Apparently Ibis enjoyed my recent review:


If you've dropped by this website lately, you'll notice that there haven't been many updates. While perhaps this might lead you to think that I haven't been writing, that's just simply not the case.

On the contrary: I've been so busy writing and working as a writer and Editor in Chief that I've neglected to spend any time writing about my writing.

So if you want to stay up-to-date on the latest articles that I've written for Singletracks.com, be sure to click on over to my author page.

Weighing in at a claimed 1,345 grams, you might think these gorgeous carbon wheels are intended for mere XC race duty… but you’d be wrong. The Easton EC70 wheels are designed for trail riding, meaning that they’re more than happy blasting through the rocks and up and over mountains… but more on that below.
Photo: Cannondale Bicycles.
The new fork reportedly has new internal components which “increase the small bump sensitivity and high-speed suppleness of the fork.” Cannondale claims that the dual-crown single-leg design make this long-travel enduro fork both stiffer and lighter than the competition.

Read the full article here.

I took to the Duro glasses very naturally. The light weight, solid coverage, and sporty features combine with a rather casual styling quite nicely. But don’t get confused: these are performance glasses through and through. Since I picked them up at Interbike in September, I’ve ridden well over a thousand miles with these on my face.
Whether or not it actually was at the core before, Backcountry’s new pro team, as well as their sponsorship of Utah’s high school mountain biking league, proves that they are now all-in with mountain biking.

I first rode the Monarch Crest back in 2008, and while we had been through Salida several times since then, I hadn’t had a chance to ride the crest again. That first ride, back in 2008, was hellaciously daunting, yet fantastically memorable. Thanks to a wrong turn, getting caught in a rain storm without a jacket, destroying my chain and cassette, and being forced to bail off the route early, it was quite the experience, to say the least.

After a five-year absence, I finally returned.

Read the full article here.

It’s the middle of March, and cabin fever is afflicting mountain bikers all across the United States. Thankfully, if you want to escape the vice-like grip of snow and cold temperatures, there are plenty of places to catch some rays and roll on dry dirt.
Here are 13 fantastic choices for a spring mountain bike getaway:
Well, H&I Adventures has just the answer to this dilemma! Instead of hoping for a glimpse of animals through your metal cage, what about spending 12 days mountain biking across Namibia, getting up close and personal with the wildlife?

Read the full article here.
Hermosa Tours has just announced a brand-new 10-day self-guided tour along the Colorado Trail from the town of Salida to the town of Durango. This section of the trail passes through some of the most beautiful scenery and along some of the best singletrack that the Colorado Trail has to offer.
I’ll be hosting the Colorado event at the ever-popular Buffalo Creek trail system. Perennially a top-ranked trail system on Singletracks, these fast, flowy trails are both beginner friendly, yet entertaining for advanced riders! We’ll plan to ride about 20 miles, give or take, although there’ll be bail out options along the way. Afterwards, we’ll head over to the historic Bucksnort Saloon for a late lunch and drinks, if you’re interested.

Most of the big-name, well-known rides are located on the Alpine Trail side of the valley, and while there were definitely trail options and variations off the Alpine Trail that I hadn’t ridden yet, I decided I wanted to try a big shuttle on the southern side of the river. After doing a good bit of reading and a lot of staring at my map, I settled on the Hardesty Mountain shuttle.
The cutaway rear of the saddle is designed to provide additional tire clearance when the suspension is fully compressed. When developing their new DH rig, Pivot was concerned that they couldn’t use the geometry that they wanted because of the rear tire contacting the saddle when the suspension compressed fully.

Read the full article here.

Flying between the trunks of massive trees at extremely high speeds with a sheer drop off on one side is a white-knuckle experience. Even though I tried to let off the brakes and flow as much as possible, I think my pads were still sizzling in an effort to control the steep, treacherous freefall back down the flanks of Larison Rock.

After rolling into town, we wasted no time: we dropped by Wilamette Mountain Mercantile, purchased a map, got some trail recommendations, set up camp, and prepared to ride!
While this was our first visit to Oakridge, after reading reviews on Singletracks there was one trail that I knew I had to ride first: the Alpine Trail.

