There’s no better way to shake jetlag than to take on a big ride. After riding in a relatively flat city for a few days, I was ready to head up into the Angeles National Forest, climb Mt Disappointment and Mt Wilson before taking off down Mt Lowe and back to town. It ended up being around 65 miles with over 8,000′ of elevation (not including the ride up Griffith asterwards) and my legs are feeling it today. As always, I try to take some photos while riding and while there isn’t necessarily enough for a gallery, I posted them up below.
After two weeks on the road, it feels great to be home in Los Angeles. This time of year, traveling really takes it out of me and having just moved into a new apartment, I haven’t even had the chance to settle in yet. It’s kind of an overwhelming sensation, coming back to unpacked boxes, bikes in pieces and enough email to keep anyone busy for days on end. Yet with all this anxiety, there’s nothing better than pedaling on familiar roads… Or even unfamiliar roads.
Also, as a side note, my thoughts are with anyone who was traveling to or out of Belgium today, along with anyone who has been affected by this morning’s events. Be safe and spread love. xoxo
Thanks to everyone that showed up for the Golden Saddle Cyclery and the Radavist All-City Log Lady Launch Party! The official release information is coming tomorrow, along with an initial review of the Log Lady, for now check out a few more photos below.
Big guys have big headtubes. How big? Bigger than a tallboy? Depends, but if you’re a Texan like Josh Hines, everything’s bigger there, so why stop with a bicycle?
Joking aside. Josh and I are buddies from Austin. He’s in Los Angeles this week to take on some mountains and break in his new Icarus Frames road bike. After being fed up with stock sizing and carbon fiber, he wanted something with more longevity so Josh turned to Ian Sutton to make him a special road bike… and special it is.
Ian’s not one to turn down a challenge. Well, that’s not true, I’m sure everyone has their limits but let’s just say Josh’s request piqued his interest. While Icarus has made carbon and steel bikes before, he hadn’t spent much time working with carbon seat tubes, which is what Josh wanted. Will Ian do it again? Probably not, as it turned into quite the challenge. Does it look rad? Of course!
Josh wanted a road bike for long days in the saddle. His full time job of being a chef doesn’t offer much free time, so when he has a day off, he wants to spend it all on the bike. He wanted the frame to be painted to match his older Beat the Clock Cycling kit, which has geometric patterns all over it and while the frame is about a month old, the parts were all bought used. Even those Bontrager Aeolus wheels! In fact, all he’s waiting on is a new stem, painted to match the Ben Falcon-paint job and he’ll clean up that steerer-area asap.
Til then, Josh has been enjoying Los Angeles’ killer road climbs. Yesterday he rode Mt. Wilson and we’re trying to convince him to take on Cloudburst… We’ll see! Even if he doesn’t, that bike will be happy regardless.
Oh yeah, how’s that new Will Bryant-designed Beat the Clock Cycling kit? So good!
Tomorrow (or today, depending on when you read this!), Golden Saddle and the Radavist are doing a group ride to kick off the launch of the All-City Log Lady SSMTB. The ride will be MTB and Cyclocross friendly! Just bring knobby tires.
We’ll be meeting at the parking lot at the corner of Windsor Ave and Ventura St in Pasadena at 4PM. From there, we’ll pedal up Fern Truck Trail to what’s referred to as “Brown Mtn Saddle.” From there, we’ll regroup and watch the sunset. Bring your own beverage, you’ll get thirsty after that climb. From there, we’ll all cruise back downhill under a full moon.
Lights and helmet are a must! Come one, come all!!! This is going to be AMAZING!
Gunnar and its parent company Waterford don’t get a lot of attention in cycling media, unfortunately. In fact, I rarely see one here in California or if I do, it’s in passing and there’s no time to shoot photos of it. So when Pat rolled this beaut into Golden Saddle one afternoon, I wanted to do something special with it. I knew exactly what Pat was going for when I saw this bike. It has a body language, a certain air of confidence. It screams, “I can tackle Mt. Lowe on dirt and still be fun descending back down the smooth, paved curves of Highway 2.”
