Video: Andrew Taylor Preps for His Ultimate Road Trip - The Lower 48

May 17, 2018
by FSA-MTB  

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.

Shinner

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.

Trail Ripping Ocean Views

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.

 thegoodlife

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.

Interior Baller Suite

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!

Trail Ripping Ocean Views

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.

Roadie around Merica

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.

Trail Ripping
The Yeti is always behind you.

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.

Trail Ripping Ocean Views

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.

Couple Open Slots
Sponsor Row

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.

Trail Ripping Ocean Views

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.

Peace Out Man

We all wish you a safe adventure. Make sure to follow the adventure on AT's Instagram and Youtube.


79 Comments

  • + 16
 You can easlily call it the once in a life time trip aka neverending roadtrip, I suppose. Wink
Looking forward to watch your videos, Andrew.

Do you have a schedule when and where you're planing to stop at the varies spots?

See you next year - when you're hopefully still headin' for the roads. Smile
I will ship my Sprinter van to the US and head for a east-to-west coast trip incl. Crankworx next year.

See ya |..|, o_o ,|..|
  • + 5
 Thanks, I'm super excited!! Hope to catch you on the open road and good luck with your adventure!
  • + 13
 Seems pretty clear- except the financial side.
  • + 4
 Right!? At least a $60,000 RV plus $15,000 in bikes....how do you do it?!
  • + 13
 Don't ride in Bellingham, WA. It sucks there
  • + 4
 What a trip! From WV to OH I would make your OH stop Athens; rad place with the best food, brew and bike amenities in the surrounding area. I'm biased. But come check out what we have! Safe travels!
  • + 3
 When you swing through little Rhode Island, few spots to consider should be Diamond Hill or Lincoln Woods, and maybe get some laps in at the Roger Williams pump track. Continuing north to MA I'd check out Vietnam (NEMBA trails). Just my 2centz
  • + 1
 Great to know! Thanks for sharing the info, I'm adding those spots to my list.
  • + 1
 @AndrewTaylor: Diamond hill has a nice little post-ride ice cream spot right across the street from the parking area Wink
  • + 2
 In upstate NY, around Albany you should checkout Daniels Rd State Forest in Saratoga Springs, Pittstown State Forest east of Troy, and a little bit further south Beebe Hill State Forest in Austerlitz. All are on Trailforks.
saratogamtb.org manages the first two, and Columbia County Mountain Bike Alliance (mtballiance.cc) manages Beebe.
There are definitely a number of people who could show you around. Have fun!
  • + 2
 @AndrewTaylor: You are missing out if you don't go through Western NC. I am sure the dirt jumps are rad in the Piedmont but Pisgah is where it's at. You should consider hitting Windrock in TN then heading East to Pisgah. You should have plenty of places to park the RV from Brevard to Boone NC.
  • + 2
 Rad! Thats just a general map through the states so I'll make sure to try and hit up Western NC. Cheers!
  • + 2
 @AndrewTaylor Spent 7 years living and riding South Lake Tahoe, then moved back to Davis, WV. A must stop my friend. Places oozes original trails, MTB history, and personality. We will show you what southern hospitality and raw old school means! Cheers and safe travels! www.pinkbike.com/news/east-bound-and-down-davis-west-virginia-2016.html
  • + 1
 Sounds like an awesome place! Thanks for the heads up!
  • + 2
 When visiting Massachusetts please enjoy our lovely I-95 corridor traffic. Bask in the scenic views of the dingy interior of the Ted Williams tunnel as you inch slowly towads your destination. And uhhhhh, Vietnam (Milford) or Lynn woods (Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin) maybe? Better find some locals or you'll just be pulling xc laps looking for hidden features. Best of luck!
  • + 1
 Hey Andrew, glad to see your coming up to the north east we have amazing riding up here. Hope you plan on stopping at highland bike park and would be happy to show you around giving you the trail crew tour. I also recommend attitash and can set you up with trail crew there also. Killington is an awesome spot along with thunder mountain. All lift access all camping friendly bike parks within 3 hours of each other.
  • + 1
 Highland is one of my favorite places so I'll be stopping by there for sure! I've seen an article where you can hit 5 bike parks in 5 days in 5 different states. That might have to be the game plan. Stoked to hang out and get the trail crew tour!
  • + 1
 @AndrewTaylor: ya depending on your route you could come through CT then into RI for diamond hill then Vietnam or Lynn woods in Massachusetts. You can get diamond hill n Vietnam in the same day. From there that evening make the drive up to highland (few hours) ride highland then leave for either attitash (highly suggested true Dh) or go to Maine n hit sugar Bush. Head up to Vermont for Killington then make your way through Massachusetts to thunder. It's on the Western side of mass bout an hour east of Albany NY. That leaves you set for either plattekill (if open) or Windham.
  • + 3
 ^THIS... Trumbull is an awesome time, that whole area of CT has some dope riding
  • + 4
 Sounds like you have your priorities properly in order.....ride...eat...sleep...drive to Trail...repeat!
  • + 2
 In Peekskill, NY, an hour north of the city there is Blue Mountain State Park which is unreal! That's where I grew up riding. Also, swing by Ace Wheelworks in Somerville, MA for the local trail deets!
  • + 1
 Be sure and visit the Dallas/Fort Worth MTB website www.dorba.org/trails.php before you head down I-35 into the Lone Star State. That's a great resource for trail info and will let you know what the trail conditions are too.
  • + 2
 I know it's just a doodle so I realize its not your actual route. It would be horrible to try to find riding along the section of the Mid-Atlantic that line goes through.

