Photo courtesy of Martina.
Martina Brimmer is the force behind Seattle-based pannier and bag company Swift Industries. She’s also a dedicated bike tourist, adventurer, writer (she is a co-contributor, along with me, to the forthcoming bike touring guide Cycling Sojourner Washington), teacher and more. She and her partner, Jason Goodman, launched Swift Industries out of their home in 2008. It’s now a full-fledged business with full time employees and customers worldwide. I sat down with Martina in the Swift studio to talk about the challenges, successes, and growth of the company, her bike adventuring, her literary project Tough and Tender, and much more.
Photo from Van Dessel.
In 2008, the MABRA cyclocross series championship race was a heated battle between Jeremiah Bishop and Jeff Bahnson. Ultimately it was decided by a close sprint at the line with Jeremiah—a seasoned pro and multi-time mountain bike national champion—winning by half a bike length. That a championship race came down to a sprint is not surprising, but Jeff’s near-victory is remarkable because he was just 15 at the time.
Something of a cyclocross wunderkind, Jeff grew up in Newark, Delaware. His mother, Lauri Webber, is a strong elite racer and Jeff came up racing with the Delaware Cyclocross Coalition of Delaware (which includes notables Weston Schempf, Marc Vettori, and others). He has four junior and collegiate national championship titles and has had strong results in the US and Europe.
This summer he took a break from training and toured across the United States with his friend Felix Smith. They chronicled their trip with photos and stories at lostonbikes.com and plan to put together a book of the 35mm photos they took along the way. In this interview, Jeff talks about his early experiences racing, his rise to the elites, his summer bike touring adventure, his future as a professional cyclist, and more.
Kyle Dempster is one of the top alpine climbers in the world. The 29 year old has pioneered new routes on some of the tallest mountains including Baintha Brakk in Pakistan and K7 in the Karakoram. He has won two Piolet d’Ors and several Golden Pitons, awards that recognize mountaineering’s greatest accomplishments each year. In 2011, he spent two months on a solo expedition, bike touring the backroads of Kyrgyzstan and climbing in its many mountain ranges. The video footage he gathered on the trip was recently turned into a short documentary, The Road From Karakol. I had the opportunity to speak with Kyle about his Kyrgyzstan trip, combining biking and mountaineering, the highs and lows of solo touring in remote and rugged terrain, the future of bikes in the climbing world, and much more.
It’s Friday. It’s summertime. It’s time to plan some awesome bike adventures. These three videos showcase incredible trips that kickstart wanderlust and make me want to get out and explore.
The Road from Karakol is about professional alpine climber Kyle Dempster’s solo biking and climbing tour through Kyrgyzstan. He spent two months biking (and sometimes dragging, pushing or carrying his bike) 1200km on remote roads to climb Kyrgyzstan’s massive peaks. There were times when he didn’t see another human for a week straight.
Posted in Bike Touring, Cycling Media, Everything Else, Mountain Biking
Tagged bike packing, bike tour, bikepacking, british columbia, dave roth, ducttape then beer, fitz cahall, kyle dempster, matt hunter, mountain biking, road from karakol, seb kemp, tour mont blanc
There is an undeniable romance to bike camping. Escaping the everyday routine under your own power, sleeping outside, the sense of adventure; even the easiest S24Os are thrilling. I’ve experienced this romance on plenty of weekends and holidays, but it had long been my fantasy to sneak in a work-night bike camping trip.
Thanks to a recent spate of unseasonably dry and sunny weather in Seattle and two gung-ho coworkers of mine, I was able to make fantasy reality.