Pro mountain bikers Kait Boyle and Kurt Refsnider are launching the Backcountry Bike Challenge, powered by Ride with GPS. The two hope it will inspire riders to get out in the backcountry while helping to support the organizations in charge of maintaining those trails. The Challenge also hopes to grow the fastest known time (FKT) culture, popular in bikepacking at the moment.
“It’s while riding in the backcountry to connect to the landscape […] that I feel the most alive and joyful, and […] while challenging myself to ride my best in pursuit of an FKT […] I learn the most and realize that I am unlimited,” says Boyle. “I hope the Backcountry Bike Challenge provides inspiration, resources, and a platform for other cyclists to seek fulfilling experiences, challenge themselves, and connect to the landscape on backcountry trails.” Boyle holds FKTs on the Kokopelli Trail, the Arizona Trail 300, and Coconino 250.
The Backcountry Bike Challenge includes a range of trails, from 40-370 miles in length, including:
- Kokopelli Trail (Utah)
- Maah Daah Hey Trail (North Dakota)
- Massanutten Ring loop (Virginia)
- Duluth Traverse (Minnesota)
- Teton MTB Route (Wyoming/Idaho)
- Alpine #7 Trail (Montana)
- Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail
- Bikepacking Roots’ Colorado 14ers Loop
- The Grand Loop (the original bikepacking race route in the Lower 48)
- Rose to Toads above Lake Tahoe
- Highlights of the Colorado Trail, Arizona Trail, and Oregon Timber Trail
Participants are asked to donate to one of the highlighted trail groups, and log their completed rides using a form on the Backcountry Bike Challenge website. Riders who complete any of the routes and can show proof of their donation will be eligible for prizes at the end of the year from Ride with GPS, Pivot Cycles, Industry Nine, Revelate Designs, Kuat, Gu, and others.