Rigs of the 2022 Arkansas High Country Race

The Arkansas High Country Race is an annual self-supported bikepacking event that follows Adventure Cycling Association’s route of the same name. Just in time for the grand depart tomorrow, we’ve gathered details on more than 30 riders and rigs that will be out on the course. Check them all out here…

The inaugural Arkansas High Country Race was held back in 2019, and at that time, the event followed a single 1,037-mile course based on Adventure Cycling Association’s Arkansas High Country Route. That first year, just over 20 riders lined up in Little Rock planning to tackle the route, and nearly half would eventually scratch from the race. The event has seen a surge of interest over the last few years, and there were 70+ riders participating in the 2021 edition. We also saw many high-level athletes out setting fastest known times, including Ted King’s 2020 record of 4 days, 20 hours, and 51 minutes and Scotti Lechuga’s 2021 time of 5 days, 10 hours, and 49 minutes.

For 2022, riders get to choose from three route options: the full ARHC, South Loop, or Ouachita Triple Crown. The latter two are both new options for this year. The full route is just over 1,000 miles with a whopping 75,000 feet of elevation gain, the South Loop is 487 miles with 32,000 feet of elevation gain, and the Ouachita Triple Crown is a 183-mile option that’s dense with singletrack and 18,000 feet of elevation gain. Since the host city rotates every two years, this will be the first year the event starts out of Hot Springs, Arkansas.

With help from the organizers and the riders, we’ve put together rig details on many of those signed up for the event, featuring bike, bag, and gear details, as well as what route they’re planning on riding. Dig into them below, and then head over to the event page tomorrow at 7 a.m. to follow their progress live.

Aaron Arnzen

Age 28 / Cape Girardeau, Missouri (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: South Loop
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Gary Fisher Superfly SS with a White Brothers fork for the third year in a row. 34x17T Gearing. 29 x 2.0″ Bontrager XR1 tires. Sinewave Beacon headlight and charging port run off the SON front hub. Cane Creek Bar Ends. Deda Carbon Blast “Aero” extensions.
BAGS: Revelate Designs Shrew, Hopper, Jerrycan, and Gas Tank bags. 1L Bottle. Restrap Musette strapped to the frame.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Seat Bag has a SOL Escape Bivy, lots of DeFeet merino bits, a gilet, and a shell. Jerrycan with the bike care and self-care bits. Hopper Frame Bag with the pump, another tube, a small cache battery, 1L soft flask, and all the snacks. Almost all of ’em. The Gas Tank is stuffed with almond butter-filled pretzels and chia energy bites. Nav with RWGPS on the iPhone and Garmin. Two 500ml soft flasks in the rear cargo bib pockets. Bontrager Ion headlight.

Christopher Bonner

Age 30 / Cape Girardeau, Missouri (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: Ouachita Triple Crown
BIKE: For my first singletrack race, I’ll be riding my “rigid and rowdy” Surly Ghost Grappler. This bad boy is sporting a Samox 2PCS Boost 32T crankset and a Microshift 11-48T cassette. For the wheels, I’m running WTB ST i40 TCS with 27.5 x 2.5″ Teravail Ehlines (set up tubeless, of course). For the cockpit, I’m sporting a pair of Salsa Cowchippers (#DropBarsNotBombs). My butt will hopefully stay nice and cushy atop a Brooks Cambium C17 saddle. When things get rowdy, I’ll be relying on my TransX dropper post.
BAGS: The crew at Revelate Designs make some bomb bags, so most of my setup is from them. My frame bag is the Surly x Revelate Mountain Frame Bag. For snacks, I’ve strapped on a Revelate Mag Tank. Also in my cockpit, I’ll have a Revelate Mountain Feedbag for all things charging. All extras/my Jetboil stove setup will be stowed nicely in my Revelate Shrew Seat Bag. In the front, I have my sleep system rolled up nicely in a Salsa EXP Series Dry Bag. My water will be carried in my Salomon Adv Skin hydration vest and in a nalgene on my downtube.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Going light on the sleep system with a Klymit Static V pad, Paria Outdoors Breeze Mesh tent, and a SOL Escape Bivvy. For navigation, I’ll have my Garmin 1030 Plus and Gaia GPS on my phone.

Ryan Bruce

Age 46 / Jackson, Missouri (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: South Loop
BIKE: All-City Cycles Cosmic Stallion out of Cyclewerx in Cape Girardeau, MO. I’ll be riding the South Loop on the Arkansas High Country route in a clockwise direction. I’m running 45mm Maxxis Ramblers with Silk Shield.
BAGS: I will be running a full Revelate Designs bag setup.

