Good Things Don’t Change at Mercian Cycles
Photos and words by Jim Holland
Sometimes good things don’t change, Mercian Cycles is one of those things.
The current workshop has sat in the same spot since 1965, watching as modern industrial buildings crop up around it and other older workshops disappear. Underneath the steeped, church like ceiling, little has changed and the intermittent clang of tubes and scraping of files ring out as they have done for the last 50 years whilst one by one, men make bicycles by hand.
Frames are still brazed free hand on an open hearth, as they have been since day one, amongst the very last practitioners of this method, Mercian believes it to be gentler on the tubes, which contributes to the longevity of the frame. Die hard Reynolds stalwarts, they don’t often stray from Birmingham steel and have a good stock of 531 for the true nostalgist.
One of just a handful of England’s traditional shop based builders that remain, the torches are still firing brightly and the benches are seldom dormant as the orders keep pouring in, one of them mine, I’m counting the days.
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The Road to the 2014 NACCC
Words and Photos by John Daniel Reiss
The Road to NACCCs was not paved in gold. It was mostly laid out with cheap beer and great friends. For the 2014 North American Cycle Courier Championship organizers in Minneapolis and Chicago concocted an elaborate plan that spanned several hundred miles and two weekends. Starting with the Cuttin’ Crew Classic, an annual race that celebrates the local hustle of the Chicago messenger, many out-of-towners showed up for a piece of the action. Still hanging on to summer, we were blessed by the cool water of Lake Michigan and soaked by afternoon showers. My compatriots at TCB Courier and myself found ourselves taking it all in, from the beautiful stone buildings to cutty alleys, the city was a great motivator the challenges ahead.
Hawaii is a haven for cycling. From Mauna Kea on Hawaii to MTB trails on Kona, this archipelago has it all. One island you mustn’t overlook however is Kaua’i. I’ve already touched on a few points here on the Radavist. Including Kaua’i Cycle and a few random photos from a quick cross ride I did, so let me further expand on those.
Chris and Jonny from Kauai Cycle take to the woods when they can on their mountain bikes. In the drier months, hog trails open up to form a dense network of singletrack. Other service roads open up, as the plant life withers and thins out, but right now, in the middle of summer, everything is overgrown.
While visiting Lauren’s parents, I brought my cross bike and ventured into the woods with Chris and Jonny, not knowing what to expect. I was promised “Jurassic Park” landscapes, a swimming hole and lots of ripping down dirt, well, mud roads on the island. We did 45 miles and around 3,300′. More than enough to leave your legs and shred sled, sated.
If you ever find yourself heading out to this island, do not leave your bike at home!
Photo by Kyle Kelley
Out of all the mountain bike destinations I’ve been to, I gotta say the Sequoias were the most memorable. There’s something magical about that place and I feel like it’s overlooked when it comes to the standard MTB coverage you see.
Point being, it’s a few hours from Los Angeles (three to be exact), so if you get a chance to go, drive out, stay in Camp Nelson at the Belknap Campground, shred some bikes and get some dinner at Nelson’s Tavern.
You can thank Ty for the pointers afterwards!
This is the eighth layout of the Radavist 2014 Calendar, entitled “Hot Summer”. The camera and location are noted on the bottom left of the document.
In Texas, we can ride two times during the day: early morning and late, late afternoon. The sun just cooks us the rest of the day, so each night, we take to the hills and watch the sun set on Central Texas.
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2014 Calendar – August. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
Photo by Kyle Kelley
I mean, surely I can’t be the only one who’s stoked on this photo, right? All-City Cycles knows how to party and I’m so bummed I missed out on this trip. It looked like a great time. See more at Kyle’s Flickr.
Navigating the Lost in the French Maritime Alps – Ty Hathaway
Words by John Watson photos by Ty Hathaway
The French Maritime Alps are riddled with the remnants of man’s conflict of bygone eras. With the most recent being the Italian invasion of France in WWII. The Battle of France took Italian troops over these very mountains as they lay claim to Benito Mussolini’s demands for a ‘surplus population’. Or, in short, simply expanding the Italian empire.
As it goes with war, many souls are lost, leaving nothing but the roads, paths and man’s ruin…
Photos by Sean Talkington
… of how much #LASucksForCycling. Head over to Team Dream for a few more 35mm jammers.
I miss that town all the time. Actually, I just miss the West Coast, period. Luckily, this weekend, Lauren and I are leaving for a proper vacation. We’ve got a week to drive from Portland to Los Angeles (which isn’t nearly enough time) and I’ll be shooting vacation photos the whole way.
Hopefully, if you have never been down HWY 1, the next week will make you want to do so.
How’s everyone’s summer going?
My lady gets back after being gone for two months, so I’ll be spending the rest of the day with her, leaving you guys with this photo to make you want to get out on your bike even more this weekend.
The last time I was in Los Angeles, I had one thing on my mind: doing some road riding in the Angeles National Forest. Usually, I’m in LA on my cross bike and we will spend our afternoons poaching trails, escaping to the dirt or bombing fire roads. All of which are wayyy more fun than a road ride, ATMO, anyway.
Still, there’s nothing like a somber ride up the 2 to Newcomb’s Ranch for a burger, a beer and some fries, only to rip back down to town, sated.
Unfortunately for the group that morning, Newcomb’s was closed and I think I was the only one who really ate anything at all that morning. Check out some selects from a Recent Roll. Man, that was a long time coming!
We totaled 80 miles and around 8,000′ and damn, Oinksters was good!
Tools of the trade:
Kodak Portra 400