The 30 Days of Biking challenge is beginning its 5th year, and it’s a pretty simple concept: bike every day, without fail, for all 30 days of April. There’s no time or distance requirement, and not even a requirement to ride a certain type of bike. Whether it’s just riding around the block, to the grocery store, an adventurous singletrack mountain bike ride, or a road bike century, it all counts as riding!

Read the full article here.

The Breakout is a large volume all mountain tire that’s designed for both speed and dangerous traction, making for a deadly combination. The tread pattern features square and oval-shaped knobs with consistent spacing and pitch. This tire looks like it should roll fast, despite its 2.5″ width.

Hey John, thanks for the great post! This is an interesting question, and I think it’s an important discussion to have. However, I disagree with you on most of your points.

For points #1 and #3, I think it depends largely on the attitude of the people posting and viewing on social media. Posting your adventures doesn’t have to be narcissistic, and viewing others’ adventures doesn’t have to create jealousy and anger. Why the heck can’t we just be happy for one another? Also, I’ve found that generally, what goes around comes around: just because I see a Facebook “friend” posting photos while skiing massive peaks in Alaska, BC, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, Utah, and everywhere that I might have missed in between doesn’t mean I need to be jealous of him. I just enjoy getting to see cool photos from his experiences… it definitely beats baby photos and crappy memes!

Read the full article here.

If you spend any amount of time in Bend, you’ll hear about the Phil’s Trails. With roughly 55 miles of singletrack in the Phil’s Area (with numerous trails connecting into Phil’s from the massive network in the surrounding Deschutes National Forest), there is plenty to explore… and if you want to ride from town, you can access the singletrack from trailheads on the outskirts of Bend.

We began our ride from the trailhead closest to town, and decided that we would only go out as far as we wanted and would then turn around and make our way back, as it was an out-and-back route. We packed some sandwiches for a leisurely lunch on the river bank, then set out.
Our chosen trailhead was located about a mile from the banks of the actual river, so we pedaled through dry, open land on sandy double and singletrack. Make no mistake, Bend gets hot in the summertime, and with no shelter from the sun, the first section was sweltering. However, once we dropped down to the river, the cool breeze off the water and the tall trees along the river banks made for a considerable improvement.

Still, once I embraced the dry conditions and got acquainted with maintaining traction in the dusty corners, I was able to relax and rip into the descent. It felt so fulfilling to be shredding downhill in the big mountains again! While the three-day drive to Oregon was extremely tedious, it was all paying off now.

The Hydrapak Bishop is the most comfortable, most stable, and best weight-bearing mountain bike hydration pack I have ever used. While I can’t claim to have tested every pack, I’ve used quite a few… so that’s saying something!

While in the past I would run smaller hydration packs for short rides and reserve my bigger packs for long jaunts, the Bishop is so comfortable no matter the situation that I feel no need to swap packs. The Bishop is going to be my go-to mountain biking pack for the foreseeable future. Heck, I don’t know if I even want to test another pack now!

Read the full article here.


Apparently, bike-y Valentine’s Day Facebook posts/memes have become a thing. Anybody who is really serious about bikes just has to express their love for bikes, or their love for their significant other by using some sort of bike-related reference, on Valentine’s Day. I’m still unsure if this is a sincere thing, a sarcastic thing, an ironic thing, a just-for-fun thing, or maybe even none of the above. But one thing is certain: every year it keeps getting worse (or better?).

Read the full article here.

Canon City, located an hour down the road from my new hometown of Salida, Colorado, sits about 1,700 feet lower in elevation and generally receives even less precipitation than Salida… which isn’t easy to do. I’d previously driven down there to ride the new Oil Well Flats trail system, and after a few weeks of riding the one dry trail system in Salida, I turned my pickup toward Canon City again. This time, my main goal was to ride Section 13.

I mounted a pair of the Nevegal X Pro 29 tires up tubeless on my new Easton EC70 wheels, which I put onmy Airborne Goblin. Now, the Nevegal X Pro is billed as a trail/all mountain tire, not a cross country tire, but putting more aggressive tires on my hardtail 29er was more than fine with me. I hate sacrificing traction and cornering control just to lose a few grams of rotational weight, so these tires were right at home on my rig.

Read the full article here.


The EC70 Wide is a carbon flat bar that’s designed to offer the leverage and control that have led to the popularity of wide bars, without the added height from the riser that has often accompanied the increased width.

