifically, I use outdoor adventure as a way to tell conservation stories. But if you take a photograph or write something for a conservation magazine, you’re sort of preaching to the choir. If you can introduce an element of outdoor adventure—cycling, skiing, motorcycle riding—then you end up with a much wider audience.

I spent time bike-packing in Kyrgyzstan, but I’ve also spent time documenting snow leopards in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. On the last trip, in March 2017, I brought skis and had the opportunity to ski after a herd of Marco Polo sheep, which are one of the three core-species of prey for snow leopards. Being up on the Pamir Plateau skiing after this herd of giant sheep in such a remote location, it was a very unique opportunity. To be able to come back and share that with an audience through Ski Journal and Patagonia’s blog, it really helped to open some communication channels having that outdoor adventure aspect to it. 

Recently you experienced a rather large change in your life. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

I had a job that I’d pitched to a motorcycle magazine. Air Canada had a deal where you could fly from Montreal to Frankfurt with your motorcycle for 800 extra dollars. So, I packed my motorcycle, flew to Frankfurt and rode down across the Alps to pick up my then-girlfriend, Hailey, and we rode around Italy for ten days. I proposed to her in Tuscany. When we came back, we started thinking about what we wanted to do and decided on a small wedding in Tuscany, as we’d just fallen in love with it. So, in June of 2017, I flew to Germany to pick up my motorcycle and ride down to Italy again.

I made it about half a day when I had a really bad accident. I spent a month in the hospital, missed my wedding—all of my family and friends were already in Italy at the time. Hailey obviously missed it as well. She was up in the hospital with me in Germany. Ultimately, I had a pretty bad concussion. I had double vision for two months, a broken arm and ended up having to get my left leg amputated below the knee. It was a pretty big shock. There was too much damage in the foot and ankle. The opportunity to try and save the foot through a series of reconstructive surgeries was offered to me, but the likelihood of chronic pain and a fused ankle was not an attractive option.

The surgeons and healthcare professionals in Germany were amazing. They told me that if I wanted to continue to be an independent and athletic person, a below the knee amputation could still allow for that. That was eight months ago.

The last time we spoke, you were out in Colorado on a ski trip. How was it the first time back on skis?

It was interesting. I had applied for this adaptive ski program at Purgatory Mountain in Southwest Colorado. I had applied for a scholarship and they gave it to me, so I got four days of skiing with it. I show up, but a prosthetic leg isn’t going to fill out a ski boot the way a real leg does. So, when I got there, they were literally cutting chunks of a foam pool noodle to layer around my prosthetic leg. Two of us cranked the boot down as tight as it would go while thinking there’s no way I’ll be able to ski with this. We went out and I fell on the bunny slope. I started thinking that it was going to be a long four days, but instead within four hours my brain kind of figured out the balance and I was skiing groomers almost as well as I ever had before. It was amazing because it was the first athletic thing that I’d done since the accident. It was amazing to do something like that.

I haven’t ridden a road bike yet, I’ve just sort of “gotten around”. Riding my townie bike, without the clip-in pedals is not that bad. I think ultimately it will be one of the easier things to get back into, as it’s just the same motion over and over again. But once the weather gets better in New York I’ll get back to it, and I’ll definitely get back to bike-packing as well. There’s no question about that. It will be a little bit more complicated with a little bit more gear to bring along.

I think it’s important to mention that a below knee amputation is very different than an above knee amputation or up in the pelvic region or missing an arm. With time to build muscle and access to the right equipment, you can come back from a below knee amputation and do most everything. The others are such greater obstacles to overcome. They shouldn’t all be under the same title of amputation.

 

What role can cycling play in conservation?

A big issue in the States right now is public lands, with the current administration teaming up to try and privatize public land, some of which has been public since the 1930s. If people don’t get out and enjoy their public lands, then there will be no call to advocate for it. There will always be people who want to mine and privatize and develop these areas, so it’s important that people get out and recreate and use these areas, whether they’re riding bikes or skiing or hiking or hunting or fishing. We need people to be engaged with wild and public lands in order to keep them that way.

What can an average person do to aid in daily conservation efforts?

