Category Archives: Los Angeles
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!
Last week, the Los Angeles cycling community lost one of its best. While I barely knew Richy, his impact on his loved ones was profound. The Sleepers put together an edit from a recent group ride to celebrate Richy’s life. See more at the #Richyeel hashtag. Ride in peace, brother.
Photo and words by Morgan Taylor
Yesterday Nils took us out on a meandering loop of hidden dirt within the city of Los Angeles. It was one of the funnest rides we’ve done in our time here in LA so far. John’s up in Zion National Park (having a blast, as you can tell if you’re following along on Instagram), and tomorrow I’ll have a big gallery from Montana that I’ve been looking forward to sharing. Hope you’re out riding this holiday weekend!
Thanks to Errin and the LA River Camp Coffee crew for the great hangs this morning! If you’re in Los Angeles, make sure you swing by the Sunnynook River Park on Wednesday mornings from 7am – 9am and bring your own coffee setup!
Holy. Shit. This. Bike.
HSTB. The Crema Duo changed Los Angeles’ riding for me. In fact, it changed how I feel about the potential for ‘cross bikes to be the most versatile bike in your stable. Take everything you love about your bike and turn it up to 11. Big tires, disc brakes, lightweight, snappy geometry and the ability to hold your own in a pace-line, while still being able to crush singletrack and fire roads all in a tight package. (more…)
Morgan and Stephanie from Found in the Mountains are here in Los Angeles and over the next few weeks, we’ll be showing them around to the local rides and maybe we’ll even do another group ride or two. While our touring couple has seen much of the West Coast so far, I don’t think they were prepared for the coastal desert that is Los Angeles, in the middle of the summer.
We’ll be riding early in the mountains to keep cool and laying low during the heat of the day. Expect lots of coverage from their trip to hit the site next week!
These days, with bicycles being so specified in their usage and design, it’s easy to forget that literally any bike can become a touring bike. Now bear with me, I’m not insinuating that your carbon race bike will suddenly sprout rack or fender braze-ons and grow in its tire clearance, or your 6″ enduro mtb will grow calcium deposits, rendering its suspension moot, but every bike has capabilities for multiple day, long distance riding. It’s just a matter of what you’re willing to compromise or cope with.
Aaron wanted a Rosko ‘cross bike. He was living in Brooklyn at the time and was enamored with the idea of a dude making bikes in his garage. Much like the surfing world he grew up in, Aaron liked makers and the idea that a person can make a vehicle for fun, by hand, really resonated with him. So he placed an order for a ‘cross bike from Seth Rosko and waited for the frame. (more…)
With group rides in Los Angeles, ya never know what you’re going to get. As I was packing the night before for this ride, my girlfriend asked me how many people I thought would show up. My response: either 20 or 4. In my experience, the latter is easier to manage, especially when rides like this include around 30 miles of inner-city road riding, yet I have wrangled enough cats to know how to deal with larger groups as well.
While half of this ride is indeed on sealed roads, the 30 that is on dirt is some of the finest Los Angeles has to offer. Dirt Mulholland takes you in the Santa Monica Mountains and intersects miles upon miles of singletrack and fire roads. You could literally spend days riding in the mountains, provided you’ve got access to water.
Four people showed up in the morning. Four new faces, two of which were tourists, who happened to find themselves in LA this weekend. We met up for coffee and left 15 minutes behind schedule to allow any Saturday morning stragglers to roll up. Confident with our group’s size, we headed out through Hollywood and up Nichols Canyon Road, a climb that is often hectic during the week, yet at 7:30am on a Saturday was quite peaceful. With our heads down and in a paceline, we snaked our way to the dirt and that’s where the fun began.
After casually spinning through the mountains, we dropped down to the Pacific Coast Highway via Topanga Canyon HWY 27 and met up with Found in the Mountains at the Reel Inn for fish tacos, margaritas, and stories.
The ride home is always interesting. If you’re visiting LA as a cyclist, it’s a great way to see the places you’ll probably never want to visit again. This includes: Beverly Hills, Melrose, Rodeo Drive and most of Hollywood. As we zig-zagged our way back to the east side, I found it funny how our caravan of cyclists were keeping pace with luxury cars, busses, motorcycles and other vehicles, once again proving that the bicycle is always the best form of transportation in a city.
Transportation and a vehicle for socializing along 60 miles of fun on a Saturday morning.