Daniel Connell

Age 26 / Goleta, California (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be aboard my beloved Rodeo Labs Flaanimal 5.0 on a Rodeo 2.0 wheelset coated in Maxxis Ikon 2.0 rubber. Propelling the wheels is a SRAM AXS 1×12 drivetrain, and I’ll be cooling down the pace with Paul Klamper mechanical disc brakes. Ergon grips and Profile Design aero bars on risers mitigate the inevitable racing hand numbness.
BAGS: My ride is reliably kitted with a Tailfin Carbon Aeropack, Class 4 Designs frame bag garnished with flowers and butterflies, and Revelate Designs feed bags for gummy bears and milk products. I’ll be wearing a Dispersed hip pack and an EVOC hydration vest.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I love my Buckshot speaker, which is known to serve up funky beats through the wee hours of the night.

Madison Davis

Age 35 / Saint Joseph, Missouri (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: Ouachita Triple Crown
BIKE: 2019 Santa Cruz Chameleon, 1×12 (30×11-50T), FOX Rhythm 34, SRAM Eagle GX, Bontrager Aeolus saddle, Teravail Ehline tires (29”x2.5”), 1 Bontrager wheel and 1 WTB wheel, (because spokes kept popping on the matching Bontrager wheel…).
BAGS: Revelate Designs – Ranger, MagTank 2000, Jerry Can, Shrew, Mountain Feedbag x2, 2 Zefal 1L bottles, 2 L Hydrapak soft bottle and a Sawyer Mini water filter.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My gremlin bell, given to me by race director Andrew Onermaa before I attempted the Ozark Gravel Doom route earlier this year with another friend, its fun to listen to and the story behind gremlin bells is good too! I also like my Fenix Lighting PD-35 light, long lasting and several power levels for adjusting intensity.

Chris Farney

Age 38 / Saint Joseph, Missouri (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: Ouachita Triple Crown
BIKE: Trek Top Fuel with beefy tires as I’ve heard some of the trail is pretty bony. Carrying 2L in the frame bag, a bottle in the feedbag, tools under the downtube, trying to keep the front end light. Lots of extra room to carry snacks, as I’ll be fueling exclusively on Slim Jims and gummy bears. Custom modified Knock Block system so I can do all the bar spins. Also, bar ends.
BAGS: A mix of Revelate Designs and Oveja Negra.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: No highlights, just ready for an awesome adventure!

James Flanagan

Age 33 / Fayetteville, Arkansas (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: South Loop
BIKE: I’m riding a 2017 Masi Giramondo. This heavy beast is a tank. I’m running WTB i23s with Rene Herse Juniper Ridge 650b x 48mm set up tubeless, mechanical disc Avid BB7 brakes, and a full shimano Deore 3×10 drivetrain with bar-end shifters. The cockpit has a stock WTB Volt saddle, 44cm Zipp Service Course XPLR handlebars, and Profile Designs aero bars.
BAGS: I have the Jerrycan on the top tube and Terrapin 14L under the seat, both from Revelate Designs. Also on the top tube is a Jpaks Footlong Snakpak, and in front of the handlebars is a 1L smuggler from Orucase for increased snack capacity. In the triangle, I have a wedge bag from Road Runner Bags with 5L of storage. Plus, water bottles on every mount that wasn’t already occupied.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The drivetrain is pretty unique in the world of bikepack racing. While I’m not a HUGE fan of the bar-end shifters, with a 44/32/24 front triple ring and an 11-34 cassette, I’ll have a massive range of gears to get me through the journey, which will hopefully provide me with a gear to pedal my cadence no matter the terrain.

Brian Forsee

Age 33 / Saint Louis, Missouri (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: Ouachita Triple Crown
BIKE: I’ll be sloggin’ through the triple crown on my Mone Bike La Roca. Accompanying the frame is a 140mm fork, custom bars from Odditty Cycles/Mone Bikes, square taper White Ind cranks, and 9-speed Microshift shifty bits. Rubber is 29 x 2.6″ (allegedly) on Velocity hoops with a Shutter Precision dynamo up front and I9 in back.
BAGS: I’m excited to be running a fully made-in-North-America bag kit. Frame bag is a gorgeous custom with full lace-up attachment by Saint Louis local Zach at South City Stitchworks. Small Fabio’s Chest and Road Runner stem bag up front. Porcelain Rocket fanny pack finishes things off.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A supernova E3 Triple light will light up the trail after sundown. The Midwest weather will have the final say, but I’m hoping for no shelter, Therm-a-Rest XTherm pad, and 32° Mountain Hardware bag. Also, ibuprofen.