Simply paying attention is super important. Especially with the current political climate. Even living in a city, as I do, if you value the fact that we have wild places in our country and in the world, you need to take advantage of them, not only by getting out and enjoying them, but by voting. Your vote matters. We need to get some progressive leaders willing to make the hard decisions.

 

How did you first get into conservation?

It’s something I’ve been interested in for a long time and have paid attention to. I went to rallies and Greenpeace and Sierra Club, stuff like that. But as a photographer, I suddenly had this concrete thing that I could do. Going to rallies, volunteering and all that stuff is easily as important as taking photos, but as a photographer, and if you’re willing to write some stuff, you can really pitch in. All of these organizations need photos. They need documentation to show what’s going on.

So, I got involved and started photographing some stuff for Greenpeace, and then I started photographing stuff for 1% for the Planet—it’s a bunch of companies and corporations that donate one percent of sales to conservation causes. It’s probably the cause that I’m most passionate about. For me, work is much more enjoyable when it’s meaningful and this is what I think is the most pressing issue.

And also, selfishly, to be able to travel to some place like Central Asia to document snow leopard conservation—travel with purpose is so much more enjoyable than just travel. You get to know local people, you pitch in, you visit people’s homes, you eat with them—it’s such a deeper dive. It’s good to have purpose.

 

In conservation, how vital is engagement with the local communities?

Everything hinges on the local community. It’s all based on local involvement, and that’s what makes the work worthwhile. We get to know people. We get to form relationships with people. Three weeks ago, one of the rangers in Tajikistan, Mahan—who lives in a town of like a thousand people literally in the middle of nowhere on the Pamir Plateau—was on his way to Montana. That’s where the conservation biologist that I work with lives when she’s not in Central Asia. On his way back, Mahan had to overnight in New York. So, I picked him up at the airport and we took him to his first movie in theater he’d ever seen. We rode the train in, walked down Broadway and over the Brooklyn Bridge. I think it blew his mind. It will be something he talks about for a long time. I think by the end he was ready to get the hell out of New York City.

 

What’s on the horizon?

I’m trying to put together a trip to Senegal. There’s an estimated twenty lions remaining in Senegal. I’m hoping to find a local Senegalese filmmaker to work with and create a campaign that builds pride in the Senegalese lions. That’s through the Wildlife Conservation Network and the Leonardo DiCaprio fund.

I’m also trying to go back to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to make a film about the conservation model there. It’s so interesting.

 

And what’s the model?

It was actually pioneered in Africa, but it’s community-based conservancy. Local people are encouraged to stop hunting all of the animals that the snow leopard hunts: ibex, Marco Polo sheep, and markhor—these giant, Lord of the Rings looking goats.

The local people stop hunting and instead become rangers, patrolling the area and preventing other people from killing these animals. When these animals start coming back, the snow leopards start coming back.

It all hinges on trophy hunting, which is a little bit controversial. Once these sheep, ibex and goats reach a sustainable level, there’s trophy hunting permitted. A foreign trophy hunter will come in and pay, for example, $40,000 USD to kill a single, mature Marco Polo sheep. This is usually a trophy animal, so it has big horns that they can hang on their wall, but it also means that it’s an old animal, kind of past its prime and unlikely to be significantly expanding the population. The money is then divided, with some going to the government and the majority going directly to the local community in the form of access to clean water, access to better education and healthcare.

I’ve been there and seen the impact. It’s increasing wildlife populations while benefiting the local communities. It’s a pretty amazing thing. I think in the 21st century it’s hard to tell a positive conservation story and this is definitely one of them.

Some animal rights activists don’t like the idea of trophy hunting. I don’t particularly like the idea of trophy hunting, but the truth is, you have to incentivize people to protect these animals. This is a very effective way to do it. You can argue with the way it happens, but the results—you can’t really argue with those.

 

What’s the one thing you always bring on a bike-packing trip?

Probably Starbucks Via packets. I’m not really a Starbucks guy, typically, but those packets are fantastic. To drink a cup of coffee of that strength first thing in the morning, it’s like the most luxurious thing and it weighs nothing.

Our story on Joel and a collection of his work are available in Far Ride Volume 09. You can follow Joel on his next adventure at www.joelcaldwell.com or on Instagram @joelwcaldwell

Ready to get involved? Head over to www.onepercentfortheplanet.org to find out how. 

