Bucket List Rides

Bucket List Rides

Posted on by Accounts Receivable FOX US

Bucket List Rides

Peru – Ben Johnson 

So here’s this somewhat in shape Canadian dude who has some experience cycling and backpacking. Never bikepacked. How hard could it be?”  

Twelve days, 100+ pound fully loaded bike, 250km and 9000m of climbing through the mountains of Peru.  


Starting east of Lima, the goal was to ride to three lakes near a small community called Milloc. After a warm-up lap near San Bartolome, he rode to Cocachacra then up on the 116 after reaching Chosica, where the gravel began.  

Many adventures are not without their challenges – Johnson dealt with altitude adjustment, digestive troubles, interactions with aggressive dogs, as well as figuring out how to self-film a solo bikepacking trip.  


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Watch his full video adventure on his website: http://johnsonstudios.co/admissions

 

SF-LA – Zack Pianko 

Easton-supported rider, Zack Pianko, and four friends SF to LA ride was a few years in the making. Riding with a solid group of friends from San Francisco to Los Angeles had been on his bucket list for years and it looked like the stars had finally aligned for 2019. After months of planning, it became a reality – along with Christopher StricklenKyle ThornhillRj Agcamaran, and Patrick Lee, Zack took off from SF to pedal the epic coastal roads down to LA.  

“It was a fun but gruelling four days on the bike that certainly tested our endurance. Since this was our first run at riding SF-LA, we decided to do it in four days (130 miles for days 1-3 and 100 miles for day 4); not too fast and certainly not too slow. Over all it was an absolute blast of a ride! 

Getting to spend 4 days straight riding bikes with my best friends was an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything and I hope that we can make this sort of thing an annual event moving forward. Seattle to SF anyone?!”  

 

Haida Gwaii – Ben Johnson

“Have you ever planned a trip only to find that once you arrive at your destination, your original plans were average at best; not because they were terrible ideas on their own, but because the place offers you an experience beyond your wildest dreams?”

So begins the story of Easton Cycling ambassador, Ben Johnson, who, along with friends Adam and Frankie Foss, embarked on a two week bikepacking tour of Haida Gwaii. The Fosses would be riding their tandem, Betsy, which had to be updated to handle whatever this mystical and remote part of the of the west coast would be offering up while Johnson rode solo on his Easton-equipped Giant.

After an 18-hour drive and an eight-hour overnight ferry, egged on by the audiobook version of John Valliant’s The Golden Spruce, previously made plans were thrown out the window as they arrived on the magical island.

“The first ride was supposed to be more of a warm up. We rode along a nearly zero elevation strip of North Beach to Rose Spit, a long sandbar on the northeast tip of the island where the rough waters of Dixon Entrance and the Hecate Strait meet. Only a few kilometres in, we found ourselves on a sandy beach as far as the eye could see; the width of which was so expansive I was barely able to see Adam, Frankie, and Betsy on the other side as I rode along the water’s edge.


First camp was at Agate Beach for a few days, where “life was simple but the scenery was anything but.” Days were spent hunting agate and nights were spent being in awe of epic sunsets.Just as we were passing an unnamed shipwreck, and settling into a good and comfortable cadence, we were confronted with that familiar heart-pounding feeling as we noticed the water quickly begin to rise towards us. Our tide window was closing quicker than we thought, and our casual warm-up ride turned out to be a hammer session back to camp. This was undoubtedly a good test for the legs.”

Next came a night of luxury at the Copper Beach House in Masset, where the trio met and conversed with the locals, immersing themselves in conversation about Haida culture after meeting local Haida artist, April White.

At the urging of a local bike shop owner, Terry Wallace, Bonanza Beach was added to the list of must-visit places despite the amount of climbing it would take to get there. Rennell Sound proved to be one of the more worrying parts of the trip – descending a very steep hill while holding onto an aging and loaded tandem bike. The plan was to walk Betsy down the 24% grade descent while pumping the brakes. With cries of laughter and fear and some sprinting, they made it, only just.

But it was worth it – a few days away from civilization, catching crab, contemplating those that had lived in these spaces before.


Some casual fishing, several horsefly bites, and a sweaty slog up a unexpectedly well marked trail, and they arrived at a crystal clear lake below the ridge – a perfect camp spot for the final night.The final adventure came, unsurprisingly, from the generosity of strangers – this time a local logger. Instead of the original plan of hiking up one of the highest peaks on the island, Johnson and the Fosses were given a boat and told to “Take my boat, paddle across the water and live the life atop my one of my favourite mountains, trust me!”

Final thoughts from Ben:

“Before this expedition, I thought Haida Gwaii was a place you heard stories about but were never certain whether those stories were real or fantasy. And after experiencing it I’m still not sure I could give you an answer. It felt like a dream. A place so out of the ordinary; it’s rhythm is so contrary to the rhythms of the bustling cities we call home. Five-minute hellos with strangers became hour or more long conversations. We soon discovered that many people came to visit for two weeks and never left. This isn’t lost on us. We felt so enveloped by the island that we began to consider it for ourselves. What if we just left it all behind and lived on the edge world, allowing this island to overtake us even more than it already had?”

