Bike Test in Patagonia


A marriage proposal. A medical emergency. A weeklong adventure race in Chile. International travel. A major earthquake. These were scenes from my life in the past month. To say things have been dramatic would greatly understate the evidence.

Indeed, before heading south to Chile in early February for the Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race, my race partner — and now my new fiancé! — Chelsey Gribbon, had a serious medical incident. But we rode it out and made it to Chile to start what was to be one of the biggest endurance events we’d ever signed up to do.

Biking in Patagonia. Photo: T.C. Worley

But that was not before the suspension fork on my mountain bike blew a seal and became unusable for Patagonia. A quick solution was needed. I made a phone call. Some explanation. A loaner agreement. And in short order I had an Ellsworth Truth mountain bike to test and ride for a couple hundred miles in a race across the wilds of Tierra del Fuego.

In fact, my first actual ride on the Ellsworth Truth was a long and grueling leg in the Wenger Patagonian race. We pedaled away from a beach transition area on the first day of the race in strong winds. We rode up gut-wrenching climbs, down steep, twisting descents, and southward on a road with side wind so harsh that it blew one team member into the ditch.

Ellsworth Truth

But the Truth took it all in stride. Indeed, the biggest compliment that I can give the fresh-out-of-the-box bike is that it felt like I’d been riding it for years.

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.