Laboring up Mount Lemmon this winter with roadies on light bikes with rim brakes, I started thinking, I want a road bike! It rarely rains in Tucson, almost never in the winter. In the sunshine, rim brakes on carbon rims work fine. But what really is the difference? I was riding around on a Specialized Diverge, a performance carbon gravel bike with disc brakes and 38mm tires. I love the Diverge. It rides great. But I still had questions. What would a true road bike feel like? How would it feel after 100 miles or 200 miles or 1,000 miles? (more…)
Superstoke 2018 rolled out of the Hill Country State Natural Area at a cloudy and cool nine o’clock Saturday morning, one hour behind schedule. Past rides had departed closer to dawn, typically routed through more than one hundred miles of variable Central Texas roadway. This year’s route topped out at ninety, however- less mileage and group’s need for caffeine overcame any concerns about being caught out after dark. (more…)
The Origins of Arctic Exploration
Photos and words by Bjørn Olson
March 1998 – Behind me, a strong and gusty north wind stung my legs. On a rock-hard snow trail, I bombed over the frozen sea ice of Norton Sound, effortlessly. My modified mountain bike with Snow Cat rims and two and a half inch wide tires was shifted into the highest gear. With each gust, the fine crystalline snow swirled around the trail in hypnotic patterns, blowing past me and over the polished glass surface of the exposed sea ice. In front of me and to the right sat a lonely and distant mountain cape. To my left was the shallow arc beach of the Norton Bay coastline, several miles away. (more…)
Edit note: It came to my attention quickly that the original wording of this article, in my attempt to be playful and transparent with the fact that this was a weekend with my partner whom I adore, I undermined the hard work that Brenda and other Minneapolis WTFs have put in for their community. I asked John to take down the article in that form. Brenda has rewritten the article to better respect their community and women in cycling at large. – Spencer
Cuyuna is everything I love about the Midwest packed into 300 acres. What we lack in elevation we make up for with flowy singletrack through aspens, pines, and descents towards crystal clear lakes. The trails are so immaculately maintained you would have never guessed this place was used for anything else except mountain biking. (more…)
The Mojave. Mountain bikes. There are actually very few places where the two overlap both at any official or extensive capacity. Which is strange, seeing as how the sheer scale of the Mojave Desert in California can be lost while looking at a map. There has to be a trail network worth riding in there somewhere! It takes up so much of Southern California! In my experience, this scale is only decipherable after attempts to explore, document and traverse. Otherwise, you’re just looking at expansive land, with a few mountains scattered throughout.
There’s a lot that Southern California got wrong, but setting aside expanses of unadulterated high Mojave Desert is one thing it got right. Riding bikes through said landscape, only to culminate in a city filled with big box architecture, sports cars and golf courses supplies the much-needed reflection to further appreciate these experiences.
That’s the Palm Canyon Epic; one big juxtaposition, or macro juxtaposition if you will. From Piñon, Juniper, Chaparral, and Sagebrush to Cholla, Agave, Barrel, and Beavertail, the flora and fauna you experience on this ride is unlike anything I’ve ridden before. I’m always on the lookout for desert experiences on the bicycle and let me tell you, the feeling you get while looking for a place, or a route to ride, is equivocal to the vastness experienced while actually there, pleasantly pedaling. Or hell, even pedaling in pain can be fun too. This route has it all.
Luckily, on this ride, there were eleven of us, making for a truly unique excursion into the wide openness that is the southernmost tip of the Mojave Desert. (more…)
At the end of each year comes a state of reflection over here at the Radavist. One where I look back at all the imagery created over the previous twelve months and begin to compile a visual catalog of this site’s many narratives. From Peru to Pennsylvania, the autodidact raconteurs who contribute to the Radavist do a damn fine job at documenting their lives, experiences and the people who make this tight community come alive.
This year, I attempted and failed at the year in review post multiple times. For some reason, the linear narrative felt too contrived, too forced. The content, or photographs rather, wanted to live on their own to tell their own tales and come alive once again. In the internet era, moments are often lost to the ephemeral experience of web publishing, which is why I find galleries like this so important to not only this website in particular but our community as a whole.
Please enjoy these photos, these vignettes into each photographer’s life experiences. Bear no mind to the captions, since altering those would in turn, alter their original Reportage. Instead use them to jump-start your mind, perhaps driving you to search back through the archives.
Thanks to the many authors who make this website what it is, continue to share the stoke and thank you, the readers, for coming back!
Once Upon a Time in the Bolivian West
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson
After spending a year riding the constantly undulating roads in the Cordilleras of Perú and Bolivia, it was time to switch it up just a bit and head out for the altiplano of Bolivia’s volcano-laden western region. This is the area where most cycle tourists head when passing through Bolivia and it’s also the place where the country really earns its reputation of vast open spaces with an endless array of sandy/corrugated roads, and other-worldly landscapes. (more…)
It was Independence Day, July 4th. In the trailer park town of Eagle Point in Oregon four of us took refuge and slept on the steps of the local church – intimidated by the general hoo-ha of the patriotic celebrations. On the concrete under the watchful eye of JC while fireworks exploded and smoke settled. My first Independence Day. (more…)
The neon hub of the American West is Las Vegas. An oasis for many, plopped just outside the California / Nevada border, in an otherwise inhospitable zone if it weren’t for the constant intravenous drip of water and tourism capital.
As Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi outlined in their manifesto, Learning from Las Vegas, the “ugly and ordinary architecture, or the decorated shed,” epitomizes man’s ruin. My interpretation of this architectural masterpiece is man’s inability to create anything that competes visually with the natural world, just beyond the boundaries of this neon wasteland. This is not a cynical view of development, or architecture in general, rather a point of departure for this particular trip.
“The human argument for setting aside vast stretches of the American desert as parks and preserves and wilderness and plain open space always includes the importance of unspoiled vistas. As the only real difference between Las Vegas and Death Valley is that we made a strategic decision to fill one with casino hotels and insurance company headquarters and neighborhoods while leaving the other more or less intact for the mutual benefit of humanity and the plants and creatures and ecosystems in such a mostly wild place.” Ken Layne, Desert Oracle, #016.
Death Valley prides itself on being the Hottest, Driest, and Lowest National Park. It, along with the deserts of Africa and the Middle East, is one of the hottest places on Earth, with temperatures exceeding 120ºF frequently during the summer months. In fact, the highest temperature ever recorded was 134ºF (56.7ºC) on July 10, 1913, at Furnace Creek. As its name implies, Death Valley is indeed made up of a series of basins, bordered by mountain ranges, of varying geologic characteristics. From the striped strata of the Last Chance Range, to the colorful, mineral-rich Funeral Mountains and the alien-like, almost science fiction-native, Amargosa Range. (more…)
420.69th annual Nutmeg Nor’easter
I’ve lived in the same area of shoreline Connecticut my entire life. My home is a garage artist’s studio that I just so happen to share with my mom’s gardening tools. Paris, Milan, Clinton, CT. As weather permits, I return home about 4 months out of the year; always being sure not to miss the splendor of autumn; the beauty of death as the colors fall, ushering in the grim shadows of wintär. (more…)