2018년 August 13일

Memories of Dalsland Runt

Dalsland Runt

Memories of Dalsland Runt

Photos and Words by Guk Hyun Xon

Dalsland Runt

I think it would be naïve of me to try and summarize Dalsland Runt in a few short paragraphs. It would be too difficult to write about the technicality of this event, to accurately portray the course, the scenery, the accommodations, etc. Instead I will write about what I took away from this wonderful event.




I had only heard about Dalsland Runt in bits and pieces through word of mouth. I knew it was a great event but not much more than that. Participants don’t receive a brochure with mass-marketing leaflets inside. You don’t get a race number or a timing chip like other events. It’s all very simple. You turn up to the designated start area, circle your name on the starting list and wait till it’s your time ride off. So, as I approached the starting line of Dalsland Runt, I didn’t know what to expect, only that it would be unlike any other event that I had done previously.



Dalsland Runt 2018 was unique in that it has never been that warm in Sweden—not in the last 100 years, at least. Everyone riding was suffering from the heat, stopping often to cool down a refill bidons. Instead of racing each other to the finish line, we focused on encouraging one another. it didn’t matter whether or not we spoke the same language or held any other commonalities. We were engaging through a shared passion and love for cycling.

 














For me, Dalsland Runt was a great representation of cycling’s potential. I work in a high-end bicycle retail store, and more often than not our customers obsess over numbers, watts, weight, aerodynamics and stiffness. Sometimes, it’s nice to get on a bike and just ride, whether that be with people you know or complete strangers. It’s great to socialize and there’s definitely a sense of real comradery in this event.

 

2018년 July 31일

Geoff McFetridge

Geoff McFetridge

31 July 2018 / Los Angeles

For Volume 09, we sat down with artist and designer Geoff McFetridge in his spacious LA studio. Covering topics from the solitude of cycling to bikes as a vehicle for “time-travel”, our conversation soon moved outdoors as we spent the afternoon exploring the streets around Geoff’s studio. Join us as we ride along with Geoff McFetridge, and don’t miss the full interview in Far Ride Volume 09.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-F6F8kpD9w&t=32s

Buy Volume 09

2018년 July 25일

Far Ride x Cheese Cycling Club – SNAFU

SNAFU

Far Ride Magazine x Cheese Cycling Club

Video by Onion TV

We got together with our good friends at CHEESE CYCLING CLUB and collaborated to create a cycling jersey.
SNAFU : SITUATION NORMAL ALL FUCKED UP was a word that described a moment in our Trans-Canada ride featured in far ride magazine volume 9.
Using the word and mixing it up with CHEESE CYCLING CLUB’s design style, we present to you a limited run of the far ride x CHEESE CYCLING CLUB summer jersey.


Made with Eschler E3 Fabrics by Schoeller, Swiss. Featuring mesh fabric (Arms and Back) and Sun Reflector (UV protector).
For sizing, please refer to the attached sizing chart.



Buy it now

2018년 June 19일

Route 60

Route 60

Route 60

19 June 2018
Photos and Words by Jean Dujardin

Up until a year ago, my daily routine consisted of pedaling up and down the streets of Brussels to go to work or to visit friends. I am not a competitive cyclist but an explorer. Cycling made me a tourist in my own city, traveling slowly enough to discover new things daily. Perhaps it has made me a dreamer, too.

 A decision was made: a few months away from work spent cycling 11,150 km around Europe, starting and ending in its capital, Brussels. In 2017, the European Union was set to celebrate its 60th year of existence. What better way to join the celebration than to ride my bike around Europe. Route 60 was born. Leaving Brussels, I knew that I would return, just not when.

 My trip began in the Netherlands. There, one can easily get spoiled by the superb cycling lanes and some of the world’s best cycling infrastructure. It was almost summer at the end of May when I arrived. The first 500 km felt effortless, and I quickly grew comfortable on my new bike. Perfect bike infrastructure fits into the Netherlands’ famous spatial organization. Yes, there are lots of people around, but it never feels crowded. Cities are vibrant, and the surroundings include many protected areas and natural parks.

