Category Archives: California
Going Just Because: Three Months of the Sierra Nevada
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson
Every year fall rolls around and the itch hits me. I know the days of many of the high mountain passes throughout California’s Sierra Nevada mountains are numbered. If we’re lucky they’d be buried in feet of snow for almost half of the year. It turned out this year was yet another unlucky one, but still I feel that push to go and explore the roads in my favorite mountain range while I know I can…
Down and Dirty in Santa Cruz
Photos by Ryan Wilson and Sean Talkington. Words by Sean Talkington
Ty, Ryan, Jackie and myself were recently invited up to Santa Cruz to meet with some of our fellow Instagram bike brethren (aka nerds). We were brought up to test out the new Roubaix Di2 disk outerspace/starwars bikes by Specialized. I was getting over a cold so Ty and I decided to carpool up a day later. We showed up a little late but arrived just in time to partake in what we hoped to be four straight days of great riding with or without torrential rainfall. Regardless of the forecast, we were optimistic. Each day was scheduled to be wetter than the previous, but the terrain was going to be so good that the weather wouldn’t be a factor.
Everything was pretty awesome. Things couldn’t be better! That is, until the start of day 3. That’s when it happened. When I got the feeling in my stomach. You know the feeling?! The feeling when your stomach drops, like REALLY “droooooooops” (30 minutes into the ride) and you start sweating profusely (even though its 51 degrees outside). Then you realize you’ve caught the stomach bug that has been going around the house (Rudy from The 5th Floor had it the day before and a European journalist before him).
I would now like for you to put yourself in my shoes for a minute (or better yet my bibs). You are now officially going to turn your insides out. The probability of you holding it in for more than a single minute is extremely low and while the rest of the group keeps on riding, you start to fall off the back. Then you realize you left your phone at the house because you didn’t want it to get wet. So you have absolutely no idea where you are or how to get back to the house and of course you don’t know the address/location where you are staying.
Eroica translates to the heroic in Italian and perhaps that was the intention when the Eroica California team designed the course for the forthcoming event in April. While the original event was born in the Italian countryside, on pristine strada bianche, the California event takes to the hills and mountains separating wine country from the beautiful coastline…
Yesterday, I spent the entire day on the bike pre-riding and photographing the l’Eroica California course for an upcoming story. While we’re a ways from Italy, you’d be surprised how surreal the landscape is out here.
As always, more to come, so stay tuned… and sign up for the l’Eroica California newsletter to keep informed on registration.
Photo by Austin Kamps
There’s something magical about this photo. Maybe it’s the cowtrack, or the light, or the bicycle, but someday, I can only hope that everyone gets to ride something like this. California is an amazing place… Thanks for capturing this moment, Austin!
Death in the Valley – Team AWOL
Words by Erik Nohlin, Garrett Chow, Dylan Buffington, Sean Estes
Photos by Erik Nohlin and Dylan Buffington
“Let’s ride into the middle of the desert on our bikes.”
It was plain and simple. This was the brief that convinced a few friends to dive into Death Valley head first. We planned the trip in three weeks, the drive took 7 hours, and all of a sudden our feet were planted on the dirt of the Inyo Mountain Range that would lead us into Death Valley. We were set for an adventure but what we found was an epic one.
On long rides, moments and memories start to blend into each other, making it hard to differentiate this mountain from the next, that turn from this bend. As part of the Team AWOL spirit, there is a responsibility to tell a story. Whether that be with photos or reports, every rider will explain the pain of a climb a little differently than the next. This is something that is taken to heart especially when riding with a group. In this report, we are including everyone’s voice as a way to adjust the method of storytelling. We find this to be essential to understand the bigger picture. Not only do we view and take in the photographs, but the style and reflections in each of their writings brings unique perspectives to understanding the truth in the story…
Dust off your pre-1980’s road or touring bike, start growing out your mustache and get ready for the L’Eroica California. This April, the popular vintage group ride hops the pond and lands in California, a state where dusty, dry roads are a plenty. Head over to the link to sign up for more information.
If you’re in Santa Barbara this weekend, make sure you roll through the Stinner Frameworks grand opening party! See more details at Stinner Frameworks. I wish I could be there.
This is an old video by internet standards, but it’s a great look into what makes Rivendell tick: the people behind it. Check out out for some great video sections of what it’s like to tour in the hills outside of Walnut Creek, California.
Santa Cruz to Big Basin Overnighter
Words and photos by Brian Barnhart
I agreed to this trip before I knew where we were going or what we were doing. I recently moved to Santa Cruz from the east coast and take any chance I get to explore the area with friends. I’m primarily a BMX rider / commuter who does the occasional tour, as is my friend Mike who invited me on the trip. Our friend Chris, on the other hand, rides trails every morning and gets a kick out climbing a long steep hill. Finding out on Friday night that we were about to climb 6000 plus feet was a bit painful sounding, but we were up for the adventure.