Category Archives: Los Angeles
I reiterate this a lot, so apologies if I’m sounding like a broken record here but we’re lucky here in LA. There are a lot of mountains within a quick drive. To put it in perspective, most of the out-of-town riding is in the opposite direction of traffic. So, if you leave in the morning, you’re on a freeway, in a carpool lane, with no traffic. Then, upon returning home in the afternoon, it’s the same. This leaves a lot of options for riding mountain bikes in the National Forests surrounding our very own Angeles National Forest.
The most diverse, ATMO, being Los Padres and one area in particular that has quickly become one of my favorites is Mt. Piños. Named after, you guessed it, the many pine trees that cover its faces, this day-trip jaunt from LA delivers riding that is uncharacteristic of our local trails. Namely shade, and ground substrate. When you’re used to riding on sand, covering decomposed granite, the idea of riding on actual ground covering, even if it’s just pine needles, gets a lot of us stoked.
Sean from Team Dream has spoken highly of this trail over the years and to be honest, I don’t know what took me so long to follow his advice to come ride it. At any rate, I rallied some troops and we planned on visiting Mt. Piños on a Tuesday morning. (more…)
… and your friends hit the gas! We got rain in LA for the first time in weeks? months? Who knows how long. That meant the temperature dropped and it was finally bearable to ride in the middle of the day. We’ve had quite the spring, summer and fall, with temperatures hovering around 90º and very little opportunity for shaded rides. In our mountains, water spigots have run dry and fires have ravaged the forests. It’s been a rough year for our National Forest, so a little bit of precipitation made the vegetation sing.
Sing… just like my legs as I had to chase down this spry group of riders. While there isn’t really a story here per-se, I really love shooting when weather hits Los Angeles. See a few more below and if you’re interested in the route, here ya go! (more…)
Tomorrow SWRVE is throwing a warehoue sale at 3421 Verdugo Rd in Los Angeles. 100 Tacos will be there serving up food and Bicycle Coffee LA will be providing caffeine. Expect to walk away with great deals, a full stomach and a good coffee buzz…
“TBT: Once I made a bike for Kermit”
Ray is a local legend here in LA. Well, at least in a few circles. Namely the design / manufacturing and mountain bike scene. He’s been machining and fabricating for Hollywood pictures all throughout his adult life, yet this one tidbit he shared today really resonated with me, as I’m sure it will with you. Ray, you’re rad! Now let me get into your shop and take some photos!
Photos by Jake Stangel
… and they did it really well! See the two articles at Air Canada. Biking in LA and Bike Map LA.
Bounce, bounce, bounce. Every time I’ve ridden mountain bikes with Kyle over the past year, he’s barely had both wheels on the ground. He’s been riding a carbon Niner RIP 9 RDO, with Shimano XT and all the dressings of one of Niner’s three-star build. It’s still an expensive bike, when compared to something like a hard tail, yet the $5,700 pricetag doesn’t pinch as much as some other full suspension bikes featured here on the site in years past. (more…)
Our friend Barry just made prints of this awesome map, detailing the rides you can do in Griffith Park, namely the Observatory:
“As I said about the first run: Everyone knows that #LASucksForCyling. Really, it’s terrible. Don’t move here to ride bikes. But if you do, you’ll find out that it’s actually pretty great. I live on the east side, which means that Griffith Park is one of my regular stomping grounds. There are dozens of loops to ride through the park, not too much car traffic and lots of weird LA history (Table 29?).
Looming large over the park is the Observatory. It’s a perfect little after work climb, mid-commute high-point or sightseeing stop. So how do you get there? Wonder no more. ”
18×24, one-color screen print on some nice, heavyweight French Co. paper. Each one signed & numbered. $35, shipping included. Scoop one up at BarryMCW.
Jimmy, like many readers of this blog, have an appreciation for the work of Grant Petersen. Whether it’s his current work at Rivendell, or his work for Bridgestone in the late 1980s and ’90s. An XO series had been on Jimmy’s list for some time and when an XO-3 popped up in his size on eBay, he bought it without hesitation.
With a frame like this, there are so many possibilities in terms of overall build and parts selection, yet I feel like many people approach their bikes from a similar angle. Jimmy chose some Velo Orange Left Bank bars, along with the VO Grand Cru Drillium cranks to give the bike a vintage tourer feel and chose White Industries hubs, laced to Pacenti PL 23 650b rims for their resilience and ease of maintenance. My favorite detail is the Yanco Ramblin roll and Banjo Brothers bag, supported by a rear rack.
The rest of the kit just falls together and this bike is Jimmy’s round town machine. Thanks for swinging by Golden Saddle yesterday dude!
Summer is relentless here in Southern California. With temperatures spiking into 100º in LA today, Ty from Golden Saddle, Tom from Stinner Frameworks and I decided to ride in the mountains in hopes of there at least being a breeze. Needless to say, the only things blowing in the wind were those two. Check out a few more photos below!
There’s a bigger story to be told here, mostly surrounding Black Mountain Cycles’ owner Mike Varley and his history not only regarding bicycle design, but also his impact on the Point Reyes community as a whole. I figured this Beautiful Bicycle gallery would serve as a segue to that in the future. For now, let’s chat about this bike…
Point Reyes is a beautiful coastal town in Northern California on the Adventure Cycling Association’s Pacific Coast route and is a bastion of bicycle-friendly roads, trails and tracks. Because of its plentiful offerings in terms of riding routes, Black Mountain Cycles emerged, catering to not only the wayward bicycle tourist, but also locals and SF weekend warriors looking to get their feet dusty.
Black Mountain caters to all forms of roads, but enjoys riding dirt the most, which is why their in-house frame company will always fit a bit bigger of a tire, even when it comes to their “road” frameset. Their Road V3 frame fits a 33mm tire with ease, while offering up the option for either downtube mounted barrel adjusters with road shifters or retro downtube shifters. These frames are made overseas but are affordable, meant for everything from dirt road rides to centuries and even, as evident by Bob’s build here, commuter setups.
Bob’s Black Mountain tackles all the necessities: a SON generator hub, a Wald basket for transporting work clothes, a nice, supple tire and a comfortable riding position. While the frame itself might be production, Bob’s custom build shows character and utilitarianism we all can identify with. For those wanting a little more cushion for their rides, Black Mountain also offers a Cross V5 frameset, as well as the Cameron Falconer-made MUSA frames!
As I said before, hopefully this isn’t the last you hear of Black Mountain on the site, because this story needs to be told!