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Bikes or Death is a podcast centered around the growing sport of bikepacking, adventure cycling, and the outdoors. The show features the amazing people who participate in these activities and contribute so greatly to the cycling community. The Bikes or Death Podcast is dedicated to sharing the stories and experiences of these individuals with the hopes that it inspires others to get outside, get on their bikes, and experience what our natural world has waiting for them. At its heart Bikes or ...
 
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From Wikipedia, "The lanterne rouge is the competitor in last place in a cycling race, the phrase comes from the French for "Red Lantern" and refers to the red lantern hung on the rear vehicle of a passenger railway train or the brake van of a freight train, which signalmen would look for in order to make sure none of the couplings had become disco…
 
The inaugural East Texas Showdown is over and now comes the podcasts! Hearing everyones stories after their rides as we shared food and beverages was a true pleasure, enjoyed by all. It was really probably the magic sauce that made this event special. I went to Austin shortly after the race and recorded 3 episodes with five guests and I look forwar…
 
In 2018 I took on the biggest challenge in my life, a 500 miles bikepacking race. To prepare mentally I relied heavily on the book "How Bad do You Want it" by Matt Fitzgerald. Matt is an endurance athlete himself and has made a career out of the study of endurance. He's written over 20 books on the subject, coaches endurance athletes, host his own …
 
On this episode my buddy Miles Arbour is back on the podcast for a 3rd time to talk about his newly published route called the Tree to Sea Loop. This was a great excuse to catch up with Miles and also hear all about this epic new 1,000 km route in British Columbia. Because Miles works at Bikepacking.com he is exposed to a lot of different facets of…
 
This year the Tour Divide produced a new record, but one that wasn't set to be beaten. Quinn Brett just became the first person to complete the Tour Divide on an adaptive handcycle, with a time of 25 days. For her, this was more about showing the world what is possible for disabled people and that adventures like this are not only for the abled bod…
 
Join me in the van as I scout a re-reoute for this years East Texas Showdown and Slowdown. Back in July on a scouting mission we discovered a 25 mile section of road that looked good on the maps, but once we saw it in person it was an obvious "no go" for safety reasons. This left a huge hole in the route and with only 4 months until race day I had …
 
This episode is all about determination and perseverance. In 2007 Jeff Kerkove took on the Colorado Trail Race (CTR) as his first bikepacking race. He came into the bikepacking world with an accomplished racing career in 12 and 24 hour events. That year he DNF'd due to trench foot, a mistake he never made again. He would go on to attempt the CTR 5 …
 
Chris and Marni Plesko, aka The Parent Trap, just became the first couple to complete the Colorado Trail Race on a Tandem. And I had a lot of questions. How is there relationship doing? How did they train while working and being parents of two boys? Who's idea was it and how did it go? We talked about the bike and their attention to detail with the…
 
This week I had an opportunity to catch up with Neil Beltchenko, who raced the 2021 CTR under the pseudonym Ned Bachanko. Neil is no stranger to ultra endurance racing, he's been pushing his limits on the most demanding routes since 2013. In 2014 he and his wife Lindsay started Bikepacker Mag which was an online publication about bikepacking, route…
 
Cameron Sanders is a man of many hats. He's worn a spelunking helmet, a bicycle helmet, a race directors cap, and a work hat as the VP of Product Development and Marketing for Wren Sports. On this episode we focus on the Stetson hat he donned as a Park Ranger shortly after a armed group of far-right extremists seized and occupied the headquarters o…
 
Jefe Branham's just completed the Colorado Trail Race for the 9th time, and he's won 4 of them! He lives in Gunnison, CO which puts the Colorado Trail in his "backyard", his relationship with the trails goes back almost 30 years. He is also the race director, so you can see why he's earned the title Mr. Colorado Trail. This year he completed the ra…
 
At the beginning of 2020 Tyler Wacker quit his engineering job to cycle the circumference of USA on his Surly Long Haul Trucker. His plans were derailed when COVID shut down reliable camping and provisions along the way. When he did continue his tour, it wasn't to complete his tour around USA, instead he pointed his bike NE towards Boston. Where he…
 
Sarah Swallow was introduced to bicycles, and the cycling community, at the young age of 12 when she started working for a bike rental company in Ohio. She wasn't a cyclist at the time and had no idea that one day she'd be a sponsored Adventure Cyclist. Today Sarah has carved out a cool career for herself that allows her to pursue the things in lif…
 
When Brendan Heinig lined up to the start of this years Tour Divide "Classic" he didn't have any idea he'd be at the pointy end of the race with TD veteran Jay Petervary. If you didn't watch the dots as this race unfolded you missed a 1,500 mile "nail-biter"!!! That's because Brendan and Jay were able to put a lot of distance between them and their…
 
I've been familiar with Jessica peripherally as a member of the Austin cycling scene and also from her published work in Bikepacking.com. She's penned two works for them, Discovering Aloneness on the Arkansas High Country can be found online. Her other piece, River Road Rendezvous, is featured the in the 2021 edition of the Bikepacking Journal. So …
 
