Tobin Ortenblad isn’t your typical 22-year-old, nor does he fit the mold of most professional bicycle racers. Sure, he has a coach and a training plan, but that’s where the path begins to blur. Tobin was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California and spent most of his formative years riding BMX bikes, building jumps and eating burritos. Fast forward a decade and he’s fresh off winning the Under 23 Cyclocross National Championship in Asheville. This year, racing in the Elite category, his results have proven that the off-season wasn’t squandered at the beach. He’s finished consistently in the top ten (or top five) at UCI C1 races and a top thirty at both World Cups. Most impressive is that he’s currently doing all this, without a pro contract. We wanted to catch up with the privateer and see what he’s been up to since his big win in January. (more…)
Photo by Graham Watson
Cycling accessory company Brancale recently interviewed Phil Anderson on his racing career. Having raced on numerous Merckx teams, Phil’s life as a racer is filled with interesting anecdotes, ranging from extreme lows like losing the World Cup in 1985 due to illness, to highs like returning in 1986 to win the Paris-Tours. Head over to Brancale to check it out.
Cross Was Here: A Day in the life of Chelsea Weidinger
Photos and words by Jen Abercrombie
“I’d already set the goal in my head that I was going to be the first girl on MASH. I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but it’s going to happen.” – Chelsea Weidinger
It’s January and everyone is thinking of resolutions and goals for the coming year. As cross season ended, I spent a day in San Francisco riding and talking with Chelsea Weidinger, of the MASH Cyclocross team, about how she got here and where she’s going. Chelsea hails from Columbus, Ohio. After stints working in a bank and a juice bar, she decided that coffee and bike racing were more her speed, and moved to San Francisco in 2012. (more…)
… by Jeff Thrasher at the Team Dream Team HQ. We talked about everything from Pearl Jam tattoos to the what it’s like to live literally on the road for most of the year. Follow along with more of Jeff’s candid and comedic interviews at his Youtube Channel and #SelfieInterviewSeries.
There’s a bit of Speedvagen coming to California later this month! Here’s the information from the Vanilla Workshop…
“The Vanilla Workshop is excited to announce our California Fit Tour. We will be packing the Money Truck up with bikes and goodies and heading down the coast, bringing our signature fit to San Francisco and LA. One of the most important components of a custom bike is the fit, and being fit by the man who will design and build your frame adds a level of control to the entire process…”
For more information on the Vanilla Fit Tour, read on below for an interview with Sacha White.
Photos by Emiliano Granado
A few months ago, my friend Emiliano (of Manual for Speed internet fame) contacted me about doing a quick Guide to Austin for Without Walls. We went to my favorite spots, drank coffee, rode bikes and I had a little interview at my favorite cocktail spot in town. Head on over to the Without Walls blog to read up!
Tenspeed Hero has begun a new project they’re calling Women’s Elite Racing, where they catch up with pro 1/2 women cyclists, toss them a few questions and post the interview. The first one being with the Schneider Sisters. Check out the interview at Tenspeed Hero.
In the ground level of a beautiful home in Los Angeles, Javiar Yanco makes bags, caps and other accessories used by cyclists of every kind. From randonneurs, to bikepackers, road cyclists, MTB racers and cross bike explorers, Yanco’s bags have a cult-like following. One product in particular, the Ramblin Roll, sold by Tracko, literally launched him into full-time production recently.
But his work doesn’t stop there. From packraft bags, musettes, bar bags, bikepacking bags, caps and yes, still a few top tube pads, Yanco makes products that he’s inspired to make slightly different than the rest.
Through using bright colors, unique zippers and yes, camo, lots of camo, these bags will always fetch the comment on Instagram: “what kind of bag is that?…”
I caught up with Yanco last week in Los Angeles, as he was in the zone making Ramblin Rolls, and asked him a few questions for a Ride Along.
Check that out below!
Wednesday Night ‘Cross Practice on Randall’s Island, New York City
Photos and interview by Chris Lee
Ride over to soccer field 70 on Randall’s Island in New York City around 7 pm on a Wednesday and you’ll be met with bikes rolling around in grass and dirt, someone yelling “come on you can do it!” and a group of 15 or so racers running drills around cones and trees. This is the home of the weekly ‘cross practices in New York City.
Evan Murphy, a cat 2 cyclocross racer, runs these weekly practices with his teammate, Kyle Murphy, a cat 1 racer, every Wednesday on Randall’s Island. The Murphy “Brothers” bring cones and homemade barriers to run drills and mock races. These practices not only build the skills needed to become a better racer but also helps build a community of racers in a city and in a sport where stepping out of your comfort zone is the name of the game.