Pedaling in Anger: Training Camp Camping Arizona
Photos and words by Ultra Romance
What do you ride a bike for? Is it simply fitness and abs? Primordial warrior expression? JFF (just for fun)? Commuting? Too many DWI’s? Do you just merely believe that personal auto ownership should be banned, and only for commercial use? Or maybe it’s all of the above? Regardless, if you are reading this, you are likely some kind of cyclist, or merely just a fan of my creative spellings and punctuation style. So what kind are you? What does sykling mean to YOU???
As many of you who subscribe to the fan club letter my mom mails out bi-weekly may know, I’ve recently enlisted in a documentary art performance piece directed by Dan and Kyle at Yonder Journal. It’s entitled Project Y, and its purpose is to answer the question Y (why) (get it?) predominately white suburban career professionals train and compete in events that are both nonsensical and detrimental to one’s health and interpersonal relationships for no real reason other than the intrinsic reward of simply finishing. I don’t get it, or maybe I once did, but regardless, it’s a documentary MOVIE, and I wanna be a movie star, always have. The catch is, I have to race the Dirty Kanza 200. I’m a 20-40 mile a day kinda guy, so some training would be necessary, I suppose. (more…)
Springtime Siestas on the Black Canyon Trail
Photos and words by Locke Hassett
A month or so ago, a friend and I decided to use a long weekend to explore the treasure that is the Black Canyon Trail (BCT). This flowing ribbon of almost all singletrack brings riders through distinct desert ecosystems bordering the eastern edge of the Bradshaw mountains between Mayer and just north of Phoenix. Being able to flow through prickly pear and ocotillo into the Sonoran desert, packed with Saguaros is an amazing experience, and to be able to do it over fantastic quality singletrack is icing on the spiny cake. We rode this trail in March, but it was still incredibly hot (90+ degrees at noon) especially for my Montana bones. We had the fortune of having plenty of water, while still having safe river crossings. To avoid the heat, we took siestas in shade near water sources and made trailside margaritas. (more…)
You don’t need a lot of space to have a good time on a bike, especially when the scenery is this good. Last Sunday, a group of us left the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles living, for the quiet countryside outside of Bakersfield. There lies a conservancy, a private lot of land called the Wind Wolves Preserve. Open daily to the public, but not RVs (yesssss!), you can enter this beautiful landscape for free, although a donation is requested. You can even camp there. We called ahead and made a site reservation a few days in advanced before loading up our vehicles with bikes, camping equipment, and food. It took about an hour and a half to arrive and once our plot of land was claimed, we set up our tents, caught up on each other’s life events and waited out the heat of the day. (more…)
Team Dream’s new Spring collection is going live on their new website today at 12 PST. To coincided with this launch, I figured I’d share our photoshoot images here on the site!
Home to the Owens River, bounded by the Inyo Mountains on the east, the Coso Range on the southeast, Sierra Nevada on the west and Chalfant Valley on the north, Owens Valley is one of the most geologically diverse areas in California, in my opinion anyway. It’s a veritable playground for the outdoors with Mount Whitney, the highest point in the lower 48 States, attracting hikers from all over the world. If you’re not into climbing a 14,505′ mountain, the Owens river is great for fishing and there are numerous other activities found surrounding the towns of Lone Pine, Big Pine and Independence, California. (more…)
Early spring is an ideal time to ride bikes in the Eastern Sierra corridor and Death Valley. The daytime temperatures aren’t scorching hot and even in the exposed, dry heat, there are nice cool breezes blowing off the surrounding mountains. Needless to say, in the spring, I like to leave the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles for some desert solitude. Now, “solitude” isn’t something easy to find in Death Valley, on a weekend, in one of the peak tourist times, but it’s remarkable how the park crowds thin out once you’re away from the stores and outposts sprinkled along highway 190.
Cari helped me on a photoshoot in the Eastern Sierra mountains on Saturday, so on Sunday we decided to drive over the Panamint Range in the Inyo National Forest and into Death Valley National Park to ride an easy, but breathtaking loop called Artist Drive. If you spent time in museums growing up as a kid, perhaps you remember “Astronaut Icecream?” Well, Artist Drive takes you through chunks of that stuff, only at the scale of mountains. The colors are other-worldly and since the road is freshly paved, it makes you feel as if you’re riding in a video game.
We parked on the side of the highway, put up window shades and began the morale-breaking 1000′ climb up to the first saddle. From there, it’s a rainbow rollercoaster through geologic formations and colors akin to broken easter eggs, with the occasional motorist driving past, looking at you with such disbelief that you can’t help but laugh.
Once you complete Artist Drive, it’s a 3.5 mile ride back uphill on the park road to your car and for Cari and I, a 3 hour drive back to our house in Independence, California. If you time it right, Mother Nature will put on a different display of colors… If you’re in Death Valley with a bike, I highly suggest this short, but scenic ride.
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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The Super Stoke Weekend Seattle-Austin Exchange Program
Photos by Gideon Tsang, Jordan Gomez, Jonathan Kneve and Alex Gui, words by Jordan Gomez
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…)