Category Archives: Reportage
The Maximum is Not the Optimum: Kelly and Mal in New Zealand
Kelly and Mal in New Zealand

The Maximum is Not the Optimum: Kelly and Mal in New Zealand
Words by Kelly Nowels, photos by Kelly and Mallory Nowels

“The maximum is not the optimum.” My buddy Chip likes to quote this Fabien Barel interview where the French downhill world champ waxes poetic about racing and life. Of course it’s all over my head, I mean this guy is a world champion, but it got me thinking and wanting to explore how optimum applies to bike touring.

Mal and I have been drooling at the thought of a New Zealand trip for years. With winter approaching and knowing that we weren’t getting any younger (we totally are though), we started saving our vacation days and our pennies to make it happen. (more…)

Feb 11, 2016 25 comments
Golden Saddle Rides: One Minty Fresh Icarus ‘Cross Bike
Minty Fresh Icarus 'Cross Bike

It’s not every day that you see an Icarus in Los Angeles. Much less one that’s so minty fresh. As the sun poured into Golden Saddle Cyclery the other day, this beaut rolled through the doors, owner en tow, Chris King freehub buzzing along. Victor had contacted Ian at Icarus over two years ago to build him a ‘cross bike with cantis, a 1 1/8″ steerer and classic lines. Still, in a world of 44mm head tubes and disc brakes, this bike looks modern, yet still timeless.

The mint paint is offset by the bright red color hits provided by paint and Chris King. I’ll always feel a special connection to Icarus’ work and this bike makes it easy to see why…

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Visit Golden Saddle Cyclery in Silverlake, Los Angeles and follow them on Instagram.

Feb 10, 2016 9 comments
Hugh’s Rivendell Atlantis Touring Bike
Hugh's Rivendell Atlantis Touring Bike

Like the lost city of Atlantis, Rivendell’s arguably most famous model carries a bit of mystique. They’re beautiful to look at but a dream to ride. So dreamy that it’s hard to figure out what makes the Atlantis so special.

Is it the wheel or tire size? Wheelbase? The tubing? What about the 1″ steerer? With the word “trail” being thrown around a lot in frame design, I’m going to default on it being the magical component in this equation. Even in the five minutes it took me to pedal this bike around the corner to photograph it, all I could think about was how wonderful it’d be to ride one in my size.

Hugh’s got a really special bike here, with a lot of really wonderful details, mostly stemming from the stem. Shellac’d bars and grips, a super upright riding position, one worn in Brooks and even a few love marks in the beautiful olive paint all show use and age. Something Grant Petersen came to call beausage

Feb 9, 2016 61 comments
Spencer and His Motobecane Fatbike on Strawberry Peak
Wheelie cool!

Spencer Harding is true rad atavist. He’s always touring on his tallbike, or packrafting the LA river, and finding unique or interesting people to photograph. For the past few weeks, he’s been in Los Angeles, working on photo projects and riding extensively. For whatever reason, he and I yet to connect. It seems that while our paths were concurrent, they weren’t yet converging. Until last week when a text message ended with finite plans to ride.

Initially, we were going to ride Sunset Ridge, a ripping descent but I wanted to ride something a bit harder and more cross-country. Ty had already annihilated Chilao the day before, so we chose Strawberry Peak and its exposed singletrack.

For whatever reason, I thought Spencer always had a Surly ICT. I’d seen his tires before with their plump 4″ width, but never actually realized it was a Motobecane. You know, the BikesDirect.com in house model that seems awfully similar to Surly, down to the dropouts. We were joking as I was shooting photos: “that’s the most stock, cheap bike to ever be featured on the Radavist!” My mind raced to think of another example, yet came back empty after running through the database. Yes, this is a damn stock bike, save for the bell and Brooks saddle, but as Spencer has proven time and time again, it’s not the bike that makes the ride. This one’s all about the abeausage…

Enjoy these photos of some of Los Angeles’ most beautiful trails and give Spencer a follow on Instagram!

Feb 8, 2016 24 comments
Golden Saddle Rides: Cinelli White Collar Work Bike
Golden Saddle Rides: Cinelli White Collar Work Bike

Golden Saddle Rides: Golden Saddle Rides: Cinelli White Collar Work Bike
Photos by Kyle Kelley, words by John Watson

While the success of the Cinelli and San Francisco-based brand Mash may lie in their Histogram and other aluminum frame collaborations, the Work frameset was the first frameset that really plucked a heart string with me. When a frame rolled its way through the doors of Golden Saddle Cyclery, it hit hard with co-owner Kyle Kelley, who insisted we feature it on the site.

