Singletracks Best Reads: June 2022

Photo: Matt MIller

Don’t look now but we’re more than halfway through 2022. Inflation is high, gas and groceries are expensive, and it might still be hard to find brake pads and bike chains. Good news: the trails should be pretty primo for most of us… granted you don’t live in a desert state. This month’s Best Reads is also overwhelmingly full of good news, or, at the very least, entertaining opinions.

Brooke tries gravel. Doesn’t enjoy it much. A husband and wife quit their day jobs to start a trail building company and it’s working out well. We hear about new trails in Virginia and how special some trails are in Central and South America, and why mountain biking is still the quintessential escape. Here’s everything you may have missed in our monthly Best Reads.

Everyone is Having fun on a Gravel Bike…But Me

Gravel riding is for everyone, right? Not exactly. Singletracks contributor Brooke McFerran puts her knobby tires down for slightly less knobby tires and even though everyone is raving about gravel, she’s not sold on it yet.

Husband and Wife Trail Building Company Dirt Candy Spread Singletrack Love Across the Country

Husband and wife team Adam and Mica Harju dove into the dirt feet first and started Dirt Candy trail building. The two have found their niche in an increasingly competitive business.

Wolf Creek and the Bright Future of Mountain Biking in Fayetteville, WV

A recently established mountain biking area named Wolf Creek is taking shape near the New River Gorge in West Virginia.

Ring for Relief: Mountain Biking With a Bell

If you ride on crowded trails regularly, a bell might be just what you need to make your stress relieving ride even less stressful.

Vaea Verbeek: ‘I am at a solid place where I feel that I can keep coming to Virgin on my own and accomplish new challenges’ [Interview]

We caught up with Vaea Verbeeck after Red Bull Formation to hear about her thoughts going into the event, how it went, what changed, and what’s next for the reigning Queen of Crankworx.

Trail Builders in Latin America Face an Uphill Battle, but These Two are Making it Work

The lack of a volunteering culture, scarcity of public land, and economic disadvantage are a few of the barriers facing mountain bikers and builders in Latin America. But these two are finding a way to make it work.

Don’t Bother Me, I’m Mountain Biking

Mountain biking provides a temporary escape that can and does make us into better people. But you already knew that.

Focused on Young Mountain Bikers, A Devo Program Finds its Footing in Oregon

Ashland Devo is a youth mountain biking program in Oregon that seeks to build confident, resilient riders… and also a stronger MTB community. Erica Golden dove into the program to find out how it started and where it’s going.

Sizing Up or Down Based on Riding Style Can Work, Except When it Doesn’t

Photo: Hannah Morvay.

There are a few problems with recommending a bike size based mainly on a person’s style of riding. Singletracks features editor Matt argues it’s not as simple as it seems and longer isn’t always better.

Passing By: Mountain Biking the Steep and Rugged Trails of Abañin, Ecuador

Over the past four to five years, mountain biking has grown in the small farming village of Abañin, Ecuador, thanks largely to the efforts of Juan Jose Ugarte-Enriquez and 2Wheel Epix. We explored the remote and rugged village trails by bike and became a part of the community for a few days.

The Secret to Eternal Life, From Singletrack Mind: Finding Wisdom and the Poetry of Life on Two Wheels

This essay from the forthcoming book, Singletrack Mind: Finding Wisdom & the Poetry of Life on Two Wheels, offers a glimpse of what it means to get the most out of every ride.

A Chain of Inspiration has Grown Mountain Biking in the Navajo Nation, from the Tour de Rez to the Rezduro

Mountain bike trails, programs, and races are growing on the Navajo reservation as one program sparks inspiration for another.