Category Archives: camping
An Unexpected Glimpse into Peruvian Culture – Ryan Wilson
Test rides in Anccapa

An Unexpected Glimpse into Peruvian Culture
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson

EDITOR’S WARNING: This gallery contains content that may offend the lovers of fluffy animals. There are slides in the gallery which give you plenty of warning to turn back. Keep in mind, this is part of the Peruvian culture, so please maintain an open mind.

My final stretch on the Peruvian Divide Route started like much of the rest. Incredibly quiet roads lined with as much spectacular scenery and as many furry friends as one can possibly handle. Bobbing and weaving between storms (without much success), and drifting in and out of the occasional small village filled with welcoming locals.

As far as bikepacking/dirt touring routes go, I can’t really think of a more complete experience. Where the Cordillera Blanca to the north wins on pure scenery, the Divide easily wins on way-off-the-beaten-path dirt road riding (if that is your thing). This makes for easier wild camping, and even more interesting interactions with locals who simply don’t see tourists around with any kind of frequency. (more…)

Dec 7, 2016 43 comments
Romantic Bicycle Touring: A Primer – Ultra Romance
Romantic Bicycle Touring: A Primer

Romantic Bicycle Touring: A Primer
Words and photos by Ultra Romance

You can witness all the beauty there is to see in this fine world: Yanni live at the Acropolis, the Venice beach boardwalk, or simply the Sistine Chapel, for example.

While encountering these wonders alone is undoubtedly inspiring and majestic, these enchanting destinations and undulating waves of road in between are enhanced roughly 70-80% of the time when the experience is shared. Add in the romantic element, and that analytic bumps up to roughly 86%, yet fluctuates down to 20% at times. That’s still pretty good!

With the popularity of bicycle touring on the rise in recent years, and justifiably so, the amount of “I’d rather be doing that” inspirational social media content has increased exponentially. It doesn’t take a masters degree in internet browsing to stumble across countless photos of glossy eyed 86% happy couples posing for duck face selfies with their laden touring rigs amidst a backdrop of the romantic unknown.

I must admit, I have gazed at these photos before, incurring wide eyed dreams of one day waking up in the dirt beside a real, tangible lover. Instead I continued to keep company with the likes of my ol’ faithful laminated 8×10 of Matthew McConaughey, propped up next to my inflatable pillow at night. Even still, I continued to tell myself “Bené, you’re tall, strikingly handsome, muscular, your hair is #1, and you have two amazing Instagram accounts… don’t get greedy, you can’t have it all!” And so I was settled into my ways. Just me and my McCaughey laminate, rubbing woolen elbows with the world and it’s mysteries. (more…)

Oct 25, 2016 46 comments
Enjoy the Weekend!
Manzanita-26

Yesterday afternoon, I rode my road bike up to the mountains above LA to camp with Cari. Since she had to work, she met me up at the campground with my truck, loaded with camping supplies and Max, her dog. We stayed up late and watched the sky explode with the Perseid Meteor Shower. Did anyone else manage to escape the city lights and soak that spectacle?

Aug 12, 2016 8 comments
The Swift Campout is This Weekend!

Here’s the Swift Campout Los Angeles details, accompanied by last year’s video by the Sleepers!

“Who’s ready for the #goldensaddlecyclery chapter of the Swift Industries Campout this weekend in LA!?!? We know we are! We’d like for everyone to meet at the bike shop on Saturday, June 25th around 2 and we’ll be rolling out around 3. There will be short stops for food and maybe a drink while we meander to the base of the mountains. We’ll be then taking the Mt. Wilson Toll Road up to Henninger Flats for the night!!! There is a 3 1/2 mile dirt road up to the campground, so bring to bike you feel most comfortable riding off-road.”

Jun 24, 2016 Comments are OFF
Bicycle Camping on Izu Oshima and Riding Mount Mihara with Circles
So good!

Oftentimes during trips like this, you just go with the flow and don’t ask questions. When the team at Circles began planning our bicycle tour around Mount Fuji, the only things I asked were what kind of roads we’d be riding and what to expect in terms of weather. This would answer every other question in terms of my gear and bicycle selection. We already got the run down on how this trip was faring on yesterday’s post, so I’ll spare you the re-introduction here but what I will say is, sometimes rides like this present a pleasant surprise when you’d least expect it… (more…)

Jun 14, 2016 13 comments
Car Camping in Style
LEICAM-478

Yesterday, we drove up to the Bandito campground in the Angeles National Forest with Salsa Cycles, Topanga Creek Outpost and Golden Saddle Cyclery for a quick camping trip and mountain bike ride(s). It was a short overnighter but that didn’t keep David, one of the mechanics at GSC from bringing his vintage Campagnolo banner he uses as a sun shade for his van… Meanwhile, I took the scenic route home.

May 18, 2016 5 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