Category Archives: Randomness
Projects like this are an amazing by-product of the cycling industry’s outstanding women. Check out the WTF Bikexplorers!
“WTF Bikexplorers are pleased to announce the first-ever WTF Bikexplorers Summit and Ride Series to be held in 2018, with events scheduled in Arizona, Oregon, California, Vermont, and Montana.
The Summit and Ride Series aims to support, celebrate and connect women, transgender, femme and non-binary people who also identify as gravel grinders, mountain bikers, bikepackers, day-rider explorers, long distance road riders, bicycle tourers, backpackers converting to bikepacking and individuals looking to incorporate camping with biking.
One of my favorite zines and podcasts, the Desert Oracle, recently dropped this gem of a quote and I couldn’t help but share, especially in light of the current political climate. It really makes you think…
“The human argument for setting aside vast stretches of the American desert as parks and preserves and wilderness and plain open space always includes the importance of unspoiled vistas. As the only real difference between Las Vegas and Death Valley is that we made a strategic decision to fill one with casino hotels and insurance company headquarters and neighborhoods while leaving the other more or less intact for the mutual benefit of humanity and the plants and creatures and ecosystems in such a mostly wild place.” Ken Layne, Desert Oracle, #016.
Follow @desertoracle 🙌🏻
As it happens during the holidays, you sometimes end up playing tour guide to family members. My parents came to Los Angeles this weekend, with one thing on their mind: a road trip to the Sequoia National Forest. Turns out, Nat Geo has a special running on this magical place and my parents caught the bug. The only problem is, lodging since neither of my parents liked the idea of camping in the wilds of the Sequoia backcountry. After some phone calls, I found one place to be open: the Durrwood Creekside Lodge.
While there, we got to do a lot of chatting with Eddie and Dave, the two caretakers of the lodge. Once Dave found out I’m into bikes, he had to show his two choppers he made in the lodge’s old blacksmith shop – which coincidentally is a recognized landmark. This whole experience caught me off-guard since I had barely had my coffee yet, but my mind was blown by Dave’s thought process and end-product.
I love seeing projects like this, and yes, I took it for a spin!
Hopefully, you’re shreddin’ with your friends!
“The thing the ecologically illiterate don’t realise about an ecosystem is that it’s a system. A system! A system maintains a certain fluid stability that can be destroyed by a misstep in just one niche. A system has order, flowing from point to point. If something dams that flow, order collapses. The untrained might miss that collapse until it was too late. That’s why the highest function of ecology is the understanding of consequences.”
This quote has really resonated with me on this trip.
For over a hundred years, Death Valley has had its minerals extracted by machine and mule. Not just for gold and silver, either. Prospectors scoured the mountains for antimony, copper, lead, zinc, and tungsten, packing out their load by mule. We are modern day Prospectors, however, we are not seeking riches, yet experiences, of which will be beaten into our soul by miles of washboarded and rocky roads. Our mules are our bicycles and we’ll take only photos, leaving no trace, taking nothing from this land. It’s given enough over the decades and its scars are still visible on the surface.
There’s no death in this valley, but life, at a micro scale, so nuanced that without the pace of the bicycle, might be passed over, unnoticed. These next ten days, I’ll be embarking on a series of rides in Death Valley National Park, with a varying cast of characters, with one thing on the agenda: sharing this natural beauty with you and documenting these routes for the next prospectors to mine memories.
Last night, the trip began with caching water and wood for our first expedition… Stay tuned.
In Los Angeles, millions of people vacate the city in a yearly migration, creating compelling imagery, representing the trouble with car culture. While we prefer to move about the city by bicycle, we too can’t help but flee its confines by automobile. Yet, in doing so, our attempts are always to get as far away from modern civilization as possible, or at least that’s what I tell myself everytime we load the Land Cruiser up and head out of town.
Sure, I’d rather embark on a bicycle tour during a holiday but when our friend Aimee invited us to the Oak Flat Fire Lookout in the Sequoia National Forest for a Turkey Day celebratory dinner, we couldn’t resist. So, there we were the day before Thanksgiving, escaping LA for the solitude found in its neighboring National Parks and National Forests. Luckily, we were long gone by the time the freeways turned into light shows… (more…)
This is the only way to spend Black Friday! We’ll see you back on Monday. Get in some miles and elevation this weekend!
Over the past few weeks, we’ve posted SO MANY BIKES, but let’s remember, it’s not about equipment, it’s about the experience of riding new places…
A favorite ride is always amplified by winter light and cycling tourists. Tonight, Kyle and I took Kelly out on a Dirt Mulholland sunset ride, which turned into a Topanga Creek Outpost banana bread run, turned mad-dash through Melrose gridlock at rush hour. The thrills are never short on this ‘cross-town jaunt. If you’ve never done this route, be sure to check it out on Strava and click-through to check out more photos… (more…)