In Los Angeles, big tires and disc brakes can completely alter your everyday rides. We’ve got legit mountains here, breaking 10,000′ but between the ocean and these giants, there are tons of intermittent trails, some of which were cut by cyclists, or hikers, or hobos. These trails can offer more than enough entertainment right out of your front door if you can’t commit to a huge day in the mountains. That became the backdrop for where Pat and I would ride, shoot photos and eventually document this Waterford.
Initially, Pat didn’t want a Waterford. He wanted a Gunnar Grand Disc but after discussing all his add-ons and customization, they recommended he just get a Waterford. Their frames begin at $1,500 and go all the way up to however much accoutrement you’d like to add. Custom geo, check. Pump peg, check. 44mm head tube, check. Disc brakes, check. Custom paint, check. Clearance for a 40mm tire, check. When Pat gave them his list, the team at Waterford got to work and a few weeks later, the frame showed up, ready to rip Los Angeles and beyond.
The build kit is smart, without being flashy. An Ultegra long-cage wraps around the 32t cassette and White Industries VBC cranks make up the right amount of gear inches. King Hubs to HED Belgium + rims, fit with Teravail Cannonball tires keep the bike rolling and a Cambium atop an ENVE post offers some compliance on the saddle. A Thomson stem and 3T bars hold the Ultegra shifters. Yanco outfit this rig with some custom bags, including the DT stash pack and handlebar bag.
Now, Pat’s lived in LA his whole life, but only recently became interested in riding dirt. Perhaps you remember his bright LOW track bike? Yeah, he wanted something a little different than that for his new geared bike. As for his dirt riding, I think he’s got the hang of it.
Thanks for riding, shooting the shit and skidding around loose corners, Pat!
Nick’s Hub and Spoke Cycleworks Track
Photos by Kyle Kelley, words by John Watson
Just as news of the Southern California framebuilder and painter Brian Baylis’ passing made its way to Los Angeles, this bike rolled in through the doors of Golden Saddle Cyclery, immediately grabbing Kyle’s attention. Its owner, Nick Brock races for team Dos Llantas in the San Diego-area. When he wanted a custom frame to fit his obviously very tall stance, he contacted Hub and Spoke Cycleworks in National City who took the important measurements and got to work.
Once the frame was complete, it was painted by Brian Powell, an owner of Hub and Spoke who also paints at Joe Bell’s paint shop. From there, Nick built it up with a Chub hubset on H+Son rims, with a Sugino crankset, FSA cockpit, seatpost and a Fizik Antares saddle.
With NAHBS coming up this week, a bike like this truly embodies what small-time frame and paint shops embody: creativity and customization. You can have all the flash without burning all your cash. Even though we lost Brian Baylis, his legacy lives on with every new builder or painter that pops up in Southern California. If you ever get the chance to see a Baylis in person, take some extra time examining it and you’ll see what I mean.
If you live in the National City area, make sure you swing through Hub and Spoke Cycleworks to check out their shop!
What is a “Log Lady?” and where can you see one? Next Wednesday All-City organized a series of release parties. Check out the details below.
When it comes to custom steel road bikes, It’s safe to say that Speedvagen produces some exceptional machines. Many of these bikes are “Holy Grails” for their owners, who treat these bikes with the utmost care, while riding them every chance they get. In Los Angeles, those rides can take you from Sea Level to 7,903′ at Dawson Saddle and back in one day. There are few places in the USA where you can do that… And you can finish the evening at a museum or sipping on a cocktail.
Jaybe‘s Speedvagen would inspire anyone to get out on the road and push it as hard and as far as they could. With Campagnolo Record 11-speed, Chris King and ENVE wheels, this machine has more than enough performance to take on any ride in LA…
This particular paint scheme was one of my favorites to come from the Vanilla Workshop last year. There’s just something about the Masashi Ichifuru, or “Ichigo”-designed typography, especially with that color palette.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been playing tour guide here in Los Angeles, taking out-of-towners on various rides, mostly revolving around the Blacktop in Griffith Park at sunset. Why? Because people, the colors of Los Angeles get even better when the lights go out.