Back from Moab. Fat Pursuit. More Youtube? Happy Thanksgiving!

Sorry for drafting another snoozer, but here’s the up-to-date skinny on Dirty Teeth. 2022 has been fantastic beyond belief, and I hope everyone is recouping from turkey overload. We just had a great Thanksgiving up in Coeur d’Alene with my sis-in-law and her beautiful fam… Anyhoo…

“Santa Cruise” on Lake Coeur D’Alene
A chilly but fun night out on the lake 🙂

Horizon

Back from Moab! 3 1/2 months of filming an epic western is in the can. Thank goodness my family was with me most of the time and we made some great memories!! Can’t speak much on it yet, but man… I think it’s gonna be one cool movie… great cast, great directing, and hopefully passable camera work 🙂 Working title is Horizon: An American Saga.

Horses on their way to work – Fullers Bottom / San Rafael Swell
My amazing work family – so much fun with this gang!
Corona Arch hike with the fam
My sorry attempt at carving Corona Arch
So much fun having my wife around during this shoot!! My kids were extras for a few days, and Angela would hang with me on set – so blessed just to know they were there and to carpool with them to work!!
Toadstools – outside of Kanab, UT
Buckskin Gulch – super long slot canyon just outside of Kanab, UT
Portal Trail. Sketch balls, but a great ending to Magnificent 7
Great weather window on Whole Enchilada
Lift accessed goodness at Telluride Ski Resort – weekend getaway
Telluride, ColoRADo so so good!

DEVOTION

Speaking of “work” – Last year, I had the opportunity to do some extra camera work in Savannah, GA on a film called Devotion. It just came out in theaters during Thanksgiving week. A period piece based on a true story about the first black naval aviator in the Korean War. Below is the trailer, and I’m excited to see the film! Go check it out 🙂

So now that I’m off from “real work” for a while, what’s next?

Jay P’s Fat Camp. Fat Pursuit 200k. ITI 350.

Don’t get me wrong, I got some great riding in on the weekends, while living in Moab. But overall my fitness dwindled pretty hard, and I’m starting up training right now! Why? Can’t remember if I told you or not, but I was accepted into the Iditarod Trail Invitational in Alaska at the end of Feb 2023. In preparation for that daunting effort, I’ll be at Jay Petervary’s Fat Pursuit Workshop + Camp, followed by the 10th Anniversary Fat Pursuit 200k at the beginning of January. I believe there are a couple spots left at camp – come join the fun! And if you haven’t done Fat Pursuit – you gotta give it a whirl 🙂 In 2021, I did a “covid version” of Fat Pursuit and made this video – check it if you’re bored:

It’s getting real.

Dirty Teeth back on Youtube?

Back in August, I took a “YouTube hiatus”… although it’s fun making videos as a hobby and I enjoy the positive feedback and comments, etc – it’s a heck of a lot of work. But I have some downtime now, so maybe… just maybe… I’ll get cracking on some vids I’ve had on the back burner… we’ll see…

That’s it for now… it’s holiday time. Family time and fat bike rides await! Hope you all have a blessed Christmas season – ride on!!

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Tour Divide / GDMBR Resource List: Read, Study, Watch, Listen

I decided to pen this blog post as a companion for my Tour Divide Prep Video Series on Youtube.   This will be a living document, so save the link and I’ll keep it updated as new info becomes available… If you intend to ride the Tour Divide / GDMBR, I suggest you gobble up the all the brain food you can as part of your mental training.  There’s no substitute for doing your homework!!  You might also find the Gear I Use helpful in your planning. This is just the tip of the iceberg on all the research and recon available on the interwebs.  If you have any info to add, or if any of these links are broken, please let me know in the comments 🙂  Ride on! *Some links might below take you to Amazon.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