Zachary Gass

Age 33 / Saint Louis, Missouri (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: South Loop
BIKE: I’ll be galavanting around the Quachitas on my 2022 Salsa Cutthroat for the Arkansas High Country Short Loop. “The Cutty” features Vittoria Mezcal 2.25” tires, DT Swiss X1900 wheels, Hope RX4+ brakes, 1×12 SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain with a 34T chainring, 10-52T SRAM GX Eagle cassette, Ratio Technology adapter kit, Ritchey VentureMax Carbon bars, Whiskey No. 7 Carbon Seatpost, Fizik saddle, and Profile Design aero bars so I can feel my hands afterward.
BAGS: The heart and soul of this rig is the fully custom, handmade frame bag from Zach Smith at South City Stitchworks. I’m also running an Apidura saddle bag and top tube bag for snacks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m going “light” this year, so my sleep system is an emergency bivy, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag. Lighting the way is my Seca Comp 2000, and for navigation, I’ll be following my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. There’s a few long stretches with no resupply, so I’ll be carrying an Apidura Hydration Vest, two bottles on the front fork, and a Katadyn water filter.

Stephanie Hall

Age 28 / Austin, Texas (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: South Loop
BIKE: Otso Waheela-C, Shimano 1x 42T, 11-42T, Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge Endurance 700 x 2.2″.
BAGS: Really just a mix of what I’ve collected as I’ve needed. Apidura half frame, Oveja Negra, and Revelate Designs. I’ll carry an additional 2L bladder in a USWE hydration pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Borrowed aero bars (shout out to Sam), Ultra Violet custom Rapha water bottle, absolutely life critical Dexcom and Omnipod (continuous glucose monitor and pump, type 1 diabetic), and my twin sister who always pushes me to be my best (and a fellow AHCR racer).

Joseph Harp

Age 33 / Cape Girardeau, Missouri (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

BIKE: 2019 Trek Checkpoint SL5, 46/30T GRX Cranks, and 11-34T Shimano 105 Cassette. Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3 wheels with a Shutter Precision dynamo front hub running a Sinewave beacon. 45mm Maxxis Rambler Silk Shield tires. Profile Designs Aero Bars, Easton Carbon handlebars. Garmin Rally SPD Pedals.
BAGS: South City Stitchworks Frame Bag, Revelate Designs Spinelock seat bag, Jerry Can, And Mag Tank. Banjo Brothers Handlebar Bag, USWE 2L hydration pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Outdoor research Helium Bivy, SOL Escape Bivy, and Therm-a-Rest Uberlite Pad.

Jan Heine

Seattle, Washington (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: South Loop
BIKE: My Rene Herse All-Road incorporates what we’ve learned in 20 years of gravel riding in the Cascade Mountains. (I should mention that Natsuko Hirose and I run Rene Herse Cycles.) The frame is made from superlight steel tubing, with flexible fork blades that provide suspension to supplement the 54 mm Rat Trap Pass Extralight tires. Drivetrain is a 36T Rene Herse crank with SRAM XPLR derailleur and a 10-44 cassette. A SON Delux Wide-Body generator hub powers the lights. Those fenders? They are fairings to improve aerodynamics.
BAGS: A 12-litre superlight handlebar bag, supported by a small rack, carries food and clothing. Two water bottles will be filled with drink, one with liquid food.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: 487 miles doesn’t require much sleep, so I’ll carry a space blanket for shelter. Navigation is via a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt.

Jeff Kerkove

Age 44 / Buena Vista, Colorado (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: Ouachita Triple Crown
BIKE: The Canyon Lux Trail is getting the start for the Ouachita Triple Crown. As an XC bike with mix of trail bike DNA thrown in, and it’s proven itself on a wide variety of Colorado terrain and bikepacking adventures already in 2022. Bikepacking races are all about fun, so I’m swinging a leg over the fun bike!
BAGS: All of my bags, except for the downtube bag, are stock bags from Topeak’s bikepacking line.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: At just under 200 miles, I will have no sleep kit. I am going with what is tried and true for a variety of weather: Sportful leg and arm warmers, Sportful warm gloves, GORE hooded rain jacket and rain pants, Montbell down jacket, and a Buff. Of course, the clothing kit can always change as the weather forecast gets more specific come race day. My tire repair and Tubolito tube kit will be extensive to deal with Arkansas’s aggressive rocks. For the night hours, I’m running a Lupine Neo on my handlebar and helmet. My contact points will be supported by an Ergon SM Men size M/L saddle and Ergon GS1-Small grips. The rest of my kit is all the necessary repair items for both body and bike.

Ariana Khu

Age 26 / Little Rock, Arkansas (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: Ouachita Triple Crown
BIKE: I’ll be adventuring around Lake Ouachita on my Trek Supercaliber 9.8 GX. It has a 100mm travel Fox Performance 32 fork and 60mm travel Trek IsoStrut shock (both with nearly the max number of volume spacers). For this race, I have a 28T chainring and 10x52T cassette, 2.4″ Bontrager XR3 tires with Vittoria Air-Liner inserts, and a Fox Transfer dropper post.
BAGS: On my bars, I’ll be using a Swift Industries Catalyst Handlebar bag, Revelate Designs Mountain Feedbag, and a Wolf Tooth BarBag. My tools and flat kit are in my frame in a Wolf Tooth TekLite Roll-Top bag. My saddlebag is a Revelate Designs Shrew bag. My fork bags are 1L bags from Mountain Laurel Desgins. I’ll be wearing a USWE hydration pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: There aren’t many options to bolt/strap things to the frame, so the Tailfin Suspension Fork Mounts have been a great addition. I have Salsa Anything Cages mounted to the fork mounts. I’ve also been really happy with my in-line water filter, the MSR Thru-Link.

