Category Archives: California
Look. I’m not a super über tech geek. I don’t really care about stiffness or compliance in terms of data or coefficients but I do like riding bikes and developing stories about them, in terms of my personal experiences. When Argonaut and Chris King asked if I wanted to come along for a very informal launch of a new bottom bracket standard, I had a few questions:
-Do we need another BB standard?
-Where is this launch?
-Will there be booze?
Two out of the three answers met my standards, so I agreed. (more…)
When Joe Parkin approached Giro’s Dain Zaffke about a new race format a few years back, the initial reaction the two had was more than a chuckle, rather than any degree of seriousness but the seed had been planted…
Why not make a new race format? Part gravel grind and part enduro. Grinduro. You get the best of both worlds, competition and socializing on bicycles. A few segments would be timed: a fire road climb, a fire road descent, a road time trail and a singletrack descent. The event would prove to bring about a rather interesting dialog: what is the most diverse bicycle in your stable? (more…)
… and it’s probably gonna look something like this. I’ll be in San Francisco for a week or so before popping down to Los Angeles for another week. Some of my favorite stories come from California and I can’t wait to make more.
This is the eighth layout of the Radavist 2015 Calendar, entitled “Los Padres”. The camera, film and location are noted on the bottom left of the document.
With the summer in Texas, comes unbearable heat and an instinctual behavior to retreat to the far western reaches of the United States for some Cali vibes. The Los Padres mountains are by no means “cool” this time of year, but I’ll take an extra 15º any day. With tonality like this and endless possibles for road and dirt excursions, maybe it’s time to relocate… permanently.
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2015 Calendar – August. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
Singlespeeds and Sunburn in the Lost and Found Race
Words and photos by Kyle Kelley
It’s not too often you get asked to hop in a car and drive 8 hours north, race (I didn’t do much racing though) a 100 mile “Gravel” Race with 7,000 feet of elevation on a Single Speed, then hop back in the car and drive another 8 hours home. So of course I said “Yes!”
While I said yes, I must admit I was kind of worried. I’d agreed to do something I really knew nothing about. I’m not in the best shape at the moment, definitely not in 100 mile Single Speed shape. This is kinda like hiking 16 miles round trip to Half Dome in brand new boots, which I’ve also done. I never said I made the best decisions, but luckily I’m still having fun and the 2015 Lost and Found Gravel Grinder was no exception!
Vacation. Holiday. 3-day weekends. From Memorial Day until Labor Day, the road is wide open and the sun is putting in overtime. Taking advantage of those days is key to sucking the last drop from life and its possibilities.
Last summer, I bought a 4 banger Tacoma pickup in Portland and it kickstarted a whole series of road trips. Most of which centered around cycling-related themes or events but it was the interstitial spaces and moments that I remember vividly. Sunsets, sunrises, rain, fog, wind. All of these had a specific scent and sensation. Most of which were captured visually throughout those long summer months.
I carried my Mamiya 7ii with me on every trip, loaded with Portra 400 220 film. It wasn’t until recently that I finally sat and dug through it all, compiling a Gallery of these moments and vignettes. They’re mostly in the correct order, beginning in Portland and traveling down south.
A lot of these spots are well-known, others not so much but they all serve one purpose: to inspire you to travel to the West Coast and see what you’re missing. Pardon the succinct nature of this intro, but there’s not much to say. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
The most essential component in a custom bicycle is the fit. It’s difficult to have an in-person fit experience these days with customers ordering from across the country or around the globe. Because of this, builders will chose to rely on either previous bicycle’s geometries or body charts. While it is possible to hit the nail on the head with these metrics, having the proper fit can be difficult without letting a builder witness how your body relates to the bicycle and vice versa. Hence the Speedvagen Fit Tour. Bringing the builder to the customer.
For Speedvagen and Sacha White, the owner of the Vanilla Workshop, fit is paramount for frame design and execution. In short: a bicycle should fit like a tailored suit. Every millimeter counts. Sacha’s fit philosophy is obsessive, thorough and merits a total fit experience. One that coincidentally, has been mobile for the past few weeks as it took to the road in California.
For over 25 years Chico, California has been the home base for Paul Component Engineering. During the Speedvagen Fit Tour we swung by to check in on their operations and to get a sense of what the team, the city of Chico and Paul Price himself are all about…
When you’re on the road, you get brief vignettes into people’s or company’s day to day routine, without fully immersing yourself in their operations. Or at least that’s usually the case. Yesterday, however, my preconceptions were shifted and I came to the realization that you can indeed, peer into a company’s soul in the right environment.
What Paul Component is doing in Chico, California is rad. Hands down. We all knew that but yesterday, I got to hang around their shop for an afternoon, not minutes and then, here’s the best part: I got to ride bikes with a few of their teammates, including Paul Price, the owner.
There’s a story to come, but I just wanted to thank the team at Paul Comp for opening their shop doors to us.
These days, I’m spending a lot of time riding and lugging around my DSLR. While I’d much rather do a ride with close friends and leave the camera at home, I couldn’t pass up yet another year of the Blackburn Ranger Camp. Last year’s ride / popsicle hammock experience was too good, so when Robin from Blackburn invited me along for a second time, I accepted the invitation without hesitation, only picking up on keywords: “camping, Big Basin, Redwoods, bourbon, BB guns, beach, Sea Otter, Niner bikes.”
The logistics of my past few weeks went something like this: Giro Grinduro shoot in Sierra Nevada, home for two days, back to Cali for Eroica, ride 130 miles on a 1982 7-speed crit bike, drive immediately to San Jose, arrive at airport hotel at 1am, work for 3 hours, sleep for 3 hours, cab it to the San Jose Airport, pack up my Niner RLT9 Steel cross bike with three day’s supplies, clear CF cards, and commence the herding of cats…
WARNING! This is going to make you HATE that today is Monday. 100 images await you…