Inyo County. Home to the lowest and highest point in the contiguous United States. Home to Death Valley, the White Mountains and parts of the Eastern Sierra. When I think about Inyo County, I think of a certain sense of exploration, of all-day, or week-long excursions into the unknown. I think of the very thing that motivates myself and many others to drop everything, pack up the truck, and just go.
This sense of exploration has fueled so much of the content of this website over the years and when I look at just last year’s best stories, most came from Inyo County. From our Triple Header out of Lone Pine to the Prospector’s Pack Mule bikepacking trip, and countless other stories from the region, this beautiful place has inspired me, and others, hopefully, to take full advantage of our beautiful public lands.
All this goes without saying, but there is an obvious underlying message in much of this content; be smart, be safe, and be kind, to the animals, the land, and other humans. (more…)
One of the things I’ve learned while spending time on the road is going with your gut. When I found out Easter Jeep Safari conflicted with our time in Utah, I knew we’d have to find camping outside of Moab. A few locals told me that town was mobbed, forcing them to seek refuge in Green River while people from all over the United States arrived in the Jeep mecca to drive the trails and show-off on Potato Salad Hill. I was bummed out, since I had been looking forward to this trip for some time, but figured something new and hopefully better would arise.
That’s when it happened, in a serendipitous way, as it often does. At the Green River Rock and Mineral Festival, we were mistakenly lead to a zone called Klondike Bluffs to rock hound with the group. Turns out, our group was supposed to be rockhounding nearby, but not at the bluffs specifically. While there, I noted what appeared to be an extensive trail network nestled in the rocky outcroppings and rolling hills. This zone backs up against Arches National Park, so it had views as well. Not Moab views, but views nonetheless. There was also free dispersed camping and a pit toilet. We were there on a Saturday morning and it was packed, with mountain bikers of all sorts from families to guys with pads and full face helmets. It seemed that I found our zone. (more…)
Fruita, it’s the mountain bike mecca you’ve most certainly heard about before and it was the meet-up location for our group after our road trip to Green River. We had people coming in from Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Bozeman, Northern California, and Southern California so Fruita seemed like a good starting point.
Then some bad news hit. While I was in Green River, I met some people who had fled their home base of Moab due to the Easter Jeep Safari. Oh yeah, it was Easter Sunday! Each year, supposedly 100,000 Jeeps register for the event, overrunning the small town and its trails. With this news, I immediately realized camping at Kane Creek was most likely not going to be able to happen, especially over the weekend. All this was in the back of my mind as I drove from Green River to Fruita on that Sunday morning. (more…)
The Forgotten Pass of the Atacama
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson
The Atacama Desert can be an intimidating place when you look at it on paper. There’s a certain mystique in the cycle-touring world that comes with being labeled the driest place on Earth. The lack of water also means that populated settlements are rare, which makes the vast 128,000 square kilometers of salty, sandy, and rocky terrain seem all the more inhospitable to someone looking to pedal their way through.
To be honest, the prospect of having to carry more than a week’s worth of food along with 3+ days worth of water at any given time didn’t just seem like a logistical challenge in trying to over-stuff bags and strap things to places where they shouldn’t be strapped… It seemed wholly unappealing. Just the thought of watching those liters disappear while you keep your fingers crossed that the next potential water source actually exists was enough to make me wonder if it would even be worth the stress. Still, I’d heard enough praise about the solitude and beauty of the Puna de Atacama that I just couldn’t pass up the chance to see what the hype was all about. (more…)
Speed. It’s a motivation for many on the bike and while it’s not something we necessarily pursue over here at the Radavist, there’s a certain beauty found within documenting it. The desert has a long history with speed. From iconic Trophy Trucks, to the Baja 1000 and the salt flats at Bonneville, the desert offers an iconic backdrop for the pursuit of speed.
As you’ve noticed, much of my free time – in the shoulder seasons anyway – is spent in the Mojave, Sonoran and Colorado deserts, the three zones surrounding Los Angeles. One of those zones that has always resonated with me, in both a geological and photographic manner, is Searles Valley surrounding Trona, a small town with a large mineral mining operation. Trona is named after the mineral they mine there and is very much active. From the supersonic, bird-deterrent sound canons, to the trains leaving with full cargo cars, the industry surrounding Trona extends well beyond the bustling town limits.
