Welcome to Benedicto.
This site has been a long time coming. I've gotten to a point where I felt like I was hoarding valuable information and stories and didn't feel like I had a good way to share my adventures. The occasional Instagram post and a small flurry of 'likes' left me unsatisfied. I had just started shooting for Privateer–Rouleur's mountain bike magazine–right before they folded. Apparently it's a tough time for beautiful, expensive print magazines. Shame about that.
The word “adventure” seems to be on everyone's twitter and instagram feed these days, but what is real adventure? The word suggests doing something a bit challenging and it involves getting outside and pushing past your comfort zone a bit. For me this has meant getting up to speed with bikepacking and doing longer miles on my mountain bike. In Alaska we kicked it off with our first multiday backcountry trip. I can't begin to tell you how freeing it was to leave the car in the parking lot and move past all the anxieties. Massive. And why “Benedicto”? Well, if you read the poem on the “About” page of this site that about sums it up. Ed says “where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you -- beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”
That's what I want this site to be about. A sense of wonder, going out and seeking your deepest dreams…exploring. But we don't cultivate danger or try to get lost in the woods–that's neither fun nor responsible. I'm all about learning the necessary skills and slowly, with proper preparation and a pack full of the right gear, taking bigger and bigger steps. We want to ride new trails with good folks. We want to take our time and eat good food. We want to do big miles when it makes sense. We want to explore new roads and trails and come home to tell you all about it.
So my goal is for this site to be a bit of a trail magic. I'll share what I learn out on the trail. I don't claim to be an expert at bikepacking by any means, so take all of this for what it is–one person's journal–it's just information and ideas, another source of knowledge. But I really don't want this to be all about me. The site has a section called “profiles” where I'm going out and talking to the people that have been doing things that inspire me…race promoters, men and women doing long routes, making incredible food, and asking them 11 questions and sharing the results with you. We're passionate about nutrition and food, so we'll share the art and science of what works on the bike. I guess I've done just enough long distance cycling to know that “fast and light” is the way (for me), to carry just enough gear, not for every eventuality, but I think that you can ride more trail and have more fun if you're not burdened with unnecessary weight. I also come from a bit of a racing background…having dabbled in mountain bike racing both recently and when I started in the late 80's and early 90's, and more recently cyclocross and a bit of road. I appreciate a nice bike and going fast and I do like to push myself a bit.
So, with that in mind we've teamed up with some fantastic companies. We've approached brands that make products that work for what we want to do. First in this mix is Seven Cycles, makers of fine custom titanium steeds. We've also teamed up with OSMO Nutrition for hydration and recovery. Their product is all natural and I really believe they are the next wave for hydration. Osprey Packs are undisputed leaders for lightweight packs that work for mountain biking and bikepacking, so we're happy to have them in the mix. Snowpeak is a Japanese company that has offices in Portland, OR. We're very pleased to be using their titanium cookware. Thanks for joining us and we hope you enjoy the ride.