Maybe if it were a skate park tour. Wink
  • + 1
 haha yeah I didn't want to plan it too into depth so I figured having the states mapped out and then blowing with the wind within each state
  • + 1
 @AndrewTaylor: I'm in NC. You've heard of our zones so no need to point those out. I'm assuming you'll come through Virginia via Harrisonburg/Massanutten to Carvins Cove, down I81 into Johnson City, TN (big new trail system just popped up there called Tannery Knob right off I26) & on down to Brevard, NC just off I26 for the Pisgah experience (good luck leaving), over from there to Knoxville to ride with @seanleader and Neko at Windrock, down from there to hook up with @ethanquehl (he's building trail at Road Atlanta w/ Missy Giove helping) and then find your way to Santos Florida, From there...it's outside my minds eye except hitting up WalMart in Arkansas. Geez. Good luck getting out of Appalachia when it comes to riding.

Big tip...if you want to camp in Brevard 30 seconds from ALL the big trails and can decide exactly what days you want to camp here...you NEED to reserve a spot in Davidson River Campground. It can book out up to 6 months in advance, but you ride out of the campground into the best of all this area has to offer. And you can pedal to a dozen pubs.
  • + 1
 @bizutch: thanks for all the helpful information. I think you just planned that portion of my trip for me haha cheers!!
  • + 1
 @AndrewTaylor If you've got the time while you're in PA the Michaux State Forest is worth at least a day for sure. It doesn't look like there's much here if you just look at maps and the state forestry sites, but that's not the story at all. Right along the I-81 corridor, it's a unique area for sure, and I love playing tour guide since the maps are not great.
  • + 1
 Right on, I'll make sure to send you a DM if I end up going through that area. Thanks for the heads up!
  • + 3
 connecticut has so many good trails and so many good groups of people to ride with! Let us know when you are here!
  • + 1
 I don't have much planned for Connecticut yet, so it'd be awesome to connect with you while I'm out that way.
  • + 1
 @AndrewTaylor: Its True, CT is a little Gem! There are plenty of spots and helpful people. Me being one of them.. Feel free to hit me up!
  • + 1
 @AndrewTaylor: check out CTNEMBA for a extensive list of trails, but I would personally recommend Rockland preserve in Madison.
  • + 2
 @AndrewTaylor: if you’re looking for something gnarly and not just XC ride Trumbull
  • + 1
 What dates are you in Helena MT? If you are here Wednesday - Saturday make sure to catch the Trail rider. Shuttle service from town is pretty rad and the brewery at the bottom of the trails is pretty rad as well.
  • + 1
 I've got about a week planned for each state so I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for the heads up!
  • + 2
 Keep Duluth, MN, Copper Harbor, MI, and Marquette, MI on your radar too, looks like you are swinging through that way and you're sure to find plenty of like minded people
  • + 2
 Midwest: I-74 through IL hits Farmdale, Comlara, Kickapoo then hop south on 63 IN through Griffin to Brown County. Enjoy!
  • + 1
 I seen ar and tn. Dont forget nwa north western ar. Lots of flow gravity trails and the railyard dj park . have a blast!!
  • + 2
 @AndrewTaylor if you plan on coming through Jackson, send me a PM. Place to park and I can show ya some trails!
  • + 1
 Sweet, I should be rolling through in late June. I'll hit you up for sure!
  • + 1
 What trail was that at Big Sur? I was there a few weeks ago and hiked up Vicente Flat Trail. Would like to find a trail to ride next time. Thanks
  • + 2
 There's only one legal trail in what is usually called Big Sur -- Prewitt Ridge. That picture could definitely be on there. It's a lot of fun but the conditions could be rough due to recent fire and difficult access.
  • + 2
 It's up on Prewitt Ridge. Pretty epic single track all the way down to the coast. Definitely worth a visit!
  • + 1
 You should stop in willow springs Illinois at the Palos trail system, more info can be found at cambr.org Best riding Illinois has to offer.
  • + 3
 Looks awesome. And great pic from Prewitt Ridge. Great camping spot
  • + 4
 Marquette, MI
  • + 1
 Agreed. If only one stop in Michigan, it needs to be Marquette. Everything, all in one place. A rider of your ilk would appreciate Harlow Lake(brutal rock gnar and great views of Lake Superior), in addition to the popular Marq South trails. Nearby Ishpeming has a tremendous network of hand built trails of unique flavor. Copper Harbor is also on the level, but much more remote. Your doodle map hits the best part of Michigan, no question.
  • + 2
 I ride Anadel all the time, such a sick place to start riding, although santa cruz is pretty rad too...
  • + 1
 2 Ns though, innit?
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: Honestly i'm never quite sure hahahah

