Payson McElveen’s Emotional 360-mile Journey Crossing Tasmania


DURANGO, Colorado (August 18, 2023) — Professional mountain bike athlete Payson McElveen detaches from time and immerses himself in the sheer joy of adventure in Crossing Tasmania, now available on Red Bull TV. The short film, produced by Stachehouse Productions, captures Payson during his 32-hour solo journey across Australia’s least populated state. Join Payson as he pushes his limits physically, while opening new levels of emotional and mental fortitude, on a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool / Thrainn Kolbeinsson

Coming off an under 24-hour fastest known time (FKT) across Iceland, Payson desires to experience places and biking in a new, more present way. With this mindset, he built a 360-mile greatest hits route including 35,000-ft in elevation gain with the local knowledge of Tasmanian bikepacking legend and scientist Emma Flukes. Stretching from the Indian Ocean to the Tasman Sea, a wilder, longer and more adventurous west-to-east journey was developed.

“Like so many people, I’m always watching the clock, and on race days and in training, every second counts,” said McElveen. “Throughout the ride I found myself further letting go of time. By the time I was starting to fall apart physically, mentally I had unlocked something, which was new to me, this acceptance, or surrender of control. I had achieved that true timelessness. There was something so healthy and powerful about that.”

Watch it here (but click on the full screen icon since the smaller size is wonky):



Between breaths of what is often ranked the world’s cleanest air and riding ahead of schedule, Payson found it hard to shake his need for speed, saying, “I will still want to do this ride fast and hard, because I love to ride that way.”

But there are twists, turns and venomous Tiger Snakes on this route. Through the night Payson navigates around wallabies and wombats far from the van and his friends. Most rides for Payson are lonely endeavors, and this one is fully unsupported, with quick check-ins, but not help, from his fiancee Nichole Baker and the film crew.

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool / Thrainn Kolbeinsson

With a camera in hand while riding, Payson shares this emotional journey of self-discovery and the universal challenge between the demands of the clock and a desire to be in the moment. After a grueling day and night in the saddle, he climbs through thick ferns and slabs on the Blue Derby trail network, which has been repeatedly voted “Trail of the Year.” Finally emerging into the salty air and sunshine of Tasmania’s east coast, Payson says, “I’d like more time. More time outside of the ride itself.”

As Payson rolls into the sparkling blue Bay of Fires 32-hours later, Nichole is there to meet him and celebrate the accomplishment; FKT or not. But, who’s counting?

Watch Crossing Tasmania now on Red Bull TV:

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