Before NAHBS coverage engulfed this site, our Moab crew was looking for another ride to undertake before uprooting and driving to Salt Lake City for the convention show. Porcupine was closed, due to snow and as a consequence, mud. Other trails like Portal might be too rowdy for our group and we’d already explored a lot of the other trails in the area. That’s when Josh, a local, and part owner of the Robber’s Roost condo we rented, recommended we do his favorite shuttle ride in the area: Navajo Nascar. (more…)
It doesn’t matter where you go in the American West, you’ll always hear the sayings “if you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes” and “you’ll have four seasons in one ride here!” In Moab that definitely holds true this time of year.
NAHBS is around the corner and a few weeks ago, a text thread circulated from a handful of builders asking if we’d be interested in riding mountain bikes in Moab before the three days of tradeshow engulfed our lives. Of course, I was into that idea, as it never takes too much convincing to ride awesome trails. Rough plans were made and on Sunday morning, we began our journey out to Moab.
After battling 65mph winds on the highway, we were a bit tired from the drive and the following morning, we needed to gather some local reconnaissance on the local trail conditions. I rode Captain Ahab three years ago with SRAM and really wanted to ride it again, but this time on a hardtail. Porcupine was also on our agenda, although a trip to Poison Spider made us change our agenda. The snow and rain had caused a bit of mud to form on that iconic trail, making it off-limits. Coming to Moab and not being able to ride Porcupine is a bummer, but there are plenty of dry trails to ride.
Ahab is named after the rock formation in the background, which looks like a whale.
We grabbed breakfast, kitted up, found a parking spot and took off to ride. Ahab is a blast and the climb up HyMasa is plenty scenic. As per the introduction to this story, we encountered 30mph gusts, snow, hail, sleet and baking hot sunshine, all within the 9-mile loop.
With a good amount of time to kill and our adjacency to some amazing geologic formations, we ended the day soaking in the sunset driving through Arches National Park…
I recently got Cari an All-City Mr. Pink. She really loves her Elephant Bikes NFE but wanted something zippier to ride around town and go on longer rides with not only me but her girlfriends who often organize ladies-only road rides. I knew if I left it to her to buy a new bike, she’d never do it, as someone who prefers to be frugal and spend her money on experiences, rather than possessions. Even though I see bicycles as vessels for said experiences.
Anyway, her Mr. Pink showed up to Golden Saddle, it got built up, I swapped out her saddle and gave her some special edition Yanco bags I had made from the California Sage pattern. We spun around town a few times before ramping up to a big, tough ride.
Yesterday we rode through the Hollywood Hills, up to Mulholland Drive and across the Santa Monica Mountains to Topanga, before dropping down to the coast for some food. After meeting a friend for lunch, we pedaled down to Santa Monica and took the Expo subway line back to Silver Lake. Our ride came in at 40 miles and 4,000′. It was the longest ride Cari’s ever been on, and surely offered some challenges for someone who’s used to riding a 27.5″ x 2.0″ tire on rocky dirt roads.
Now her biggest challenge is finding clothing that isn’t “overtly bike geeky.” One step at a time…
Double Vision in Montana and Utah
Photos and words by Locke Hassett
This gallery is the product of dirt, light, stupidity and celluloid. The following images are accidental double exposures. Most of the time, this hack in an analog cameras’ mechanics is used for artistic effect, like purposely exposing a silhouette onto a leaf, or a friend’s face onto a bottle of Chartreuse. These images are not intentional. After shooting a roll of Portra 400 on a bike tour-party that was hosted by myself and the Freecycles crew, I wound the film back. But not quite enough. When I went to load my (t)rusty Pentax K1000, whose meter was killed by the #DFL Divide trip, I grabbed the same roll of Portra, not knowing that I would be exposing a 4-day ride of Kokopelli’s trail onto images of slingshots and drinking bagged wine from a frame bag.
Most photographers (myself included) don’t normally enjoy surprises. When I got this roll back, I was initially quite upset, until I began to review the images. Whether it be Whitney FT emerging from a hailstorm wearing goat horns, Sir Thomas Danger Kitty McKean pounding up a hill next to my boss, or Jess navigating a boulder field as Cameron cruises shirtless, I began to see that these images reflected the absurdity of bike touring, as well as the inherent unpredictability of the trail. Embracing accidents often leads to some of the best memories, and this roll is photo-proof.