Alex Kowalski

Age 28 / Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: Ouachita Triple Crown
BIKE: I’ll be riding a Why Cycles El Jefe SS with Endless Bikes chainring and rear cog. Rolling on Hunt XC wheels and Vittoria Barzo 2.35” tires. Ritchey Trail Rizers are set up with Profile Designs aero bars, Cane Creek bar ends, and Wolf Tooth grips and bar tape. Ergon saddle on a Thomson seatpost and Pike Ultimate fork for some squish.
BAGS: Revelate Designs Shrew seatpost bag will carry bivy, sleeping bag liner, wool beanie, and med kit. Oveja Negra wedgie frame bag will carry water, tool kit, pump, electronics, and food. Oveja Negra top tube bag will carry endless packets of Spring Energy gels and crushed up kettle chips. Revelate Designs handlebar sacks will carry more food and Garmin inReach.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Outbound Lighting handlebar and helmet light combo will light up the trail for night riding. 2L bladder will sit in frame bag with filter and hose attached for quick water resupply, and to keep water weight central and low. Using a Wahoo gps device for navigation and Garmin inReach for tracking.

Jason Kulma

Age 46 / Saint Charles, Missouri (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be enjoying the Arkansas High Country full route on a 2022 Lauf Seigla. The bike features a pair of Continental Race Kings 2.2” tires, SRAM 12 speed, 10-44T, SRAM Rival 1 Wide DUB 40t, and Roval Terra CL wheels. I will be rocking the SRAM wireless AXS shifting. The carbon 44mm Lauf Smoothie’s are very nice and allow room for the handlebar bag. The FSA SL-K 27.2mm, Carbon seat post dampens the terrain. Frame has been wrapped by Custom Tints Inc.
BAGS: The bags are a mishmash of different tours and many gravel rides. Revelate Terrapin seat pack, Lezyne Binto bag, Blackburn gas tank, Dirt bags frame bag (barely fits because it came off my trek stache), and an Ortlieb handlebar bag. Three cages: two 24oz bottles and one tool container mounted on the downtube and seat tube.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Kit will be Craft jersey and Pactimo 12 hour bib shorts. The rest of my clothing is minimal beyond a puff coat, flip flops, and Patagonia Houdini (rain jacket). Jacks Are Better quilt with Grand Trunk hammock/silk rain fly. Navigation will be Garmin 1000 and RWGPS downloaded route. Location will be tracked using a SPOT 3. For lighting, I will be using is a Fenix HM65R headlamp, Cygolyte 750 with a backup battery, and a tail light. Just have to remember to bring my Tifosi Sledgehammer’s sunglasses. Motto: Kate said it should be no problem.

Ernie Lechuga

Age 46 / Bentonville, Arkansas (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be racing the full loop clockwise on a Rodeo Labs Flaanimal. I will be rolling on Pirrelli cinturato 700 x 50mm Gravel M tires. They will be mounted on a Session C23G carbon gravel wheelset. Powered by Shimano Di2 XT front and rear derailleurs with GRX shifters. The cassette will be an 11-42T with an absoluteBlack 2x 46/30T front chainring. Bontrager aero bars are a must for AHC. After getting beat up on Arkansas chunky gravel, you need a different position to rest your hands.
BAGS: Front to back bags, FBJ creation Aero bar pack for the snacks. Apidura top tube expedition pack for quick fix a flat essentials. I’ve decided to go with a full Apidura frame bag for the breathing room. Last but not least, my favorite piece. Tailfin carbon rack with the AP20 trunk bag that will hold my warmth.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be using the New Garmin Solar Edge 1040. Long hours of battery life. Lighting my way will be a Fenix HM50R helmet light and Front Fenix BC30 V2.0. with an extra set of fenix 5000 mAh rechargeable batteries. I will also be bringing two Anker 325 power banks (20k) to charge all devices.

Maggie Livelsberger

Age 39 / Erie, Pennsylvania (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: South Loop
BIKE: I will be racing my steel Knolly Cache with the new adventure fork set up single speed using the First Components Eccentric bottom bracket, with 36x19T gearing. I will be running the 650b x 47mm Maxxis Ramblers on a mismatched set of Hunt Wheels (carbon in the back and aluminum front) with a SON Dynamo hub powering a kLite.
BAGS: I am using the Revelate Designs Terrapin 8L seat bag, Revelate Egress on the front, a top tube bag and two feed bags, and a custom frame bag from my friend and bagmaker, Fuzzy Stitchworks out of Cleveland. I can carry a liter reservoir in the frame bag and will have two bottles on the fork and another on the frame.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will be taking a small bivy for peace of mind for sleep and my Specialized Recon shoes for lots of walking. Most importantly, my 814 Outdoor sports bottles, my Fuzzy Stitchworks Bags, Hushmoney Bikes cap, and my dear Hellbenders bandana. These are all reminders of the support I have from home while I’m out doing this dream ride!