side note: aren't you DH40 on mtbr?
  • + 1
 @sosburn: Well, I do use the same 'avatar; on both so, yeah, I'm busted.
  • + 1
 For sure! It makes coming home that much better! Good to see it most of it opened back up after the fires.
  • + 2
 In Indiana, the sickest trails in the state are in Brown County State Park. HMU if you want a tour through the trails there!
  • + 2
 Griffin is becoming quite the spot as well.
  • + 2
 Sounds good! I'll definitely take you up on that offer! I'll shoot you a DM to get it figured out. Thanks!!
  • + 2
 @AndrewTaylor: No problem! It would be my pleasure haha. Griffin has some good dirt jumps, but the actual trails in Brown County are 100x better than the trails in Griffin.
  • + 2
 Andrew total respect. 48 states that's going to take you an eternity. I'm looking forward to the vlogs!
  • + 1
 digging the adidas threads, could anyone help me out and point me to the right direction to where i can get them? thanks!
  • + 2
 Congrats on a rad adventure!
  • + 1
 Andrew you CANNOT go through MN without riding in Duluth! Much better trails than Saint Paul. Best in state
  • + 1
 Sweet, thanks for the heads up!!
  • + 2
 do you ever get 2 hours down the road, and realize you forgot something?
  • + 2
 Not yet, but I'm sure it's going to happen at some point. Last week my bike rack fell off going down the road.. lets hope thats the last time that happens haha
  • + 2
 @AndrewTaylor: ha! i was kidding, but thanks for responding. good on ya. i had a bike fall off a rack once, sorry to hear it. good thing it was just a bike. happy trails!
  • + 1
 that motorcycle mght be street legal but the helmet isn't
  • + 1
 so who pays fo that then?
  • + 2
 Sweet! Enjoy the ride!
  • + 1
 Pretty sick, and what not
  • + 1
 The South is totally a non-riding place. Nothing to see.
  • + 1
 Best of luck with that NCV3 Sprinter platform! Finicky vehicles indeed.
  • + 2
 60,000 miles on mine no issues. Anyone know what rack he is using for the bikes?
  • + 3
 @irishpitbull: It's a custom rack that my buddy and I designed in order to have a steel rod that goes through all the frames as a locking mechanism.
  • + 1
 Cool rack, Recon traits in there for sure!
  • + 1
 If you go threw eastern Pa look me up ...we got the goods.
  • + 1
 you should try a little up north quebec city !
  • + 1
 Sorry, lower-michigan!
  • + 1
 Haha, at first glance, I thought he skipped Michigan entirely. But let's be honest; while I *could* recommend some pretty solid riding in lower Michigan, none of it is really on par with the amount and quality of riding in Marquette and the Keweenaw.

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