Navigating the Lost in the French Maritime Alps – Ty Hathaway
Words by John Watson photos by Ty Hathaway
The French Maritime Alps are riddled with the remnants of man’s conflict of bygone eras. With the most recent being the Italian invasion of France in WWII. The Battle of France took Italian troops over these very mountains as they lay claim to Benito Mussolini’s demands for a ‘surplus population’. Or, in short, simply expanding the Italian empire.
As it goes with war, many souls are lost, leaving nothing but the roads, paths and man’s ruin…
The Vancouver Island Badass 200
Words and Photos by Eiry Bartlett
The plan: 6 women, 6 bikes, 2 days, fully self-supported bike-camping trip around southern Vancouver Island, covering 200km+ and completing the Rapha Women’s 100 in true Pacific Northwest style. Confirmations were sent, gear lists made, training rides were organized. Really, the most important thing was that our kits looked good together.
Well, apparently life can really get in the way of fun. My girls were picked off like ripe cherries on a summer day and by time the trip rolled around we were down to three, but we were three totally stoked, badass ladies ready for whatever was thrown our way. A smaller group meant a smaller vehicle and the addition of our dutiful camp commander – soon to be known as Captain Sparkles – who was willing to transport our food and gear to the campsite while we made our way across the wilds of the Cowichan Valley.
Weird weather happened, kooky locals, drivers – speeding like bats out of hell, and all the benefits you’d expect cycling a route that starts in a logging zone and ends in a gorgeous temperate rainforest.
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The last time I was in Los Angeles, I had one thing on my mind: doing some road riding in the Angeles National Forest. Usually, I’m in LA on my cross bike and we will spend our afternoons poaching trails, escaping to the dirt or bombing fire roads. All of which are wayyy more fun than a road ride, ATMO, anyway.
Still, there’s nothing like a somber ride up the 2 to Newcomb’s Ranch for a burger, a beer and some fries, only to rip back down to town, sated.
Unfortunately for the group that morning, Newcomb’s was closed and I think I was the only one who really ate anything at all that morning. Check out some selects from a Recent Roll. Man, that was a long time coming!
We totaled 80 miles and around 8,000′ and damn, Oinksters was good!
Tools of the trade:
Kodak Portra 400
The NYC Women’s 100 Rapha Ride
Words and photos by Chris Lee
This past Sunday morning, women all over the world took part in Rapha’s Women’s 100 ride. Every year this globally-coordinated event challenges female athletes of all skill types to ride 100km together as a group.
One of my favorite rides in Los Angeles is up to the “Blacktop” at golden hour. In the summer months, it’s a weekly (sometimes nightly) Golden Saddle Cyclery tradition. While the climb up is enough to get your blood flowing, the fruits are well worth the effort. If you’re a Los Angelean, then you know where this spot is. If you’re not, then you have to go to GSC to find out.
Earlier this week, we had an impromptu pizza party as we watched the sun set over Griffith Park, coincidentally, New Order was playing at down below at the Greek Theatre, adding to the ambiance.
It was by far, my favorite sunset ride I’ve done with the guys and I happened to have a camera with me…
Riding in Sweden’s Sverigetempot Brevet
Words and photos by Johan Björklund
In 2012 I thought about riding the Sverigetempot for the first time. I had never done it before and so I didn’t know what I was getting into…
There’s something magical about waking up to the call of the Magpie, in a dingy hotel room, with holes in the walls (wall paper peeling off) and to the stench of post-parma flatulence mixed with dirty bib shorts. Now, I know that was grotesque, but it’ll paint a vivid picture for ya.
Personally, I was stoked on our accommodations. For $30 Aussie notes, we slept like logs on a windless summer night. The sunrise looked good and best of all: it wasn’t raining. At all. Yet.
After scarfing down a “scroll” – Australian for cinnamon roll, two tangerines, a pie (meat pie), another pie (meat pie) and a breakfast croissant (ham and cheese), we were ready for mediocre coffee and yellow-tinted water for our bidons. The sun was still shining, so we went off, rain jackets strapped to our bags.
The winter in Victoria can be unforgiving. One minute, it’ll be sunny and the next, a monsoon. After losing a 5D Mkiii body to the Roobaix (R.I.P. baby), I was hesitant to shoot in the rain, so a sunny morning meant more photos and more photos means more “recovery stops.” Even, in the end, that means for hurterer legs. Bugga!
Our day would be packed with hardpack. Lots of climbing, up steep hills, over the range and back down into Healesville. On paper, it looked easy, on the legs, not so much. 65ish miles and 7,000′ of almost all dirt meant we were in for a long day and even longer descents. BRAPPPPP!
Thankfully, the morning light and afternoon landscapes kept my mind off the lactic acid fermentation forming in my quads… See for yourself in the Gallery!
A few years back, Andy from FYXO and Dan from Shifter took a 220lb blogger from America on a ride in the Yarra Ranges to which the bloke barely came out alive. That ride broke me and in the process, jump-started my path to personal fitness. If I was going to keep documenting rides like that, I needed to be in shape.
Each time I visit OZ, we do another ride and while they’re not necessarily as difficult, they end up being special in their own regards.
This trip, UpDave planned a route that would take us from Healesville to Alexandra, skirting along the Yarra Ranges and through the Cathedral mountains. There were going to be eight of us in total but as the ride neared, one by one, the riders dropped out, including Dave, leaving Andy, Tom from Rapha, Daniel from Soigneur and myself.
From eight to four? Sounds good to me. I looked forward to the peace, the sun, the solitude, the gum trees, the wildlife and that silence you find in the ‘bush. You know, the only noise you’ll hear all day is the cyclocross tires spitting sand off as you ride along and eventually the word “cunnnnnnt” echoing as the pitch steepened.
That and the cockatoos… Even the giant black red-tailed beauties!
Since it was winter, we had very little daylight and totaled only 66 miles and 5,600′ after Andy’s morning mechanical set us back a few hours. Fine with me. More time to shoot photos… Read on in the Gallery!
It’s one thing to visit a frame builder’s operations but it’s another to actually get to ride bikes with them. When I say “ride”, I mean max heart rate, dripping sweat, leg-cramping, trail chasing.
After FYXO and I visited Darren at Baum Cycles, he invited us to go ride their local trails at the You Yangs Regional Park. The You Yangs are quite the locale. Along the mostly flat countryside between Melbourne and Geelong, rises this abrupt hill range. The You Yangs is a dense trail system nestled inside that range.
Road tripping in Southern Utah
Words and photos by Ryan Wilson
Utah has always been on a list with Colorado, the Alps, Pyrenees, and few other places that I’ve wanted to go to, but knew I’d never have enough time to do and see everything I wanted to do there. It always made me hesitant to commit to a shorter trip. However, a few weeks ago I saw a small window of opportunity, and finally decided I’d rather see a fraction of it than none, so I took the 6 hour haul from Los Angeles to the southwestern corner of Utah to hit a few big climbs and national parks. The plan was to try to squeeze a couple rides and hikes in through Zion, Bryce, and some of the surrounding mountains in 4 days.