Category Archives: Reportage
Beginning from a cross country bike ride in 1976 to celebrate the U.S. Bicentennial, Adventure Cycling has dedicated its existence to those wishing to explore the cycle touring routes throughout the United States. To commemorate over 40 years of documenting, publishing and celebrating cycle tourism, the ACA is throwing a party in Montana. Dubbed the Montana Bicycle Celebration, riders from all over the country are flocking to Missoula on July 15th through the 17th. It’s this celebration that prompted a rather large group of people to fly into Banff, Alberta and ride to Missoula along the Great Divide Route.
Kyle and Liz are leaving a few days earlier to take their time and soak in the epicness that is the Tour Divide but before he left, I shot some photos of his Ros 9+ with its new Stinner Frameworks fork. This addition allows Kyle to mount Anything Cages to his bike, giving him the extra room he’ll need on this two-week journey.
Hopefully we’ll have photos from this trip up on the site next month, thanks to Andrew The Maker‘s nifty rolltop handlebar camera bag. If you’re going to the ACA Montana Bicycle Celebration, be sure to give this group of wayward riders a high five and a beer!
Ok, maybe this isn’t exactly a Mad Max-level bicycle but it looks like it’d take on a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles.
Bruce Gordon‘s bikes are mythical beasts and finding one used isn’t exactly easy, seeing as how many of Bruce’s customers bought a bike from him for life. Max picked up this bike off Craigslist, in fairly decent condition, yet built with a bunch of random parts and so for the past several months has been tracking down all the parts to make it complete again. That meant locating a Bruce Gordon “Chicken Neck” stem and getting it painted to match, ordering several PAUL component bits, getting a pair of the Bruce Gordon canti brakes and last of all: ordering those Compass Rat Trap Pass 26″ x 2.3″ tires.
The result is one rusty-looking touring bike, with big, plump tires and a riding position that’ll be comfortable for days, yet highly shreddable when need be. Jealousy besets me right now…
The Vanilla Workshop has multiple tiers in terms of frameset design and production. At the highest tier is a Vanilla. These are 100% custom, lugged beauties made entirely by Sacha White. Their wait list is so long, it’s not even worth mentioning. Then on the more readily-available tier is a Speedvagen frameset. These used to be only available as a 100% custom geometry with multiple options from paint, ranging from a simple, single color with detail hits to complex, “Surprise Me” paint jobs that are so wild, they’ve inspired how other builders tackle paint design.
Now, Speedvagen has a third option in its pricing catalog: the OG1 road frameset. These are stock frames, already painted and in stock now, ready to ship to you in days or weeks, not months. The OG1 also carries a pricetag that won’t make you choke on your morning breakfast, when it comes to a made in the USA frame anyway.
The OG1 is still made 100% by hand in the Vanilla Workshop and it’s painted in house with a custom Speedvagen design, usually two per year with the first year’s designs being limited to a matte lavender or a burly-looking matte olive drab! It’s obvious which color you’re seeing here.
These frames are a deal, but there’s a catch… (more…)
For the past 25 some-odd years, the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association has claimed Henninger Flats as the official, yet unofficial campground for cycling enthusiasts in Los Angeles. In that time, various events have brought men and women to its cliff’s edge overlook of the city to share stories and bond. The great outdoors are like that.
So when Swift Industries announced the Swift Summer Solstice Campout again this year, Golden Saddle Cyclery, along with Ray and some MWBA OGs proposed Henninger be the destination. It’d be a perfect way to introduce bicycle campers, bicycle tourers and bike packers to this age-old tradition. Think about it this way: for as long as mountain biking has been a thing, people have been bicycle camping up here! (more…)
Roll With It in the South: A Florida Watercolor Sketchbook
Illustrations by Chris McNally, words by John Watson
Recently, Blackburn has been premiering their Roll With It film in various places around the country. To coincide with this premiere, artist Chris McNally submitted his watercolor sketchbook from the trip for us to share here on the Radavist. These are the sketches he made while on the bicycle tour through the deep, deep south. Enjoy!
If you’d like to read Brian Vernor’s trip report, make sure you check that out too!
Follow Chris on Instagram and be sure to check out Roll With It screening information.
A Stelbel Nina All-Road Bike for South Africa
Photos by Tino Pohlmann, cover photo by Stan Engelbrecht and words by John Watson
After yesterday’s gallery, I received a number of emails requesting more photos of this bike!
Within yesterday’s epic gallery by Stan Engelbrecht, you might have spotted this blue beauty, albeit covered in a bit of dirt, dust, mud and Apidura bikepacking bags. This Stelbel Nina is something special. Made in Italy from one of the oldest tig welding builders in the world, the Nina is at home on the ‘cross course with 33mm tires as much as it is in the backcountry, rolling on 40mm rubber and unlike many of the frames on the market today, this one comes from a legacy.
Stelbel has arguably brought more to the tig-welding alignment table than anyone else. When Stelio Belletti first founded the company in 1973, there weren’t a lot of builders out there experimenting with tig welding and not just with bicycle frames. Belletti was responsible for improving the chassis for the Grand Prix monster machine, the Honda 500 GP as well as a fuselage for the P19 Scricciolo, a small plane and the vehicle of choice for the Aero Club d’Italia. This knowledge spilled over onto the Stelbel name and to this day, the workshop is creating impeccable examples of tig-welded steel. See more of this beaut in the gallery and for more information on the Nina, head to Stelbel!
