About a month ago I received an email invite from Ryan Wilson to join in with a small group riding Kings Canyon Loop. I had never really ridden with Ryan and had no idea what Kings Canyon was, but seeing so many of his bitchin photos in the Western Sierra on Instagram was more then enough to lure me into a day of riding. What I didn’t know was that this guy goes out on some REALLY HUGE days to take these shots of scenic wonder and most of the time he does it alone.
“Fun” on Mt Pinos – 1.5 hours north of Los Angeles
Words and Photos by Sean Talkington
The term “Mountain Biker” is used to describe a person who rides a bicycle in the dirt. This term, although correct is also very broad. For example, a RedBull drinking, flat bill hat-sporting, goggle-wearing downhill rider in futuristic board shorts has very little in common with a spandex toting, gram (and calorie) counting, leg shaving XC mountain biker. I personally find myself (way) more on the side of the calorie counter but can still find pleasure in watching my friends get “sick” or “pitted” while I “walk” or “slowly walk” across big gaps and technical drops.
The word “fun” is often used to describe bike trails by all parties of mtb’er who ride them but this word “fun” is subjective. I have grown to find that some of the trails I find “fun” are often refereed to as “miserable” or “way too much climbing” or “hella boring” when you ask certain friends. I have also found that these same friends call trails “super fun” that I find “super terrifying”. We all have our favorite rides, routes, trails etc. but it is rare that you find trails that make the whole of mountain biking happy.
As we continue our “Hot Boyz of Cycling” series – that’s what I’m calling it anyway – I caught up with “Dominican Crihs” in Los Angeles en route to a local unsanctioned cross race. Which he lost to Hern if I recall. His Legor is one of my favorite singlespeed cross bikes I’ve had the chance to photograph. Crihs is a good friend of mine and one who is always quick to call me out on whatever he so pleases, so I put him on a spot a bit.
If you’ve ever ridden with Eric Brunt aka Skullcrusher then you’re well aware of this dude’s strength on a bicycle. A recent transplant to Los Angeles, Eric spends his weekends doing insane rides (like going up Cloudburst, TWICE in one day) and soaking in the San Gabriel mountains.
The last time I was visiting Los Angeles, I shot some photos of Eric at GSC, working on his Ibis cross bike. Check out a ride along interview below!
It’s that time of month again. I’ve got all kinds of Randomness left over from a Recent Roll. Actually, a few Recent Rolls. There’s some LA, Pasadena, Austin, Moab and Fruita photos in here, all noted in the photo’s captions. Got a favorite? Point it out. Open up some commentary…
Tools of the trade:
Mamiya 7ii / 80mm
Portra 400 / Ilford HP5
Utah is a strange place, coming from someone that lives in Texas, but there are so many incredible places to shred there. During my recent trip to Moab, I opted for my Yashica T4 one afternoon, instead of my bulky 5Dmkiii. When I found out we were going to be riding singletrack all day on the RS-1 fork, I wanted to see how it felt without a backpack on, so I threw my point and shoot in a fanny pack and smashed onward.
We began in Grand Junction, ColoRADo and headed to Fruita for pizza at the Hot Tomato – from there, it was off to Utah and the SRAM Trail House.
Look, Moab is awesome. The trails are incredible and even super easy singletrack blew my mind. Oh and dinosaurs.
Tools of the trade:
Hanson Little has become a pretty great friend over the past few years. If you’ve followed BMX at all, then his name might be familiar, having ridden for Mutiny and T-1.
While his days of “being pro” are behind him, he now spends his free time on a road bike, BMX or MTB, shredding trails, hips, ditches and the steep hills here in Austin to get his kicks.
Hans lives in Los Angeles and last year his wife bought him a Rock Lobster cross bike with a few added braze-ons. Hans and I spoke a lot about brake and tire options and it seems like he’s finally got his setup dialed in. One morning, as we were finishing up a MTB ride on Brown in LA, Hans went rolling by on his bike. I yelled “HANSSSSSSSS!” and he came scooting by, so I shot some photos with my Mamiya 7ii and earlier this week, I finally got them developed, prompting me to interview him with a few simple questions. Check them out below!
Santa Cruz is a city that never disappoints. No matter what the occasion, I have a blast riding my bike. So when Giro invited me along to their Santa Cruz Effect media event, I gladly accepted.
Even though we were on a pretty tight schedule, we had two days of riding bikes in the woods and coastal roads of NorCal to look forward to. That meant we were to expect a lot of temperature fluctuations throughout the day, the perfect climate for merino wool.
The group included men and women, from all over the world, all of which were related to the cycling industry in some way. We had some locals with us, including Todd from Black Cat, Jeff Traugott, Jake from Steel Wül, along with a few Giro employees. Those dudes put on one hell of a ride, taking us through some great roads and down some incredibly fun (i.e. sketchy) descents.
Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery!
Tools of the trade:
Yashica T4 / Porta 160
Sometimes, your wheels get dented or damaged beyond repair. That happened to Kyle while we were riding in Los Angeles back in January on his Stinner Mudfoot cross bike. I liked the way these three photos turned out from the aftermath.