These days, I’m spending a lot of time riding and lugging around my DSLR. While I’d much rather do a ride with close friends and leave the camera at home, I couldn’t pass up yet another year of the Blackburn Ranger Camp. Last year’s ride / popsicle hammock experience was too good, so when Robin from Blackburn invited me along for a second time, I accepted the invitation without hesitation, only picking up on keywords: “camping, Big Basin, Redwoods, bourbon, BB guns, beach, Sea Otter, Niner bikes.”
The logistics of my past few weeks went something like this: Giro Grinduro shoot in Sierra Nevada, home for two days, back to Cali for Eroica, ride 130 miles on a 1982 7-speed crit bike, drive immediately to San Jose, arrive at airport hotel at 1am, work for 3 hours, sleep for 3 hours, cab it to the San Jose Airport, pack up my Niner RLT9 Steel cross bike with three day’s supplies, clear CF cards, and commence the herding of cats…
WARNING! This is going to make you HATE that today is Monday. 100 images await you…
The cycling industry is a competitive place. With mountain bikers clamoring over Enduro, the road and dirt industry has its sights on gravel grinder races. As the name implies, the Grinduro is a mix of the two. A mix, but a whole lot more…
Giro’s Grinduro is an entire weekend event that unfolds in the town of Quincy, California. A place that can get quite warm in the summer, so luckily, the event takes place in October. Participants will be able to camp at the fabled Quincy Campground, be fed by Chris King’s Gourmet Century, enjoy beer from Sierra Nevada brewery and enjoy music from live bands.
The format of the race includes timed climb segments, timed descent segments and a ripping 12-mile long singletrack ender. The intent is to chat leisurely in between segments, get to know your fellow racers, enjoy delicious food along the way and then give your all during the timed sections. Once you’re done, finish up the night at the campsites with a massive shindig.
The following Gallery was taken on the Giro Grinduro course, a 65 mile long mixed terrain route with approximately 9,000′ of elevation. These roads are some of the most beautiful in the area and as you will see, will not disappoint… Will you Grinduro?
Registration is open now, so head to the Grinduro site for more information.
Like many people, we decided to make a weekend of the Eroica California. Rather than fly or drive in for the ride itself. The city of Paso Robles hosted the event this year and since it’s smack dab in wine country, there were numerous places to eat good food and plenty cheap wine to go around. Luckily, my friends at Giro had rented a house, so a few of us camped out in the yard, atop a bluff overlooking town, rather than have to spring on a hotel.
The first day was spent mostly working on bikes. There was a lot of late-night tubular gluing, cable stretching, brake adjustment and minor part replacements. Things like that are always last-minute, right?
Saturday brought around the festival and the Concours. Tons of vintage bikes were on display for people to ogle, ask questions about, reminisce and take photos of. My only regret for the weekend was not shooting a few of these unique rides…
Yesterday was the event itself and since I had already ridden the course earlier in the year and was rather pleased with my photos, I decided to opt for my Fuji X100T, rather than the DSLR setup I’ve been lugging around on these rides as of late. We got a later start than anticipated, but had a decent sized group.
We rolled out of the gate at 8:30, almost two hours late and headed into the morning sun. It’d be a long day, filled with rest stops, wildlife, wine and plenty of climbing. We’d lose some of our group to wrong turns and our minds on the climbs. After 130 miles and around 10,000′ of elevation on 7 speed freewheels, we were all a little shelled…
Check out more in the Gallery and many thanks to Eroica California, Giro and all the volunteers for making the day so memorable!
Lauren and I have done plenty of camping and she’s done her share of cycling around town, but we’ve never gone on a bicycle camping trip together. Yesterday morning, I was surprised to hear her ask if I wanted to get in some tent time before I headed out on the road again on Friday.
So last night, I packed up some bags, a tent, my trusty Lodge cast iron skillet and food for two meals. We headed out to the closest state park in the area: McKinney Falls. The route there is pretty easy, even loaded down with a bunch of gourmet food, wine, a hatchet and a skillet. I took it slow and coached Lauren through the climbs, we stopped for photos and tried our best to ignore the impatient rush-hour traffic zipping past. The weather looked nice, with bright blue sunny skies. It didn’t rain this go-round, but it was still quite enjoyable…
I didn’t think this mandated a whole gallery, so check out a scrolling story below.
