Santa Cruz is a city that never disappoints. No matter what the occasion, I have a blast riding my bike. So when Giro invited me along to their Santa Cruz Effect media event, I gladly accepted.
Even though we were on a pretty tight schedule, we had two days of riding bikes in the woods and coastal roads of NorCal to look forward to. That meant we were to expect a lot of temperature fluctuations throughout the day, the perfect climate for merino wool.
The group included men and women, from all over the world, all of which were related to the cycling industry in some way. We had some locals with us, including Todd from Black Cat, Jeff Traugott, Jake from Steel Wül, along with a few Giro employees. Those dudes put on one hell of a ride, taking us through some great roads and down some incredibly fun (i.e. sketchy) descents.
Here’s our Strava from Day 1 and Day 2 for those interested in a route. I highly suggest doing this as a one-day loop. We were taking it chill…
Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery!
Tools of the trade:
Yashica T4 / Porta 160
“A short film from Salsa Cycles, Racing The Sun shares the story of Tim Ek’s 2013 Dirty Kanza 200 race, while relating it to his career helping troubled youth.”
The Mudfoot Dirty Hundo
Words by Kyle Kelley / Photos by Kyle Kelley and Ace Carretero
Chris Skogen (the organizer of the Almanzo Gravel 100) once said, “If only 10 percent of the people racing Almanzo would organize and throw a grassroots race, we would have a race to go to every weekend of the year.” It was the spirit of that statement that originally sparked the idea for the Mudfoot Hump Hundred last year and brought it back again this year.
Nearly half of this year’s 90 mile ride, called the Dirty Hundo, took place on steep, loose and rocky service roads in the Angeles Forest. The route wasn’t entirely out of the ordinary in terms of SoCal dirt rides, but it was special nonetheless, with some of my favorite views in the area.
When I found out that I couldn’t make it to the Mudfoot Dirty Hundo, I asked Kyle and Ace if they’d be willing to document the event. Sure enough, they pulled through in a big way. Both with a video and with a killer ride report which I’ll be posting later today.
For now, check out this awesome video Ace edited of he and Kyle’s footage from the ride.
Photo by Andy White
This is by far, my most favorite FYXO photo ever and this is one of Andy’s greatest long tales:
“Many have tried to replicate this ride, some with success, some with failure, none without awe of the surrounds of this part of the world and the challenges it presents when it’s just you and your bike.
I look back and think ‘did I really do that?’. Particularly day one’s 200km+ on dirt, sand, rock on a singlespeed CX one gear without an iPhone – yes, this post is that old.
These posts have inspired many to get out on there bikes and push limits and find new roads, surely helped popularise ‘gravel grinding’, yondering and whatever the hashtag of the moment is, but in truth it’s just #ridingabikewithmates.
The words of this story remain unchanged, though I’ve stitched the three day / three post report from 2009 into one. Lily Allen still puts me right back in the Eildon pub every time I hear it.”
If you could hear and smell this post, it would be the complete experience. Instead, you have to rely on words and photos. See more at FYXO.
SO GOOD. SO FREAKING GOOD! Thank you Chris. Also brings up a good segue into that Thomson 27.2 dropper conversation…
Everyone, in the history of friends who’ve been to Utah, particularly Moab, have said “broooo, you have to ride Porcupine” – which is followed by Enchilada – “ohhhh man, you gotta do Enchilada too!”
Let me just say that Utah is completely wild. It’s like a hipper Nevada. The word “Adventure” is literally everywhere you look – Adventure Raft Tours, Adventure Desert Guide, etc – I could have done a post on the vernacular of adventure x companies. Next time.
Back to Utah – I’ve been here once before.
Moab, however is a lot different than I expected. The trails are incredible and yes, Porcupine did indeed deliver. If you’ve ridden it, then you know. If you haven’t… broooo. The morning began with a quick cup of coffee and a breakfast burrito. Then came the sunblock lather, kit check and bag-stuffing. Snacks, water, tools, camera, check. In the interest of time, we shuttled to 7,000′ and ripped back to town.
