Yesterday, we drove up to the Bandito campground in the Angeles National Forest with Salsa Cycles, Topanga Creek Outpost and Golden Saddle Cyclery for a quick camping trip and mountain bike ride(s). It was a short overnighter but that didn’t keep David, one of the mechanics at GSC from bringing his vintage Campagnolo banner he uses as a sun shade for his van… Meanwhile, I took the scenic route home.
Yesterday before our group ride to watch the Amgen Tour of California, Frankie Andreu rolled through the Cub House to talk to Sean of Team Dream / Ringtail / The Cub House about riding in the Los Angeles area.
… when the Amgen Tour of California comes through town. Thanks to everyone that came out to the GSC / TDT / RAD ride up the 2 this morning and thanks to Amgen for bringing this race through some of the most scenic roads in California! Expect a full write-up soon!
Being nestled in between the Pacific Ocean and giant mountains is the only reason why Los Angeles isn’t a complete desert. The moisture that rolls in off the water gets trapped by the San Gabriel mountains and that’s where the predictability ends. Those mountains, in their old age, have developed a bit of a temperament when it comes to weather. It’ll be warm and sunny at sea level, only to be completely socked in at elevation. As we’ve seen numerous times in the past, this makes for really interesting photographs as those of us who inhabit Southern California rarely get to witness weather patterns, usually native to North California.
A few weeks back, just about everyday the ANF was encased in a foreboding sky, with big, thick, black clouds looking like they were going to descend upon us all, delivering much-needed water. But they didn’t. They just sat there, keeping us from riding our bikes up to them for fear of being literally washed down the mountain, alongside chunks of decomposed granite. Been there, done that, it’s not fun. Just ask Sean and Hans!
However, Sean asked me to shoot Team Dream’s new kit which as we’ve seen is high vis yellow. I put logic aside, grabbed my camera and a model willing to brave the weather (hey, Californians don’t bide well in cold.)
On days like this, you end up with a lot of shots, but these 12 were my favorite, omitting the obvious product detail shots. Enjoy!
Tomorrow morning, I’ll be leading a group ride from Golden Saddle Cyclery (1618 Lucile Ave) to the Cub House in South Pas (1412 El Centro St) at 8am. We’ll roll out and meet up with the group ride leaving the Cub House at 9:30, so be on time! From there, we’ll all ride at a chill pace up Highway 2 to Upper Big T where Sean’s VW Van is parked, loaded with goodies as we watch the Amgen Tour of California race past!
Working at a shop like Bicycles of Ojai can lend itself certain opportunities. With its walls covered in vintage components, frames and memorabilia, you can spend hours digging through this veritable treasure chest, assembling one unique build. Now, imagine working at that shop, constantly bombarded with literal bicycle porn and I’m not even going to talk about the basement!
Tyler used to work at Bicycles of Ojai. In his time there, he was always on the hunt for something that would fit him. He’s a tall lad, of about 7’8″ and he rides a tall bike, making it hard to score vintage frames usually, especially in the middle of nowhere like Ojai. Yet, the owner of the shop has long ties to Southern California racing and amidst all the crashed 62cm frames, laid this beauty, rumored to be a custom Paramount for a local track and crit racer.
Now, this “Paramount” has been drilled for both brakes and has had what appears to be a derailleur hanger cut off on the track end, at least proving that yes, maybe this bike was indeed raced in local road crits. Who knows? Who cares? It’s a mystery machine and it’s Tyler’s get around town bike when he’s in Los Angeles.
A porteur rack, Specialized Globe cruiser bars and a handful of vintage Italian components make this bike not only one of the more interesting shoots, but classy enough to sway anyone who’d scoff at the rack and bars. I mean Ofmega pista headset and a 135mm 3TTT stem? Why not!
Martin from Second Spin has quite the vintage MTB stable and at last weekend’s MWBA Pancake Breakfast, he brought out his grail. Growing up worshipping Klein, Yeti and Mantis, Martin was able to own various Yetis and Kleins, but never a Mantis in his size. When a trade presented itself, he jumped on the deal for this Valkyrie.
The build spec is period correct, down to the Campagnolo skewers, which many mountain bikers used on their builds. The Cook Brothers crank and Ti bottom bracket have Specialized chainrings bolted on. Martin went with a WTB theme on this particular build with WTB roller cams front and rear, with WTB classic Grease Guard hubs. A Cunningham stem with internal cable routing holds Cook Brothers bars, M730 shifters and four finger calipers.
Even with this nice mix of parts, nothing takes away from this bike’s stance. It’s confident in its funkiness yet still elegant in its form. Having never seen a Mantis in person before, I now understand why Martin was so attracted to these frames.
Vintage mountain bike collectors will swoon over this one, but that goes without saying.
Kinfolk Bicycles began making track frames in the mid-2000’s. They tapped into the Japanese Keirin community and began working with Kusaka-san to make frames for the US market. Years passed and rider’s interests grew to road and finally ‘cross bikes. Now Kinfolk primarily works with geared bikes and in Japan, they employ Akira, who finds himself in LA usually once a year during Japan’s “Golden Week.”
This year, Akira brought this super slick Kinfolk ‘cross race bike. As you flip through this Gallery, don’t miss that Shimano crank beausage photo. I think that, along with the Paul skewers are my favorite details on this bike.
It’s been fun having Akira in town and I look forward to seeing him in Japan soon!
Riding With Ringtail and Stinner Frameworks on Mt. Lukens
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
A while back the boys at Stinner asked Sean from Team Dream / Ringtail if he’d host a ride beginning at Los Angeles’ hub for the discerning cyclist, The Cub House. For those of you who don’t know, The Cub House is the Team Dream Team and Ringtail headquarters. It is located just below Mt. Lukens, the highest point in the city of Los Angeles. With an elevation of 5,075 feet it makes Los Angeles the largest city with the highest and lowest elevations in North America. So, why not take everyone up there? Well… maybe because it has a steep, rocky and rutted 7 mile fire road climb with a 4.5 mile single track descent back down to Highway 2. And this was supposed to be a road ride after all. No matter, good sense shouldn’t get in the way of a good time.
We gathered at The Cub House at 8:30am and filled up on Nitro Cold Brew. Everyone was there, from racers to randos. Tires ranged from 25c to 40c. Some people bought vests and jackets because it looked cold up in the mountains, but I just stole a patch for a photo at the top! (more…)
The Bridgestone X0-1 should need no introduction. These 26″ touring bikes carry a cult-like following all over the world, sometimes fetching a pretty penny on eBay, especially when it comes to this livery. When you think Bridgestone and Grant Petersen, this bike usually comes to mind first. At least it does with me and my favorite part of the history of this particular model of Japan-built Bridgestones is how evident its DNA is in the Rivendell lineage. There’s something magical about this bike and when I saw Nathan wheel this bike in through the doors at Golden Saddle Cyclery, with his shit-eating grin, I actually hated him for a split second.
But you can’t hate Nathan and I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather see with this bike. Especially once you hear what he paid for it. Sheesh. Since this is a special machine, I took some extra time with the photoshoot. I hope you enjoy!