What’s not to love about these machines? Raw, clear-coated steel with red-inlayed machining, options to run it as a fixed gear or SSCX bike (or a FGCX bike!) with canti brakes, internal routing and a nice, level top tube.

Cinelli and Mash have done a lot of great things over the years, but I’ll always remember this bike…

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Follow Kyle on Instagram and visit Golden Saddle Cyclery in Silverlake, Los Angeles.

Feb 5, 2016 36 comments
Riding the Rally Aysén Patagonia with Santa Cruz Bicycles: Day 03 and 04
Up!

Usually by the second day on a trip like the Rally Aysén Patagonia, your legs begin to feel all the climbing and hiking. For me, my back pain from carrying camera gear almost always adds to the pain. Not even the previous two day’s beauty, or the loud and obnoxious birds, nor the mooing cows could persuade me into leaving my tent. Needless to say, my usual rise-and-shining at 5:30am was pushed back a few hours on the morning of day 03. (more…)

Feb 4, 2016 17 comments
Riding the Rally Aysén Patagonia with Santa Cruz Bicycles: Day 01 and 02
Oh, how wonderful, journalists looking at a dead cow in a river!

You can’t throw a press launch in Patagonia without a solid plan and you can’t throw a race in Patagonia without experienced organization. The Rally of Aysén began as an idea, born in the offices of Santa Cruz Bicycles, some 10,446km away from Coyhaique, where the event would take place.

The idea was simple: in a time where enduro is hyped up, bring a rally format, multi-day event to the Aysén region of Chile, where mountain biking is in its infancy. The event would include timed climbs, timed cross-country, timed descents and downhill segments. It’d be a true battle of the most well-rounded riders and was not for anyone afraid of a bit of navigation or pushwacking… (more…)

Feb 3, 2016 21 comments
The New Santa Cruz Bicycles Hightower Plays Dirty
The Santa Cruz Bicycles Hightower with 27.5+ Wheels

After a long 48 hours of travel, I found myself in Coyhaique, Chile unloading my bags from the airport shuttle and quickly unpacking my riding gear. We were late. A day late to be exact and we had to catch the rest of the group before they began descending into the first day of our four-day trip in Patagonia with Santa Cruz Bicycles.

Laying on the grass in front of our hotel was a permutation of the newest from Santa Cruz Bicycles: Hightower. Named after Eric Highlander, the SCB demo coordinator. Eric’s a 6’4″ ripper and was the Tallboy LT’s biggest fan, which inspired the team at Santa Cruz to make this new long travel 29’r model an homage to Eric, christening it Hightower.

As a fan of the Tallboy LT myself, I was bummed to see it mysteriously drop off the SCB website back in September, even knowing that usually meant one thing: relaunch. So when they asked me to come along with them to the Aysén region of Patagonia, I had a hunch… My hunch was right. (more…)

Feb 2, 2016 20 comments
Matt’s Kish Titanium Disc ‘Cross
Matt's Kish Titanium 'Cross Bike

Matt from SWRVE got himself an early Christmas present this year. His custom Kish titanium ‘cross bike is everything he needs to take on the roads and tracks in the Los Angeles area. Titanium bikes make for great off-road vehicles. The material itself “eats up” a lot of the rough ride and it’ll be more dent-resistant from any wrecks that might happen. With a nice clean coat of blue paint on the frame, as well as the stem and seatpost, you almost get distracted from noting the Campagnolo Centaur gruppo, or the big fat tires this pup is rolling on.

After acquiring all the parts for the frame, Matt took this bike to Golden Saddle Cyclery for a pro build. I love clean, simple bikes like this and I can’t wait to see it dusty and dirty. Enjoy this beaut, Matt!

Feb 1, 2016 33 comments
Graduating Skid University on Fallen Angel Island – Erik Nohlin
Graduating Skid University on Fallen Angel Island

Graduating Skid University on Fallen Angel Island
Words by Erik Nohlin, photos by Erik Nohlin and Dylan Buffington

Fallen Angel Island is a Bay Area gem tucked away in a hard to get to corner of northern bay just of the Tiburon shore. In fact, it’s not hard to get to but getting one the seven official camp spots is way harder than just jumping on the ferry to get there.

Fallen Angel Island is a stealth campers paradise but with a locust like ranger infested entrance and exit point with the ferry, it’s difficult, almost impossible to enter the island unnoticed and not being asked for a permit when you first enter the dock. Our friend Nick from Pedal Inn had booked the best site on the island about 6 months in advance so we didn’t have to act like we weren’t going to glamp the shit out of campsite 4 with our first time SF visitor from The Warhead Courier Copenhagen chapter – The legendary Simon Busk. (more…)

Jan 31, 2016 53 comments