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Bikes or Death

Bikes or Death is a podcast centered around the growing sport of bikepacking, adventure cycling, and the outdoors. The show features the amazing people who participate in these activities and contribute so greatly to the cycling community. The Bikes or Death Podcast is dedicated to sharing the stories and experiences of these individuals with the hopes that it inspires others to get outside, get on their bikes, and experience what our natural world has waiting for them. At its heart Bikes or Death is more than just a podcast. Bikes or Death is a lifestyle. It’s the idea that a life without bikes is a life not worth living. Now go ride your damn bike!

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Ep. 30 - Bikepacking Summit Series - Ultraromance

You don't schedule an interview with Ultraromance. The universe must align in such a way that your paths cross and you may find yourself sitting down with the most mythical personality our sport has ever seen. In this exclusive interview I ask the questions you've been dying to know like, "What's your name?" and "Do you take showers?". Find out his answer to these and many more in this ultra episode of the Bikes or Death Podcast. Follow him on Instagram (ummm just in case you don't already) You can find the products we discussed on the show on his website www.ronsbikes.com and his new tire corporation www.ultradynamico.com

1hr 3mins

4 Dec 2019

Rank #1

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Ep. 29 - Bikepacking Summit Series - Lael & Rue

At the Bikepacking Summit I had the honor of sitting down with Lael Wilcox and Rugile Kaladyte (Rue) in their first interview together. After they found themselves in the middle of drama on the Tour Divide this year it was nice to chat with both of them to hear their thoughts on riding and documents bikepacking events. Personally, I'm grateful for what they are trying to do through documenting this great sport that we love. Inspired to Ride spurred a new generation of bikepackers and Tour Divide participants, myself included. I am grateful for the efforts they have been making to tell the stories of events like the Tour Divide or the Navidad 1000. Those stories inspire and inspiration leads to more people on bikes and that's something we should all be rallied around. Having been fortunate enough to spend time riding, socializing, and interviewing both Lael and Rue I have seen first hand their love for this sport, the community, and their desire to share these stories in the most respectful way possible. Yesterday Pearl Izumi launch Rue's new film I Just Want to Ride documenting Tour Divide 2019. It is worth a watch and then a rewatch. How cool is it to be able to watch the dots, see some social media post from time to time, and then watch a film about the event and see first hand some of the conditions and challenges that the riders were facing only five months ago!? Thank you Lael and Rue for keeping the course in the face of adversary. As you will hear on this episode there is nothing easy about documenting an event like this and to do it under such scrutiny from the community you love added a whole new level of difficulty. The new film is a beautiful look into the lives of the ultra endurance riders we love and the routes we aspire to ride. I look forward to future projects and more content like this. Maybe in the future people will put down their keyboards and go ride their damn bikes!

1hr 2mins

21 Nov 2019

Rank #2

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Ep. 25 - Bikepacking Summit Series - Miles Arbour

Like most modern friendships, I linked up with Miles Arbour through Instagram. Miles is the one responsible for putting together a Q&A article that appeared on BIKEPACKING.com after my first six episodes here at Bikes or Death, sending a surge of new listeners my way… an article I’m still stoked about.  Miles is a writer and editor at BIKEPACKING.com, reviewing products and bikes, managing the events calendar, and working directly with the small team that handles the site’s daily tasks. He’s also a funny dude who is just as goofy in person as he is on Instagram.  On this episode, we sit down at the 2019 Bikepacking Summit to learn more about him, van life, and his work with BIKEPACKING.com. As an added bonus, shortly after the summit Miles came to visit me in College Station, Texas to record the intro and outro for this episode, and we debrief the Summit a little further.  We both hope you’ll get a good laugh during this episode. We sure did.