However, the jacket obviously adds in sleeves, and the sleeves are well-worth noting. The Arenberg sleeves take a page out of the snowsports book and incorporate a weather protective hem, which creates an excellent glove-sleeve interface.
Shimano has just announced a brand-new action sports camera, dubbed the CM-1000. This is Shimano’s first product from its new Lifestyle Gear Division.

Read the full article here.

Essentially every high-end mountain bike company makes bikes that ride and perform really well… but not all of them make bikes that perform well and are pleasing to look at. With the curvy carbon lines of the Force’s frame, not only is it functional, but is extremely good looking too!

Read the full article here.

Starting off as a doubletrack, the tread quickly narrows into singletrack. This section of the CDT passes through numerous high-alpine meadows, bursting with wildflowers of all colors of the rainbow. Every mile or so (it seems) the trail passes a high alpine lake, natural, clear, and isolated from civilization. 

Read the full trail description here.

The Upper Winter Creek and Lower Winter Creek singletrack trails are where the real riding is at. Some sections are super tech and probably will force you to dismount, but for the most part it is awesome benchcut singletrack! I definitely went the wrong way around the singletrack loop: try going clockwise (Upper Winter Creek first). This will require a steep (but short) paved climb at the end after you finish Lower Winter Creek, but you'll do most of the descending on singletrack this way.

Read the full trail description here.
Now, when you rate a photo four stars or higher, the photographer will get a quick email giving them kudos for taking awesome photos. Also, the photo gallery rankings and trail thumbnails are now instantly updated based on your photo ratings (previously, there was a delay). Now if you see a photo that you really like, and you give it a high ranking, you get the instant gratification of seeing it jump up the photo rankings!
Colt and Jessee Maule are the husband-and-wife team behind the cameras of Projekt Roam. They’re in the business of shooting and producing fantastic mountain bike videos and photographs, and we’ve featured a ton of their work over the past few years here on Singletracks. Whether it’s one of theirfantastic videos, a killer photo of the day, or their new Weekly Wander photo feature on the blog, Colt and Jessee consistently produce top-notch, professional content.

Read the full interview here.

Over the past two years, the Bell Super has become the quintessential all mountain/enduro helmet. Now it seems like I can hardly click on a riding video without seeing someone who’s wearing “my” helmet.
Now, when you rate a photo four stars or higher, the photographer will get a quick email giving them kudos for taking awesome photos. Also, the photo gallery rankings and trail thumbnails are now instantly updated based on your photo ratings (previously, there was a delay). Now if you see a photo that you really like, and you give it a high ranking, you get the instant gratification of seeing it jump up the photo rankings!
Bike racks these days seem to be designed for a very specific application: they’ll work well with one type of bike, but not with others. Or they might attach to one sort of cross bars, but aren’t compatible with a different one. Well, RockyMounts just announced their new, versatile Brass Knuckles tray, which is designed to accommodate virtually any bike type and to mount on virtually any system of cross bars:

Read the full article here.
While most of the Big Mountain Enduro races are spaced about a month apart, the Durango event follows right on the heels of the Snowmass event, taking place the next weekend. One thing is certain: it’s going to be a busy couple of weeks of riding, traveling, and racing!
In an intriguing shift, Yeti has completely eliminated the World Cup Downhill race series–and downhill racing as a whole–from their pro team racing schedule for 2014. Instead, they are focusing solely on Enduro racing, with their pro racers competing in the Enduro World Series, the Big Mountain Enduro series, and the Oregon Enduro Series.
The requirements are definitely high. In addition to riding the Great Divide route, you’d somehow have to blog and be involved in social media along the way. Exactly how you’re expected to be electronically connected while you’re disconnected from everything in the backcountry isn’t really explained. Also, you’d be expected to spread the word about the Blackburn brand and their products, attend “Ranger Camp” at the Whiskey Off-Road event, and provide product feedback to the Blackburn team.

Here on Singletracks, we love Strava… at least, for the most part. Jeff, Leah, and I, as well as almost all of the members of our editorial team, use Strava on a near-daily basis. As a result, we are currently working to capitalize on a some of Strava’s innovative features, and mesh them with Singletracks.

