Category Archives: Reportage
My Stinner 27.5+ Hardtail with Porcelain Rocket Toyota Trophy Truck Inspired Bags

Things don’t always go as planned. That’s what I have to tell myself all the time. Last winter, Clayton from WTB and I planned on doing the Tahoe Rim Trail, the week of Interbike, not with any political agenda in mind, just that it worked for both of our schedules. It was the only week where neither of us had anything penned in our calendars.

While you can do the TRT on a rigid bike, you’ll probably have more fun on at least a hardtail. Clayton’s route includes a lot of singletrack on the eastern side of the lake and like everything up there, it can be rowdy at times. I planned on bringing my Stinner Frameworks, with a few component upgrades, which would make the long days and high elevation gain a bit easier. All I needed were some bags.

I’ve been using Porcelain Rocket bags for quite a while now and while my trusty frame bag fits my road or cross bikes, even my 44 UTE quite well, it wouldn’t cram into my hardtail. Around the time I was planning for this, Scott from Porcelain Rocket launched his sealed waterproof bags, with the first special color offering being “Prolly Gold,” or Coyote as the rest of the world calls it. I was honored and slightly amused at the playful nod to my obsession with various shades of tan, so I reached out to Scott, with the emphasis on the byline: nothing special, just want to buy a bag. (more…)

Sep 21, 2017 18 comments
Team Dream Recently Acquired Éric Boyer’s Team Z LeMond 1992 Tour Bike

We’re all fanboys of cycling and our heroes depend on accolades ranging from athletic prowess to straight up style. My guess is, Sean from Team Dream looks at the early 90’s era of Lemond’s Team Z with a bit of the latter. Their bright, tri-tone fade bikes caught the eyes of everyone tuning into the Tour in that era. Fluoro was and still is, all the rage in pro cycling. Sean loved the Team Z livery so much that he even painted his Stinner roadie as an homage to its design, hoping one day to finally add an actual Team Z bike to his stable.

Last month, magic happened. Our good friends Mick and Ave were at the Encino Swap meet when low and behold, Éric Boyer’s Team Z LeMond 1992 Tour Bike sat there with a price tag on it. Unbelievably, it was in Sean’s size and within his budget, even after opening the new Cub House space drained almost all of his assets. Hey, retail spaces cost real money to open up.

As for the bike itself, it came from a renown collector who apparently had too many classics piling up and decided to let this bike go. He claimed that this is the bike Éric actually raced during the 1992 Tour and for the most part, it remains as-raced. For Sean, this was a dream come true and for me, getting to document such a pristine example of a Team Z was a pleasure.

If you find yourself at the new Cub House, you can catch this bike hangin’ up in the rafters, next to that Motorola Merckx I documented as well.

Sep 20, 2017 20 comments
Out of the Bolivian Yungas and into the Cordillera – Ryan Wilson

Out of the Bolivian Yungas and into the Cordillera
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson

After plunging into the depths of the Bolivian Yungas, your brain likes to trick you into overlooking the relatively low altitude ups and downs of this area, while focusing in on the inevitable slog back to the thin air of the high mountains. But these Yungas roads have a way of telling you right away that just because you’re not at 16,000ft anymore doesn’t mean you’re getting away unscathed here. What the Yungas lacks in pure altitude, it easily makes up for in relentlessly steep, hot, and dusty roads that zig and zag across the rippled terrain. Make no mistake, the challenge here definitely stacks up with just about anything else in the area. (more…)

Sep 19, 2017 20 comments
Golden Saddle Rides: Hunter Cycles Rigid 29r

I’ve long admired the work of Rick Hunter, yet have never been able to get ahold of one in my size. Especially since he has closed his order queue. My thoughts were, one day a frame would pop up in my size and I’d have to swoop on it. That’s what happened, in a nutshell, when I drove up to Chico, California to hang out with Paul Component Engineering for a few days. The trip coincided with the recent Paul Camp, a media gathering at the Paul shop, featuring eleven bikes, built by select framebuilders, all around a joint theme: a monster cross or mountain bike. Oh, and the bikes had to use the same color scheme: red, white and blue. As a group, these bikes were marvelous and I had a blast both riding and photographing them, especially this very frame… (more…)

Sep 18, 2017 52 comments
The Cub House’s New Location

I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with these photos after processing them last night, post-party. Then I realized something: this was such an undertaking for Sean and the whole team at the Cub House. When they first opened their small shop in South Pasadena, they had no idea how long it’d be up. The landlords told Sean they wanted to demolish the building, giving him 6 months in a tentative rental lease. It felt like they had only been open for a few months when they received their 30-day notice to vacate the premises, sending Sean on the look-out for a new space.

That’s when the old nursery in San Marino popped onto Sean’s radar. It was a huge space, but needed lots of work. I can’t emphasize that enough. It smelled of fertilizer and mildew, with all kinds of issues to fix, yet in a few months time, everyone at the Cub House turned it into a massive, open-air retail space, with lots of character and even more product lining the walls.

