bike camping

Touring Iran on No Life Like This Life

Head over to No Life Like This Life for a feature by Alexander Bochkov on bike touring in Iran.

Theres so much amazing content on No Life right now, make sure to poke around and bug JP in the comments.

Iranian cities are filled with amazing aromas of different spices, fresh flat bread which is baked on every street, and sweet stuff from numerous patisseries. But unfortunately first of all you pick up a smell of car exhaust emissions. In Shiraz we walked around the city and visited the market. Our second host was a local pick-up artist who wanted to pick up a girl using foreigners. He also promised to take us to an amazing place, but it turned out to be a huge shopping center. Nothing interesting. From Shiraz we finally started our bike tour. It was terrifically hot, hard to find any shady spot and there was no water around. Our skin on face and hands got brown and the air was dry as my favorite wine. But because of piercing wind, we couldn’t take off our jackets during the stops. We rode higher and higher. Beautiful mountain sceneries, steep and long descents with blind turns and smooth asphalt. Sometimes we went by the remains of ancient aqueducts and fortresses built at the beginning of the past millennium.
— Alexander Bochkov

Read the rest of the article here. 

686 Men's Cadence Jackets

Cadence Collection teamed up with 686 to collaborate on the 686 MEN'S CADENCE KENTON 3L RAIN JACKET and the 686 MEN'S CADENCE ERICSON INSULATOR JACKET. Combined these jackets can handle any type of weather.

"Life on the bike. From the realities of commuting to and from work to the euphoria of a bike packing escape. Each step empowered by ones own physical ability. We are only limited by what we push ourselves to try. Fail or succeed it is the journey that is the ultimate destination. Propelled further forward with the Cadence x 686 Insulator and 3L rain jacket. Built for lifestyle cycling." - Cadence Collection

The above promotional video features yours truly and was filmed here in Portland, Oregon. Dustin Klein was on set making sure everything got done while film maker Riley Gibson did an amazing job at making me look good. I really don't like being in front of the camera but it's pretty easy when your working with such a rad crew. Enjoy the video and drop a comment below and let us know what you think!

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Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo LE Review

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I had never heard of Oregon-based Six Moon Designs until I went on a bikepacking trip with some friends from the Bay Area. Josh hiked the John Muir Trail and like most people that do thru-hikes, obsesses over gear. Tru hikes require lightweight, packable and most importantly durable equipment. So my first impression of the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo LE was impactful, to say the least. The following article is my Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo LE Review. It wasn't until I decided to do the 380 mile Oregon Outback that I decided I needed to swap my 2 person Big Agnes with a proper 1 person tent. I immediately got ahold of Josh and he was quick to answer any questions I had. It quickly became apparent that purchasing a Lunar Solo Le was a no brainer. Nothing else came close to it in my opinion and after countless adventures in the backcountry, the Lunar Solo Le has become my go to tent.

Before we can start you have to know that Six Moon Designs makes two versions of the Lunar Solo. The Lunar Solo features a Sil floor that is lighter but requires a foot print to keep you dry and safe from tears. The Lunar Solo LE features a rugged waterproof floor that is yes, you guessed it, heavier. So why go for the heavier Lunar Solo LE? Durability and simplicity. There is no need to carry a foot print or worrying about some little branch ripping a hole into your precious floor. So whats the price and weight penalty? The Lunar Solo LE is 6oz heavier but you will save $35. Six Moon Designs charges $30 to Seam Seal the tent so there's a huge price savings with the Lunar Solo LE. Loose the 6oz else where folks. You won't regret it.

"As you can see the tent packs down really small. Note the size of the bottle compared to the compression sack."

The Lunar Solo LE requires 1 pole and 6 stakes. You can use a hiking pole or purchase a compact aluminum or carbon pole for dirt cheap. It's like carrying around a drumstick. It's so damn small. Now 6 stakes may seem like a lot but it's not. Stakes are so light and cheap these days you won't have a problem packing them and hey you could always use sticks you find on the trail if you want really want to.

"I am not going to lie. It takes a bit of practice to dial in the set up of this tent. Below is a gif I made from my first time setting up the tent at a local park. Setup is a breeze now, though sometimes I do miss the easy set up of my Big Agnes. "

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Well that's about it! I hope this helps and that you've enjoyed my Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo LE Review. I've posted info from Six Moon Design's website below. Comment if you have any questions and make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

Below is the information from the manufacturer:

The Lunar Solo Limited Edition is a special version of the Lunar Solo. It features stronger more durable and waterproof floors that do not slip like sil-nylon floors.

As with the Lunar Solo it's hexagonal shape spills wind and sheds snow making it a very secure home in severe weather.

