Joanie The World Traveler

"When people say things about clothes like, 'oh I live in those', I can say that I've actually done exactly that".

I was just a few thousand feet short of 300,000 feet of pedaling uphill in 2018. It took me 232 rides 310 hours, and over 2,500 miles to do it. Needless to say, it was a big year for me, one that took me literally around the world on a quest to visit all seven continents. In addition to my camera and my coffee kit, the other important piece of equipment that went with me everywhere was my Joanie Capris.

When people say things about clothes like “oh, I live in those”, I can say that I’ve actually done exactly that. Sleeping in the Joanies on several occasions, I estimate that I wore them for a solid 100 days last year. And we’re not talking quick rides - think 6, 8 to 12 hour days. No surprise - they are pretty faded in spots, have a few stains, and are only missing a few stitches. Surprising or not, my Joanies are still ready for action and not even close to being retired to the bike rag bin.

After seven continents, nine countries and eleven of the United States, there are more stories to tell words then allowed in this blog. I have narrowed it down to a few of the most fun and funny moments of the year.

A mid-January trip south of the border found me in pretty hot weather, rolling through mountains and desert around the southern end of the Baja. Although the Joanies have become my go-to piece of clothing, I found myself pedaling in my Savvy shorts most often. I’m glad I had the capris packed though, they made the best kind of pillow, rolled up and shoved in a stuff sack. It was essential for our various nights bush camping. Falling asleep to lapping waves of the ocean, cool mountain breezes, and bright starry skies were amazing.

When spring came, my Joanies and I were deep into the Himalayas of Nepal, pedaling and pushing our way up and over the biggest navigable pass in the world, the Thorung La. At 17,779 ft, it’s possible, it’s the highest these sturdy capris have ever traveled on a bicycle.

Cappuccinos and cow poop were an everyday occurrence while working in the Swiss Alps over the summer. Both things became a daily routine and more often than not, there was always some overlap between the coffee and the fresh manure. I became intimately familiar with our building’s laundry room since I was there washing the Joanies every day for two months. Switzerland was also the place where I had my only mishap with the capris…an over-zealous jumping selfie popped a few stitches in the you-know-where. With no time (or sewing skills), I got a lot of remarks about “I can see your underwear”.

After a full-tilt schedule in Europe and Northern Africa, I came back to the US by early fall and didn’t skip a beat. By the end of September, I had started a month-long foray, crisscrossing the country from Pacific Northwest to the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas. There was barely any time for laundry between shooting Trans-Cascadia in the rugged mountains around Mt. St. Helens and documenting rad new trails being constructed in the beautiful fall forest colors surrounding Hot Springs, Arkansas.  

Not yet ready to settle in for winter, I escaped to New Zealand and had more sleepovers while bikepacking remote regions on the South Island. Between the Heaphy Track and Old Ghost Road, I managed to survive the last continent of the year with my rainiest days on the bike ever. Soaked to the bone, the Joanies were in it for the long haul, just as they had always been since my ambitions beginning of 2018.

With 2019 already well underway, I am happy to report that although a bit faded, they are still holding strong! We’re both looking forward to another big year of exploring sweet trails and awesome places all over the world.

Leslie's Travel Kit