MOVIES/VIDEOS

BOOKS

INFORMATIONAL WEBSITES / MAPS / FORUMS / GPS

PODCASTS

There are so many specific “Tour Divide” related episodes/interviews… and the list is constantly growing… maybe when I get some free time, I’ll add more links… but for now, here are some great bikepacking focused podcasts… have a  listen on your training rides!!
  • mtbcast.com (the OG call-ins from the races… you can listen to archived call-ins and geek out)
  • The Desolationist (Justin Dubois does great interviews with tons of bikepackers – lots of insight to be gained here… he hasn’t done any in a while, unfortunately)
  • Overland Archive (TD Winner Lewis Ciddor has fantastic interviews many bikepackers on his podcast – another great resource)
  • Bikes or Death (Patrick Farnsworth is the host, great list of bikepacking guests)
  • BIKES BIKES BIKES (Cjell Mone of Mone bikes is the host and yeah… good stuff)
  • The Bikepacking Racing Podcast (some great interviews more geared towards “racing” – hosted by Ezra Ward-Packard and Andrew Onermaa)
  • The Adventure Stache (Uber-fast Payson McElveen pumps out great cycling content)
  • The Bikepack Canada Podcast (hosted by the late and great Ryan Correy, RIP)

BLOGS / ARTICLES

There are a million personal accounts, gear and packing lists, bike checks, etc all over the web.  Start researching and have at it!  Here are a few good reads to get you going.  If you have a blog or article you want me to add, let me know!
*Note:  We now upload videos to our Youtube Channel every week.  Everything from adventures and ride reports to tips, tricks, and hacks for mountain biking, bikepacking, etc.  Please subscribe to us on Youtube and stay up to date!  
Ride bikes. Give back. Pay it forward.
TMM-Patreon
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Dirty Teeth Youtube and TMM Hiatus

Hope this finds you well… and that you’re having a fantastic Summer!! This is a bit of a bittersweet post, but I knew it would come eventually. It’s time to take a break from Youtube… actually it’s been a month or two since I made a video, and even before that, it was getting sporadic. But I figured it’s time to make it official with a short explanation.

I started the youtube channel during covid – mainly due to boredom, unemployment, and curiosity. I never set out to be a “YouTuber” and quite frankly I’ll never be comfy filming myself. Fast forward, and the film industry is bustling again and I’m enjoying being a part-time bike mechanic when I’m between “real jobs”. Throw in family time and riding bikes, and there’s not much room left for another “hobby”. So yeah, youtube is out for now. I know most of you don’t care, but anyhoo…

What about Trail Magic Monday?

Good question… I’ve also suspended taking contributions from our Patreon account – which means Trail Magic Monday is also paused. This does NOT mean that the ethos of TMM is over!!! Whether I’m documenting it or not, I’m still pursuing random acts of unwarranted kindness in my day-to-day interactions with folks. I highly encourage all of you to do the same!! TMM helps me focus on having a selfless, giving spirit. Yes, I still catch myself being selfish and plenty sinful… but hey, I’m consciously trying my best!!! So let’s all keep on the Trail Magic vibe in our own ways and everyday lives…

I’m still blown away that we gave away over $6,000 to random folks and organizations in just over a year. As Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

I’m still enjoying bikes as much as possible… whenever and wherever I can… Who knows… maybe I’ll get the bug to make more videos once in a while… but for now, the GoPro is back on the shelf 🙂

Ride on!!!

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Trail Magic Update #17 = 100th Giveaway + Silk Road Slideshow w/ Jacob & JayP

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less.”

– C.S. Lewis

Jacob Hora recently came to town for a couple of weeks of internship at the bike shop, and in doing so, he made a super fun bikepacking presentation to an enthusiastic audience.