Many of you will know Bobby Wintle as the larger than life figurehead of District Bikes and MidSouth Gravel (formerly Land Run 100). That's how I knew him too until my interview with Dr. Seth Wood, when I learned how he had donated a portion of the proceeds from the very first Land Run to help with Seth's medical bills, and then continued to foster…
 
On this episode I get a private tour of the new Texas Hill Country Overnighter with it's creator Maxwell Johnston. This is one of only four routes listed on Bikepacking.com in Texas and two of those are in Big Bend, which is beautiful, but also very remote, requiring a 10+ hour drive from Central Texas. When I got into bikepacking I quickly learned…
 
On May 22nd Liam Glen lined up at the start of the Highland Trail 550 on his fully rigid single speed Stooge Cycles Scrambler against the likes of James Hayden, Josh Isbett, and others. He would go on to win with a time of 3d, 10h, 55m which was good enough to get the SS Course Record and almost enough to best the Course Record set by Neil Beltchen…
 
Like many of you I didn't know who Andrew Onermaa was before he signed up for the 2020 Arkansas High Country Race. And if you still don't recognize his name, maybe you'll know him as the guy who was going toe to toe with Ted King before he ultimately went on to set an FKT. Andrew withdrew from the race around mile 700 after pushing himself further …
 
I met Dr. Seth Wood at a wedding in Oklahoma back in 2019. I was early in my podcasting journey and I was shocked when I learned that he was using the Bikes or Death Podcast as part of his circulam at OSU, where he still teaches today. So shocked, that I completely blanked when he told me about it! I took this opportunity to indulge myself and find…
 
When we did our Bikepacking Basics episode earlier this year we got a lot of questions, but the most asked questions where about route building. So I reached out to Kevin Prentice with RideWithGPS to see if they would be interested coming to do a episode on route building and (spoiler alert) they said yes! On this episode we get to know Kevin and s…
 
When I contacted Ryan Stoyer about coming on the podcast it was with the idea that we would talk about his unique lifestyle and how it allows for him to life a more fulfilled life. I still like that topic, but Ryan had other ideas. After the official BoD instagram invite was sent, his reply was an enthusiastic yes, followed by a suggestion, "how ab…
 
Today's episode is with a true living legend. Rebecca Rusch has had a long and successful career spanning many different sports, but in the past 15 years has dominated the mountain bike scene, which as spilled over into bikepacking and gravel racing as well. She's been referred to as the Queen of Pain since at least 2004 and she was inducted into t…
 
Happy 420 everyone! My guest on today's episode with John Watson is one that I've been looking forward to for a while. We had plans to record this one a while ago, but covid put it on pause. On my recent trip to AZ and NM I was able to meet John at his Santa Fe office where he runs The RADAVIST. His office is quaint and simple with merchandise bins…
 
It's always an extreme pleasure to sit down and chat with Lael Wilcox. Her positivity and honesty is infections as is her drive to push herself to extremes all in the name of bike racing. She's an inspiration to so many of us in this community and I am no exception. She has been a huge source of inspiration for me as I dipped my toe into the bikepa…
 
This episode is the first one to come from my recent road trip to New Mexico and Arizona to interview guest for the podcast. My first stop was in Las Cruces, NM to meet up with Matt Mason to ride a portion of the Monumental Loop. We rode up to the base of the Organ Mountains and camped in perfect weather. In the morning we recorded this episode und…
 
On March 6th, 2021 twelve college students in the Adventure Media class at Texas Tech University set off on a bikepacking trip as part of their course curriculum. This year the classes challenge was the Caprock Canyon State Park and Trailway, which in total was 66 miles with very little climbing, but the wind made up for what the elevation profile …
 
Miles is BACK! The first time we did an interview was in his van at the Bikepacking Summit in 2019. This year, thanks to COVID, we are relegated to Zoom, but that didn’t stop us from having a good ole time. We sang, we laughed, and there was some really great chats about Bikepacking.com and other super interesting bike stuff that you won’t want to …
 
Over the last couple of years I’ve received a lot of request for episodes that address some of the “how-to’s” and “what’s what” of bikepacking. I’ve delayed for a couple of reason. One, a personal belief (or lack thereof) that I should leave that to more experienced and knowledgeable people in the community. The other problem, was figuring out a wa…
 
The first episode of 2021 is with the very inspirational Jacob Hora. At only 15 he's accomplished more than most regardless of age. I didn't know who he was before watching the Trackleader dots of Jay Petervary's Fat Pursuit. The first place finisher was Jacob, so I clicked on his profile and was immediately intrigued when I saw he was only 15! You…
 
On the morning of Christmas Eve 2018 Kait Boyle was at the height of her ultra endurance racing career, having won the 24 hour World Championship in 2018 and set a new record on the AZT 300. Her life would take an unexpected turn later that day when she was involved in a horrific vehicular accident that left her with a long list of injuries and a l…
 
From 2006 to 2016 Ted King was a professional road cycling before switching to gravel where he took 1st at the DK200 in 2016 and 2017. Earlier this month he completed the 1,000+ mile Arkansas High Country Race in first with a time of 4 days, 20 hours, which was good enough to snag the FKT set by Jay Petervary in June of this year. The ARHCR is no w…
 