Last night was the soft opening, filled with food, drinks, and two DJs welcoming cyclists from all over LA county to visit their new space. This is meant to be a short introduction to the new Cub House. There will be much more to come, once the space’s buildout is finalized.

Til then, go by and see for yourself.

The Cub House
2510 Mission St
San Marino, CA 91108

Sep 16, 2017 3 comments
Scouting the la Tuna Fire in the Verdugo Mountains by Bike

Los Angeles is no stranger when it comes to wildfires, even in the short time I’ve lived here and while most of the fires over the years have been in the San Gabriel mountains, I never expected to have a fire ravage my favorite place to ride, the Verdugo Mountains. You’ve probably heard of these mountains before, we post a lot of photos here on the site from their peaks, fireroads and singletrack. To give you some perspective, the dirt roads are 7 miles from my front door, with the first saddle being exactly 10 miles. The peak, at least on the road, tops out at 3,100′ and it’s a long, steep way up, with climbs averaging between 10 and 18%. (more…)

Sep 14, 2017 13 comments
Wade’s Vulture Cycles MTB Is Just the Way He Wants It – Dylan VanWeelden

Wade’s Vulture Cycles MTB Is Just the Way He Wants It
Photos and words by Dylan VanWeelden

Some people you just don’t forget. Wade is just one of those fellas. I remember meeting him for the first time and he gave me a lighter with a Vulture Bikes sticker on it. Having spent a career in marketing coming up with endless gimmicks for brands this simple swag piece was perfect. The sticker lighter was cheap, easy and nailed his client on the head.

Part time builder for Vulture Cycles and full-time custom air plane builder Wade is the kind of guy you want to shoot the shit with around the fire. A wild man that lives off the beaten path. A free spirit that laughs to no end. A man that creates his own ride the way he wants to.

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Follow Trans Cascadia on Instagram, Oregon Timber Trail on Instagram and Dylan on Instagram.

Sep 13, 2017 16 comments
Trail Working for the Trans-Cascadia and Oregon Timber Trail – Dylan VanWeelden

Trail Working for the Trans-Cascadia and Oregon Timber Trail
Photos and words by Dylan VanWeelden

In Oregon, it is not uncommon to see two rolling waves moving with equal speed and swell in opposite directions. The Pacific is chaotic and tumultuous and the rocky beaches and moody weather facilitate this diversive behavior. But occasionally these waves move toward each other, combining and colliding with a massive, wild spike of energy — more beautiful and twice as tall as anything else on the horizon.

This is exactly the type of energy that came together last weekend in the mountain bike community. http://trans-cascadia.com/Trans-Cascadia (the 4-day blind format enduro race) and the newly founded Oregon Timber Trail (bikepacking trail going across Oregon) joined forces to create one hell of a trail building party. Over fifty cyclists, from top enduro racers to core bikepackers, shared rakes, saws, loppers, and endless Basecamp beers around the fire. (more…)

Sep 12, 2017 4 comments
Mike ‘Kid’ Riemer’s Salsa Blackborow with Ode To Trout Cedaero Bags

Mike ‘Kid’ Riemer’s Salsa Blackborow with Ode To Trout Cedaero Bags
Photos by John Watson, words by Mike ‘Kid’ Riemer

Editor’s note. I emailed Mike, requesting a few quotes about this bike, and received a novella, telling the tale of Mike’s interest in the outdoors. While I could pull quotes from it, I felt that as a whole, it tells more of the tale than I ever could…

I often tell my son, and my nephews, that there is nothing better than finding something in life that you are passionate about. 

I’ve been lucky in that regard, I guess.

I grew up in Korea, loving the outdoors and playing in the pine forest around our home and the neighboring hills, hiking the majestic Sorak mountains of the west coast, and living in the waters of the Yellow Sea for as much of my summer each year as possible. The outdoors became a passion for me, in many ways without me ever realizing it. It was inside me waiting for opportunities to come out.  (more…)

Sep 11, 2017 14 comments
Inside / Out of Jacquie and Charlie’s Place

“Today, under smoky skies, in 90-degree heat, I rode (alone) counterclockwise around the Nicasio reservoir. Eighteen years ago today (Saturday of Labor Day weekend) a habitually drunken driver killed Cece Krone. And I won’t forget how the judge dealt with it all (very low bail). The ‘murderist’ (whose ten-year-old boy was with her) was sloppily overtaking the weekly hammer ride, and in so doing rode up the stone embankment, crushing Cece and her bike. She’d been standing by her bike inside the white line, waiting for the group.” – Jacquie Phelan

Last weekend, on the anniversary weekend of Cece Krone’s death, we met up with Jacquie Phelan just outside of her hometown of Fairfax, California. We had just pedaled our way out of Samuel P Taylor, on a busier-than-average day in terms of traffic. Jacquie crested the hill wearing a tie-dye shirt and camel colored shorts. She rode a custom-decaled Specialized Ruby, with matching shoes and began riding next to each member of our touring posse, introducing herself and making small talk. (more…)

Sep 7, 2017 29 comments