Going Just Because: Three Months of the Sierra Nevada
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson
Every year fall rolls around and the itch hits me. I know the days of many of the high mountain passes throughout California’s Sierra Nevada mountains are numbered. If we’re lucky they’d be buried in feet of snow for almost half of the year. It turned out this year was yet another unlucky one, but still I feel that push to go and explore the roads in my favorite mountain range while I know I can…
“John, let’s just ride bikes, don’t bring your camera.”
I’ve heard it countless times and history has proven that no matter what, if I don’t bring my camera, I end up wishing I had. Especially when it comes to new trails. Extra especially when it comes to new trails in the Pacific Northwest.
On my last day in Portland, Ira and Tony from Breadwinner Cycles invited me on a Sunday afternoon trail ride, about an hour outside of Portland in the Brown’s Camp trail network. Up until that point, all I had ridden in the PDX area was Sandy Ridge and a few trails in Forest Park. Not exactly a sampling of the land.
Part of Portland’s allure is the accessibility of exceptional “all-road” riding. The Athletic‘s office is just minutes away from Forest Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country. While most of the singletrack and trails are illegal for cycling, two roads, Leif Erikson and Saltzman offer plenty of dirt and gravel to make an average road ride all the more interesting.
Add in the beauty of springtime green, some killer #lightbro, great company and you’ve got one hell of a short, sub 20 mile ride.
Check out more photos below!
No Thanks, but Thanks
Photos and words by Kyle Von Hoetzendorff
I have made the decision to believe that that yes, global warming is happening. There is a ton of heavy shit that goes along with that, I know, I get it; superstorms, biblical droughts, floods, famine, plague, strife, real estate devaluations, shorter ski seasons, etc. A truckload, boatload, superfund, Yucca Mountain amount of issues right? Mega fusion/fission, black hole singularities, end-of-days issues.
But that’s all in the future right? I mean we’re good for a little while anyway. Us humans, as a social species, as a global community, we have never really been good at preventative care, especially if that means making things harder on ourselves. You could say that human evolution has really just been one long march towards the Lazy Boyz, on-demand, and a multi-stage high and low compression and rebound damping. By and large, we are a “wait and see” bunch…
While the Rouge Roubaix and coincidentally, the Rouge Roubaix Builder Challenge were both huge successes this year, there were a few things that I felt needed recognition. These can best be broken into a few groups: Chris Diminno’s hard work keeping us all fed, Mosaic’s team of ladies that crushed it, Will Jones’ dedication to the safety of racers and last but not least, the vernacular found in the Deep South.
Down and Dirty in Santa Cruz
Photos by Ryan Wilson and Sean Talkington. Words by Sean Talkington
Ty, Ryan, Jackie and myself were recently invited up to Santa Cruz to meet with some of our fellow Instagram bike brethren (aka nerds). We were brought up to test out the new Roubaix Di2 disk outerspace/starwars bikes by Specialized. I was getting over a cold so Ty and I decided to carpool up a day later. We showed up a little late but arrived just in time to partake in what we hoped to be four straight days of great riding with or without torrential rainfall. Regardless of the forecast, we were optimistic. Each day was scheduled to be wetter than the previous, but the terrain was going to be so good that the weather wouldn’t be a factor.
Everything was pretty awesome. Things couldn’t be better! That is, until the start of day 3. That’s when it happened. When I got the feeling in my stomach. You know the feeling?! The feeling when your stomach drops, like REALLY “droooooooops” (30 minutes into the ride) and you start sweating profusely (even though its 51 degrees outside). Then you realize you’ve caught the stomach bug that has been going around the house (Rudy from The 5th Floor had it the day before and a European journalist before him).
I would now like for you to put yourself in my shoes for a minute (or better yet my bibs). You are now officially going to turn your insides out. The probability of you holding it in for more than a single minute is extremely low and while the rest of the group keeps on riding, you start to fall off the back. Then you realize you left your phone at the house because you didn’t want it to get wet. So you have absolutely no idea where you are or how to get back to the house and of course you don’t know the address/location where you are staying.