 On my third day in the Netherlands, I slept at a cyclist’s home that I met through Warmshowers, the hospitality app that brings cyclists together. This was my first experience with the app. Making new friends helped ease my transition from home life to life on the road, with Belgium slowly disappearing behind me.

Leaving the Netherlands for Germany, I expected to see fewer cycle lanes and less bike infrastructure. Fortunately, this was not the case.  The cities of Hamburg and Bremen are a cyclist’s paradise. Wild camping in the countryside and being welcomed by fellow cyclists in cities became the norm. This was bike touring at its best!

I reached the Baltic Sea after 1000 km on the bike. I hadn’t planned on visiting Scandinavia due to my limited budget, but seeing the vessels travelling from Rostock to Denmark, I couldn’t help myself.  Scandinavia, here I come.


Empty beaches and never-ending forests welcomed me. I got more into wild camping for a few nights. The Scandinavian silence is amazing. Fawns, bats and squirrels offer their greetings. Mother Nature switches off the lights slowly during the long summer evenings. Sometimes she suspends all mobile connections as if to say, “Let’s be connected to nature only.”

Visiting the big cities of Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki, I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of cars. It seems that cars are of little to no use in Scandinavian cities and are barely in sight. This is not only due to Scandinavian functionalism, however. It’s also about giving the cities back to the people.

Another surprise? The possibility to ferry bikes to one of the thousands of islands surrounding the Scandinavian coast. Pitch your tent and experience true nothingness. I highly recommend trying this when in Finland.

I slowly moved from Scandinavia to the former Eastern Bloc. A boat brought me to the Baltic States—those one-time Soviet countries now moving towards becoming a trendy cycling destination. Forget the grey. The parks and design here are green!

I pitched my tent in all the best spots along my route and also spent time exploring Baltic city life. In Tallinn, Riga and Klaipeda local bike travelers showed me around for some exciting summer nights on the town.

An agency in Riga made arrangements for my visa to visit Russia. A detour through the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad seemed worth exploring. After all, this is where Europe meets Russia. Kaliningrad is effectively a Russian island floating in the EU, surrounded by member states Poland to the south and Lithuania to the north.

The city streets here are anything but bike friendly. Fortunately, some locals recommended that I go to the countryside, where they go camping during summer weekends. The landscape is eye catching and it’s rather flat—perfect to get around by bike. I only had to decide which beach I would sleep on each night.


Russia is hosting the FIFA World Cup this summer and new construction could be seen springing up like mushrooms. I wish they would spend as much money on cycling lanes.

By comparison, Poland has it all. From Russia to the border with the Ukraine, there are more than 500 kilometers of cycling lanes on the Polish Green Velo path. The name says it all—green as the forest that it leads me through, green as the rest areas with dry toilets and benches built along the way, green as the small businesses that provide everyone with everything you need to be happy on a bike.


New days lead to new countries. The Ukraine was the easternmost country I visited on Route 60. A young couple based in Kovel, near the Polish border, welcomed me for the night. They are cyclists and also make bike panniers. Further aiding my travels, they spoke with a guard in the nearby Cheremsky National Park, arranging my stay in one of the guard houses for a night. They also put me in contact with hosts en route to my next destination of Kiev, some 450 kilometers east.

I planned to stay at each house for just one night but ended up staying longer. The Ukraine is more than vast, empty plains. Take Varash, for example. Varash is one of those towns where you wouldn’t normally stay—till you meet the locals, that is. Every year, these guys hold a race around town. Cycling is happening in the Ukraine! The only time I was unable to take my bike was to visit Chernobyl. It is forbidden to go on your own.

 The city of Kiev is a vast city and a great one to cycle around without panniers. Locals were welcoming, helping me fix my bike, showing me the way to nice camping spots and making me feel at home in their vast country.

But summer was ending, and I wanted to cross the Balkans before autumn. Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Albania offered me exactly what I needed: a variety of landscapes ranging from lakes and mountains to lively cities. I couldn’t just cycle through Brasov or Mostar without thinking of the history books I studied at school. Some of Europe’s darkest chapters were written here. This cultural melting pot is now ready for its next step. The battle is no longer to topple regimes but instead to create an even better living experience, including cycling.

