Pedal Through | A first backcountry adventure

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Pedal Through tells the story of novice riders pushing themselves out into unfamiliar territory, and discovering a world that has previously been beyond their reach.

This video by Analise Cleopatra might just spur a few of you into action and trying something new. It’s beautiful to watch (apart from the crashes), but it’s the story that hits home. Analise and her friend DeJuanae Toliver are not just inexperienced mountain bikers, they’re inexperienced in camping, being off grid, and being in the back country. But that doesn’t stop them planning what would be an epic trip for even more experienced riders. It’s inspiring to watch Analise get back up after a crash, see her pushing on through when it’s tough, and overcoming her anxiety to complete the challenge.

As an experienced rider watching the video, you can see how much energy they’re expending and losing through their inexperience, perhaps making you appreciate all the more the determination they show. They are helped along the way and kept safe by the experienced professional rider Brooklyn Bell, and together it’s not all suffering: there’s fun, and dancing, and pooping in the woods, and the joy of the campsite breakfast. There’s also a great quote ‘I don’t want to crush anything, I just want to heal‘. It’s refreshing and relatable to see novice riders tackling an adventure, instead of the professional shredits.

Take 15 minutes to watch the video, and then learn more about their stories and perspectives in the panel talk.

‘Pedal Through invites us into the world of director-lead Analise Cleopatra as she discovers the healing and joy of mountain biking. Analise had never camped or ridden a bike off the pavement when she decided to plan a week-long mountain biking adventure with an all Black female team: her best friend and fellow newcomer to the sport, DeJuanae Toliver, and professional mountain biker Brooklyn Bell. Together, they traverse the Oregon backcountry on an adventure full of exploration, curiosity, waterfalls, old growth forest, sparkling starscapes, and deep healing. With raw authenticity, Analise shares all the intimate foibles, fear, fun, and beauty of discovering her place in the outdoors. The landscape opens to greet her as she learns to lean into uncertainty, accept support and trust herself on this wild ride.

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Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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