Showing the slideshow before Jacob’s bikepacking presentation at the shop
The “Trailhead Gang”

The topic of discussion was his experience with Jay Petervary on the 2021 Silk Road Mountain Race. We slapped together a quick slideshow/short video from GoPro footage that Jacob + JayP captured during the event to help set the stage for his presentation… and for fun, I just uploaded it to the Youtube Channel – it’s short, and definitely worth a looksie if you have time, so click on it below 🙂

Summer is in full swing and June was crazy and hectic – Father’s Day, birthdays, group rides, grillin’ and grand openings and all that… “bike shop life” coupled with family life and bike riding life has punted the Youtube channel farther back on the list of priorities these days… oh well… I’m sorry and I completely understand any patrons that wanna bail on Trail Magic Monday. But I’m not!! and I’ll get to that in a sec…

Taking some folks on Greenhorn/Imperial
Grilling it up at the Trailhead Summer Kick-Off
Burgers and dogs! Stoked to be part of our community bike shop 🙂

In other news, my CTR plans have kinda gone out the window because of… you guessed it… work. Don’t get me wrong, I’m blessed to work in the film industry and it’s been good to my family throughout my career. But it makes planning ahead pretty tough. I’ve trained for and missed countless bikepacking adventures over the years, as well as important family events, milestones, etc. The job that was supposed to start on August 25 (which was already cutting it really close for the Aug 14th grand depart of CTR) now has me location scouting August 11-15. I thought about pulling my race forward and doing an ITT a week or two beforehand, but it’s just not going to fit into an already jam-packed schedule. Anyhoo… sorry for venting, but I’m pretty bummed. In the meantime, I’ll be exploring a new route close to home that my buddies have been working on for a bit… kind of a mini-CT, but Idaho-style with lots of super stout climbs and rugged, remote backcountry singletrack descents linked together with gravel and hot spring action… and it’ll start and finish from the Trailhead Bike Shop in Hailey… what could be better?

So yeah… enough blabbing – on to the Trail Magic Update!!

Ashley with her new brand new Trek Marlin!! So blessed I was able to build the bike for her and hand it over!

In June, we gave a brand new Trek Marlin to Ashley, our 100th Trail Magic recipient!!

She’s a single mother with four great kiddos. I have the privilege of riding and hanging out with her younger boys, since they’re friends with my girls. Their bikes are pretty beat down, so I always wind up wrenching on them just to keep them going. They always want mom to ride with them, but she hasn’t had a “rideable” bike in a while… and a new bike isn’t really in the cards for her financially right now. So guess what?? This month, instead of giving to a few folks and organizations, Angela and I decided to surprise Ashley with a bike so she could ride with her kids. Every time I see them out on the bike path or at the bike park it makes me smile. So grateful to be able to make it happen with funds from Patreon, Youtube, etc

June 2022 Giving Totals & Recipient Details

June 2022 Totals:  1 person/organizations gifted, monetary value of $750

Total since inception (Feb 2021):  100 people/organizations gifted, monetary value of $6033

We’ve updated the our Google Map with pins for all our recipients – check it out!

In case you’re wondering… we paid full retail price for the bike. I’m sure the owners / my bosses at The Trailhead would’ve hooked me up, but we’re a new shop and I was stoked to be able to support them as well… definitely a WIN-WIN Thanks for reading!! Now go ride your bike 🙂

As always, if you have any ideas for giveaways, nominees, or want to be part of delivering some magic, etc – please hit me up!!  This is 100% a collaborative effort!!

Please consider giving back through our #trailmagicmonday pledge on Patreon or buying Dirty Teeth schwag
*Note:  We now upload videos to our Youtube Channel every week.  Everything from adventures and ride reports to tips, tricks, and hacks for mountain biking, bikepacking, etc.  Please subscribe to us on Youtube and stay up to date!  

Ride bikes.  Give back.  Pay it forward 🙂

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We hit $5000 in Giving :) Trail Magic Update #16, etc

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less.”

– C.S. Lewis

May is over. So frickin’ quick. I was wrenching away at the bike shop, and riding a bunch, and starting to build a good base for my CTR training… but got a great opportunity in my “real life” career to head out to Charleston, SC for a few weeks to work on a fun TV show that lot’s of my friends are working on. As hard as it is to leave the fam at home, I took the gig so I could put some food on the table for them and work with some great peeps. Lots of elliptical workouts in the gym and some SUP to try to keep a little fitness… but I miss my bike and the mountains!!!

Lining up a shot…
Sunset during my “lunch break” on location at Seabrook Island… no filter 🙂

That said, the Youtube channel has once again been neglected for a bit… but I have a few videos lined up, which I’ll start working on when I get home next week.

