I first met Oscar at The Woods Cyclery Grand Rando earlier this year. A spritely 19-year-old with the World at his feet. As we talked it soon became clear that Oscar was soon to be on the adventure of a lifetime.
“If all works out, I’ll be linking the Great Divide mountain bike route and Arizona trail to make a 3500-mile off-road solo adventure, beginning in Calgary, Canada and heading out to Phoenix, Arizona”.
For those that don’t know, The Great Divide is the longest mapped off-road route in the world, known as the birthplace of bikepacking.
“I’ve been itching to go for it since doing my first self-supported trip a year ago. It will take me along the spine of the Rockies mountains, from Banff National park to the Mexican border via Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. It’ll then be followed by a few days ride to reach the start of the Arizona Trail, a much more technical trail that runs from the AZ/Mexico border to the AZ/Utah border past the Grand Canyon and a ton of terrifying insects”.
As Oscar puts it “The vessel for this journey, the bike in question is a serious sight to behold and an incredible testament to Sven Cycles. The perfect bikepacker with enough mounts to carry everything he needs. Tig welded to make sure it is strong enough to withstand the test of time and clearance for 29×2.8 tyres. Add all that to a Rohloff 14 speed hub, Hope hydraulic brakes and you have one sweet machine.
“It‘ll clean any climb you put in front of it and descend
with insane stability. The ride quality in the frame is utterly
dialled- even with the tyres super hard it feels as though it has a
flat! This not only makes it happy to plug endless miles of rugged jeep
tracks but also super lively and springy in the fun rough stuff. I chose
the 29+ platform as I love the feeling of thundering over ruts, being
able to make poor line choices down a trail and the surprising road
efficiency that you can get on such a wide tyre. The thought of needing
spare tyres for trips outside of the US/Europe is a slight worry, for
now, but we shall see if this is an issue. Overall, the fusion of fast
geometry, a very comfortable pedalling position, a maintenance-free
drivetrain and vast wheels make for a dream machine”.
paint job? Even that’s perfect! Tough as nails, easy to touch up and
makes the bike look nice and un-stealable when scuffed. It was a tone
taken from an 80s Jeep, which I think completes the workhorse
personality”. The subtle Sven Cycle’s graphic are the only sign that
this has been custom made for Oscar’s huge adventure.
For those that want to keep track of Oscar’s exploits, you can follow his post updates, poems and photographs on Instagram (@oscarjenkinson) and his blog joscarj.wordpress.com.