Good Things Don’t Change at Mercian Cycles
Photos and words by Jim Holland
Sometimes good things don’t change, Mercian Cycles is one of those things.
The current workshop has sat in the same spot since 1965, watching as modern industrial buildings crop up around it and other older workshops disappear. Underneath the steeped, church like ceiling, little has changed and the intermittent clang of tubes and scraping of files ring out as they have done for the last 50 years whilst one by one, men make bicycles by hand.
Frames are still brazed free hand on an open hearth, as they have been since day one, amongst the very last practitioners of this method, Mercian believes it to be gentler on the tubes, which contributes to the longevity of the frame. Die hard Reynolds stalwarts, they don’t often stray from Birmingham steel and have a good stock of 531 for the true nostalgist.
One of just a handful of England’s traditional shop based builders that remain, the torches are still firing brightly and the benches are seldom dormant as the orders keep pouring in, one of them mine, I’m counting the days.
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The Road to the 2014 NACCC
Words and Photos by John Daniel Reiss
The Road to NACCCs was not paved in gold. It was mostly laid out with cheap beer and great friends. For the 2014 North American Cycle Courier Championship organizers in Minneapolis and Chicago concocted an elaborate plan that spanned several hundred miles and two weekends. Starting with the Cuttin’ Crew Classic, an annual race that celebrates the local hustle of the Chicago messenger, many out-of-towners showed up for a piece of the action. Still hanging on to summer, we were blessed by the cool water of Lake Michigan and soaked by afternoon showers. My compatriots at TCB Courier and myself found ourselves taking it all in, from the beautiful stone buildings to cutty alleys, the city was a great motivator the challenges ahead.
Nice photo Dan!
I finally got all my film back from the #RadGoldenDream road trip that Golden Saddle, Team Dream and I went on. These two photos are some of my favorites and best represent the vibes on the road.
Hawaii is a haven for cycling. From Mauna Kea on Hawaii to MTB trails on Kona, this archipelago has it all. One island you mustn’t overlook however is Kaua’i. I’ve already touched on a few points here on the Radavist. Including Kaua’i Cycle and a few random photos from a quick cross ride I did, so let me further expand on those.
Chris and Jonny from Kauai Cycle take to the woods when they can on their mountain bikes. In the drier months, hog trails open up to form a dense network of singletrack. Other service roads open up, as the plant life withers and thins out, but right now, in the middle of summer, everything is overgrown.
While visiting Lauren’s parents, I brought my cross bike and ventured into the woods with Chris and Jonny, not knowing what to expect. I was promised “Jurassic Park” landscapes, a swimming hole and lots of ripping down dirt, well, mud roads on the island. We did 45 miles and around 3,300′. More than enough to leave your legs and shred sled, sated.
If you ever find yourself heading out to this island, do not leave your bike at home!
Photo by Kyle Kelley
Out of all the mountain bike destinations I’ve been to, I gotta say the Sequoias were the most memorable. There’s something magical about that place and I feel like it’s overlooked when it comes to the standard MTB coverage you see.
Point being, it’s a few hours from Los Angeles (three to be exact), so if you get a chance to go, drive out, stay in Camp Nelson at the Belknap Campground, shred some bikes and get some dinner at Nelson’s Tavern.
You can thank Ty for the pointers afterwards!
For the next few days leading up to Interbike, I’ll be on the road. Kyle and Ty from Golden Saddle, Sean from Team Dream and myself will be trekking out to Vegas via a few choice trail systems. While we’re on the road, we’ll be documenting the shenanigans thanks to Impossible Project‘s instant film and Mission Workshop / Acre‘s kick-ass gear!
If I get ahold of WiFi, I’ll be updating the site, if not, expect everything to resume with Interbike coverage on Tuesday.
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This is the nineth layout of the Radavist 2014 Calendar, entitled “Ascension”. The camera and location are noted on the bottom left of the document.
The Pacific Coast is a cycling Utopia. Minus the RVs and tourists who are unable to operate their rental cars. Still, in one of the heaviest traveled scenic highways in the US, solitude can be found, even amongst looming giants like the Redwoods.
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2014 Calendar – September. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
We’ll be back at it tomorrow, so stay tuned for updates as usual. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want summer to go anywhere.
Ride hard, party hard and have a great weekend, you’ve earned it.