*Excerpt from Ben’s Haida Gwaii story at BikePacking.com.

 

Peru – Ben Johnson 

So here’s this somewhat in shape Canadian dude who has some experience cycling and backpacking. Never bikepacked. How hard could it be?”  

Twelve days, 100+ pound fully loaded bike, 250km and 9000m of climbing through the mountains of Peru.  


Starting east of Lima, the goal was to ride to three lakes near a small community called Milloc. After a warm-up lap near San Bartolome, he rode to Cocachacra then up on the 116 after reaching Chosica, where the gravel began.  

Many adventures are not without their challenges – Johnson dealt with altitude adjustment, digestive troubles, interactions with aggressive dogs, as well as figuring out how to self-film a solo bikepacking trip.  


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Watch his full video adventure on his website: http://johnsonstudios.co/admissions

 

SF-LA – Zack Pianko 

Easton-supported rider, Zack Pianko, and four friends SF to LA ride was a few years in the making. Riding with a solid group of friends from San Francisco to Los Angeles had been on his bucket list for years and it looked like the stars had finally aligned for 2019. After months of planning, it became a reality – along with Christopher StricklenKyle ThornhillRj Agcamaran, and Patrick Lee, Zack took off from SF to pedal the epic coastal roads down to LA.  

“It was a fun but gruelling four days on the bike that certainly tested our endurance. Since this was our first run at riding SF-LA, we decided to do it in four days (130 miles for days 1-3 and 100 miles for day 4); not too fast and certainly not too slow. Over all it was an absolute blast of a ride! 

Getting to spend 4 days straight riding bikes with my best friends was an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything and I hope that we can make this sort of thing an annual event moving forward. Seattle to SF anyone?!”  

 

Haida Gwaii – Ben Johnson

“Have you ever planned a trip only to find that once you arrive at your destination, your original plans were average at best; not because they were terrible ideas on their own, but because the place offers you an experience beyond your wildest dreams?”

So begins the story of Easton Cycling ambassador, Ben Johnson, who, along with friends Adam and Frankie Foss, embarked on a two week bikepacking tour of Haida Gwaii. The Fosses would be riding their tandem, Betsy, which had to be updated to handle whatever this mystical and remote part of the of the west coast would be offering up while Johnson rode solo on his Easton-equipped Giant.

After an 18-hour drive and an eight-hour overnight ferry, egged on by the audiobook version of John Valliant’s The Golden Spruce, previously made plans were thrown out the window as they arrived on the magical island.

“The first ride was supposed to be more of a warm up. We rode along a nearly zero elevation strip of North Beach to Rose Spit, a long sandbar on the northeast tip of the island where the rough waters of Dixon Entrance and the Hecate Strait meet. Only a few kilometres in, we found ourselves on a sandy beach as far as the eye could see; the width of which was so expansive I was barely able to see Adam, Frankie, and Betsy on the other side as I rode along the water’s edge.


First camp was at Agate Beach for a few days, where “life was simple but the scenery was anything but.” Days were spent hunting agate and nights were spent being in awe of epic sunsets.Just as we were passing an unnamed shipwreck, and settling into a good and comfortable cadence, we were confronted with that familiar heart-pounding feeling as we noticed the water quickly begin to rise towards us. Our tide window was closing quicker than we thought, and our casual warm-up ride turned out to be a hammer session back to camp. This was undoubtedly a good test for the legs.”

Next came a night of luxury at the Copper Beach House in Masset, where the trio met and conversed with the locals, immersing themselves in conversation about Haida culture after meeting local Haida artist, April White.

At the urging of a local bike shop owner, Terry Wallace, Bonanza Beach was added to the list of must-visit places despite the amount of climbing it would take to get there. Rennell Sound proved to be one of the more worrying parts of the trip – descending a very steep hill while holding onto an aging and loaded tandem bike. The plan was to walk Betsy down the 24% grade descent while pumping the brakes. With cries of laughter and fear and some sprinting, they made it, only just.

But it was worth it – a few days away from civilization, catching crab, contemplating those that had lived in these spaces before.


Some casual fishing, several horsefly bites, and a sweaty slog up a unexpectedly well marked trail, and they arrived at a crystal clear lake below the ridge – a perfect camp spot for the final night.The final adventure came, unsurprisingly, from the generosity of strangers – this time a local logger. Instead of the original plan of hiking up one of the highest peaks on the island, Johnson and the Fosses were given a boat and told to “Take my boat, paddle across the water and live the life atop my one of my favourite mountains, trust me!”

Final thoughts from Ben:

“Before this expedition, I thought Haida Gwaii was a place you heard stories about but were never certain whether those stories were real or fantasy. And after experiencing it I’m still not sure I could give you an answer. It felt like a dream. A place so out of the ordinary; it’s rhythm is so contrary to the rhythms of the bustling cities we call home. Five-minute hellos with strangers became hour or more long conversations. We soon discovered that many people came to visit for two weeks and never left. This isn’t lost on us. We felt so enveloped by the island that we began to consider it for ourselves. What if we just left it all behind and lived on the edge world, allowing this island to overtake us even more than it already had?”

*Excerpt from Ben’s Haida Gwaii story at BikePacking.com.