• Micheal Grimland

#vanlife #trucklife

A few of our Grassroots racers and ambassadors have adventure vehicles to take them to their next race or location to ride. Here's a sampling of what our riders use to get their Knollys to the trailhead.

Bennie (old GMC Safari)

Alicia Legget (@offleash568) describes her Van with an affection generally reserved for bicycles, or dogs. An accredited EWS racer, factory Knolly rider, and general badass, Alicia genially refers to Bennie the Battleship, a GMC Safari of unimportant, or perhaps unknown age as a ‘rad beast’. Bennie is a sturdy affair- driving dynamics are perhaps described best as ‘intentional’ or ‘nautical’.

Allegedly capable of speeds north of 90 mph, Bennie prefers a more stately 60. Carefully designed and built to be self-sufficient and sporting an independent streak a mile wide, the Safari is a natural travel companion for Alicia.

Living in her van full time, Alicia has driven to Arizona, California, Whistler, New Mexico, crisscrossed Montana and more- the Battleship’s modest lift and aggressive tires allow it to reach all manner of trailheads, in all manner of conditions.

Adept at nomadic living, Alicia has a knack for practical skills that suit her adventures. Preferring to travel unaccompanied, her relaxed, easy going demeanor is reflected by her home’s DIY interior. A few bungee nets, under-bed storage, a rooftop box, and the passenger seat offer all the storage options a girl could want, for any adventure that Alicia embarks on.

Alicia’s carbon Knolly Warden is built using the same philosophy- reliability is prioritized over weight. A SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain paired with Spank wheels, Cushcore, and suspension by MRP (fork) and Fox (shock). Skid triggers by TRP. Pro tip: Alicia and Bennie will be traveling to various EWS races this year, add her to your fantasy team.


Layla (Dodge Ram 1500 Van)

Shayli Lones (@shaylischralps) and her husband Spencer rescued their Ram 1500 Van from it’s pedestrian life as a commercial delivery vehicle, and christened her Layla - after the 1970 Eric Clapton song. Loosely based on a 12th century romantic saga, Layla (the song) was heavily influenced by Erik Clapton’s infatuation with Pattie Boyd, the then-wife of the Beatles’ George Harrison. This tidbit has no bearing on Shayli, her van, or her bicycle, however the blues-rock hit is exemplary of the music enjoyed by the duo as they travel together with their trail dog Thea around the Western US.

Layla (the van) was built by Shayli and Spencer to be a highly specialized support vehicle, capable of carrying them, the pup, and two Knolly Fugitives. Based in Utah, the dynamic duo are quick to pick out the presence of real sheets as Ram 1500’s best attribute. Anticipating the question, Shayli explains that the low roof was necessary due to the desert wind, and clearance needed to access remote, and often heavily wooded camping spots.

Complete with a twin mattress (again, with real sheets), a vertical bike storage system, and plenty of drawers to hold necessities such as solar panels, and a space heater, Layla is a shining example of why we all need engineers in our lives. No wood glue or zip ties adorn the interior, instead an aluminum bed frame, personalized hammock setup, and Lego level customization options ensure she is ready for everything, and any weather.

Accompanying Shayli and her van is Thea the trail dog. Boasting a travel resume as good as any Instagram influencer, this hound has even run Mag 7 trail in Moab. Trained to let Shayli know when other trail users are approaching a climb, Thea follows the latest enduro fashion trends, preferring to forgo a pack of any sort- instead relying on Shayli to carry water for them both.

“We've always been drawn to high quality. We buy gear that we can use. And oh do we use it.” - Shayli Lones