I found a cool laundromat in Mt. Pleasant, SC that also has a free food pantry for anyone in need… so I bought a bunch of groceries and dropped them off there… that was fun… and the attendant at the laundromat gave me her phone number (no not to ask her out, silly – so I could give her the “gas points” from my purchase 🙂 – so it was a double win!

I asked her what food gets taken the fastest / is in the highest demand… what do you think her answer was? Nope. It’s those cracker packs with peanut butter or cheese in the middle or stuff like “Clif Bars”. She said most folks that stop in don’t have any way of cooking, so it’s pre-packaged stuff that can be eaten without having to heat it up. It put me in a different mind space while shopping, and really humbled me and reminded me of the blessings we all have at home – a kitchen and a stove and microwave and a fridge… that I don’t even think about. It’s just there. So yeah… it reminded me of donating to Jefe Branham’s food security fundraiser and the Santa Barbara Food Bank last month… which provided fresh, wholesome food for those in need… but this time, as I roamed the aisles, and wound up with canned fruits and veggies and tuna cans that peel open without a can-opener, and health bars, and apple sauce, and pudding, and raisins… and of course the cheesy crackers… it really made me feel like a jerk that I don’t contribute to my local food pantry back at home on a regular basis. So yeah… that’s something to do when I get home… and maybe something to think about for you as well?…

Anyhoo… I’m rambling… sorry… so I’ve been doing internet research and found a few more “bike related” cool organizations to donate to (details below). As much as I love paying it forward to individuals (which comes purely from nominations), giving back to cool causes and organizations is just as fun!

So without further ado here are the May 2022 Trail Magic Monday recipients! Super stoked to crack the $5,000 mark of giving… slow and steady…

May 2022 Giving Totals & Recipient Details

May 2022 Totals:  3 people/organizations gifted, monetary value of $300

Total since inception (Feb 2021):  99 people/organizations gifted, monetary value of $5283

We’ve updated the our Google Map with pins for all our recipients – check it out!

Here’s a little info about our Trail Magic recipients and gifts they were given in May:

  • Bicycle Kitchen – Los Angeles, CA (Alan J.) $100 donation. Their mission is to promote the bicycle as a fun, safe, and accessible form of transportation, to foster healthy urban communities, and to provide a welcoming space to learn about building, maintaining, and riding bicycles. They are not a bike store, but a group of volunteers who run a space filled with tools and stands so people in the community can pop in and work on their own bikes. Learn more about Bicycle Kitchen here: https://bicyclekitchen.org  
  • League of American Bicyclists – Washington, DC (Alan J.) $100 donation. Can you believe they started in 1880? It started as a movement by “Wheelmen” on high-wheel bikes to get roads paved – and continues today with advocacy on the federal level. It doesn’t stop there: the League provides valuable education programs, helps build better places for people to bike, promotes bicycling as the option of choice, and helps create bicycle-friendly places. Learn more here:
    https://www.bikeleague.org
  • Freewheelin’ Community Bikes – Indianapolis, IN (Alan J.) $100 donation. They connect youth with skills for life over a shared passion for the bicycle. They envision a stronger, healthier, more connected city. One bike, One youth, One relationship at a time… they are transforming Indianapolis into a city where bikes provide access to better lives.  Learn more here: https://www.freewheelinbikes.org

So that was May, 2022!! Thanks for reading!! Now go ride your bike 🙂

As always, if you have any ideas for giveaways, nominees, or want to be part of delivering some magic, etc – please hit me up!!  This is 100% a collaborative effort!!

Please consider giving back through our #trailmagicmonday pledge on Patreon or buying Dirty Teeth schwag
*Note:  We now upload videos to our Youtube Channel every week.  Everything from adventures and ride reports to tips, tricks, and hacks for mountain biking, bikepacking, etc.  Please subscribe to us on Youtube and stay up to date!  

Ride bikes.  Give back.  Pay it forward 🙂

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Trail Magic Update #15 – April 2022 Giving Stats!

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less.”