Jacob Loos

Age 24 / Bella Vista, Arkansas (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be racing the full loop of the Arkansas High Country on a singlespeed (38×19) Soma Wolverine. It has custom 650b wheels with a SON Dynamo hub.
BAGS: I am using a custom frame bag and aero bar bag that I made myself, as well as a Cedaero Tank Top LD, and Revelate Designs Joey Downtube bag. My Velo Orange rear rack is a lightweight and stable solution to mount my sleeping pad.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Gremlin Bell that was a token from Ozark Gravel Doom. Sinewave Beacon headlight/USB charger. Rene Herse Juniper Ridge tire in the Endurance+ casing and Vittoria inserts because Arkansas gravel is aggressive!

Chelsea McConnell

Age 30 / Tigard, Oregon (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

BIKE: TI Cycles semi-custom titanium adventure bike, Teravail Sparwood 2.1″ tires on 650B Velocity rims, Pinion C1.12 gearbox with Cinq shifting and TRP Hylex disc brakes, SP dynamo hub with Sinewave USB charger, Ergon SM sport gel women’s mountain bike saddle, Redshift ShockStop Stem, and quick release aerobars.
BAGS: CYCLITE frame bag and handle bar aero bag, Apidura racing long top tube pack, Tailfin alloy Aeropack, Camelbak Chase bike vest for hydration.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Enlightened Equipment down quilt, Mountain Laurel Design eVENT Soul Bivy, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Sleeping pad, Light & Motion VIS Pro 1000 bike light, Garmin eTrex 32x for navigation, my favorite bright orange Arc’teryx Atom LT hoody, Snow Peak LiteMax Stove to satisfy the morning coffee addiction.

Zachary McCool

Age 34 / Bentonville, Arkansas (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: Ouachita Triple Crown
BIKE: 2014 Trek Superfly SL (twice repaired drive side seat stay, painted three times), 2016 Fox Float 100mm, Light Bicycle WR35 rims laced to DTSwiss 350 hubs wrapped in 29 x 2.2″ Maxxis Ardent Race/Ikon, SRAM XO1 1×11 with Shimano SLX 34T Crankset and 11-46T XT Cassette. Stopping provided by 4 piston SLX clamping on 160mm rotors.
BAGS: Blackburn Design Outpost Small (reserved for food), Revelate Designs MagTank, Post Carry handlebar bag (Repair Kit), Camelbak Chase hydration vest.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: PNW Components Coast Suspension Dropper allows me to treat this bike like my full-suspension bike while climbing, then drop the seat out of the way going down. I’ve always struggled with hand numbness on flat bars until I tried the Salsa Cycles Bend Deluxe with Ergon GP3 grips. Lastly, my Gremlin Bell from DOOM will remind me to keep moving.

Joe Miller

Age 34 / Springfield, Illinois (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: South Loop
BIKE: I’ll be racing the south loop of ARHC on a Bearclaw Beaux Jaxon GX AXS Mullet build.
BAGS: Rockgiest Mr. Fusion seat pack. My frame bag is a custom double-decker bag from Rogue Panda. Two other top tube bags from Rogue Panda. Two 26oz bottles mounted to the front fork.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Outdoor Research Helium bivy with NeoAir sleeping pad. Garmin 1040 with Solar. Nite rider 4200 light with battery pack. Three packs of military energy gum.

Ezra Ward-Packard

Age 28 / Vanlife, Arizona (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be racing the 2022 Arkansas High Country Race on a Fezzari Shafer frameset with an MRP Baxter 60mm fork. The wheelset is a Schmidt SON dynamo front and DT Swiss 350 rear laced into Velocity Blunt SS rims. Teravail Washburn 700 x 47mm front and rear with Cushcore XC for added insurance. Drivetrain is a mix of Shimano Ultegra and GRX. Gearing is 48/31T x 11-40T with a 4iiii power meter. Cockpit is a Zipp Service Course handlebars and stem plus a hodgepodge TT bar set-up.
BAGS: Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion seat pack. Restrap half frame bag and long top tube bag. Heavily modified Revelate Designs Sweet Roll handlebar roll.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sleep system is an SOL emergency bivvy, Therm-a-Rest Uberlight pad, and an ultralight tarp. Key electronics are a Sinewave Cycles Beacon, Garmin 530, Spot Gen 3, Nitecore NPB2 10,000mAh cache battery, and Dexcom G6 Continuous Blood Glucose Monitor (Type 1 Diabetic).