1hr 42mins

22 Oct 2019

Rank #3

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Ep. 27 - Bikepacking Summit Series - Joe Cruz

Joe Cruz is a powerful and incredibly insightful person, which surely stems from his background as a professor of philosophy at Williams College and his decades of bikepacking and bike traveling all over the world. Additionally, he is an editor at large for Bikepacking.com. Joe was the opening presenter on Friday morning at the Bikepacking Summit this year. What we as the audience experienced was a powerful lesson in fear, our understanding of it, and our relationship to it. Joe's understanding and relationship with fear is probably deeper than most of our own. It's the kind of relationship you have after spending three decades traveling the world via bicycle. He would tell you, any moments of fear he experienced are greatly outnumbered by the good, positive, and wonderful experiences. So how do we look at fear in contrast to these amazing experiences? I'll let Joe tell you in his own words. This interview was very impromptu. I had just finished recording with Greg Hardy and had a small window before my next interview. Joe's stellar presentation had put him on my radar for a possible interview. So when I looked around and saw him chatting with some fellow attendees I took the opportunity to have him share some of this presentation with you. I wish you could have been there on Friday morning to hear his presentation, to see the emotion in his eyes, and to feel that emotion reverberate through the room. If you weren't able to be there I hope you will get a taste of what we all experienced through this podcast.


3 Nov 2019

Rank #4

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Ep. 17 - Chris Burkard

With 3.4 million Instagram followers you likely know Chris Burkard. He is one of the world's most prolific adventure photographers, known for going to extremes to get "the shot". However, what is less well known is his passion for Cycling. This past year Chris started training for a 844 mile race that circumnavigates Iceland called WOW Cyclothon. He had an incredible race managing to set a new course record by 3.5 hours! And remember, he's just doing this in his spare time for fun! In this episode I catch up with Chris after his historic race in Iceland and before he set off to Russia for a few weeks. We mostly talk about his race and his passion for cycling. It was a great chat and I hope you find it as enjoyable as I did. WOW Cyclothon Article about Chris Burkard Strava Stats from the race 1719 was a job with CLIFF bar in Nicaragua, specifically at Magnific Rock. The trip was done in collaboration with Surfing For Life do build a school here in Nica. Our job was to document it to support a social media push in January. ATHLETES: FOREST SHEER, PETE DEVRIES, ABBY BROWN

1hr 8mins

8 Jul 2019

Rank #5

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Ep. 28 - Bikepacking Summit Series - Kate Gates

Kate Gates is one of the owners of Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Getaway in Ellijay, GA, the venue for this year's Bikepacking Summit. Their property is located in the southern Appalachian Mountains of northwest Georgia and is surrounded by National Forest, gravel roads, and cycling friendly trails. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that their facility is an oasis for cyclists and outdoors people. The proprietors of this family owned and operated business are a large part of what makes Mulberry Gap so special. This is very much a family business. Grandmas are LITERALLY in the kitchen whipping up some of the best homemade southern comfort food your hungry little heart desires. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the coffee and cold beer as both are a necessity to most. Their hospitality neither starts nor ends with the food, but it's a good place to get your attention. The true magic of the place comes from the top down. Everyone who runs this facility loves what they do, the community they do it for, and the people involved on an individual level. Just add awesome cyclists and hot damn you've got yourself a party! Thank you Kate and Andrew Gates (and their families) for hosting such a great event and making each of us feel welcome in your home.


12 Nov 2019

Rank #6

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Ep. 26 - Bikepacking Summit Series - Greg Hardy

On Oct. 27th 2018 I sat down with Greg Hardy of Rockgeist in his shop in Asheville, NC to record the first ever Bikes or Death podcast. What has transpired since that day can only be described as a whirlwind. On that day I started a journey that has taken me further than I realized possible or likely. However, here we are a year later and I'm sitting down with my friend Greg again. On this new episode we share some thoughts about the Bikepacking Summit, catch up, I ask some follow up questions to our first episode, and of course we talk shop! And he's got some juicy stuff to share!! Greg is offering a 10% DISCOUNT CODE to all BoD listeners. Use the promo code BIKESORDEATH at check out on Rockgeist.com and watch those dollars just fade away.