– C.S. Lewis

April was a whirlwind month! I’ve been super busy… I won’t bore you with the details – but… here are the bullet points:

  • I started wrenching a few days a week at a new bike shop in Hailey (Trailhead Bicycles) – having a blast sharing the stoke of cycling, building custom wheels, doing group rides, etc – score!
  • I was accepted into the 2023 Iditarod Trail Invitational… so that just became real, and I’m pretty scared of it but ready to tackle the challenge 🙂
  • Also just purchased a ticket to Denver for the 2022 Colorado Trail Race this summer… so that just became real as well… and I’ve officially started “training” for it… which means lots of hiking up steep hills around my house!! I know it’s gonna be hard, but feeling blessed for the opportunity to get out there and become immersed in the majesty that super special trail!!
  • The girls got chicks, so it’s been my job to get the chicken coop up and running. Excited for little ladies to make the transition over from the brooder in a couple weeks 🙂

Luckily we still had the opportunity to contribute to some fantastic causes this month, and John and Gino checked in with some awesome trail magic giving down in Mexico! Details below…

April 2022 Giving Totals & Recipient Details

April 2022 Totals:  3 people/organizations gifted, monetary value of $290

Total since inception (Feb 2021):  96 people/organizations gifted, monetary value of $4983

We’ve updated the our Google Map with pins for all our recipients – check it out!

Here’s a little info about our Trail Magic recipients and gifts they were given in March:

  • Jefe Branham / Mountain Roots Food Co-Op – Gunnison, CO (Alan J.) $140 donation to help give needy folks access to affordable, nutritious, and sustainably produced food.  Jefe told me about his intention to raise money for this cause through a 12-hour bike race he was doing in Salida, CO.  We pledged $20 per lap, and he wound up doing 7 laps and winning the singlespeed race :). Secretly, I was hoping he’d do more laps, but apparently, it’s a pretty brutal course!!  Anyhoo… learn more about Mountain Roots here: https://www.mountainrootsfoodproject.org  
  • Food Bank SBC – Santa Barbara, CA (Anonymous) $100 donation – Food Bank is a fantastic organization increasing food security and making sure no children go hungry in the Santa Barbara area.  Learn more here: https://foodbanksbc.org
  • Anonymous Gentleman – Oaxaca, Mexico (Gino C. / John F.) Approx $50 US – Trail Magic Monday ambassador John and his dog Mira continue bikepacking their way through Mexico.  With some funds provided by Gino to use for “paying it forward” John, just checked in with this cool story: “I keep trying to send this via text but for some reason it wouldn’t work. So I finally got smart and here you go.  This fellow is a keen rider. The last big ride he did was to ride from Durango all the way down to Mazet land on the coast and then back. During that time. He had to find himself 100 peso about five US dollar derailer to make his way back. He lives a simple ways and we thought he could use a little help to keep it going. He was over the moon with the money. He believes in exercise, clear water, quality sleep and just 2 beers a week on Sunday.  In the photos I was helping him out with his seat post he was trying to make some adjustments and had turned it around backwards for some reason and to get it horizontal there wasn’t enough screw thread to engage and lock the seat in place. So I got them to turn it around and we got it sorted out for him.  – Best from Oaxaca”

So that was April, 2022!! Thanks for reading!! Now go ride your bike 🙂

As always, if you have any ideas for giveaways, nominees, or want to be part of delivering some magic, etc – please hit me up!!  This is 100% a collaborative effort!!

Please consider giving back through our #trailmagicmonday pledge on Patreon or buying Dirty Teeth schwag
*Note:  We now upload videos to our Youtube Channel every week.  Everything from adventures and ride reports to tips, tricks, and hacks for mountain biking, bikepacking, etc.  Please subscribe to us on Youtube and stay up to date!  

Ride bikes.  Give back.  Pay it forward 🙂

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Yay! Garmin eTrex Mounts & Adapters that WORK!