Dylan Parrish

Age 30 / Bentonville, Arkansas (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

BIKE: My beloved 2020 Salsa Cutthroat Apex model with a few upgrades. This bike features Vittoria Mezcal Tires (2.25″/2.1″) on Santa Cruz Reserve Wheels. It has a Brooks C17 Carved saddle. The drivetrain is an 1×11 SRAM Apex with an XO1 cassette and chain, and a 32T front chainring to combat all the climbs.
BAGS: My bike will have an EXP Direct-Mount Salsa Frame bag and Top Tube bag, along with a Revelate Designs Terrapin Seat bag, Sweetroll, and feed bag. For water, I will have three bottles mounted to the fork and downtube as well as a Camelbak backpack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For nights, I will have a Klymit Sleeping bag and pad with an OR Bivy. For lights, I will be running a combo of the Lezyne 1300XL Macro Drive and a Fenix PD36R. And for navigation, I will be using my Garmin Edge 830.

Jessica Pearson

Age 40 / Fayetteville, Arkansas (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: South Loop
BIKE: Santa Cruz Stigmata. I run a “mullet” with SRAM Red 42T on the front and SRAM Eagle 12 cassette with 50T on the back. Chris King hubs, bottom bracket, and headset. Wheels are Ardennes + HED LT, tires are Rene Horse Hurricane Ridge 700c x 42 Endurance Plus, carbon ENVE gravel handlebars.
BAGS: Revelate Designs Bike Bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A few years back, I added a Redshift ShockStop Suspension Stem for the Unbound 200, and it saved my wrists (they are usually the first thing to fail me on endurance rides). I cannot say enough about how much I love this product. I tell everyone I ride with to get one!

Hadan Phillips

Age 27 / Maumelle, Arkansas (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: Oauchita Triple Crown
BIKE: For this race, I will be riding a 2019 Salsa Horsethief. I’ve upgraded the brakes and drivetrain to 11-speed Shimano XT (30T x 11-46T). The bike also features Vittoria barzo tires (29 x 2.35″), Sun Ringlé wheels, Ergon Gp4 grips, Oneup flat pedals, and Profile aero bars.
BAGS: Revelate Designs harness handlebar bag with custom drybag from FBJ creations, Salsa EXP top tube bag and frame bag, and Nathan Vapor Air hydration vest.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin 530 for navigation, Outbound Lighting Trail Evo headlight, and a bivy just in case.

Jeff “Gravel Grouch” Prince

Age 54 / O’Fallon, Missouri (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

BIKE: The bike for the adventure is my 2017 Salsa Warbird. Running a 2x setup, 48/32T in the front with an 11/42T in the rear. Industry Nine carbon wheel with Cushcore liners filled with Orange Seal mounted to Teravail Cannonball 700 x 47mm on the front and Teravail Washburn 700 x 42mm on the rear. Redshift Suspension Stem and Pro Missile Adventure bar for comfort. Garmin 1030 Plus for Navigation, Outbound Lighting Trail EVO, and a Fenix HM65R-T headlamp for nighttime safety. The Feed Steamboat Gravel water bottles.
BAGS: Revelate Designs half frame and feed bag. Oveja Negra Orange Gearjammer, Snack pack, Chuckbucket, and 925 Handlebar. Restrap race top tube bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Riding kit is Pactimo Summit Stratos Range cargo bibs and Summit Area Range Jersey, Smartwool socks, Specialized Recon 2.0 shoe (for those hike-a-bike sections), plus an Orange Mud Adventure pack. Off-bike comfort is Smartwool tight and long sleeve base, and puff jacket. Sleeping in an ENO Sub6 hammock and Jack R Better quilt.

Peter Rajcani

Age 59 / Arlington, Texas (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

BIKE: Lauf True Grit, 1×11 SRAM Force drivetrain, new wheels (SRAM Roam in the front and DT Swiss in the back), American Classic 50mm in the front and WTB Riddler 45mm in the back.
BAGS: Serfas frame bag, Salsa front bag with the cradle, Framed bikes rear bag, Topeak to tube bag and 2 small feed bags, 3 water bottle mounts.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For ARHC, I will be running a 38T Easton Chainring to help with lower gearing on climbs, I also got a new lightweight tent (REI Flash One, only 1.5 lbs) to reduce weight.