1hr 13mins

29 Oct 2019

Rank #7

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Ep. 18 - Billy Rice, Talkin Tour Divide 2019

Even before the Tour Divide started this year there was drama on social media. On this episode Billy Rice and I discuss some of the topics. Billy was actually at the Brush Mountain Lodge during some of the speculation, he is also a 6 time vet of the Tour Divide, and has been filmed for Inspired to Ride. Who better to add some dialogue to what I'm calling The Drama Divide.

1hr 53mins

24 Jul 2019

Rank #8

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Ep. 24 - Kurt Refsnider

Getting to talk to Kurt Refsnider was a true pleasure. His achievements on and off the bike are quite impressive and my conversation with him left me feeling inspired, hopeful for the future of our public lands, and also a little like I could be doing more! I caught up with Kurt after his win at the Colorado Trail Race. This is a race that he hasn't had good luck with in the past, but this year everything came together for him to claim first place. In doing so, he became the first person to achieve the Triple Crown of Bikepacking, which means that he is the first person to win the Tour Divide, AZT, and CTR. Let that sink in for a second. In addition to his accomplishments on the bike he is also running Bikepacking Roots, a non-profit focusing on important issues that can and will impact land use and access among other things. The work he and his team are doing is invaluable to us as a community and I encourage you to listen to the podcast and then go to BikepackingRoots.org to become a member and take action on the items they present to the members. Kurt is a leader on and off the bike and I truly enjoyed his time and what he was able to share.

1hr 47mins

13 Sep 2019

Rank #9

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Ep. 20 - Vince Colvin, CHUMBA USA

On this episode I meet up with Vince Colvin, co-owner of Chumba USA, at his home in Austin, TX.  Before recording the podcast he built up a couple of his bikes SS and we went out to shred some trails and eat tacos.  We had a great convo and it was cool to ride bikes and talk bikes with the owner of this rad company. www.chumbausa.com Photo by Cass Gilbert @whileoutriding in Ecuador

1hr 39mins

7 Aug 2019

Rank #10

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Ep. 19 - Tomas Quinones, life and death in the Oregon Outback

Imagine you are on an extended bikepacking trip in the high desert. It's the middle of the summer and the middle of nowhere when you see an elderly man lying across the road. You don't know how long he's been there, where he came from, or how long he has left to live. This is the situation Tomas Quinones found himself in on July 18th when he found Gregory Randolph lying on the road in The Oregon Outback. @adventuring.bike www.adventuring.bike

1hr 42mins

2 Aug 2019

Rank #11

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Ep. 40 - Jenny Schmidt, bikepacking along the Border

In this episode I meet up with Jenny Schmidt at Rocky Hill Ranch to ride bikes and record a podcast. She had just completed a solo bikepacking trip along the US/Mexico border from California to Texas. For her this trip was about grappling with her own mental health and an opportunity to learn first hand about the issues surrounding the border and the wall. When we recorded this episode on Feb. 25th we had no idea that when she flew back to her home state of Washington that she would soon find herself in the epicenter of America's battle with the Coronavirus. As I listened to this episode it was eye opening to realize what a different world we were living in only a month ago. It was actually refreshing to remember back to that day and relive the simplicity of going for a mountain bike ride with new friends, recording an episode in @vanordeath, and then going out to a restaurant for tacos. All of those things are on hold now as we hunker down and wait. I've been reflecting on how connected we ALL are. This virus has shown that the actions of one man in Wuhan, China can have a huge impact on the entire planet. In this case, it is a negative impact, but it's opened my eyes to the realization that we really are in this together, that our actions do matter, that one person can make a difference. There is so much we can't do right now you may feel helpless, but I'm encouraging everyone to realize how impactful their actions are and to be mindful of what you do and how you treat people and our environment. I am going to take advantage of this "down-time" by recording and releasing as many episodes as I can. The Bikes or Death Podcast: NOT CANCELLED.

1hr 38mins

23 Mar 2020

Rank #12