Svein Tuft’s legendary ‘hobo’ adventures



Long before Svein Tuft was a pro bike racer known for his toughness and grit, he was honing a unique skillset in the outback of Canada.

Nearly a decade before he became an elite international cyclist, Tuft was living a self-described “hobo lifestyle.” The free-wheeling Tuft spent as much time as he could camping, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, and exploring the mountains of western Canada.

The 40-year-old road captain on Orica-Scott never dreamed of becoming a professional racer, but it was on those long solitary journeys when he forged his passion for cycling.

Tuft would roam the Canadian backcountry, taking months-long bike trips on the lonely roads across the Yukon and British Columbia on an old, beat-up mountain bike. He’d pick up odd jobs, like mowing lawns or bailing hay, to save up enough money before the next adventure. He twice rode from Alaska to the Lower 48, bivouacking under the stars and hauling around an 80-pound dog on a makeshift trailer.

Along the way, he had enough adventures to fill a Jack London book. Some of those stories have shown up in The New York Times and other news outlets. And like a legend of the Old West, it’s sometimes been difficult to separate truth from fiction.

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It sure is nice being able to ride year-round in Southern California.

For our neighbors to the north, riding in Winter can present some chilly challenges.

Thousands of Canadians cycle in the summer, and cities like Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and even Yellowknife and Whitehorse, with tiny populations in comparison, are continually adding more bike infrastructure.

But when temperatures fall below 0 C, most people trade their bike for a transit pass or car.

Read more here.