I caught up with Aaron 4 days after he finished becoming the *first person to circumnavigate Texas on a bike! In total he rode 3,014 miles in 58 days and he wrote weekly articles about his journey that you can read on Texas Monthly. In 2019 he rode every street in his hometown of Austin, TX, but towards the end of that project he started thinking b…
 
Erik and I met at a Bikes or Death group bikepacking trip right before the world shut down thanks to a coronavirus. Since then he's been wholed up in his Austin apartment in lockdown. With some extra time stuck indoors he's been finding ways to stay active and engaged with the cycling community. Early on he rode 1,000 miles on his training in a mon…
 
Chris Burkard has become a personal source of inspiration for me and it was an honor to have him back on the podcast. He was first on way back at Episode 17 to tell us about his WOW Cyclothon Record that he set in 2019. That episode really fired me up and motivated me to push myself in more ways than just on the bike. Chris' passion for life is con…
 
This week I'm in the hot seat as my friend Ryan ask me YOUR questions! He interviewed me once before on Ep. 8, but a lot has changed in 48 episodes and thanks to your questions we had plenty to talk about. If you've been listening for a while you've probably heard me talk about my lack of expectations for the podcast. Not in a self-deprecating way,…
 
This weeks episode I chat with Dave Nice who is known on the interwebs as @fixiedave. His username gives away the fact that he rides fixie, but it says nothing about his completion of the Tour Divide in 2012 after attempting it 5 times before. I have to assume it takes a determined person to ride a fixie, but what adjective should I use to describe…
 
Two things that intimidate me are the Colorado Trail and YoYo'ing the CT, but nothing kept Katie and Andrew Strempke from being the first people to Yo-Yo it. By the numbers they did a total of 1,080 miles, 140,000 ft of elevation gain, with maybe 200 miles or more of hike-a-bike, and one slumber party in a vaulted camp toilet. They completed it in …
 
At this point Sofiane Sehili needs no introduction. Three days ago Sofiane finished the French Divide in 1st place and with a New Course Record to boot. After his impressive 1st place at the Atlas Mtn Race earlier this year he was looking forward to a busy and successful race year, but then Covid happened. When some restrictions were lifted he wast…
 
Cinthia Pedraza calls Austin, Texas home. Some recent experiences in her hometown led her to write an article titled "Bike Racing, White Privilege, and the Coronavirus" that was published on The Radavist. As you can imagine she was praised by some and targeted by others. Personally, I'm grateful for her willingness to share her perspective on a tou…
 
In this week's episode I do my first "colab" podcast with Lewis Ciddor who not only won Tour Divide in 2017, but is also the host of the Overland Archive Podcast. We come to the podcasting world with different experiences and perspectives which I think are both valuable. I was excited to chat with him about his personal history with cycling and of …
 
Episode 50 is coming in hot! Today's episode is with the charismatic, inspirational, and rowdy Leo Rodgers! He's made a splash in the cycling world recently with features in Bicycle Magazine, a Lucas Brunelle Film, and most recently signed with Crust/Ronsbikes/Ultradynamico factory PRO recreation TEAM. The attention is well deserved. When a motorcy…
 
He didn't invent the Great Divide Route or the Tour Divide Race, but Mike Dion quite literally brought awareness to both with his 2010 film Ride the Divide. Many bikepackers I've met, including myself, credit it with their own journey into this new way of exploration. 10 years later, his film is still relevant as people are finding it for the first…
 
I got to meet up with Bailey Newbrey in his new-ish shop, Sincere Cycles, on a recent trip to Santa Fe, NM. Bailey made a some noise in 2018 when he finished the Tour Divide in second place overall on a Singlespeed! We chat a lot about his 2016 and 2018 Tour Divide runs and his reasoning behind running SS. He also makes some bold predictions toward…
 
James Mark Hayden came on the ultra endurance bike racing scene in 2015. Since then he's been putting down some incredible performances, winning the Transcontinental Race twice, shared 1st place at the Italy divide, getting 4th at Silk Road even though he was robbed by men on horses during the race, and most recently he finished 2nd at Atlas Mounta…
 
This weeks episode features four first time bikepackers and students of Jerod Fosters Adventure Media class at Texas Tech University. Many of you will probably be familiar with this course from past interviews, but for the uninitiated it is a college course that teaches students how to capture more adventurous type media. As an example of the type …
 
Pepper Cook is a legend in the bikepacking and touring community. She's known for her witty puns, quirky humour, and almost a decade of epic solo bike trips. I got to meet her at last years Bikepacking Summit where she was a presenter. I've been a fan of her for a long time and listening to her masterfully tell stories around a campfire goes down a…
 
I’m excited to have Jerod Foster back on the podcast, he was first on as my 3rd guest. On that episode we discuss his career as a Professor at Texas Tech University, where he teaches a class called Adventure Media. In this class he takes 16 student bikepacking and gives this real world experience capturing content in wild places. I was fortunate to…
 
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