AT's new trip is simple; hit all of the lower 48 states in one single road trip. Andrew Taylor walks through his new dream rig, van life, and samples some beautiful California coastline trail while kicking off his new VLOG
"The Lower 48". Interview, Photos, & Video by Long Nguyen
Who is Andrew Taylor aka AT?
I’m a 30 year old mountain biker that has a huge passion for riding and exploring new places.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Santa Rosa, CA and ended up living in Santa Cruz, CA for the riding scene. After living there for the past nine years I decided to put everything I owned into storage and hit the road full time. It’s been a little over a year now and I’ve been stoked on the good times that this lifestyle brings.
Tell us about yourself and your mountain bike career.
I grew up across the street from a place called Anadel State Park which got me into riding cross country at a young age, which eventually led into freeriding. I’ve spent over ten years riding slopestyle and freeride contests and recently have shifted my focus on filming adventures on my bike.
Two years ago, you retrofitted a short bus and took it to Alaska, then recently to Mexico. Why?
I grew up camping a lot as a kid and being outdoors has always been something that I really enjoy, so having a rig that could hold everything needed for epic adventures had always been in the back of my mind. Once I shifted my focus from competeing to film projects it was the perfect time to make it happen.
What is life like on the road?
Life on the road has been awesome so far! Just having the freedom to show up at a new place to ride with everyting you need on hand is all time. It always puts a huge smile on my face when I ride a new trail to the bottom and my home is just sitting there ready for the next adventure.
What is the hardest part about life on the road?
Life on the road can definitely have it's ups and downs but the ups easily outweigh the downs. I’d say the hardest part is finding where I’m going to park each night. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet so many rad people throughout the bike industry over the years that have been more than welcoming when I’m around. There’s definitely times where I’m traveling long hauls or in places that I don’t know people so RV parks or even Wal-Mart parking lots become great options.
I love talking and meeting new people, so I’m always more than stoked to give a tour and chat it up. I think one of the best parts about living on the road is crossing paths along the way with likeminded people. If you ever see me in your neck of the woods, please feel free to come say what’s up!
You’re plan is ride in 48 US States, what inspired that?
Yeah, the Baja was a dream trip for me and it was awesome to have Martin Soderstrom on board for that one. I’ve been fortunate to travel all over the world throughout my riding career but its been mostly outside of the US. My dad is big into touring on his motorcycle and was talking about the “Ultimate Roadtrip” where you hit every state in the lower 48, so that’s what got my wheels turning with this one.
Your recent trips to Alaska and the Baja included a film crew. Will you have one with you on this trip?
It’s always nice to have a crew on hand but since the trip will be roughly a year long I’ll be doing the filming and editing myself with the help of whoever I’m with at the time. I recently got into filming vlogs and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. It definitely makes it more of a challenge but with all the technological advances in drones, gimbals and cameras, it makes filming much easier. Plus its always good to learn new skills.
Do you have a tentative route?
Yeah, that was one of the hardest parts when I was planning it. There are a couple of things that I didn’t want to miss in August with one being Norco’s Radfest along with Crankworx and Norco’s dealer event so I’ve mapped out my perfect route through the states that will allow me to make it to those events. Stoked to get a little bit of bonus time in British Columbia as well. I like to have things somewhat planned but I also like to blow with the wind a bit so I made my route through the actual States planned but not within. I have a good idea of places but I want to leave it open because I’m sure I’ll meet people along the way that will give good suggestions of where I should ride within each state.
What states are you going to that you have never been?
Since I grew up on the West Coast I’ve been to most of the states on this side along with Colorado and a couple of States on the East Coast so a lot of it will be new to me. I’m really excited to see what the rest of the country has to offer for riding.
Why trade your short bus for an RV?
I originally built it out for my trip to Alaska, so my plan was to never actually live in it. The bus was awesome and really showed me that I dug life on the road, but after making the jump to living in it full time there were some things that the bus was lacking. I couldn’t stand up straight inside which started causing back problems and there was no bathroom so I knew I wanted to upgrade if I was going to keep living this lifestyle. I thought about building a new bus with a bit more room but not having a home base to do the build out made it out of the question. We had a bigger crew on our trip down the Baja so it was the perfect timing to get the new rig.
What kind of preparation have you done?
I purchased the RV right before our trip down to Mexico so I didn’t really have much time to get it dialed in like I wanted. Since then I’ve taken the last few months to get it really dialed in with racks and a killer wrap job. I also took the time to plan out my route along with getting my sponsors on baord with the project.
How are you bikes set up?
I have four bikes on the rack that allow me to ride whatever situation I find myself in. I’ve got a Norco Aurum DH bike, Norco Range 27.5 enduro bike, Norco Sight 29er trail bike and my Norco Rampage dirt jumper. I’ve got all my bikes set up with similar builds with components from FSA, X-Fusion, e*13, Kenda, SDG and VP. I’ve always liked running the same bars, pedals, grips and brakes on my bikes so when I jump on them there are a lot of similarities even though they are all very different.
Are there any non-bike related sights you are hoping to see?
I’m just stoked to see parts of the US that I’ve seen before! I’m sure the riding will be much better in some places than others but that’s what will make the experience worthwhile. There are some non-biking places like Yellowstone and the South that I’m really excited to check out.
Any special thanks or shout outs?
Of course! I’d really like to thank my parents for pushing me to chase my dreams and also for collecting my mail haha I’d also like to thanks everyone that has helped me out over the past year of being on the road. It’s been so awesome having so many great friends that have been welcoming with open arms. Last but not least I’d like to thank all my sponsors for supporting my on all my crazy ventures!
My goal is to meet up with as many local riders as possible so feel free to reach out if you see that I’m in your area. I’ll be posting a video to my Youtube channel from each state along with stuff on my instagram and facebook.We all wish you a safe adventure. Make sure to follow the adventure on AT's Instagram and Youtube.