Category Archives: dirt
First Time’s a Charm at the Steamboat Ralleye
First Time’s a Charm at the Steamboat Ralleye

First Time’s a Charm at the Steamboat Ralleye
Photos by Ian Hylands and Kyle Kelley words by Kyle Kelley

A few months ago James Scriven from Niner Bikes reached out and asked me to go on a bike ride with him. I agreed as soon as he asked and only afterwards began to understand what I had signed up for. As the details trickled in I found out that I wouldn’t be riding my own bike, but instead would be on a Special Edition Niner RLT. The bike would be auctioned off after the ride to benefit the International Mountain Bike Association. I wouldn’t even be using my own gear. The bike would be equipped with Blackburn bags, Big Agnes was providing the camping gear and Kitsbow even made a special pair of custom jean shorts for me to wear. Side note: my signature model can be expected to appear sometime in the year 2020. (more…)

Nov 17, 2015 55 comments
My New LA Backyard

The title of this post comes from an email someone just sent over that ended with “Have a great weekend in your new LA backyard!” I felt it was a good segue into some photos I shot today with my buddy Hans up in the Verdugo mountains, just a 20 minute pedal from my front door.

Weekends are great like that. Hope you’re taking advantage of the short days.

Nov 7, 2015 8 comments
Tandemonium on Lukens

Being able to get in a good ride before the work day begins is one of the many perks of living in a city that’s embraced by mountains. Simply look at a map and seek out squiggly lines. Pack up your bike, add snacks, water, a jacket and head out just before sunrise. These days, the day’s light is fleeting, so the earlier the better.

Last Friday a few of us wanted to ride Mt. Lukens, a 5,000ish foot tall dirt road climb. While it’s not as big as Disappointment or Wilson, its adjacency to the beginning of the Angeles National Forest along the 2 makes it for a perfect out and back ride. (more…)

Oct 26, 2015 10 comments
Velo Cult Customs Ahearne and Igleheart Dirt Tourer
Velo Cult Customs Ahearne and Igleheart Dirt Tourer

I can’t help it. I love touring bikes with big, fat, high volume tires and funky stances. This project in particular was born from the mind and abilities of three important individuals, residing in the Portland area under the Velo Cult Customs umbrella.

This Ahearne Dirt Tourer is a collaboration between three people: Sky from Velo Cult, Chris Igleheart and Ahearne. We’ll start with the most obvious hand: Chris Igleheart‘s segmented fork, which is complimented by the Ahearne rack and frameset. These bikes are 100% custom, can be built with 26″ or 27.5″ wheels, have an optional upgrade of Honjo 90mm Fenders and are rugged enough for even the toughest dirt touring and bikepacking expeditions. One of my favorite details are the braze-ons hidden below the top tube for a strapless bag install.

This is the first in a series of Velo Cult Customs, the line will grow to include road, randonneur, cross and a gravel racer in the coming months.

Contact Velo Cult for pricing and availability.

Oct 14, 2015 16 comments
A Weekend in the Sierra Mountains at Giro Cycling’s Grinduro!

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…)

Oct 12, 2015 29 comments
Lights Out
Still going up!

If you can’t tell, life has been complicated over here. All last week, I was packing up my belongings, selling or giving away the excess and planning for the final move from Austin to Los Angeles. Both the emotional and physical baggage I left Austin with is now in LA, still boxed up awaiting to be opened and placed in their home.

It’s been a busy, stressful, overwhelming few days and as a cyclist, that means I can only relax by pedaling my bike, preferably with friends and on some dirt. Luckily, there’s a lot of both in my new city.

We’ve seen photos from these trails before. Cherry Canyon is like a mini-Verdugos. It’s what can be best described as a cross-country park with fireroads going up the hills and singletrack offshoots bombing down. You pedal up for about 10 minutes and rip down for 5. When you realize that a trail system is a little boring on a mountain bike, you take out your cyclocross bike and try to go as fast as possible down… If you’re still losing interest, do so at night.

Night riding is part of life as a cyclist. Especially in Fall. My buddy Jack drove over with me in the moving truck to hang in LA, so we hit up Sean from Team Dream Team to take us on a spin.

I’ve been using the Bontrager Ion700t lights for trail riding, paired with the Bluetooth switch. One on the bars and one on the helmet. 700 lumens has proven to be more than enough to illuminate the trails in a city like LA, with its excessive light pollution. Expect a more thorough review soon.

Last night, Cherry Canyon provided a great sunset and a perfect way to reduce the overpowering and crippling stress of a move. Things will pick up full speed next week… thanks for your patience.

Sep 30, 2015 19 comments
Barry and His Stinner Disc All-Road with Ultegra Di2
Barry's Stinner Disc All-Road with Ultegra Di2

“Il Faut Toujours Souffrir.”

That’s what’s painted on the top tube of Barry’s Stinner disc all-road frame. Roughly translating to “we must always suffer,” this saying acts as not only a motivation for Barry on rides, but as a reminder as to what cycling means to him in relation to life. Nothing good comes easy.

Barry‘s an illustrator, a typographer, a graphic designer and in Los Angeles, that means freelance. It takes a certain soul to be a freelancer in LA. You’ve got to hustle, be on your game at all times and yes, sometimes suffer the ups and downs of the creative economy. That means some weeks, months, years, you’re on your game and others you’re not. It all takes sacrifice. (more…)

Sep 16, 2015 43 comments
I Live Here Now

Los Angeles has always been a special place for me. A home away from home, a veritable bicycle paradise, hidden beneath a cloak of deception. The public’s perception is filled with tales of being forced to ride on the sidewalk, or getting stuck on Santa Monica Boulevard at 5pm on a Friday. Misery at the hands of a culture obsessed with the automobile. Bewilderment is an easy exit and many people, without a proper introduction to this city, tap out and call it quits.

Enter #LASucksForCycling.

But does it? Over the next foreseeable future, I plan on digging deep into this city, exploring not only rides, but the people who call LA their home, their bikes and the things that make this cycling community tick. All while adapting to calling a place I’ve held on a pedestal for so long my new home.

Last night Sean from Team Dream and Ty from Golden Saddle met up with me for a sunset ride on a trail I’ve ridden many times, yet last night this ride was a first. My first ride in a new home…

Sep 12, 2015 27 comments