Dirt Rag 198 is all about backyard adventure and urban singletrack, riding from your back door, whether it’s for an hour or a few days. Get a sneak peek at what’s inside, and order your copy now!
For this issue, we’ve also launched our new Dirt Rag Magazine app for an improved digital magazine experience.
Cover photo: Andreas Hestler backyard bikepacking by Dave Silver
Columns and Readings
In an interesting turn of events Stevil Kinevil and Watts Dixon decided to switch rolls and write each other’s column due to their mutual respect for one another. The goal was to try and emulate each other’s style. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as they did writing it. For Beer Me, columnist Burt Hoovis reveals the art of the perfect trailside beer stash, Rebecca Rusch gives inside details about her new must-see documentary film Blood Road” and we catch up with former world champion Ruthie Matthes about her return to the bike industry.
Inner City Singletrack by Nick Legan
When traveling to a big city there’s no reason to leave your mountain bike at home. If you find yourself near any of the 10 we’ve covered in this story, know that your mountain bike tribe has laid the groundwork for some of the best riding you’ve never heard of. From full-blown bike parks to hidden singletrack, heading to a metropolis doesn’t mean you’re stuck in a concrete jungle. Ribbons of dirt and green spaces crisscross most urban areas. Showcased in this story is just a small sampling from the biggest travel locations across the country. Many more exist in nearly every city. Finding it is often as easy as asking a local bike shop.
Almost Dead! Shattered in the Backcountry by James Murren
Rhabdomyolysis, also known as “Uncle Rhabdo” occurs when your muscles are damaged and myoglobin, a protein found in your muscle tissue, enters your blood circulation. The problem is that your kidneys can’t deal with it, especially if you are not optimally hydrated, e.g., mountain biking and rationing water intake on a remote ride. The worst that could happen is renal failure. Your kidneys are overwhelmed with myoglobin, they fail and you die if it’s not treated. This is the tale of Rhabdo afflicting the author of this story on a bikepacking trip in the California desert.
Unorthodox Backyard Adventure: Bikepacking in the Sooke Hills by Andreas Hestler
The idea of bikepacking seems to entail fat bikes, no dropper posts and some arduous journey of legendary proportions on mostly gravel roads. Why isn’t it just about getting out and enjoying what time you have on a longer-travel trail bike? What about just a little backyard fun? Our goals were simple: Let’s actually mountain bike on trails with adventure between and not just go touring. Let’s explore and link wacky things together over four days. Let’s enjoy ourselves and not follow some transmountain, super haute, machismo, gravel/pseudo-MTB route. If we ever needed an out, town was nearby for rapid escape. What else would make a rad camping trip? We had singletrack, cabins, lakes, canoes, rivers and flexibility. Did we mention beer? We had beer.
Reviews and Stuff
This month we have a grab bag of cool and fun bikes tested. Included are:
- Kona Honzo CR Trail DL
- Pivot Switchblade Pro XT/XTR 1X
- Raleigh Stuntman
- Scott Spark 950
- Royal Racing riding kit
- Two new Park Tool products for the mountain bike mechanic
And a lot more…
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