Where mtb meets backcountry adventures: On the trail with Joey Schusler

With his roots firmly planted in the Colorado backcountry, some people say Joey Schusler is a product of the Rocky Mountains themselves. He grew up playing in the local woods, building racing tracks, before immersing himself in the downhill scene, even competing against other top riders in the Enduro World Series. 

These days it’s the thrill of the adventure that gets him on his bike, and to him, there is nothing sweeter than planning and executing an epic mountain bike ride. Take the self-supported bikepacking trip he did recently through New Mexico! Joey is also a talented adventure filmmaker and rarely leaves home without a camera.

We’re stoked to have Joey on the komoot ambassador program – especially knowing he loves an adventure as much as we do!

Describe yourself in three words

Happy, fun, intense.

Flat pedals or clips?

Clips! But occasionally flats to mix things up.

How did you get into mountain biking?

Building little tracks in the woods as a kid, and racing from the age of 13 onwards. It’s been a lifelong progression and passion.

29 or 27,5 (that’s tire size, in case you’re wondering)?

I love both for different reasons. But I’m currently on a 29er.

After ride beer or protein shake?

Beer

What motivates you to get outside and explore?

Fresh air, beautiful views, and lasting memories with friends. I love the challenge of putting together a wild trip and accomplishing it.

Can you tell us about your most epic ride yet?

My favorite bikepacking trip ever was in the Caucasus Mountains in the Republic of Georgia, with good friends Ross, Brice, and Sam. We made a short film about the adventure titled The Trail to Kazbegi. It was fun to share our experience that way. Those mountains were incredible and the old ancient footpaths were unreal for riding.

Looking forward, what plans do you have for the year?

Well, given the current state of the world and the ongoing global pandemic, it’s hard to say how much international traveling I’ll be doing. I did have a bikepacking trip in Tajikistan planned for September, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I will for sure be riding the Colorado Trail – 500 miles (800 kilometers) of pristine single track from Denver to Durango, here in my lovely home state of Colorado.

Gloves or no gloves?

No gloves

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the name of MTB?

Probably heading off into the high Andes of Peru on my first ever bikepacking trip. It was all-in on a big mission right from the start, no warm-up whatsoever!

Why do you recommend komoot?

For bike adventures, it’s absolutely crucial to have a plan and know where you’re going. Komoot is the best service I’ve found to help get these adventures off the ground and keep track of all you’ve accomplished on the bike!

In the current climate with limitations on getting outside, how are you using komoot to keep your adventure-fire stoked?

It’s been fun just tracking my local rides out the backdoor, and coming up with new routes for summer when we can hopefully get out on some larger adventures.

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