Video: Christopher Blevins Establishes a New FKT Route in California in 'The Long Traverse'

Nov 23, 2021 at 14:11
by stilspoke  


Start up media company, Stilspoke, released their first film called "The Long Traverse", on Friday, November 26th. The film follows America's next great hope in XC mountain biking, Christopher Blevins, as he introduces the cycling community to a new FKT route in the Los Padres National Forest of Central California. The film centers upon how one can build connection to a landscape through mountain biking, and how one can turn that connection into a reciprocal relationship of stewardship for the land. "The Long Traverse" focuses specifically on the issues facing the area surrounding the FKT route, namely the dangers posed by extractive industry in the Cuyama Valley. The film features interviews from competitive mountain biker, POW athlete, and founder of the Sage Trail Alliance, Dillon Osleger, and interviews with POW athlete, outdoor athlete extraordinaire, and member of the Blackfeet Tribe, Micheli Oliver, as well as interviews with locals directly involved in the protection of the area.

Through this film, Stilspoke hopes to present the cycling community with an incredibly beautiful new FKT route in an otherwise highly underrated part of Central California, while also hoping to help the communities around the Los Padres shift away from harmful extractive economies and towards tourism based outdoor recreation economies. Stilspoke really wants you to come shred in the Los Padres!! It is truly rad. Stilspoke hopes that this film will also inspire MTBers worldwide to think a little more deeply about the lands on which they recreate, and begin to repay the land for all that it provides. This could come in the form of simply being nicer to your neighbors, or through volunteering your time to improve and protect special places.

It can be viewed on Specialized's Youtube Channel, or through visiting Stilspoke Long Traverse Merch is also available on our website. A percentage of proceeds from this merch will be donated to trail maintenance non-profits, so you can feel good about your purchase.