Now, I’ll be the first to claim that road bikers take themselves way too seriously, and way more seriously than the average mountain biker does. While I enjoy road biking too, Sacred Rides’ recent article titled “10 Reasons Mountain Biking Is Better than Road Biking” is right on the money. And while mountain bikers are way more chill than road bikers, the question is unfortunately still on the table: do we take ourselves too seriously?

Some people have mixed feelings about the Bull/Jake Mountain trail system, one thing is certain: this trail system is one of the premiere mountain bike destinations in North Georgia. Sure, there are better trails in North Georgia, but there are definitely worse trails, too. If you're looking for riding in the Dahlonega/Dawsonville/Helen area, this is undoubtedly the place to go.

Read the full trail description here.

The Browns Creek Trail starts just down the road from the Browns Creek Trailhead, according to the map. 

The lower portion (1.2 miles) of the Browns Creek trail is horribly washed out and extremely rocky, filled with massive baby heads. I would advise against trying to ride up it, although it's rideable (except for one hike-a-bike portion) on the way down.

Read the full article here.
We wrote back in December that the Bell Built Grant was returning for 2014, and now the applications are open! Bell and IMBA are now accepting applications here from January 13 to February 28 (2014).
This 5-day epic will feature four days of heinously-difficult backcountry mountain biking, with the fifth day/stage held at Evolution Bike Park at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. The race course still hasn’t been finalized, but it is guaranteed to feature “big climbing transitions that will literally take you to the top of the world overlooking majestic peaks.”

Blankets Creek is one of the premiere mountain bike trail systems in the Atlanta Metro Area. While perhaps not technically in the metro area (depends who you ask), this Woodstock trail is close enough to the city to draw a flood of riders up here every day of the week.

Read the full trail description here.

Blackjack is advertised as a technical, black diamond freeride trail. Don't believe it because all of the other trails at Buffalo Creek are so buttery smooth? Believe it.

Read the full trail description here.

Blackburn State Park really isn't a state park anymore as it was shut down back in the 70's or 80's. There has been talk of late of Lumpkin County taking over the park and developing mountain bike trails here. This would be a great area to create a trail system for beginner to intermediate riders, as the Bull Mountain trail system is really pretty advanced.

Read the full description here.

Bent Creek is the go-to trail system for the greater Asheville area, and with the deeply-ingrained mountain bike culture in the Asheville/Brevard area, and Western North Carolina in general, Bent Creek sees a ton of traffic. There are several different trailheads and ways to access the trail, and many weekends all of the trailheads are all filled to overflowing. Cars that can't fit into the parking lots line the nearby forest roads, and Lake Powhatan Campground is usually filled as well. This might be the busiest mountain bike trail in North Carolina... and as you'll see if you ride here, there's a good reason for it!

Read the full trail description here.

The Arkansas Hills Trail System is the closest singletrack trail system to downtown Salida... and by that I mean that it begins directly from downtown! Just cross the F-street bridge, hang a right through the fence, and follow the tire tracks to mountain bike heaven!

Read the full trail description here.

As the singletrack climbed up the hillside, I began to encounter more and more rocks along with some fantastic views of the surrounding area. All of the rocks were easily rideable on the XC rig I was aboard, but there were plenty that served up great drops and jumps. As I climbed higher and higher, the high-quality construction became more and more apparent, with rock-armored turns and creative incorporation of rocks and other natural features.
Petro’s presence and volunteerism, coupled with his skill as the most renowned builder of wooden mountain bike features in the nation, is undoubtedly a massive stroke of luck for OMBA. While the trails at Santos were already great, these new features and the reworked older features will only continue to fuel Santos’s rise as a regional, and even a national, destination.

Read the full article here.

It’s hard to believe that 2013 has already come and gone! I don’t know about you, but my 2013 was packed from beginning to end with awesome, unique mountain biking adventures! With over 3,500 miles of riding (road + mtb), I covered a lot of territory and accomplished quite a few goals.
Without further ado, here are some of my mountain biking highlights from the past 12 months:
If you were to land the job, the two of you would get to travel the nation for two years in a Subaru Outback, shredding singletrack, teaching others how to build trail, and educating people about trail advocacy and the benefits of mountain bike trails to local communities.