Founded in 2014, Bikepacker is a community driven resource created to inspire and empower bikepackers on a global scale to fuel and achieve their goals. There is no way we could accomplish what we have so far without the contributions of the community. Here are a few of the key players and consistent contributors that help make Bikepacker a success. 

Arizona Trail Recap

Neil Beltchenko

Ever since Neil graduated college he has soaked in the mountain life. After riding bikes recreationally for a couple of seasons, he realized he was extremely motivated and began racing. Neil drank the bikepacking Kool-Aid after completing the AZT 300 as his first bikepacking race in 2013.  In 2014 his now-fiancé Lindsay and he launched Bikepacker. What started as a hobby quickly turned into a regularly updated online publication where they created a resource for adventure cycling. They realized how many awesome bike bag manufacturers, routes, and tips there are in this sub industry of cycling, and they wanted to create a lasting resource. Neil handles the daily operations, editorial planning and social media.

When he’s not in the saddle he loves to take photos of the beautiful landscapes the Crested Butte area has to offer. He also really enjoy sipping on a good IPA, watching his favorite team the Chicago White Sox, and hanging out with his lady Lindsay and their dog bowie. If you are ever in the Crested Butte area give them a buzz!

 

Lindsay Arne

Lindsay Arne

Lindsay and Neil co-founded Bikepacker as a way to share their passion for the sport with the world. She is in charge of marketing and creative at Bikepacker, and also assists in writing and editing content. Originally from Minnesota, adventuring and being outside has been a staple in her life from a young age. Lindsay began mountain biking in 2010, but it never really became an addiction until her first overnight bikepacking trip in the Sand Dunes of the San Luis Valley of Colorado with her dude, Neil. Since then, she has taken a path of constantly improving her endurance, gear choices, and technical riding abilities. Lindsay loves to challenge herself in the world of two-wheeled travel, and looks forward to a lifetime of adventures by bike. When not riding or planning the next trip, Lindsay enjoys exploring the depths of the upper Gunnison Valley by bike, skiing, spending time with Neil, and playing with her pup Bowie. 


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Alex Roberts

Alex just can’t get enough gravel.  Whether it’s hitting the gravel just outside his door or toeing the line at events such as Kanza and Trans Iowa, he much prefers the unpaved roads. 

Riding gravel and forest roads feels like a homecoming of sorts, as Alex’s earliest riding was on logging roads on his family’s land.  From his first mode of transportation to the custom Eriksen gravel/bikepacking frame he gave his wife as an engagement promise to the bikepacking rigs which took him and his wife on a White Rim honeymoon, bikes have always been an important part of Alex’s life.

Alex is also our beer guy.  He loves hopped up IPAs, Imperial Stouts, and European-styled Pilsners.  But he won’t turn his nose up at a post-ride PBR or American lager, especially if it’s a unique Untappd check-in. 


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photo: Fixie Dave Nice


Will Scheel 

Will Scheel was just a city boy, born and raised in south Detroit. He took the midnight train going anywhere… wait that can’t be right.  He started his cycling career on a Mongoose BMX bike leaving sweet skids all over the neighborhood. Then he got in one little fight and his mom got scared… wait that’s not right either! Who took notes on this guy?! It looks like what actually happened was all the neighborhood kids got bikes with gears and Will wanted to keep up so he made his pleas with his parents who eventually caved and got him a Trek hardtail. He learned to mountain bike on the local 5.5 mile, flat singletrack trail in town, sneaking out to ride when he should have been doing homework… that slacker.

Will’s life of cycling evolved through cross country racing and overnighters – until he watched Ride the Divide, which fueled his fire for bikepacking. This was definitely going to be a thing for him. He knew he could do it on his hardtail, but he was woefully unprepared. 
Later in June he did his first 3 day trip by road from Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe, around, and North Lake back to Sac. It felt good to dig deep, to keep going when it got hard. Following the trip, while over a beer with his friends, one told him the Divide was mostly dirt roads and there was no need for a mountain bike. Will wouldn’t be a man unless he did it on a ‘cross bike.

The 2015 Tour Divide was the hardest thing Will Scheel had ever done. The Divide tried to break him, it challenged him, it took him to high places and low places, from the sleet in the Canadian Rockies to the hot dry summer heat of the New Mexican desert, and he did it on a cyclocross bike.

Now, Will rides bikes every day trying to fill in his Strava Heat Map feeding his semi-healthy addiction and continues to take pictures of bike type things. He occasionally writes things about bikes and trips and whatnot while finishing his mechanical engineering degree. When asked what he wants to do after graduating, he answered with “Ride bikes every day!… but no seriously I need a Sprinter, 3 bikes, and a lot of food and I’ll be good.”
Follow Will’s adventures on his Instagram @Will_on_2_wheels


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Grafton Pannell

Growing up in the northwest, Grafton has always been fond of the mountains. First falling in love with them through skiing and shortly after by two wheels. With a camera in his hand from a young age, photographing his adventures only seemed natural.  He now calls Spokane, WA home but finds it hard to stay still. Follow along as he documents his travels and plenty of type two fun behind the lens at graftonpannell.com or on Instagram at instagram.com/grafton | instagram.com/graftonridesbikes .

 

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Eric Hockman

Living in the outdoor playground that Colorado is, it seems that the opportunity to get out and play at any given moment never ceases. Since my childhood years, it’s been in my blood to see what’s around the next bend on the trail, what’s over the next ridge above, or what lies in the valley below; wherein the outdoors have always been my favorite place to be. Through my college years, I supported my craving for snow as a ski-tuning snowboard bum. Working in a ski and bike shop inevitably led me to the repair department, where my hands were permanently covered in grease and bicycles quickly became my full time addiction. Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to ride my mountain bike in almost every state across the US of A, have sent bikes to Africa through an advocacy project I piloted called “Brews for Bikes,” and bikepacked across the Colorado Trail with my significant other. Suffice it to say, bikes are in my blood for now and forever.


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Alex Alexiades

Alex guided and climbed all over the world for over 10 years, completing numerous first ascents including several new mixed ice and rock routes on peaks over 18,000ft in Bolivia before turning his attentions to mountain biking a few years ago. During his first year on a mountain bike he got a podium in a 24 hour solo race, coming in 3rd. After that he was hooked on ultra-endurance distance racing and riding, taking podiums again in 24 hour solos and tying for 1st Place Rookie in the Trans North Georgia Adventure 350 mile race. Alex spent a year living in Ecuador researching river ecology as Fulbright Fellow, in addition to racing and bikepack-exploring all over the country and in Chile. He returned to the USA in 2015 to defend his PhD dissertation at Cornell University, then spent the summer in Changsha, China as Invited Summer Faculty before completing an 800km route across the Kham region of Tibet. He moved to Yakima to begin a faculty position at Heritage University in the Fall of 2015. In addition to teaching and research, he continues to race 24 hour Solos and Ultra-Endurance Bikepack races all over the West. He competed in 24 Hour Solo World Championships in 2015, and last year took 2nd place in both the Oregon 24 hour Solo and the Comstock Epic, a grueling 550 mile race across the Great Basin desert. He plans to continue bike-xploring, ultra-endurance racing, and ski mountaineering around the world in addition to his ecological research, teaching, and writing.