Luckily, someone somewhere made the conscious decision to set aside a region that borders this mineral extraction site known as the Trona Pinnacles. These tufa spires were formed as gas exited an ancient lake bed 10,000 to 100,000 years ago. Roughly 500 of these spires litter the landscape, with some reaching as high as 140 feet. The resulting landscape is straight out of a Hollywood SciFi flick, which is why I’ve wanted to do a commercial cycling shoot there since first coming to this region a few years back. (more…)
Craft in Tasmania
Words by Scott Mattern
, photos by Joe Cruz and Scott Mattern
The Tasmania of reputation and myth is an island of remoteness, wilderness, and wildlife. This isn’t wrong but it’s just the surface. A deeper sense of a place—not just that of passing through, but being in it—is from knowing what people there love and make. It’s from meeting the unique locals and craftspeople, sampling the produce and products.
Global mass production enables our modern world but leads to generic lifeless products with each one looking, feeling and tasting the same as the last. And so we find ourselves celebrating individually crafted handmade things with a uniqueness to them that sets them apart. With access to quality and unique raw materials, Tasmania has this craft tradition. One of the ideas I find appealing about bikepacking is that it allows you to immerse yourself not only in the wilderness and wildlife but also to create opportunities to make local connections to the food and culture of where you traveling. (more…)
I often find it ironic that as city dwellers, we spend every waking moment finding ways to escape the very thing that draws us to the city itself. This could be a by-product of a technologically-dependant age, yet people have flocked to cities since this country’s very inception. A lot has changed since the early days of Los Angeles, where orange orchards would stretch for miles upon miles and the hillsides used to glow a bright green. It was before invasive plants took over the hillsides and long before human-error spawned ravenous, almost insatiable forest fires. Yet, here we are trying to make this thing we call civilization work, and at least in some capacity, coexist with the natural beauty that surrounds our unintentional urban sprawl.
The Angeles National Forest is my favorite place in Los Angeles County to get away from it all. Oftentimes that means ducking out of responsibilities, evading work, life and everything else that drives my existence in this plane of tarmac. Sometimes it takes heavy convincing, which in LA usually comes in the form of low-pressure systems and cold fronts. When the clouds are angry, the soil and thus, the trails are happy. It’s an experience not to be missed (more…)
I know Friday morning group rides are tough for a lot of people to make, but for a group of freelancers and non-9 to 5’rs, the weekend’s riding schedule begins early with the TGSCIF rides. For those interesting in coming along, the group meets up at 7am at Intelligentsia coffee on Sunset Ave and leaves at 7:30am. For those who can’t make it, I do my best to document them, both photographically and on Strava, allowing you to take them on at your leisure. (more…)
Loose Lobster At The Landing: A Pre-NAHBS Tour Of Nutmeg Country
Photos By Renaldo, words by ‘Cobra Bones’ Sinkford
The show coming to the east coast for the first time meant all eyes are on Connecticut, and who could provide the ultimate pre-NAHBS experience with home court advantage than the mayor of Lobster Landing himself? I was told Nutmeg Country was a place of peace. A place of pizza, and pancake flat roads soft to the touch and pleasing to the eye. Two of those things are true.
Over the holidays the modern and progressive geometry of the #ultranutmegger was designed. Sklar would build a nutmeg themed dream bike for NAHBS, as custom as desired. That was a rabbit hole he should have never walked down. Seriously. One bike became two, because I was not going to be left out of the party. Truss forks and custom racks haunted young Adam’s dreams as the parts started to roll in, literally like Christmas. (more…)
Words by Dinah Gumns, photos by Spencer Harding
Serena and I were sitting on the blacktop overlooking Dodger’s stadium and downtown L.A. after an evening ride, and somewhere around the middle of the half pint of Hornito’s
“I wanna do the southern part of the Baja Divide but like… make it into a surf trip” fell out of my mouth.
“Aw hell yeah. Let’s go.”
From mid-October to late December, our plans shifted almost weekly. Within two weeks of our start date, Serena and Spencer finally bought their tickets. 24 hours before we flew to Cabo, Serena’s bike and gear came in the mail. In every sense, it was a “fuck it, we’re doing it live” trip.
We jammed fingers and sliced open our feet before we even got on the road. We got our periods in the middle of the Sierra la Lagunas and only made it 35 miles in two days. We rode with 8ft surfboards from Todos Santos to San Pedrito and Cerritos to surf whitewater and 2-3 foot shin-slappers. We washed our menstrual cups in rather suspect water. We couch-surfed and almost wept when we ate vegetables. We “dumped ‘em out” at the ocean, a lot. We wound up in a kite-surf wasteland that was full of margarita bars and too much Jack Johnson playing everywhere. We took acid and played on cliffs and drank all of some sweet old folk’s tequila and smoked all of their weed. We pet so many dogs. We almost gained a horse, twice. We used our words and didn’t fight or hate each other at the end. We got sand fleas. (more…)