Like all animals, human beings posses that atavistic urge to play. It’s been said that a dog will die if it can’t exercise and perhaps humanity can learn a little from that. Look, we’re highly evolved animals, but we’re still animals.
Yesterday, a solid crew of individuals ascended upon the Angeles National Forest to ride bikes, talk the talk and attempt to ride the walk (or the parts of the trail that are just too steep to ride.) A few photographers, a few bike shop owners, an intern, a man with a mustache, a brand owner, a tourist and a blogger (that’s me) all met at the trail head around 4pm, after the hour drive from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles.
The bikes were as varied as the individuals who chose to pedal into the fleeting light and as mother nature began to drop a nuke on the Angeles Nat’l Forest, some animal-like behavior began to shine. Playing, eating, talking shit (barking) and then we all became mesmerized by the spectacle that is mother nature.
A ride is best measured by the amount of time soaking in the scenery and exploring one’s own abilities on the bicycle, not the moving time, elevation or distance traveled.
DO NOT FEED!
We ended with pizza, a few beers and a sated drive back down to the City of Angels.
If you can’t tell, life has been complicated over here. All last week, I was packing up my belongings, selling or giving away the excess and planning for the final move from Austin to Los Angeles. Both the emotional and physical baggage I left Austin with is now in LA, still boxed up awaiting to be opened and placed in their home.
It’s been a busy, stressful, overwhelming few days and as a cyclist, that means I can only relax by pedaling my bike, preferably with friends and on some dirt. Luckily, there’s a lot of both in my new city.
We’ve seen photos from these trails before. Cherry Canyon is like a mini-Verdugos. It’s what can be best described as a cross-country park with fireroads going up the hills and singletrack offshoots bombing down. You pedal up for about 10 minutes and rip down for 5. When you realize that a trail system is a little boring on a mountain bike, you take out your cyclocross bike and try to go as fast as possible down… If you’re still losing interest, do so at night.
Night riding is part of life as a cyclist. Especially in Fall. My buddy Jack drove over with me in the moving truck to hang in LA, so we hit up Sean from Team Dream Team to take us on a spin.
I’ve been using the Bontrager Ion700t lights for trail riding, paired with the Bluetooth switch. One on the bars and one on the helmet. 700 lumens has proven to be more than enough to illuminate the trails in a city like LA, with its excessive light pollution. Expect a more thorough review soon.
Last night, Cherry Canyon provided a great sunset and a perfect way to reduce the overpowering and crippling stress of a move. Things will pick up full speed next week… thanks for your patience.
The dog days of summer have landed in Los Angeles. After a completely amazing time in SF, I hopped on a plane and found myself in LA with an agenda unlike anything before: find a place to live and hopefully, an office to work out of. The stars aligned and my dirt sacrifices to the Necronomicog paid off. For the most part anyway. A new home base, somewhere to explore roads and uncover new experiences, or just spend time on the roads and trails with friends, old and new.
Los Angeles will be my new home town and this past trip was stunning on many levels. While this is by no means a story, it is a paraphrased visual showcase to just some of the rides we went on, many of which I’ll expand upon relocation to the west coast.
Coincidentally, because I can’t ever seem to leave for a ride without a camera, I managed to pull together some random photos, which make for a perfect distraction on a Friday afternoon.
I was long overdue for a work-related trip…
After packing my bags and my bike into a box, I boarded a plane for one of my favorite cycling destination cities in the US: San Francisco. Let’s backtrack a bit first though. In SF, it’s essential to stay with friends, if you have any that live there. Luckily, I have a few and one couple has been my go-to host home in recent trips: Erik and Sofia from the Great Escape.
When I asked Erik if I could crash with him while I was in town, he obliged and then invited me on a impromptu camping trip the Saturday I arrived into town. My flight got in late, so as I was packing my bike, I loaded my Porcelain Rocket bags with the gear I’d need for a sub-24 hour jaunt into some Marin hills.
