Jotunheimen Super Randonnée
Words and photos by Johan Björklund
In late July it was finally warm and dry in Sweden, so we decided to go to cold and wet Norway and ride the Jotunheimen Super Randonnee, 600km with 10 600 meters of elevation. We had been talking about it for the last two years when Daniel, Even and I suddenly decided to ride it without doing any real planning.
A Super Randonnee is a 600km brevet, but with a minimum of 10 000 meters of elevation gain. In return, you get a more generous time limit, from 2017 and forward 60 hours and before that 50 hours plus one extra hour per additional 1000 meters of elevation. They’re run as permanents, so you can ride it when you want with the permission from the local organizer. The regular brevet card for stamping at gas stations is partly replaced by awkward staged photos where the bikes of all riders with an attached plastic sign have to be visible at specific locations. (more…)
There’s nothing like a California sunset, especially over the San Gabriel Mountains here in Los Angeles. Those faded evenings usually come after an all-time MTB ride and for Nathan, he was craving some trail time. Sure, he’d ridden a lot of the singletrack in our great city on a bike before: his Rock Lobster all-road, but he wanted to finally rip them up – and himself – on a proper MTB. He went to the team at GSC and began talking to them about a Ritchey Timberwolf build. One unlike any the shop had put together before. GSC contacted Ritchey and requested one of their special Heritage paint jobs, then Mike, a mechanic at GSC talked to Nathan about a build kit. A Fox 36 fork would take the hits, while a Shimano drivetrain would offer smooth, worry-free shifting and braking. Wheels, featuring White Industries and durable rubber from Onza paved the way for one slick build. Being Nathan’s first mountain bike, it’s had a number of crashes already, but with each ride, he gets more and more accustomed to speed and cornering on loose and sandy trails.
The Timberwolf is a very popular hardtail option, I reviewed one and loved it. I know a number of you have these bikes, so share them in the comments.
If you want a custom build like this and live in Los Angeles, hit up Golden Saddle Cyclery.
Words by Ty Hathaway, photos by Ty Hathaway and Julia DeConcini
It wasn’t but a few minutes of being back in the van after floating the Snake River that Julia was already figuring out what river was next and how to make it better. We had already gotten some good info about the North Fork of the Flathead River in Montana from a good friend of ours who grew up taking family trips down the section. He made it sound like some kind of magical dream land filled with big fish, crystal clear water, and endless scenery. Naturally, this would be our next river of choice, but this time we would do an overnight and with no van shuttle. (more…)
Taking the “Death Road” to the Edge of the Bolivian Jungle
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson
Coming into Bolivia, it’s hard to know what to expect. Where Peru’s reputation is pretty much all happy people, ancient ruins, and fluffy alpacas, the stories you hear about Bolivia prior to visiting are a bit more of a mixed bag. Some are very positive, but one thing repeated pretty often (other than how bad the food is) is that outsiders aren’t quite as popular with the locals. Rather than the welcome party you get in nearly every village in the Peruvian Andes when you roll in on two wheels, the Boliviano response is a bit more tepid… At least that’s the reputation. (more…)
Finding Friends on the Isle of Arran at Grinduro Scotland – Kyle Kelley
Words and photos by Kyle Kelley
You can read race reports all over the internet about Grinduro Scotland and that’s exactly why I’m not going to give you that here. It was Scotland, so of course, it rained! It was on the Isle of Arran, so of course, it was beautiful! It rained, so of course, it was muddy! And did I mention… it was Scotland, so of course, we drank whisky! (more…)
Down on Muddy Creek, She Sends Me
Words by Spencer Harding photos by Spencer, Molly and Tyler.
So, I had a week off from leading bike tours in southwestern Utah and like any sane individual, I headed straight for Moab. I met up with Tyler and Molly whom I had connected with last fall through a mutual adventure buddy (thanks, Tommy!). Anywho, they had been pestering me to get a packraft for awhile and I finally just bought a lil’ dinghy raft from Klymit before heading out to Utah. There was some deliberation on route options and at the last minute, we decided the conditions for running Muddy Creek would be perfect.
The plan was to drop off bikes and camping gear at the take-out, drive the truck and boats to the put-in, raft down, camp out, and bike back to the truck the next morning. (more…)
Bicycle Touring the Tick Jungles of New England
Words and photos by Ultra Romance
The east coast is like a frumpy ex-lover. She wears the same green maple tree moo moo every day in the summer and wears nothing but a cold distant gray gaze all winter. Her breath smells like a yawning swamp, her clammy visage infected with ticks, mosquitos, and horseflies. Yet still, she’s comfortable and familiar, drawing me back time and time again with that ruddy olde face.
The Appalachian mountains of the northeast are among the oldest mountains in the world. 480 million years olde according to Siri; 483 million if you ask Alexa. By contrast, the sensuously photogenic Rockies are a supple 55 million years young. That’s another 428 million years of HARD livin’ for that olde bag of a spinster, Mrs. Appalachian East Coast. The glacially mowed over Appalachians sit plain and internet forgotten, cloaked in a canopy of hardwoods with nothing but a flip phone for company. This all sounds great in theory, and it really is, butttt they sure don’t photograph all that well… and if you can’t get that ‘gram, then why do it, amiright????! (more…)
There’s kind of a joke on Instagram right now. A joke hashtag that is, dubbed #NoBikesNoLikes. From what I can tell, it implies that if you’re a cyclist, and your followers are cyclists, all they want to see are bikes, bike rides and other cyclists. I get it. People can get very myopic about their interests, but there’s more to life, right? Obvious statements aside, we live in the great state of California, where the highest point and the lowest point cohabitate the same 100 square miles. In this magical place, you’ll be hard-pressed to find legit backcountry trails where bikes are allowed, if any. You can thank the Sierra Club for that. Equestrians and hikers greatly outnumber cyclists and a long time ago in a bureaucracy far, far away, someone, somewhere said “No Bikes allowed.”
This was written in stone and rather than get all in a huff about it, in recent months, I’ve kinda embraced the whole thing. Bikes aren’t allowed in Wilderness Areas. Got it. So what is? What offers a similar experience to bikepacking? Duh. Backpacking. Cari has experienced parts of the High Sierra I’ve never even thought to explore. Personally, if I take off four days from work, I want to be bikepacking or cyclo-touring some unknown region – to me anyway – of California. That’s why I moved to this damn fine state to begin with. (more…)
International Kook Exchange Part 02 – Velvet and Gold Edition – Previously Part 01: Milk and Honey Edition)
Words and photos by Jorja Creighton
Part two lead us to ride the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Metal Ray as our spiritual leader (or father as we now call him). The Grand Canyon was a dream come true.
An extra special trip because I was on my very new, gently sparkling Evasion frame from Crust Bikes, which had arrived from Crust HQ all built up ready to shred. The Limp Dick stem and Salsa Cowchippers combo is making me feel like a wizard up on 7/10 difficulty terrain. (more…)
Getting High in the San Gabriel Mountains at Mt. Lowe Trail Camp
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
Each year everyone at Golden Saddle Cyclery gets super excited when Swift Industries announces their annual campout and then every year we become more and more worried about killing everyone because it is always way too hot to ride a fully loaded touring bike up a mountain. Yeah, it’s summer and yeah it’s hot everywhere, but we’re talking Buster Poindexter “HOT HOT HOT!” (more…)