Part of the SRAM Trail House media launch experience is getting to have some talented photographers shoot photos of you ripping down the mountains. To give you a point of reference: we stopped about every 10 minutes or so and went down the trail one by one. That results in a very long day – but for me, it just means I got to shoot my own photos in the downtime, some of which, I’m very stoked on.
Photographing MTB riding is pretty new for me, but I think this photoset captures what it’s like to ride in Moab, particularly Porcupine. At least in a pretty ok manner. What I’m saying is, I’m stoked on a lot of these, so don’t miss ‘em!
Over the past four years, SRAM MTB has invited a handful of media representatives out to Moab, Utah to unveil new products, talk tech and most importantly shred the abundance of trails just a few short miles from town. Getting an invite to an event like this is as exciting as it is unnerving. Dude, you have to like, ride new stuff with like 20 people. Most of which you just met that morning…
The trails in Moab are unlike anything I’ve ridden before. Some are infamously techy, then others envelop you in smooth, flowy 1-track ribbons. Today, we hit the HyMasa – Captain Ahab loop and I had an absolute blast. Once you get over the whole new bike / new trail / new terrain and just embrace your surroundings, the anxiety subsides and with each break you take, it’s easy to fall into the environment. Or, in my case you OTB, get up, laugh and everyone is stoked. Then you all get to hang out as the sun sets over the cliffs.
I’ve only been in Moab for 24 hours and I can see why it’s a favorite for many of my friends…
See more of the weird Utah vernacular and mind-blowing landscape in the Gallery!
Don’t adjust your handheld or desktop computers, those are indeed indexed downtube shifters… This bike is a throwback to Ira Ryan’s personal history as a bicycle racer and frame builder. Ira is no stranger to gravel, or dirt road riding and racing. Years back, in the early years of the Rapha Continental, Ira was on 23c tires tackling some of the US’ most picturesque roads. Maybe that’s what inspired this ride? That and classic road frames, with an edge. Think of this B Road as an homage to the bikes of yesteryear, with modern upgrades.
Breadwinner‘s bikes this year absolutely slayed and this tangerine B Road “gravel” bike had so much zest. The project began with Ira and Tony modifying Dura Ace downtube shifters to fit 11-speed bar end internals (yes, it shifts like butter). From there, a tapered head tube with an ENVE CX fork and 32c Pasela tires provide more than adequate clearances for true all-road riding and racing. Then, Breadwinner added a third bottle cage and fender eyelets to the ENVE fork!
TRP’s Hylex hydro disc brakes (with custom drillium levers!) will provide the stopping power and modulation. The internal cable routing ensures the lines of the frame stay clean. I don’t know why I love this machine so much, maybe it’s a combination of it truly being unique or the color? For whatever the reason, I enjoyed photographing this in the morning light at this year’s NAHBS.
See more of this mind-boggling machine in the Gallery!
Back in 1999, a rider named Jon Anderson got the idea to start a group ride in his old stomping grounds around St. Francisville, Louisiana, West Feliciana Parish and Wilkinson County, Mississippi. Jon had been riding these roads since the early 80′s, as a form of escapism and reflection. Like most cyclists I know and ride with, Jon enjoyed a bit of pain at the hands of the dirt gods.
It wasn’t until the early 2000′s that the Rouge Roubaix shifted from being a group ride to a sanctioned event. Racers from all over the Southeast came out for promises of punchy, steep climbs, lots of gravel, scenic roads and yes, pain. It boasts 100 ish miles, with 30-40 miles of undulating gravel and dirt roads. This year, the Rouge is being run by Will Jones, the current organizer and I gotta say, he really delivered a hell of an event!
As part of an ongoing story detailing the design of a new disc road bike, Ben from Argonaut Cycles flew out two members from the Rapha / River City Bicycles Team to race with as well as Brian Vernor and myself to document the event, the culture surrounding it, the performance of the bicycles and let’s be honest, to experience one of the oldest and most intriguing gravel races in the United States.
See more narrated photos in the Gallery and don’t miss those last two photos!