Category Archives: 2014 ATOC
Last year was a bad year for Jon from Skratch Labs. Not related to the company, which grew exponentially since the last year’s Tour of California. No, 2013 was a bad year for Jon personally.
First, he and his wife were in the Boston Marathon bombing, then he got hit by a car in July coming down Boulder canyon, leaving his MCL torn and surgeries followed, unable to ride for a while. Two life-threatening events that gave him some perspective.
As a “life reward”, post-accident, Jon contacted Kevin at Mosaic to build a custom titanium RT-1 road with ENVE and Ultegra Di2. The inverted 2013 serves as a reminder and motivator to Jon as he pedals his way into recovery.
Right now, this bike is setup to accomodate his injuries. The saddle is slightly tilted back and the steerer remains uncut, to make the riding position a little more upright. Jon’s intentions are to slowly progress back to his normal riding position, but with all things, it will take time.
Time that Jon’s more than happy to spend riding this machine, like to the top of Rock Store during the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California, where I had, literally 5 minutes to shoot this bike!
I wish the best to Jon, his family and Skratch in 2014. Thanks to Mosaic for being so kind to him as well. See you guys in Boulder!
It should come as no surprise that when David Wilcox plans a Rapha group ride, it’s going to be tough. When he showed me the route we’d take for Stage 03 of the Amgen Tour of California, I knew we were in for a big, bad day…
I’ve known Brett Clever since his days at NYC Velo back when I lived in Brooklyn. Since then, he’s moved out to California like so many New Yorkers in search of sunny weather and mountains. While he helps out with Ritte, Brett also runs a small water bottle / jersey company under his guise DJ Clever.
Bumping into him and Ben at Stage 08 of the Amgen Tour of California was not that big of a surprise, those Ritttayyyyy boyz are everywhere at once it seems. But seeing Brett on his Indy Fab SSR Rapha edition totally caught me off guard. I’ve always loved these bikes.
The build it pretty straight forward, minus the custom MMFG bars, which really tie the build together.
Man oh man. What a day! I’m still buzzing from the final stage of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California. After a week-long road trip with Rapha North America and Tillie, the new Mobile Cycle Club, we were all at our maximum capacity. Late nights working turned into early mornings riding and after a week, all the energy left over culminated into one crescendo of cheering and support for the PRO cycling contingency.
The final stage was a three-lap circuit up and over the (in)famous Rock Store climb. Normally moto and auto territory on the weekend, this road is one of the more treacherous climbs for cyclists in the area. That said, just this one day, for four hours however, the road was ours. Unfortunately, we had to begin early… Like, wake up at 4:30am and drive an hour to start our ride at 5:30.
But, as the saying goes, early to bed, early to shred. With only minimal aggression from motos and autos, we took to the hills of Malibu Creek State Park and eventually scaled Rock Store, where we greeted amass of fans, all in support of the ATOC and looking to party.
It was majestic. Even the pros got down. Thanks so much Ted King!
Read more in the gallery!
The late 80’s and early 90’s saw a lot of serious shred sleds, many of which have become icons in the vintage MTB world. This is one of those icons, the early 90’s Colnago Master. These bikes were the epitome of Italian design and fabrication, notoriously behind the times when it came to tech – hence the chainstay mounted rear u-brake, but made with the same precision as their road-equivalence.
Using Columbus Gilco tubing and an arabesque seat tube cluster, the Masters are still some of the most iconic MTBs, over 20 years later.
The owner, Ray bought it off eBay, as is – sans the Campy QR, grips, pedals and computer. It’s immaculate and the details are just so wild, right down to the Shimano XT drivetrain, which is arguably better than the Italian counterpart… When I saw it atop of his caravan at the ATOC, I politely asked if I could photograph it.
Stage 07 was my unofficial “rest day”. After eight days on the road, I was ready for a chill afternoon, lounging by the pool, with a bourbon in one hand and my ‘gram in the other.
Like all time spent on the road, nothing ever goes as planned. I shot the start of the race because, why the hell not? Then I bumped into some friends and watched the start. Before I knew it, the time was 1pm and I had still yet to find a pool…
Then, we got an urgent call, summoning us to the team hotel, an hour away, to interview a very important person… More on that later, but for now, enjoy some good old fashioned race randomness and race refuse observations.
I’ve known Ben for years. He was a mechanic at Affinity Cycles in Brooklyn and I could always count on him for some solid commentary when I rolled through the shop. Since driving cross country with his BMX and road bike, Ben landed himself in SoCal, where he’s now racing for RITTTTAYYYYYYYYY!
Today at the Amgen Tour of California – yes, I’m still here – I shot photos of him, his Ritte / Clever donuts kit – with matching bottles – and his Ritte Vlaanderen road. I kinda like the owner holding up the expensive road bike theme going on here…
This is by no means a “secret”. Plenty of other sources have covered SRAM’s new prototype wireless shifting. All I’m doing here is showcasing a PRO bike that just happens to be using this new technology…
When a company goes through years of PR&D, in house testing and thorough engineering, the next phase is getting said product out on the bikes of PRO cyclists. This year at the Amgen Tour of California, SRAM unveiled a new piece of technology on the Trek Bissell Cycling Team: wireless shifting.
All I can do is show you Clement Chevrier’s Trek Madone team bike, you can make any assessments yourself. If, for example you wanted to guess what it’s like to ride it, go for it. If for example, you wanted to guess how it shifts or sets up, go for it. If for example, you think it’s “dumb” or “stupid”, by all means, you’re entitled to your opinion, but remember, you’re not PRO!
One thing I will say is that you’re in for a surprise… Thanks to Criag, the Bissell mechanic for hooking this one up!
For the past week, Rapha and I have been covering the 2014 Amgen Tour of California. In that time, I’ve seen some incredible feats of athleticism from the PROs, met tons of rad people, shot enough photos to fill a book (hint hint) and gone on some very tough rides.
The ride we did up to Diablo – more to come on that – was hard, but the ride we did yesterday was tough. So tough that if our friends at Mavic hadn’t offered support, it would have been a long day.
Deserts can be an unforgiving place. Even with my musette stuffed with extra water, food and camera equipment, I would have succumbed to the bonk goblins if it hadn’t been for Chad and Charlie from Mavic.
Thank you’s aside, we rode from Palmdale to the KOM, made a wrong turn and then hauled freaking ass – I’ve never climbed that fast before in my life – back up to the top.
The race ended and we headed back to Palmdale, finishing out at over 80 miles and 7,000′ elevation.
I’ve been looking forward to this stage since the first time Rapha North America and I discussed doing the Tour of California again. Why? Because Stage 05 ends in Santa Barbara, home to one of my favorite dudes / frame builders, Aaron of Stinner Frameworks.
Our plan was to get into town super early and hit a quick road ride before waiting at the KOM for the Hot Boyz of PRO Cycling to crest. Well, when you’ve been on the road for around a week, plans get shuffled around a bit.
We got to town late, like four hours late, but we quickly assessed the race via the ATOC app and figured we could hammer it up Old San Marcos road to the KOM in time.
Side note: I was over shooting frame builders in their studio, so it was nice getting Aaron out onto a bike. If only I could do this for every “shop visit”…
After literally hammering it up to the top, the breakaway group summited, then the peloton and eventually, the stragglers. The temps were up in the high 90’s and it was hot, hot, hot.
20 miles and 2800′ elevation later and we were ready to hit the road…
Read more in the captions!