Anyone who uses Garmin eTrex series GPS computers for bikepacking knows this: The units themselves are bulletproof and great to use. However the mounting options available from Garmin are flimsy and annoying. Luckily, Ben Salthouse / Rad Trail, came up with these little gems to adapt with quarter-turn mounts or just mount straight to your top cap! If you use an eTrex, this video is worth a watch – ride on 🙂

Please consider giving back through our #trailmagicmonday pledge on Patreon or buying Dirty Teeth schwag
*Note:  We now upload videos to our Youtube Channel every week.  Everything from adventures and ride reports to tips, tricks, and hacks for mountain biking, bikepacking, etc.  Please subscribe to us on Youtube and stay up to date!  

Ride bikes.  Give back.  Pay it forward 🙂

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Stein Mini Cassette Remover for Bikepacking + Tour Divide = Does it Actually Work?

Is the Stein Mini Cassette Remover good for bikepacking? Is it worth packing on the Tour Divide (GDMBR)? Does it work on XD cassettes? Join me as I geek out on this emergency tool, compare it to the similar Unior tool, and share some tips and tricks I learned while testing it… Ride on!

Please consider giving back through our #trailmagicmonday pledge on Patreon or buying Dirty Teeth schwag
*Note:  We now upload videos to our Youtube Channel every week.  Everything from adventures and ride reports to tips, tricks, and hacks for mountain biking, bikepacking, etc.  Please subscribe to us on Youtube and stay up to date!  

Ride bikes.  Give back.  Pay it forward 🙂

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Trail Magic Update #14 – March 2022 Giving Stats!

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less.”

– C.S. Lewis

Snow has melted, yahoo! Grass is slowly coming out of dormancy, and yard work is staring me in the face! Hope you all are well 🙂 Had the opportunity to contribute to three fantastic bicycle organizations this month, as we keep on keepin’ on with as much giving as we can afford. Check it all out below:

March 2022 Giving Totals & Recipient Details

March 2022 Totals:  3 people/organizations gifted, monetary value of $325

Total since inception (Feb 2021):  93 people/organizations gifted, monetary value of $4693

We’ve updated the our Google Map with pins for all our recipients – check it out!

Here’s a little info about our Trail Magic recipients and gifts they were given in March:

  • Bike To the Future – Columbia, MO (Anonymous) $100 donation.  Providing bicycle transportation to those most in need.  Homeless, prison re-entry residents, and refugees.  Financial gifts provide helmets, locks, and replacement parts.  Learn more here: http://biketothefuturemo.org
  • Lucky to Ride – Sheridan, CO (Anonymous) $100 donation. To empower at risk and disadvantaged you, using the bicycle as a tool to foster positive life skills, healthy youth development, and a sense of fun and adventure. $100 gets a bicycle for a learn-to-earn youth that can keep a bike after completing 10 hours of class time. Learn more here: https://luckytoride.org 
  • Black Hills Youth MTB Club – Rapid City, SD (Alan J.) $125 scholarship donation. They provide a high-quality and fun Youth Mountain Bike Program for all abilities. The goal is to build confidence and inspire the life long love of mountain biking in the kids of the Black Hills (ages 2nd through 6th grade).  Learn more here:  http://bhyouthmountainbiking.com

So that was March, 2022!! Thanks for reading!! Now go ride your bike 🙂

As always, if you have any ideas for giveaways, nominees, or want to be part of delivering some magic, etc – please hit me up!!  This is 100% a collaborative effort!!

Please consider giving back through our #trailmagicmonday pledge on Patreon or buying Dirty Teeth schwag
*Note:  We now upload videos to our Youtube Channel every week.  Everything from adventures and ride reports to tips, tricks, and hacks for mountain biking, bikepacking, etc.  Please subscribe to us on Youtube and stay up to date!  

Ride bikes.  Give back.  Pay it forward 🙂

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I Lost My Drone on the Gila 100: Depressed but Blessed

So, I had this great plan. We’re heading down to AZ to visit the parents (my dad, and my wife’s parents live a few blocks from each other). This is a great time of year to visit. Temps are manageable, and we’re just starting to jones for warmth, and shorts and swimming as ski season and fat biking is starting to end and snow is melting at home. The kids miss Nonnie and Papa and Grand Pappy and Sybil – so it’s a win-win-win.

