As many of you know, we recently turned 1 year old at The Nxrth. We kicked this off as an adventure experiment in January of 2022 not knowing what to expect. After a year full of community, stories, and adventures we now look back at some of the number and highlights.
Users Who Stopped in at The Nxrth in 2023: 29,286
When I think of cycling I think of two things: adventures and community. But community always comes first in my mind. That community might be as wide as the hundreds of people you ride alongside at an event, or it might just be that one friend or family member you ride with. I like the intimacy of a small circle of friends but I'm also a sucker for the group rollout and moving through the woods in a pack like wolves.
The Nxrth is a growing community and I'm happy to have you be a part of it. I hope you've been able to make new connections with great people while connecting with our beautiful outdoor creation.
Number of Pages Viewed Throughout the Year: 84,306
No surprises here, your favorite pages were ones that get you closer to great adventures and community. Gravel and bikepacking are the heartbeat of The Nxrth and I hope these tools continue helping connect you to new adventures.
I remember in early 2022, Dave Schlabowske and I were emailing about the fact that there weren't any comprehensive gravel race calendars on the internet. In fact, it's extremely surprising that there aren't very many large websites that even cover gravel riding on the web. Sure enough, I browsed around and the national gravel race calendars simply can't drill down deep enough to thoroughly list every single local race and most other gravel calendars cover small geographies, but not fully covering The Nxrth's readership area.
So we launched the Gravel Race Calendar last spring and it has since become our most popular page after our homepage.
Here were our most popular pages of 2022:
Gravel Pizza Overnighter (stay tuned for a future announcement)
People Who Joined Our Email Community: 812
It might sound silly, but this is my favorite part of The Nxrth. All of you in our email community are my little adventure family and I love getting to share my thoughts about adventure cycling gear, stories, and announcements with you over email. When I get a new idea for an event or resources, you're the first ones I share it with and you give me valuable feedback about what you want more of and how you like to ride.
This is my direct line of communication with you all and I've gotten a mountain of email responses from so many of you. I respond to every email and 2022 has been filled with an outpouring of your adventure photos, questions, website edits, and suggestions to make things better.
If you're on my email list, thank you! You have helped shape who we are and where we're going.
If you're not on our list and want to join us, just head to the top of our homepage and come on in.
What Kind of Riding You Do
In our year-end survey, we polled our users on what kind of riding you do. This was a 'select all that apply' question and the results were interesting. Our readers skew toward non-racing and we also have a larger community of summer gravel adventurers than winter fatbike adventurers.
In a few other survey questions (not listed here), our readers generally shared that they value community events more than competition and speed but there is still a big part of readership who thrives on the challenge and excitement of racing.
Top 3 Bikepacking Routes
When it comes to adventure cycling, bikepacking was my first love. Sure, I've always been an adventure cyclist, but bikepacking made me feel hard. I spend hours and hours in RideWithGPS and am like a kid in a candy shop when it comes to discovering new places, camping with my bike, and being with my closest friends and family.
We added several new original bikepacking routes to Wisconsin and Minnesota last year and here were your favorites. I haven't personally ridden the Driftless Loop yet but was excited to add a route to Minnesota in the gorgeous Driftless region and hope to see more stories and ride reports from that route.
1. The Driftless Loop by Nicolette Reker
2. Coon Fork Overnighter by Josh Rizzo
3. Valhalla Beach Party by Dave Schlabowske
Most Popular Posts: Your Reader Submitted Stories
These are your top 5 stories of ripping through forested gravel lanes and pushing through frozen winters on your fatbikes. I love hearing the unique challenges we all face and the successes and failures we share at races or ultra adventures.
1. Sherry Mix Wins 2nd at Inaugural US Fat Bike Open [Finds Lost Wahoo]. Read more.
2. Caden Budd's Story: 15 Years Old, Wins First US Fat Bike Open, Beats Dad. Read more.
3. Close the Gap or Blow Up Trying: Claire O'Leary's Freedhem 76 Read more.
4. Learning From Failure on the Tuscobia Winter Ultra. Read more.
5. Recap: 100 Miles of Wide Gravel Boulevards & Narrow Winding Lanes on the Hungry Bear. Read more.
Most Popular Posts: All Categories
Of all ~150 stories we published in 2022, these were the ones you were most interested in from all categories. It includes the humble bikepacking strap, mapping apps, and 3 great stories about some incredible adventure cycling experiences you can have in The Nxrth's adventure region.
1. The Whole Dang State: The Trans-Wisconsin Adventure Bicycle Route Nears Completion. Read More.
2. Voile Straps vs Tailfin Cargo Straps: Which is Better for Bikepacking? Read More.
3. Arrowhead 135 is one of 50 Hardest Races on Earth. Ken Krueger Calls it Family Reunion. Read more.
4. Meet the Heywood, Your New Favorite Pay-What-You-Want Gravel Event. Read More.
5. Ride With GPS vs Komoot: Which is Better for Bike Adventures. Read More.
This is a mix of personal stories, event overviews, photo galleries, and how-to resources. We had such a beautiful mix of content this year and here were some of the stories, people, and events that inspired me most.
1. "The Filthy 50 Handed Me a Terrifying Challenge & I finished It: How Lisa Fell in Love With Gravel. Read more.
2. Intro to Winter Fatbike Ultras: 3-Part Series. Read more.
3. Scared & Alone for Endless Miles Through Storms in the Dark: How Kate Coward Gets Stronger with Age. Read more.
4. Arrowhead 135 is one of 50 Hardest Races on Earth. Ken Krueger Calls it Family Reunion. Read more.
5. Happy 5th Birthday, Straddle & Paddle: Remembering How the Adventure Came Together. Read more.
6. Deep Dark Portraits Under the Rain in the Woods: Josh Kowaleski's Grand Du Nord Photos. Read more.
7. Close the Gap or Blow Up Trying: Claire O'Leary's Freedhem 76. Read more.
8. Gravel Pizza Portraits: Bikepacking with 37 New Friends. Read more.
Well that's a wrap
2023 is well underway and we've got a whole bunch of new projects we hope you'll love coming up later this year. If you want to get involved, we'd love to share your story, event, or bikepacking route. Drop us message at info at The Nxrth dot com and help share your adventures with others.