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Editor’s Note: When I lived in Austin, Texas, I wanted to bring my friends who were accustomed to racing a training on a weekend outing of camping and riding dirt roads. Since this time of year in Texas, the parks are often crowded, I decided that Super Bowl Weekend would be ideal, since everyone in Texas would be glued to their televisions and not driving their RVs to campsites around the state. Over the past few years, the ride has continued, further morphing into this year’s Seattle-Austin exchange program… Check out the first Super Bro Weekend photoset in our archives.
Part I: Central Texas Excursion (Code name: Vitamin D)
In the past few years, a tradition has formed in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, where the adventurous souls of Beat The Clock Cycling go out to explore the far edges of the cycling universe. This year’s edition brought with it a special layer of stoke. Through a conversation between delegates from Seattle-based Swift Industries and Austin-based Beat The Clock, an idea began to percolate. The delegates were discussing a future trip up to Washington when the idea of a cycling exchange program was born. For the Northwesterners, the pull of the warm Texas winter was too much to resist, and it was decided that the Cascadia contingent would join forces with the Texans. This idea turned into Super Stoke Weekend, where the visitors could experience firsthand what the Texas Hill Country had to offer. Anticipating a sprightly and somewhat daunting 300 miles of mixed surface riding for the weekend, the Seattle crew began an intense training regimen of weekly randos/taco cleanses. (more…)
Traversing the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson
By far the number one thing people bring up when they find out you’re going to Peru is Machu Picchu. In fact, that’s probably the response at least 95% of the time. To be fair, prior to stumbling upon photos of the Cordillera Blanca on Google Earth one day, Machu Picchu was always the first thing that came to my mind as well, so it’s a hard thing to fault. (more…)
The prefrontal cortex is relatively well-developed in my brain, meaning self-control and personal safety awareness is high. Honed even. Other riders out there might have a more underdeveloped PFC, meaning they’re willing to huck themselves down massive step-downs and over canyons without more than a few moments of hesitation. In the world of mountain biking, I’d rank myself and my friends as capable riders. Obviously, many of the riders I photograph have skill levels that are a few notches higher than mine. Some of them grew up riding BMX or motocross and a mountain bike just feels natural up in the air, oftentimes one wheel or two at a time. Photographing these rad atavists is just one of the reasons why I love my job, yet all it takes is a change of scenery to feel like you’re in over your head. This sea change was found once we left the common trails in Hurricane, Utah for a neighboring outpost called Virgin. Home to RedBull Rampage and other free-riding spots, Virgin is in many ways, the home base for the sport. (more…)
Touring the Rocky Mountain Front
Photos and words by Locke Hassett
“Mel’s Diner, 9ish?” is the text I received from Cameron. The night before, he left in a frazzled state to go to the Rocky Mountain Front, and I followed the next morning. This vast expanse of abrupt cliffs where the Rockies meet the Great Plains spans much of North America, so I was glad that he specified a diner as a meeting place. We fueled up on strong coffee, plenty of biscuits and gravy, bought a map, two slingshots, whiskey, lemonade and a few cookies from the Augusta general store. A fine establishment that acts as the local liquor store, gun shop, grocery, outfitter and purveyor of homemade baked goods. (more…)
My buddy Tyler is moving to California from Austin, TX to work at Strava in San Francisco. On his drive to his new home, he swung through Los Angeles for two days. While yesterday was a grunt of a dirt ride, today we found our pain in the Hollywood Hills. I love taking people on rides in LA and I only wish we could round out his experience on mountain bikes! Next time, buddy!
The high desert in the winter is unpredictable. It could be sunny one minute and stormin’ another. Because of this schizophrenia, we found ourselves seeking local reconnaissance before heading out on our next trail ride. The roads could be in horrible condition, or the trails under snow. After talking to a few locals, we were advised to swing by Over the Edge in Hurricane. The shop workers had been scouting all of the local trails to determine shredability. We had already planned on visiting the shop, so now we had another incentive to do so.
With Hurricane being a MTB destination for tourists like us, the last thing we wanted to do was piss off the locals by riding wet trails, or driving on roads with excessive mud. Luckily, we didn’t venture up to Gooseberry, as the guys at Over the Edge advised against driving on the road. Instead, they pointed us to neighboring Guacamole Mesa. While it’s not as famed as Gooseberry, Guac has a lot packed into this relatively small area. (more…)