Duh, if I’m in AZ, I’m gonna try to ride some cool stuff… so I brought my full-squish MTB which I legitimately haven’t ridden in ohh…. over 6 months. For the last couple of months, I’ve been on nothing but my fat bike on snow at home. Almost forgot what Singletrack dirt feels like!! Anyhoo… while the wife and kiddos are being entertained by the family, I figured I’d sneak out and touch a piece of the Arizona Trail, which I’ve somehow never ridden before.

I did some research and decided to tackle the Gila 100. It’s considered one of the better sections of the AZT, and it recently became part of the Backcountry Bikepacking Challenge list. It’s also an annual race through the Arizona Endurance Series. I figured it would be a grueling day ride, especially considering my current lack of fitness… so I decided do it as an overnighter. This way I could film and bring my drone and soak in the beauty, and not feel completely “rushed”.

Luckily, one of my Youtube subscribers (turned friends), Joel… lives near the AZT and offered to drop me off at the Tiger Mine TH outside of Tucson, where the Gila 100 starts. From there, I’d ride roughly 100 miles and 11k climbing to my car, which we parked at Picketpost Trailhead near the town of Superior. Boom!

Long story short. About 25 miles in, I was flying my drone through a beautiful section of trail. I knew the battery was getting low, but it’s nothing new to me. 10% is usually plenty. I started to get ready to bring it in to me, when it suddenly dropped to 2% and initiated an emergency landing. In over a year of flying this drone, this has never happened before. I couldn’t get it to abort the landing, and it dropped into a heavily vegetated area. The magnetic battery either came off, or died, and my beacon lost signal to the drone. Suffice it to say, I scoured cacti-lined area as best as I could for an hour in the heat with no luck. It was hot, I was low on water, and needed to cut bait to continue my ride.

Sunrise, climbing away from the Gila River

I was completely deflated. My mood and outlook dwindled. All I could think about was the large financial loss, and the great footage that I’d never see. I can’t remember a time where I’ve allowed myself to get so mentally affected while riding a bike. I’m usually pretty even keel and deal with the highs and lows of bikepacking fairly well. But this was a gut punch. I wanted to quit the ride then and there and just go home. Luckily, I was in the boonies and that was not an option. Realistically, I kinda had no choice but to continue riding to my car… which was still a LONNG ways away.

PS. 75 miles on the AZT isn’t like an easy gravel ride, or something where I could just put my head down and jam and get to my car in 6-8 hours. It’s grueling, unforgiving terrain. So, I committed to the ride, put the GoPro and only took one photo (the one just above) for the duration of the ride. I remained hyper focused on the beauty and blessings that surrounded me… and how grateful and lucky to be out there experiencing God’s majesty in such an intimate way. Thank goodness, I was smiling again in no time and wound up with an amazing journey. So yeah, I just wanted to journal about it so I don’t forget so easily. Highlights:

  • Leaving some Trail Magic water for thru-hikers at the Tiger Mine TH
  • Chatting with a bunch of cool people on trail, especially the hiker named “Reels” at Freeman Rd TH who showed me where there was still a liter of public water left at the cache, score!!
  • Old Time Pizza delivering to the “spigot” (if you know you know). Such a great pick me up 🙂
  • The expansive and immense beauty that surrounded me on every inch of the ride
  • The “big” climb away from the Gila towards the Mineral Mountains, that was beautifully brutal and kicked my butt and amazed me at the same time.
  • The fun, fast, flowy singletrack around Picketpost Mountain was a fantastic way to end the trip.

Ride on!

Please consider giving back through our #trailmagicmonday pledge on Patreon or buying Dirty Teeth schwag
*Note:  We now upload videos to our Youtube Channel every week.  Everything from adventures and ride reports to tips, tricks, and hacks for mountain biking, bikepacking, etc.  Please subscribe to us on Youtube and stay up to date!  

Ride bikes.  Give back.  Pay it forward 🙂

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