 I cycle to Patras in Greece, slowly enjoying the autumnal Mediterranean sun before taking an overnight ferry to Bari in Southern Italy. A new country always means new energy. Yes, the people are different. The vibe, too. Don’t ask me why, but I found myself in tourist mode. This is just what Italy does to me. For me, Italy is about drinking the best coffee, sleeping in abandoned villages and sharing stories with old folks in small cities.

Naples marked the end point of my Italian adventure as an overnight boat carried me across the sea to Tunisia. The African continent is quite close, and I could hear it calling me. The Mediterranean part of Tunisia quickly transformed into semi-arid plains as I cycled south to Douz, the gateway to the Sahara for many visitors. The curiosity and the hospitality of the Tunisians reminded me why I travel. The local cycling communities regularly invite visitors for tours in their areas where every valley has its own life. The nights are quite cold, and the sky is always full of stars, being so far away from any light pollution. I regularly pitch my tent near oases while thinking of how Tunisia feels like a second trip within my journey around Europe.



In December of 2017, I finally cycled back to Belgium, passing through France. I never felt in a hurry. My tent was no longer necessary, my own Tour de France ending in Brussels, not Paris.

It seems you meet the most intrepid bike fans during the winter months. After a cold cycling day, there is nothing like meeting up for a gourmet meal in a pleasant and convivial setting with new friends. Perhaps winter is the best season for crossing France. 

 

Without a doubt, cycling around Europe is the best way to discover its diversity. While I was never more than a 2-hour flight away from my hometown, a few tough times did make me think of quitting. Leaving the route would have been a bad choice, but what could I do to keep pushing forward? On difficult days, I would simply look at my map and set a goal—perhaps a city a few hundred kilometers away I had always wanted to visit or a lake I wanted to swim in by the end of the day—and go. After all, there will always be people along the way to add to the joy of the journey.


Route 60

2018년 June 14일

Miles of portraits

Miles of Portraits

Miles of Portraits

14 June 2018

Photos and Words by Annalisa

Traveling by bicycle is a great way to get to know a place. For Annalisa van den Bergh, it’s also a great way to get to know people. In 2017, together with friend Erik Douds, Annalisa cycled across America, chatting with and taking photos of the people they met along the way. Now they have their sights set on another adventure. Having covered the contiguous US, the pair is headed to Alaska to discover the roads, people and culture that make up America’s biggest state. Annalisa shared with Far Ride a few stories from their many Miles of Portraits.

2_Portrait Compilation

There's something about riding a loaded touring bicycle that causes complete strangers to tell you their life story.

Last summer, inspired by a previous cross-country bike trip, I rode 4,300 miles across the TransAmerica trail and took pictures of the people I met along the way. In the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, it was refreshing to experience firsthand the generosity and warmth that fills America. My portraits were almost entirely based on chance. They were mostly of the people who approached me rather than the other way around. I was this outsider, riding an 87-pound bike. People asked me my life story, so I turned the question around on them.

 

Richard

Richard Ewart
(Location: Judson, KY)


Out of nowhere, a cyclist rest stop complete with ice water, snacks, bike tools, and face wipes put up by good Samaritans, made my day. Blissfully refreshed, I rode out of it only to bump into Richard, one of the angels behind it. "My wife Donna does most of the work; my job is to put out the ice water."

Wolthuis

The Wolthuis Family
(Location: Bendavis, MO)



The Wolthuis family, owners of the Ben Davis Store, has nearly blue eyes all-around. Alannah, the one in the Minnie Mouse dress was a true kid and asked me every possible question about my bike trip. James, in yellow, frequently rings up customers and has taken charge of the cyclist guest book.

Kitty

Kitty Barks
(Location: Jackson, MT)


Kitty Barks has come a long way. She's gone from living in her car to finding an apartment and landing a job at the post office. She married into her last name and kept it when she got divorced — because how could you not?

Bruce

Bruce and Ben Anderson
(Location: Missoula, MT)

Bruce, his son, and a bunch of tenants live in a big house in Missoula. He’s famous on Warmshowers for opening up his mansion to as many cyclists as can fit inside. You can stay as long as you want but if you stay longer than 30 days, he asks that you start paying rent.

 

https://milesofportraits.com/

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