John Ritayik

Age 48 / Kerhonkson, New York (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

BIKE: 2018 Niner SIR 9 with a Niner RDO carbon fork. I will be running Continental Race King ProTection 2.2″ on a set of We Are One Faction carbon rims with Industry Nine 1/1 hubs. SRAM GX AXS 1×12 drivetrain, 10-52t rear, 34t Absolute Black Oval front. SQlab 30x Carbon 16° Bars and 710 grips with innerbarends. XTR 9102 pedals and XT 4 piston brakes. Specialized Power Pro with Mirror saddle.
BAGS: Oveja Negra Bodega full frame bag, (2) Chuckbuckets. Revelate Terrapin 14l seat pack, Jerrycan seatpost bag. Bedrock Bags Dakota Tank Bag. Salsa EXP Anything Cradle handlebar bag. Osprey Duro 15 hydration pack with 3L Source bladder.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin 530 for navigation. Olight, Cateye, and Bontrager for lighting systems. (2) 26800 mAh power banks for recharging electronics. OR Helium bivy, Klymit V Ultralight SL sleeping pad, Columbia Moonstone 32° sleeping bag.

Shannon Sanders

Age 51 / North Little Rock, Arkansas (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: South Loop
BIKE: I’ll be riding my Rodeo Labs Traildonkey 3.1 with a SRAM XPLR/Wide mix 2x drivetrain. Front tire is Rene Herse 700 x 55mm Endurance+ on DT Swiss rim laced to a SON dyno hub, and rear is a 700 x 50mm Gravelking SK+ on Industry Nine AR25. The hub will power a Sinewave Beacon headlight that also powers a B&M SecuZED taillight. Cane Creek eeSilk seatpost and Redshift stem will help soak up the bumps and a RideFarr Aero Carbon bolt-on rounds out the cockpit with a couple of extra hand positions.
BAGS: The Revelate Ripio frame bag is a late addition and fits this bike so well it almost looks custom, and it will help avoid having to carry water on my back. Cockpit bags include a Swift Industries Bandito bar bag and two Gibby stem bags, also from Swift. JPaks Footlong SnakPak toptube bag, and Revelate Shrew seatbag complete the setup.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Using a Gamin 1040 Solar for Navigation and long battery life. I’m also really stoked about the XPLR/Wide drivetrain combo. XPLR rear derailleur and 10-44T cassette paired with Wide front derailleur and 43/30T crankset will give me a massive range of gears and I’m gonna need all of ‘em I can get. These drivetrain parts are not supposed to work together but the shifting so far has been flawless, with the caveat that you HAVE to use the sequential shift setting in the AXS app.

Zach Smith

Age 42 / Saint Louis, Missouri (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: South Loop
BIKE: My rig is a 2019 CAADX SE with the original 105 group set that’s been well-maintained and simply won’t quit. Gearing is 48/32T with an 11-34T cog out back. The DT Swiss GR1800 wheelset, on which I’m running Panaracer GK SK plus tires, was some of the best money I’ve ever spent on bike stuff. Ritchey Mini Sliver areo bars hit that sweet spot of being just enough to ride comfortably, but allow for plenty of handlebar real estate to spare. The Whiskey No. 7 seatpost and Fizik Vento Argo saddle have been nice upgrades to the aluminum ride.
BAGS: All the bags and dry bag harness were custom made to size, color, and fabric preferences by South City Stitchworks. I love all this gear; it’s super light and made from Ecopak and 1000D Cordura, so it should hold up for the long haul. Grateful!
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Allowing myself a bit of luxury this year, I opted for a Nemo Ultralight Tensor sleeping pad to better sleep on what should be chilly nights in the hills and hollers of the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas. Also, I am really stoked on the Ecopak fabric on most of my bags. It’s a fantastic material with the same performance standards as the ubiquitous VX21, yet it is made from 100% recycled materials. These days, anything that can be done to any degree more sustainably seems important.

Kuya Takami

Age 36 / Austin, Texas (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

BIKE: Newly released Boltcutter High Country Gravel with SRAM AXS XPLR, SON dynamo hub on 650b wheel, Arundel bottle cages on the fork.
BAGS: South City Stitchworks custom frame bag from St Louis, Revelate Designs top tube and handlebar bags, Apidura saddle bag, full sleeping system in Sea to Summit compression bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: There is no better serendipitous way to ride Arkansas High Country on newly released “High Country” from Boltcutter.

Sheila Torres-Blank

Age 55 / San Marcos, Texas (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

BIKE: Chumba Stella Ti, Whiskey #9 fork, SRAM 1×12 drivetrain, eThirteen cassette, Avid BB7s, Paul purple Love levers, Carver MyTi carbon handlebar, wheels hand-built by Galaxy Bicycles with WTB carbon rims, DTSwiss rear hub, and SON dyno in front.
BAGS: Mostly DIY except for my Revelate Designs saddle bag and feed bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Favorite new gear is a set of inner barends by SpriGrips. Favorite old gear is my Nemo Hornet Ultralight tent. I gave up on the bivy a couple years ago and am still totally in love with sleeping warm and dry.

