Kurt Refsnider, Ph.D. (Prescott, Arizona) has been riding and racing bikes since his early teenage years and began bikepacking a decade ago. Since then, he has bikepacked throughout the world and co-developed Prescott College's Geology through Bikepacking course. But he's most at ease when immersed on the wild public lands of the American West. Kurt has now chosen to direct his energy toward co-founding and developing Bikepacking Roots to grow and advocate for the bikepacking community. He has a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences and is particularly fascinated by the evolution of Arctic, alpine, and glaciated landscapes. Beyond Bikepacking Roots, Kurt is also a professor at Prescott College and is the founder of UltraMTB.
Board of Directors
Kaitlyn Boyle (President & Co-founder; Prescott, Arizona) loves wild places and believes the opportunity to travel in, experience, and connect to landscapes is critical in inspiring a conservation ethos. She has been a professional adventurer and educator for a decade, teaching Adventure Education for Prescott College, NOLS and Outward Bound. Since adding the mountain bike to her repertoire of avenues for exploration, Kaitlyn has bikepacked extensively in the western U.S. and abroad. She co-developed Prescott College’s Geology through Bikepacking and co-authored the first instructional book on bikepacking, The Bikepacker’s Guide. Kaitlyn has a M.A. in Environmental Education and brings expertise to Bikepacking Roots in adventure-inspired conservation education efforts.
Matthew Nelson (Vice President; Tucson, Arizona) works as the Executive Director of the Arizona Trail Association, the nonprofit organization responsible for the protection and maintenance of the Arizona Trail – the only completed National Scenic Trail that welcomes mountain bikes. He has worked in the fields of natural and cultural resource management, environmental education, journalism and outdoor adventure. He lives in a remote off-the-grid homestead in the Sierrita Mountains southwest of Tucson, where hundreds of miles of roads and trails encourage bikepacking right out his front door.
Molly Sugar (Portland, Oregon) is continually searching for ways to intersect grassroots organizing with art and design to create a more inclusive cycling community. She is the founder of Friends on Bikes, a women of color, trans and gender non-conforming BIPOC cycling group in Portland. She is also the co-founder of WTF Bikexplorers, a summit and nationwide ride series for W/T/F/N-B people who use their bikes to explore. Molly is the lead designer for Ride with GPS and has hosted several workshops on route-making. At Bikepacking Roots, she brings expertise in cultivating and organizing community, and working in route design.
Jonathan Houck (Gunnison, CO) has been bikepacking SW Colorado and Northern New Mexico for the last 10 years. He was recently re-elected as a Gunnison County Commissioner and actually bikepacked to the far corners of his geographically large county as part of his last campaign. He brings extensive experience working with public lands managers and is currently working with the local tourism association to create and promote a network of countywide bikepacking routes in and around Gunnison and Crested Butte. Jonathan sees bikepacking as a way to build community and protect our public lands.
Nan Pugh (Driggs, ID) may be called by some a lost Cajun. She grew up in south Louisiana on the bayous. Once in college, she discovered a huge love for both wild places and bikes. She has since worked in outdoor education for 15 years and the non-profit sector for 9 years. She enjoys any form of off-road biking, but her favorite is winter ultra fat biking. "Don’t worry, I know my screws are loose," she says. The simplicy of bikepacking is what has drawn her in - eat when hungry, sleep when tired, enjoy the ride, the rest of the world goes away for a while so that she can escape into "Nanland."
Lizzy Scully (Mancos, CO), a long-time rock climber, passionately ascended very large granite rock walls in faraway places. She always thought mountain biking was too dangerous until a friend fell 100 feet next to her and nearly died (but is OK now). A few months after the accident, Lizzy changed her mind about all things cycling and now spends 100% of her free time on her mountain, fat, or gravel bikes or bikepacking/rafting. She likens multi-day, multi-sport bike adventures to the Type II fun of big wall climbing and so has once again found her happy place in the world. Lizzy has also spent 20 years in communications, working as a writer, editor, publisher, and in public relations and marketing. Lizzy is currently happily employed as Alpacka Raft's marketing manager, but her ultimate goal is to one day return to her past identity as a dirtbag. However, before that, she and her partner Steve “Doom” Fassbinder have big plans to run a bikepacking/packrafting/ultralight adventure guide service on the 35 acres they own at the tip of Weber Mountain, aka “Scullbinder Ranch,” in Mancos, Colorado.
Tom Flynn (South Royalton, Vermont) is currently pursuing a law and masters degree at Vermont Law School. He previously lived in Boise, ID where he worked for Outdoor Alliance, a national coalition advocating for public land conservation and access for mountain biking, climbing, paddling, and backcountry skiing. He is passionate about both protecting and enjoying public lands—most often on a rigid singlespeed or backcountry skis. At Bikepacking Roots, he brings his direct experience advocating for outdoor recreation with the Forest Service, BLM, National Park Service, state governments, and the federal government.
Gabriel Amadeus Tiller (Portland, Oregon) is exploring the world one serendipitous misadventure at a time. He was born in a canoe in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula; learned what good beer was in Duluth, Minnesota; and fell in love with the grandeur of Oregon 13 years ago. As the founder of Limberlost in 2014, he has developed several of the nation’s highest-quality off-road bikepacking routes. His passion for creating and sharing outdoor experiences has lent itself well to his leadership role in honing the narrative and thoroughly collaborative development process of his most recent project—the Oregon Timber Trail.
Frank Maguire (State College, Pennsylvania) fell in love with bikes while living in Washington DC, spending 4 years swearing at motorists as a messenger and earning a history degree. His path to advocacy began when someone told him he wasn’t allowed to ride the trail he was on (as it turns out, they were right). Since moving to Central Pennsylvania in 1998, he has been involved mountain bike and public lands advocacy, first as a volunteer trail builder, then as IMBA’s Regional Director for the Mid-Atlantic and currently as the Trails and Outdoor Recreation Program Director for the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. His current goal is to ride in all 50 states before his rapidly approaching 50th birthday.
Andy Williamson (Asheville, North Carolina) is a Principal at Active Strategies, an outdoor recreation oriented community development and planning firm. Whether it was leading trips across the country for outdoor programs, as a dedicated volunteer and advocate, or in his previous role at IMBA’s Director of Programs, he has spent his career working to educate and inspire people to get out and live and has been invested in insuring everyone has a place to find their own adventure. His career is founded on a willingness and opportunity to share his passion and commitment to conservation and outdoor recreation efforts that better the communities he lives and works in. When not on the road developing more active outdoor cultures in communities, he enjoys traveling with his family in their Sprinter van, exploring new routes and rides with friends and spending some quality time casting at the riffles with his fly rod.