Its low hexagonal shape easily spills the wind no matter the direction. Short steeply sloped sides handle snow or high winds with ease. A generous canopy covers a 26 sq. ft. sleeping area plus 8.5 sq. ft. of vestibule storage. The 48" peak height, set in the middle of the tent maximizes room for sitting and taking care of chores.

The sleeping area is surrounded 6-inch deep bathtub floor, topped by 6 inches of mesh. This ensures excellent ventilation while keeping you separated from low canopy walls. This keeps you drier on those occasions when condensation forms on the canopy.

The vestibule is set on the long side of the tent to maximize views and ventilation when fully open. Close it and you've got phenomenal protection from the worst storms.

For detail setup instructions, check out Lunar Solo - The Perfect Pitch.

  • Full Vestibule provides protection while still maintaining good ventilation when closed. Fully open, the vestibule maximizes ventilation and view.
  • High Vent removes excess moisture build up.
  • Zipper Vestibule Closure makes opening and closing the vestibule a snap.
  • Heavy Duty Bathtub Floor makes a more durable, no slip and watertight floor.
  • Easy Tensioning Adjustment makes keeping your the tent taut a trivial task that can be accomplished while still in your sleeping bag. Re-tension straps have been added to all tie out points.
  • Floating Canopy allows the canopy to be set to different heights.
  • Floating Floor reduces floor stress and helps to minimize punctures from sharp objects.
  • Optimized Sleeping Area is oriented to maximize usable space, ventilation and view. A peak height of 48 inches gives you plenty of head room.
  • Center Pole Support significantly improves the ability of the tent to handle wind and snow loads.
  • Single Hiking Pole Support reduces the amount of gear need.
  • Internal Gear Area keeps your gear easily accessible.
  • Oversized Screen Door allows easy entrance and exit while keeping the front pole out of your way.
  • Ultra-light Waterproof Canopy is made from high strength 30 denier Silicone Nylon.
  • Handy Mesh Cargo Pocket
  • Extremely Easy Setup in less than two minutes under any conditions.

Portland to Cape State Lookout

 Since moving to Portland I’ve always wanted to bike to the coast but for whatever reason I never made it happen. So when the forecast predicted weather in upper 70s I knew I had to go for it. With over a dozen ways to bike there I settled on a route created by the Portland Bureau of Transportation. 

I choose the 90 mile route out of Hillsboro following the Nestucca River and through the Oregon Coast Range. The first 26 miles navigates through lonesome country roads lined with vineyards and green fields stretching out as far as the eye could see. The Northern Willamette Valley is often referred to as the Gateway to Wine Country, being home to dozens of beautiful vineyards.

Yamhill and Carlton were the last supply points for 40 miles so I filled my water bottles and stocked up on some snacks. The following couple hours were spent climbing up Meadow Lake Road peaking at a little over 2000ft. The climb was long but I was constantly surrounded by lush forest and incredible views of the Valley. At the summit Meadow Lake Road turns into the Nestucca River National Back Country Byway which traverses the Oregon Coast Range. The road twists and turns through the Nestucca Canyon cutting through a  40-million-year old formation of rock. The miles were tough and when my body ached the lush green of forest and the gentle sounds of the river carried me forward. It wasn’t until  I left the shelter of the canyon did I wish for my journey to end. Still, I pushed forth into the fierce coastal headwinds. Surrounded in a blanket of blue skies, I couldn’t help but smile and embrace the warmth of Spring.

After a relentless battle with the wind I reached the small town of Beaver. I filled my bags with food and beer and made the final push to Cape State Lookout. Little did I know I had another 13 miles and 1000+ feet of climbing left. The headwinds were strong and I fought hard. The last pitch to the summit was relentless and I had to dig deep. I reached the top shattered but my spirit was instantly renewed as my eyes caught a glimpse of the ocean for the first time. Hands on the hoods. I tucked down low and ripped the two mile descent into camp.

Oregon Outback : The Final Stretch

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I am awaken in the middle of the night by the freezing cold. I throw on my rain jacket for some extra insulation and eventually drift back off to sleep. I can hear Dave packing up as the sun rises in the distance. Our journey together ends here as he’s got to be at his sag wagon by 1pm. There has to be over 40 Outbackers sprawled out on the grassy lawn in Shaniko. With just over 60 miles to go it’s everyone’s last day on the Outback. We’re back on the road. The pavement points downward and my body feels surprisingly fresh. The road begins to roll and it stretches out as far as the eye can see. The ground begins to crumble as paved roads become gravel rivers rippling into the distance. My body is shattered and I immediately fall off the back. John and I unable to keep up the pace. We silently agree that we’d just take it easy and get through this together.

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