Timur Tusiray

Age 33 / Goleta, California (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: South Loop
BIKE: I will be riding the AHCR South Loop on a brand new 2022 Salsa Fargo Apex 1. “Chonk Boi” is its working name but subject to change on the route. It is all stock parts except for the Brooks C17 saddle for that sweet sweet cush and tubeless conversion. Three bottles and a 2.5L reservoir will provide fluid for those long Ouachita Mountain sections.
BAGS: I have a mishmash of bags from sales and Craigslist that provide plenty of space for all of the snacks. The full complement includes an Oveja Negra Wack Pack SuperWedgie frame bag, Orucase Smuggler handlebar bag, and the rest are Revelate Designs.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Karoo 2 (with iPhone and paper map backup) will guide the way, while an OR Helium bivy and REI Flash sleeping pad are the sleep system. I am most excited to use my Goodr “It’s All in the Hips” sunglasses whose tint makes everything look way cooler.

Larry Wagner

Age 59 / Hot Springs, Arkansas (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: Ouachita Triple Crown
BIKE: Custom Myth cycles frame, singlespeed, 30/19T.
BAGS: Malacosa frame bag and gas tank.

Jacob Waterman

Age 30 / Springfield, Missouri (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: Ouachita Triple Crown
BIKE: I’ll be on the Short Loop riding my Allied Able. I’ll be running the SRAM AXS drivetrain with a 40T chainring and 10x50T cassette. I’ll be rolling on Vittoria Terreno Dry 650b x 47mm tires. I’ve also added a GX shifter and Redshift stem to keep my hands happy.
BAGS: My Outer Shell half-frame bag will be carrying my sleep setup, and my Wayward Riders post harness will be loaded with extra layers of clothing. On the top tube I’ll be carrying electronics and snacks in my Dispersed Bikepacking bag. I’ll also be wearing a Camelbak Chase vest for hydration and more food.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be sleeping in my Outdoor Research Helium Bivvy and Mountain Hardware down hoodie. I’ll also be bringing a Goal Zero battery pack for all my charging needs.

Randy Windle

Age 43 / Hot Springs, Arkansas (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: ARHC Full Route
BIKE: I’ll be riding a 2021 Moots Routt 45 with Enve Adventure fork, 1×12 SRAM AXS with eThirteen 9-50T, Enve G23 wheels with Berd spokes, Easton carbon cranks, SON Dynamo with Sinewave Beacon headlight, Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge up front, and Oracle Ridge in the rear, Meriweather bars with T2 Profile Designs aero bars.
BAGS: Bags by Rogue Panda and Alpine Luddites.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sleeping setup consists of emergency bivy and Therm-a-Rest Z fold pad.

Jen Wohlner

Age 34 / Saint Louis, Missouri (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding my XS ENGINE11 x God & Famous gravel frame upgraded with a State Bicycle carbon “monster” fork. My bike has 650b wheels and 47mm tires. I’ve got the full Campagnolo Ekar 1×13 groupset with a 38T chainring and a 10-44T cassette.
BAGS: The star of the show is my new custom orange frame bag from South City Stitchworks. Check them out! I’ve also got my trusty Road Runner Jammer handlebar bag and Co-pilot and Auto-pilot stem bags and a large BiKASE saddle bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The Soma Further 36oz water bottle is huge and a must for any distance bikepacking race. Between three bottles and a spare bladder, I’ve got the capacity to carry 6 liters of water across dry stretches.

Chad Wooderson

Age 47 / Blue Springs, Missouri (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: South Loop
BIKE: Rocky Mountain Solo. Running 700 x 50mm Panaracer Gravel Kings. Industry Nine Hub on rear and Dynamo Hub up front. 1×11 gearing.
BAGS: Frame bag is Twin Pines local (Kansas City). Oveja Negra top tube, rear bag, and snack pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Nothing special about this bike. I’m carrying a 1.5L bladder in the frame bag and three 20oz bottles, one on the frame and two on the forks.

Philip Zabel

Age 51 / Vilonia, Arkansas (USA)

2022 Arkansas High Country Race Rigs

ROUTE: Ouachita Triple Crown
BIKE: I will be riding (not racing) the inaugural ARHC Ouachita Triple Crown on my 2019 Canyon Neuron CF 8. This bike features 130mm of travel front and rear and a GX Eagle drivetrain with 30-50 cassette. Touch points include WTB Silverado saddle, Raceface Chester Flat pedals, Ergon GA2 Fat grips and SQ Labs Innerbarends. For tires, I’ll be running Maxxis Recon 29ers front and back on stock DT Swiss wheels and hubs.
BAGS: My bag system is mostly Revelate Designs, including frame bag, Shrew seat bag, Polecat fork bags, Mountain Feedbags, and Sweetroll handlebar bag. My top tube bag is from REI. For extra water capacity, I’ll be carrying a Camelbak (not pictured).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My sleep system consists of a Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1, Enlightened Equipment Revelation Apex Quilt, Sea To Summit pillow and Thermarest Neoair pad. Other highlights include a Wolf Tooth Valais so I don’t shred my seat bag, a plastic peanut butter jar downtube tool caddy, and Garmin Edge 530 for navigation.

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