Category Archives: Reportage
Hold up! Before the internet police turn on their sirens, technically, this post is about riding bikes in the town of Joshua Tree, not the National Park. We don’t condone breaking National Park rules and regulations. With that said…
We’ve already stated the obvious here on the site multiple times: the desert is best explored in the cooler months and in Los Angeles, with the Mojave just over our mountains, we hear its call all too frequently, especially when guests come to town. This past week we’ve been playing host to Jeff Frane from Bike Jerks and All-City Cycles. Jeff wanted to be here in LA for the new Mr. Pink launch and more importantly, he wanted to go to a National Park with us to explore, camp and partake in the rituals that go along with desert camping. (more…)
We all have our favorite cyclists or teams from the 80’s and 90’s. For Sean of Team Dream Team, it was the early 90’s and Greg Lemond, specifically that slick Calfee-built Team Z bike. The red to yellow to blue tri-fade has long been a favorite of Sean’s and that became the precedent for this new Stinner Frameworks road bike.
Sean’s already got a race-fit road bike, but he wanted one with a bit more head tube, partially for a less aggressive fit, but also for longevity. He wants to be riding this bike for a long, long time, even after his flexibility has been reduced due to age. Mid-life crisis bike? Maybe, but I commend Sean looking at the long-term lifespan of this bike. It literally is all he could ever want in a road bike and more.
The bike was spec’d with Campagnolo Super Record 11, a NOS Flite saddle, with ENVE parts and Mavic Ksyrium R-SYS SLR wheels and built by the capable hands at Golden Saddle Cyclery. If you’re going to NAHBS, look for it there, and expect a photoshoot of this bike and the original Team Z Calfee in the near future.
A few months back, the guys at Team Dream Team came up with the idea of doing a bicycle show during their next swap meet. The call went out to all of Los Angeles for cyclists to bring in their best bicycle for display. Coinciding with a swap meet, people would be able to haggle for new parts, BBQ, and ogle the many noble steeds that would parade their way to South Pasadena for the show.
On Saturday, the event went down, bringing in some serious beauts. Including, but not limited to Tinker Juarez’s old Klein, a resurrected De Rosa Joe Bell restoration, a 1993 Chris Carmichael Motorola Merckx TT bike from the Tour, road bikes, all-road bikes, vintage road and kooky, one-of-a-kind show stoppers.
Many thanks to the folks at the Cub House for throwing this shindig and to everyone who made it happen!
A while back, Kyle reviewed the mostly stock complete Log Lady before sending it back to All-City so they could use the bike in their demo fleet. Truthfully, I, like many of the readers who commented on that post, were bummed to see that bike go. As a photographer, I love shooting with Kyle when he’s stoked on something and that bike was perfect on our local trails, for him especially.
In an industry where many people want more travel, not less and even more gears, not one, the Log Lady stands out as an archaic, living fossil of the mountain bike evolutionary timeline. For some people, riding a bike like this down technical trails would be a nightmare, but for dudes like Kyle, it’s a buckin’ good time. (more…)
Sklar Bikes Factory Team Does The Colorado Trail
Photos by Adam Sklar, words by Sam Atkins
A particular genre of plans are hatched in the depths of cold, dark Montana winters. Call it cabin fever, call it seasonal affective, call it whatever you like, but after months of cloud-choked skies, icy winds, and trails buried under feet of snow a cerebral switch flips. Dreams of green and blue flicker, illusory echoes of hoots and laughter brought by the thrill of wheels rolling over dirt ring in the subconscious. So when a group of old friends reached out last January to suggest we reunite to bikepack the Colorado Trail, I couldn’t say no.
Nicholas’ Bruce Gordon Rock ‘n’ Roll Road
Photos by Kyle Kelley, words by John Watson
Bruce Gordon has been making off-road, drop bar bikes for a long time. Back when he started, there weren’t many options for road bikes that could take fat tires, so Bruce began making his own. Fast forward to modern times and every major bicycle brand has at least one “gravel bike” in their catalog. With the ubiquity of these bikes, very few have the style of a Bruce Gordon Rock n Road frame.