The Rapha Prestige Midwest: Humidity Reigns
Words and photos by Kevin Scott Batchelor
The last time I got the call to cover a Rapha Prestige event, I found myself wondering how any of the teams were going to handle the brutal course that had awaited them. More than 130 miles with 14,000 feet of climbing, on mixed terrain, with dizzying temperatures, sounded much more like a stage in the Vuelta than something my friends might ride. LA was a monster, complete with jagged teeth and scorching breath. With only a fraction of the teams finishing what was surely the hardest ride of their riding lives, this would be the last of the pro tour level parcours, right? (more…)
The Official Get Sick Day Worldwide Recap
Photos from a whole lotta folks and words by Sean Talkington
Think about what we use our personal or sick days for? Dumb stuff. Staying home sick (or if you have kids you stay home when they get sick), going to the doctor, going to the DMV, jury duty, visiting in-laws, funerals, etc. Question: What do all of these things have in common? The Answer: None of them are fun. Sure, you can schedule your vacation time around whatever events you want but what if you really just want or need a single day to get your head right? Can you just tell your boss “I think I am going to skip tomorrow and ride my bike locally all day with some buddies. Might do a little swimming too. Fuck it. Maybe even grab tacos after and watch the sunset.” Some of you have awesome bosses but the majority of us are afraid to take a day off for ourselves… (more…)
The Desert Ramble
Photos and words by Erik Mathy
It all started some months back when Jason, aka Gnat, set off a discussion amongst a small group of us. The topic? A fatbike only bike-packing trip along the Kokopelli Trail to celebrate his birthday with Glenn, Eric, Lelan, Jim, Bobby, Brady, Cass, Tim and myself. The Kokopelli is a gorgeous, 142-mile, multi-use trail connecting two of the great meccas of mountain biking in the United States: Fruita, CO and Moab, UT. It features a ton of technical single track, rocks, places where we’d carry our bikes up embankments, and long stretches of desert. Once we got to Moab, we’d spend a day riding the Porcupine Rim Trail before doing one last incredible overnight camp on Kane Creek Road.
Summer Solstice on the Swift Campout with Beat the Clock in Austin
Words by Gideon Tsang, photos by Gideon Tsang and Spencer Brown
On the morning of the Summer Solstice, Beat the Clock hosted a Swift Campout in honor of the longest day of the year. We awoke to the familiar cloud cover that has come with Texas’ rainiest year on record. Swampy barely beats the scorching summer sun but beggars can’t be choosers, eh?
13 of us rolled out from Sa-Ten Coffee and Eats onto the desolate roads of central Texas towards Bastrop State Park. The protagonist of the route is Old Sayers, a 10 mile gravel road filled with rolling hills and handsome oak trees. It always feels like we’re riding into a Terrence Malick film. If the storybook setting weren’t enough, we pulled over for a nature break at a tree swing. We swung with giggles and ‘Grams.
As we arrived in Bastrop early in the afternoon, the rain gods welcomed us by opening the heavens. The remainder of the evening was spent fashioning coyote scarves, camp coffee and of course, whiskey. If all days could be spent bike camping with friends, make them days longer!
Follow Gideon on Instagram and follow Spencer on Instagram.
I got food poisoning. My allergies are killing me. I have a fever. It must have been the shrimp I ate. Whatever the excuse was people all over the world got sick today, calling into their jobs and taking the morning off to ride bikes. The idea is genius and also a bit sketchy. You could get fired! Or you could just spend a day on your bike instead of in an office. That was the intention anyway.
When Sean from Team Dream Team first brought up the idea of #GetSickDay – which at the time was called “fuck work day” – I thought it was brilliant. After a bunch of emails behind the scenes, he organized a bunch of group rides in cities all over the world. Portland, SF, Los Angeles, NYC, London… the list goes on and on.
I happened to be home in Austin, so I led a mixed terrain ride and Andre led a road ride, both leaving from Mellow Johnny’s downtown this morning. We rode around 40 miles after determining the original route would take even longer. Rides like this take forever and that’s the intention.
Take your time, eat tacos, drink a beer and hit a few swimming holes!
Riding in the Tetons with Mavic
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson
A couple weeks ago Mavic invited a group of journalists, athletes, and myself to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to put a few pieces from their revamped Ksyrium lineup through their paces in and around Grand Teton National Park. This was my first time in Wyoming and really my first time riding in the Rockies at all, so it goes without saying I was excited to see what the riding was like.