Category Archives: California
Giro Does the Downieville Classic – Amanda Schaper and Ian Stowe
Let's ride right meow!

Giro Does the Downieville Classic
Words by Amanda Schaper and photos by Ian Stowe

Let me start by saying that if you haven’t been to Downieville, you’ve gotta go.
And if you haven’t raced the Downieville Classic, well then you’ve gotta do that too.
It’s one heckuva weekend.

The 2016 Downieville Classic happened Aug 6-7, marking the 21st edition of this race. Most people are there for the Classic Cross Country race, but the lucky few who clicked “Register” faster than anybody else compete in the prestigious All Mountain event—it sells out in seconds. The AM racers not only do in Saturday’s XC race, but also the famous Downieville Downhill on Sunday. Here’s the catch: you have to use the exact same bike for each event—don’t even think about changing your tires because they’ll catch you at weigh-in. Choose your gear wisely. (more…)

Aug 12, 2016 5 comments
Inside / Out at Stinner Frameworks
Tiger Camo Stinner Road

These days, Stinners are everywhere, even all over the pages of this website and while it might feel like some kind of marketing conspiracy, with loads of money exchanged and bathtubs filled with gold coins, I can assure you it’s not. Since I moved to Los Angeles, I see more Stinners on the road and in the trails. Rightfully so, seeing as how their shop is located in Santa Barbara, just 90 miles north of LA and yeah, they make some pretty stellar bikes. (more…)

Aug 10, 2016 22 comments
Karerfornia – Thomas Larsen Røed and Hans Petter Hval
Foggy Big Sur.

Editor’s intro: I met these two randomly a few weeks ago. They stopped into Golden Saddle while they were in Los Angeles and I took them up into the Verdugo Mountains at sunset one evening. They had been on the road for a week or so, soaking in California’s mountains and bikepacking around various trail networks. For me, seeing photos and reading, albeit brief, words from visitors to this great state is always entertaining. So, without further adieu…

Karerfornia
Words by Thomas Larsen Røed, photos by Hans Petter Hval and Thomas Larsen Røed

Up, up and up. The gravel road leading us from South Lake Tahoe towards Star Lake is ridiculously steep. And straight. Defeat is inevitable. With loaded bikes we have to resort to pushing. We’ve flown into Oakland from Oslo, thrown the bikes in a rental and headed for the mountains. We’re not on a bikepacking mission from A to B, but instead using bikepacking as a trick to get the most out of our 14 days in California. (more…)

Jul 28, 2016 10 comments
Farewell For Now, California – Ryan Wilson
Whitney...

Farewell For Now, California
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson

A little over a month ago I left my job of ten years and was in the final stages of moving out of my Los Angeles apartment. I was putting together the final pieces of the puzzle that would eventually result in me riding through South America for 10 months or so (more on that soon).

As luck would have it, a tiny hitch in my setup resulted in me having about 9 days without a job or home in California. So, I did the first thing that came to mind (the thing that typically comes to mind)… Road trip. (more…)

Jul 7, 2016 31 comments
Only a Few Months Left for Bike + Book + Hatchet – Kyle Kelley
Only a Few Months Left for Bike + Book + Hatchet

Only a Few Months Left for Bike + Book + Hatchet
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley

A couple years ago my girlfriend Liz and I were driving back to Los Angeles from Mt. Shasta and we stopped in Walnut Creek to visit Rivendell. Funny thing is, we never made it to Rivendell because we stumbled upon Bike + Book + Hatchet first. We were so completely immersed in the store, which is dedicated to the Rivendell ideology, that we forgot the original reason for our stop. I knew I wanted to shoot some images and share the story of this place, but I didn’t have a digital camera or any spare film with me at the time. It took two years, but Liz and I finally found ourselves traveling north for a wedding and made the detour to Walnut Creek again. (more…)

Jul 5, 2016 30 comments
Frankie Andreu and the Cub House

Yesterday before our group ride to watch the Amgen Tour of California, Frankie Andreu rolled through the Cub House to talk to Sean of Team Dream / Ringtail / The Cub House about riding in the Los Angeles area.

May 17, 2016 5 comments
A Pushwacker’s Guide to Peppermint Falls in the Sequoia National Forest
... like a rollercoaster!

There’s an old saying: “wherever your relationship is going, it’ll get there faster on a _____ ride.” Whether it’s a bicycle tour, mountain bike, group, or tandem ride, new relationships often encounter stress that can either solidify or deteriorate your bond. Acknowledging this, I planned out Cari’s first bikepacking, or rather bicycle camping trip together with a certain degree of trepidation. Knowing Cari’s background of extensive backpacking, I planned out a quick, but somewhat difficult ride for us to undertake in the Sequoia National Forest.

Let me backpedal a bit here and give you a brief synopsis of Cari’s background. In her 20 years of backpacking, she’s undertaken a series of difficult multi-day trips throughout the Western United States. She’s hiked Whitney, Half Dome, Rae Lakes, Lost Coast and various other undertakings that are far from beginner. When she and I first started dating, she had a commuter bike but other than riding around Los Angeles, she had very little experience, especially on dirt. I explained the premise behind bicycle camping, touring and bikepacking, with the differences in each outlined. “You basically carry everything you need on your bike, rather than your back, and you can cover more ground on various terrain…” She seemed to gravitate towards bikepacking since the idea of dealing with cars isn’t all that appealing to a backcountry explorer. I agreed and began planning.

Initially, I had one ride planned in the Eastern Sierras but this time of year meant it could still be snowing at 10,000′, so I began looking a little further south before landing in the Sequoias – one of my favorite parts of California. (more…)

May 17, 2016 32 comments
No Reception in Northern California – Michael Armenta and Brian Larson
No Reception in Northern California

No Reception in Northern California
Photos by Michael Armenta, words by Brian Larson

There’s never a perfect time to escape. Chores, obligations, monetary deficits, or priorities—it seems the doldrums of the day to day too often take hold with gripping force. We can’t always hop on plane to the backcountry of the Chilcotins or ride ribbons of trails through the Alps; sometimes planning a trip can seem more complicated than landing a rover on Mars.

And in some instances even more so.

But on the rare occasion a trip can manifest itself without a formalized plan or strategy. The right players show up with the right gear and seem to have a rare abundance of time to spare. It’s like watching ripples forming from the wind blasting a sand dune. From a seemingly chaotic environment comes a perfectly organized pattern: from entropy emerges order. We’re not going to pretend to understand it, but that is what happened with this trip. A few emails were sent to a handful of folks and almost magically we were standing speechless in awe of Northern California coastal viewshed. No itinerary, no schedule, no obligations, and no reception. (more…)

May 16, 2016 29 comments