Nicholas‘ bike is a prime example of just how rad these bikes are. He built his with a 1x setup, Paul Mini Motos and it’s ready for shreddin’ as Kyle was witness to as he took Nicholas out on the Local’s Only ride here in LA. Filled with bandit singletrack and secret short-cuts across town, this ride is a good test for not only a rider’s capabilities but a bike’s.
Follow Kyle on Instagram and Nicholas on Instagram.
“One sees clearly only with the heart, anything essential is invisible to the eye.” This quote is from the novella the Little Prince and really resonated with Pat, the owner of this new Firefly disc road. What a fitting mantra for a bike that is designed to climb and descend mountain passes in Los Angeles by utilizing Shimano’s flat-mount disc brakes, White Industry 30mm spindle cranks, a beautiful segmented wishbone seatstay, a Parlee fork and supple Compass tires. Raw titanium bikes don’t usually do it for me, but this one sits like a dream.
Congrats to Pat and the team at Firefly for building up yet another Beautiful Bicycle for the mountains of Los Angeles!
For the past few months, all I’ve been reading and hearing about is the Baja Divide. Lael and Nicholas created a route last year that would take riders on a 1,700 mile journey from the US-Mexico border down the length of the Baja Penninsula, almost entirely on dirt. Well, dirt and sand. They are two completely different riding substrates. The grand depart took place last week and over 100 cyclists embarked on the journey, two of which being Tom and Sarah Swallow.
In order to prep for their 45-day ride – they’re going out and back on the route – Tom and Sarah rode for two weeks along the Baja Divide route in December. Afterward, they both described their ride as “the hardest thing we’ve ever done.” But at least they now know exactly what they needed in terms of gear. For instance, they left their filter at home, because there is no fresh water on the route, only bottled and filtered water. They’re also confident in their setups, which are very similar, save for Tom is riding a Hunter Cycles 27.5+ hardtail and Sarah is on a carbon S-Works hardtail.
Tom’s bike just looked so damn good all loaded up with Revelate bags the day before they left, so I had to shoot some photos of it. Not only to give Rick props for building such amazing frames, but I rarely get the chance to shoot loaded down hardtails. All of Tom’s little hacks – like those killer King Cage USBs – to make this a proper tourer simply add to the bike’s character.
I want to wish everyone who’s out on the Divide’s course good luck. You can follow Tom and Sarah’s trip on their Instagram.
Each year, as temperatures drop in Southern California, desert lovers flock to the surrounding sandy regions with hopes of discovering not only something new in the landscape but within themselves. Anyone that says there’s nothing interesting about the desert isn’t looking close enough, especially in the winter months. This vast landscape undulates through the valleys and rises up to the mountains as if piercing the clouds for much-needed water. Water that not only brings life to the local flora and fauna but enables traffic of the wheeled variety to traverse the many washes and sandy roads snaking their way like a sidewinder through the land. Roads that in the summer are thick with sand, making them difficult to even cross by foot.
Many of these roads are the remnants of a once burgeoning mining era in the Eastern Mojave, where people struck it rich in the mountains, via tunnels that were dug by hand and blasted by explosives. Many of these tunnels still exist today, just as they did in the gold rush era, as intravenous passageways to the desert’s precious minerals. Exploration here is something that could easily take a lifetime, especially when considering the temperatures in the summer reach the point of “completely unbearable” daily. (more…)
“The ROMANCEÜR is a swashbuckling tender heart of a fantasy warrior, who not only seduces its rider, but acts as a psychedelic aphrodisiac on the psyche. Together you become thee Romanceür, a sacred, lustful partnership rendering all riding surfaces swooned out and speechless, pining for an intimate evening including a tray of rosé Jell-O shots.” – Ultra Romance from his Crust Bikes Diary
Recently, Los Angeles was invaded by some of cycling’s biggest celebrities and no, not Wiggo, Sagan, Vos, or Bryceland. The cyclists that found themselves hanging out at Golden Saddle Cyclery are from a different walk, er, roll of life all-together. These nomadic raconteurs favor dirt to pavement and fully-loaded bikes to ultralight carbon. Not to mention, they’re always on the hunt for the latest cycling expedition, which brings me to Los Angeles… (more…)