The first ride on a custom bike is one of the best feelings in the world. At least to cyclists. Every pedal stroke, every turn, you form the beginnings of a new relationship with a machine that will hopefully one day take you to your dream landscape or roadscape.
For Sean from Team Dream Team, his Stinner hardtail has been in a shop since Sea Otter, getting everything dialed in for riding. When your dream bike is the poster child for a company like Mavic, sometimes it comes down to the wire and “the functioning build” is actually more of a “photoshoot-ready build.”
Anyway I’m in LA, stressed from being on the road, shooting photos and trying to maintain sanity but on Monday, I cracked. I needed to ride. I too have a new MTB and I wanted to shake it down some mountains and splash some sand across its powdercoat. Sean and I dipped out on responsibility, in a fuck-work kind of way and pedaled our way up to Brown, to hit one of my favorite descents in the area, El Prieto.
It happened to be at sunset and guess what? It’s LA, the weather was perfect. The dirt was dry, the poison oak was parched but on-trail adjustments were made resulting in a perfect shred sled sess…
For over 25 years Chico, California has been the home base for Paul Component Engineering. During the Speedvagen Fit Tour we swung by to check in on their operations and to get a sense of what the team, the city of Chico and Paul Price himself are all about…
“Climb” is a short video featuring a mostly gravel road on the col des Chevreres in the Vosges mountains, where le Tour came last year. It also happens to be the home of 2014 Tour 3rd place guy, Thibault Pinot…
The cycling industry is a competitive place. With mountain bikers clamoring over Enduro, the road and dirt industry has its sights on gravel grinder races. As the name implies, the Grinduro is a mix of the two. A mix, but a whole lot more…
Giro’s Grinduro is an entire weekend event that unfolds in the town of Quincy, California. A place that can get quite warm in the summer, so luckily, the event takes place in October. Participants will be able to camp at the fabled Quincy Campground, be fed by Chris King’s Gourmet Century, enjoy beer from Sierra Nevada brewery and enjoy music from live bands.
The format of the race includes timed climb segments, timed descent segments and a ripping 12-mile long singletrack ender. The intent is to chat leisurely in between segments, get to know your fellow racers, enjoy delicious food along the way and then give your all during the timed sections. Once you’re done, finish up the night at the campsites with a massive shindig.
The following Gallery was taken on the Giro Grinduro course, a 65 mile long mixed terrain route with approximately 9,000′ of elevation. These roads are some of the most beautiful in the area and as you will see, will not disappoint… Will you Grinduro?
Registration is open now, so head to the Grinduro site for more information.
Like many people, we decided to make a weekend of the Eroica California. Rather than fly or drive in for the ride itself. The city of Paso Robles hosted the event this year and since it’s smack dab in wine country, there were numerous places to eat good food and plenty cheap wine to go around. Luckily, my friends at Giro had rented a house, so a few of us camped out in the yard, atop a bluff overlooking town, rather than have to spring on a hotel.
The first day was spent mostly working on bikes. There was a lot of late-night tubular gluing, cable stretching, brake adjustment and minor part replacements. Things like that are always last-minute, right?
Saturday brought around the festival and the Concours. Tons of vintage bikes were on display for people to ogle, ask questions about, reminisce and take photos of. My only regret for the weekend was not shooting a few of these unique rides…
Yesterday was the event itself and since I had already ridden the course earlier in the year and was rather pleased with my photos, I decided to opt for my Fuji X100T, rather than the DSLR setup I’ve been lugging around on these rides as of late. We got a later start than anticipated, but had a decent sized group.
We rolled out of the gate at 8:30, almost two hours late and headed into the morning sun. It’d be a long day, filled with rest stops, wildlife, wine and plenty of climbing. We’d lose some of our group to wrong turns and our minds on the climbs. After 130 miles and around 10,000′ of elevation on 7 speed freewheels, we were all a little shelled…
Check out more in the Gallery and many thanks to Eroica California, Giro and all the volunteers for making the day so memorable!
After another early morning flight and a three hour drive, I’ve arrived in Paso Robles for the Eroica California. The stories have only just begun, so stay tuned throughout the weekend for updates on Instagram…
Also, shouts to American Cyclery for the Nuovo Record levers and Campy straps. Wait til you see the rest of the photos from that shop!
Kona’s Four Corners project unfolds with this first video featuring their Rove AL. Some of the shots in this video are amazing. It’s like another world out there…
… I’m ready to be heading home. Pardon the silence this weekend and as always, there’s more to come…
Golden Saddle Rides: The SOMA Electric Wolverine Turn On Your Bike
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
One part inspired by the band Electric Wizard and six parts inspired by Erik’s Di2 Alfine 11 Peacock-Nuke AWOL.
While this customer may not be heading off to Europe to participate in The Transcontinental anytime soon, he is riding this thing through the urban jungle we call Los Angeles and participating in daily jaunts through the Santa Monica Mountains.
The new Soma Wolverine was our canvas and the picture which we would paint took longer than some of the most famous oil paintings. Most of the components were no-brainers. While questions like whether to use a belt or chain took a bit longer.
I hope you guys enjoy looking at this bike as much as we liked building it!
p.s. The Soma Wolverine was also reviewed in the latest issue of Bicycle Quarterly. So if you’d like to know more about the performance of this bike, I’d suggest heading to your local bike shop and picking up issue No. 51 of BQ.
Follow Kyle on Instagram and visit Golden Saddle Cyclery in Silverlake, Los Angeles.
Looking for a fun 50 mile “all-road” ride in Moots’ backyard? Check out their Ranch Rally. Head over to Moots for details but HURRY, there are only 150 spots!