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stilspoke avatar

Member since Nov 22, 2021
2 articles

  • 44 4
 Wait, we're allowed to just invent new FKT routes? Cause I'm pretty sure I've got the FKT on a whole bunch of them. Most of them go from my house to various locations around town.
  • 20 0
 What's FKT?
  • 16 0
 Fastest Known Time.
  • 12 0
 Came here to ask the same thing. Glad I wasn’t the only one!
  • 14 0
 @civiliaen: What is time?
  • 5 0
 Glad I’m not the only one who didn’t know.
  • 4 6
 @civiliaen: oh you mean like those fools that cut straight lines down through trails near me? Fastest known time to what? cutting all the curves and switchbacks. What the shit? it's worse than people doping. At least with dopers we got a chance they'll od and end it all themselves
  • 5 0
 @superfastzellyfish: baby don't hurt me
  • 5 1
 @jammf: don't hurt me
  • 6 0
 @civiliaen: Thank you for clarifying. I thought it was something different. Like when your about to go OTB and realize your FKT
  • 11 3
 Not arguing against going out and adventuring at all but I don't really understand the logic behind "new FKT route".
Isn't a FKT more meaningful on a route that's already known than making up an entirely new route? I mean sure if nobody's documented riding the same route before of course you'll have the FKT.
  • 10 0
 Yep. Showcasing a new route and bringing attention to a National Forest is great, and having a lycra baddie like Blevins scorching through is great too... Just pop in a Strava link if you want to get attention to the time, and if he's the only ones on the leaderboard 2nd place is still up for grabs!
  • 7 1
 This is a route many people rode as fast as possible before Blevins publicized it as a FKT, he’s just probably the most famous (and fastest) person to ride it.
  • 3 2
 @rickybobby18: Not what the article says but ok. The screenshots are not exactly enticing me to watch this anyway with the prevalence of double-track fire roads.
  • 7 0
 Dillon, great job. Building resilience into economies is a key part of stimulating the change that can restore our ecosystems, from the tiny detritivores that support our soil formation, to the marquee apex predators and the basins, tributaries and riparian zones that we all rely on. We've spoken loads about the opportunities for land use restoration to a spatial scale that can support ecosystems we can create as an industry, but we still have a huge way to go. Hopefully having names like this behind the concept can stimulate further conversations.....
  • 4 2
 Haha thanks Tommy! All those discussions sat with me while producing this film from start to finish. Through the nonprofit I’ve restored dozens of miles of historic trail in the region, enticing folks out into the remote corners of earth to see what’s really out there a d how we relate to it all. I look forward to having you out here soon, I have some freshly restored 4000 ft descents to hot springs waiting for you.
Love thé custom bike feature! Look forward to chatting with you and Manon again soon.
  • 1 0
 @cycling-trivialities: accidentally downvoted :
Thanks for your work on trails in SB!
  • 11 1
 show the route u friggen dweebs
  • 4 0
 I was surprised to see no mention of The Carrizo Plain NM, which is not far from Cuyama, and sees a large number of tourists, especially in spring, nor mention of the Tour De Los Padres, which has utilized these same routes in their bikepacking races for years.
  • 1 0
 Yep - one of the weirdest and barely known parts of this state. As a MoCo native, it was cool to see Los Padres NF mentioned. I started solo camping at age 16 in its northernmost reaches.
  • 1 0
 Yeah this traverse has been a staple of that crew for a long time, by no means a new link-up. Still very impressive!
  • 5 0
 Any chance we can get the time or distance and route in the article?
  • 2 0
 "80 mile, 11,000-foot route"-
  • 3 0
 Want to see more of this guy in cx.......without too much effort he seemingly went straight to the top of the US cx usual suspects.
  • 2 0
 Super nice dude too
  • 1 0
 I am growing weary of athletes/companies (cycling, snows sports, etc.) that spend much of their time traveling the globe lecture their audience/followers about climate change. I am doing my extremely small part by limiting travel etc. but I am becoming sensitive to athletes/companies promoting a message that they don't practice themselves as they travel the world for competitions and/or to create "content".
  • 2 0
 Unreal part of the world. I’d love to ride mountain bikes there but it seems so gravelly. Are there quality mtb trails down there?
  • 1 0
 Check out Trailforks and
  • 1 0
 Ya SB has amazing trails: long climbs (or shuttles) and long downs. A lot of world cup riders come here for training as not too many places you can get a 15 minute all out banger. B.Kerr is in town this weekend. Luca was here this summer. Dirt isn’t amazing but plenty of big rocks for traction.
  • 1 0
 @eteyber: I need to catch up on these YouTubers, thanks. And watch the vid, I just saw Pismo and got scared…I need to bring my bike next time I’m there
  • 2 0
 Tunnel Trail is as brutal of a trail as you will find anywhere. Santa Cruz Trail (the last 8 miles of the FKT here) is a nice flowy descent.
  • 1 0
 @Snowytrail: thanks.
  • 3 1
 FKT pssh, all my routes are NFTs
  • 11 0
 Not Fastest Times? Big Grin
  • 3 5
 Specialized "greenwashing" - at least Trek are trying to make a real difference rather than release fancy hollow, sentimental feelgood videos. Before you slam me I did actually like the poetry and scenery.
Call me cynic but I would prefer the truth...
  • 2 2
 It was a feel-bad video for me. These types are professionals at coming up with problems but can't offer a single viable solution, trying to shoe horn in change before technology is ready.
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: would love to understand how tourism revenues (see: Leadville, Emporia, etc.), sustainable ag, preserving endangered species, and cultural burns aren't viable solutions given that they're already working.

@matty-hatty as someone who lives 20 minutes from the start of the route, they did an excellent job in portraying what's happening here. Not sure what part of it counts as greenwashing. Or why you'd put greenwashing in quotation marks. Or what truth you're so convinced is being omitted in this video.
  • 2 0
 Amazing!! Thank you for this Dillion and Chris
  • 1 0
 Cool film! Makes me want to head south for a bit of exploring.
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 Great video, Chris. Love your poetry.
  • 1 0
 FKT only applies to downcountry.
  • 1 0
 Good Job Pal!
  • 1 4
 So from doing a bit of google foo FKT seems to be trying to be the next strava type thing.
  • 8 0
 I can’t tell if this is sarcasm but FKT has been around for a lot longer than Strava
  • 1 0
 FKT just means Fastest Known Time. There are websites that track FKTs, and a lot of bike related FKTs are based on a specific Strava segment, but there is no sole company or organization behind FKTs.
  • 1 0
 Nothing to do with Strava.
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