Follow Tino on Instagram and follow Stelbel on Instagram!
South African Dirt and the Karoobaix
Photos and words by Stan Engelbrecht
On the third morning we came across two kudus, dead, and partially eaten. During the intense drought in the area over the last months, many animals had been breaking through fences to get to this dam, only to find it completely dry. In their search for water, these kudus tried to cross the dried dam floor, and got trapped in two mud sinkholes. They must have struggled there for days, before dying of thirst and starvation. And maybe something had started eating them while they were still alive.
It was a stark reminder that the Karoo is a dangerous and remote place. This semi-desert region near the Southern tip of Africa is known for its searing beauty, but also its harsh and unforgiving environment. Get caught out here without water or shelter at the wrong time of year and it can be the end of you. (more…)
The Breadwinner Goodwater in Big Country
Photos and words by Gabe Tiller
Some friends and I had been scheming and dreaming up our Oregon Big Country route for an entire year, and this spring right as we were finalizing details Breadwinner Cycles launched their new Goodwater 27.5+ trail bike. I’ve known Tony since he moved to Portland from Salt Lake and watch him build bike after bike, each more lustworthy than the last. And they’ve pulled home award after award from NAHBS and the Oregon Manifest too. His meticulous craft building bicycles has become impeccably tuned, and the few times I’ve had the opportunity to ride bikes with him he’s whooped me soundly on the trail as well.
A few years ago when Surly launched their plus platform I took my first ride on the Krampus and instantly knew mountain bikes would be forever changed. Wider rims, more volume, and less pressure allowed me to clean technical lines I’d never come close to before. Rim, tire, and tubeless technology had brought high volume and large contact patches to the table without the weighing anywhere near as much as the motocross wheels they looked like. I was sold and thrashed my Krampus for a year before upgrading to a Ti Gnarvester. And now I really wanted to steal away on Tony’s fat-tired trail bike for our eight-day overland adventure through Oregon’s Big Country. Surprisingly when I asked, he agreed: “Sure, and ride it like I would—hard.”
He and Ira are often heard saying “We build the bikes we ride” and it shows in the Goodwater. Tony spends a fair amount of our rainy winter sessioning The Lumberyard and while the Goodwater is designed for an entirely different riding environment, he has maintained that nimble playfulness that make park bikes so fun. Giddily riding it home I could feel it begging to be flicked up curb banks and manualed through puddles. It’s got the shortest rear end (440mm) of any plus bikes I’ve ridden, and paired with the Fox Float 34 it cruises over rough terrain and still easily wheelies through desert stream crossings. At least the ones not filled with axle deep mud.
With internal routing, Shimano’s XTR Di2 1×11 drivetrain, Enve HV hoops, and a Thompson dropper it’s an incredibly clean build. It loaded up super well with my Porcelain Rocket Mr Fusion dropper hack, a Revelate framebag, and Limberlost’s DIY Handlebar Roll. It tackled the steep climbs and rocky descents over the Steens with ease, and the 2.8″ Schwalbe Nobby Nics held up well being pushed hard in loose corners or slogging through the Big Sand Gap on our way to Willow Hot Springs.
My only regret is that I didn’t get the chance to drop all the bags and really let this shreddy trail bike shine on some local singletrack before wearily giving Tony back his baby. I’m excited to see so many mountain bike builders embracing fatter tires, and Breadwinner is pushing the momentum of this movement with their Goodwater.
Follow along with the rest of our adventures at Limberlost.co.
Follow Gabe and the Limberlost crew on Instagram and check out Breadwinner’s Instagram!
Jay Barre’s Bike-In Birthday Bash!
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
A couple weeks ago I heard that the boys from Topanga Creek Bicycle were heading to Mt. Lowe Trail Camp for their Unpredict Your Wednesday event. In case you aren’t familiar with the event – TCB goes camping every Tuesday night and then does some kind of epic ride wherever they might be on Wednesday. It is basically one of the coolest things that any bike shop has ever done. I am not able to make it to these events very often because of my work schedule and/or the location mixed with my lack of car. So when I found out about the proximity of this particular Unpredict Your Wednesday, along with the fact that my buddy Jay Barre from TCB celebrated his birthday a few days before, I knew I had to be there.
Topanga Creek is open on Tuesday so it made the most sense to meet above Mt. Lowe Trail Camp, off Mt. Wilson Road, and drop down into camp rather than riding from the city. After setting up camp I asked if anyone wanted to head up to Inspiration Point with me and was surprised that so many of the people with us had never been. We took a quick moonlit ride up there before returning to camp to kick back, have a few beers and tell stories until we couldn’t hold our eyes open anymore. (more…)
Doppo Kunikida was a Japanese naturalist, one of the best. In fact, he’s the founder of the movement which focuses on, you guessed it, nature in literature. This love of nature inspired Sim Works to develop their own touring bike, one that would take a 27.5 or 29″ wheel and be prepared for just about anything you’d encounter on the road or trail. The Doppo is a steel bike, made in Nagoya by the framebuilder Shin and was first debuted at NAHBS this year. This is Makato’s personal bike, which he affixed with racks and panniers for our tour, while utilizing the “anything” mounts on the fork and the Sim Works “Homage” tires. You can read more about the Doppo at the Sim Works blog and contact them for ordering information…
This bike looked so good on the top of Mount Mihara that I had to shoot a few photos of it. Enjoy!