Longtime readers will quickly notice a difference when they pull the September/October issue out of their mailbox or off the newsstand shelf: the absence of a rider on the cover. This departure from a well-loved formula comes as we launch a three-part series in print on the batttle for trail access around the country. It's a complicated issue, and one writer Devon O'Neil spent the better part of last year researching, flying to California, Montana and Massachusetts to interview subjects and dig into the meat of the matter in several local communities. The goal wasn't to rehash big-picture controversies like bike bans on Wilderness land, but to investigate how trail closures and restrictions affect every-day riders on the ground in average local communities. The series starts in Northern California, specifically Marin County, an area widely considered to be the birthplace of mountain biking, but also one of the most unfriendly places to ride in the country.

And that's just the start. There's so much packed into this issue that it will be sitting on the back of your toilet for months. Subscribe HERE.

Also you don't want to miss this fascinating read on Simon Bosman, a Sedona, Arizona, local who rides harrowing lines on the area's famous red rock, constantly pushing both his physical and mental limits on a bike, the reasons for which can be traced to his unique upbringing in South Africa.
And we go to Eastern Oregon to discover the state's newest singletrack frontier, the trails of which can easily match the quality of Oakridge or Bend.
In the gear section, our testers tackle weigh in on the Ellsworth Evolution Convert, the new Rocky Mountain Altitude and the Cannondale Trigger. Plus, for the tech-inclined, the Apple Watch 2 and Garmin Fenix 3 go head-to-head to see which performs better in the backcountry.