Category Archives: Mission Workshop
Acre Journal: John Watson – Decompression

I shoot so many photos, cover so many events and rides that oftentimes, I lose track of my journeys. When Mission Workshop / Acre offered to take me to Eurobike and then a mountain bike expedition in the Alps, how could I say no? It was such an amazing time and personally, the photos I took on that trip are some of my favorite.

Acre’s in the process of telling stories on their new Journal. One of which being my trip to the Alps, entitled Decompression. Head over to the Acre Journal to read more and check out some nicely laid out images.

Feb 20, 2014 3 comments
Epilogue – Themes While Bicycle Touring Through China
Shot from a Moving Bicycle 04 - The roads were mostly empty in the industrial areas.

After looking back through all 800 photos I shot while on bicycle tour through China with Mission Workshop and Factory 5, I had a hard time breaking it down to a cohesive gallery show.

What I began to notice were themes in the photos, not apparent as I flipped through the files, but when I printed out a selection of photos, they began to tie in together. These themes represent not only my eye for cycling in urban environments, but also my background education and professional career as an architect.

China really changed my perspective on the world as a whole. I saw beautiful landscapes destroyed in the name of progress and capitalism. I witnessed a precious and old culture wiped out to assimilate with a preconceived notion of luxury. Everywhere I looked, I saw western civilization to blame.

Globalization, our desire to own and consume had changed China. Granted I had no benchmark for the status quo, I could only gather enough information through examining the landscapes.

The Chinese build for the sake of building. Supply and demand is a skewed balance, tilted in the former’s favor. This growth is unwarranted and most importantly, uncontrolled.

So where did this bike tour fall into place? It was, after all, Mission Workshop’s idea. While I was given no direction, no instructions, I did have really, complete freedom to do what I wanted.

We had an agenda: test out the new US-manufactured Acre clothing while riding a bicycle through some of the most polluted areas of China and document the trip for a gallery show. Was it successful? I’d say so…

Which brings me to this post: a selection of 50 photos, all shot with my Mamiya 7ii and Kodak Portra 400. These photos break down into illustrative observations, all of which are noted in the photo’s title. Some are obvious, others are not.

You’ll see the themes fairly easily and I’d like to hear what you have to say about them. Feel free to critique / comment, just be polite and constructive.

Many thanks to Mission Workshop / Acre, the Factory 5 crew and anyone that helped us on this journey.

Jan 8, 2014 24 comments
Mission Workshop: The Zurich Merino Softshell Hoodie
IMG_2271

Mission Workshop’s Advanced Projects continues with the Zurich, a merino softshell hoodie:

“The Zurich soft-shell hoodie combines a 4-way stretch nylon shell with a soft Merino wool lining. The outer-shell layer is constructed using Swiss-made Schoeller®-Dryskin fabric with a durable water repellent treatment. This durable 4-way stretch nylon fabric is engineered to provide breathability and moisture management in addition to wind and water repellency. The soft Merino wool lining naturally regulates body temperature, resists odor, provides moisture management, and stretches with your body.

The Zurich is a utilitarian garment ideal for high activity that features single welt hand-warmer pockets, rear zippered pocket, and a semi-fitted hood.

Made in San Francisco, California.”

Dec 4, 2013 19 comments
Mission Workshop: The Division Schoeller®-Dryskin Chino Pant

When Mission Workshop first began entering the apparel market, after success in the outerwear realm, they knew they had to do things differently, while sticking to the MW DNA. I wore their Stahl riding shorts everyday for nearly three weeks in China, so when they asked me what I thought about doing chinos, I replied supportively.

The fit and detailing on their new Division chino pants differ from the other options, all while looking very much at home in the Mission Workshop apparel line.

Like all things made with Schoeller®-Dryskin, they’re not by any means cheap, but then again, they’re worlds apart from your average cotton pants. The Nanosphere® repellent treatment keeps them resistant to water and quick-drying if they do get wet, the 4-way stretch keeps them cool, in addition to offering mobility on the bike.

Made in the USA with a no-questions asked try it on free policy.

Check out more at Mission Workshop!

Nov 11, 2013 2 comments
Introducing ACRE: Mission Workshop’s MTB Clothing and Portage Line

Photos by Dan Barham

Over the past few months, you’ve seen some of my work with Mission Workshop on their new ACRE line. What began as a ride through China on cross bikes, picked up serious momentum as we plunged downhill in Germany and Switzerland on Santa Cruz mountain bikes. In a lot of ways, Mission Workshop’s progression into the ACRE products reflects what cycling has become for many of us: a lifelong commitment to experimenting with bikes. Period.

The Hauser Hydration Pack in 10L and 14L Sizes

When Mission first started, there was a void that needed to be filled in urban cycling portage but few people know that Mission Workshop’s founders were mountain bikers long before they ever touched a track bike.

Over the past few years, they began to take on the immense project of designing MTB gear and bags, all while maintaining the DNA of MW: made in the USA, minimally-branded and tough as shit!

Presenting ACRE: some of the best damn looking MTB apparel and bags on the market. All made in the USA. I’ve used and abused these products and they live up to the same MW standard.

See the full ACRE line here.

Oct 21, 2013 5 comments
Mission Workshop: Faroe Merino Wool Pullover
Faroe-pullover-CHARCOAL

As I’m packing for Australia, I was going over some essentials and two things I always take with me are a rain jacket and a lightweight, merino pullover. When layered, the combination ensures dry, breathable warmth. I’ve been using the Faroe pullover from Mission Workshop since they first released it. It’s the best merino pullover I’ve owned in both fit and durability. Now, don’t be mistaken. A lot of people will say there are cheaper options, but those options use Chinese merino and are made overseas.

The Faroe is made from doubleknit Australian wool and is made in San Francisco, California.

Mission just received stock of the Faroe in this grey color. Pick one up at Mission Workshop and you won’t regret it.

Oct 16, 2013 9 comments
Mission Workshop | Acre: Dan Barham’s WANDER Photo Show at Interbike
Dan-Barham-Photos

I’ve seen some of the photos that Dan Barham shot during the Mission Workshop ACRE photo shoots in the Alps and they are amazing. If you’re going to Interbike, make sure you swing through the photo show party, WANDER:

“In WANDER, Dan Barham captures a few of Europe’s best mountain trails on film. The tour was designed to test the upcoming Acre line of weatherproof trail packs and apparel fit for riding. At Interbike (Booth #4137) we will be launching both Dan’s photo journal and the new Acre line. Stay tuned for all the details on the MW Blog: http://missionworkshop.com/blog/

Sep 15, 2013 Comments are OFF
The Mission Workshop Acre Alps MTB Tour – Day 05
Dropping into a technical, rocky, steep section. Man, was this fun!

Enter day 05 of nothing but Alpine mountain biking with Mission Workshop. My body is still sore, almost a week later and all I can think about is how much fun we all had. The morning was cold, damp and silent, save for the cow bells that somehow echoed through the valley all night, barely being muted by the drunken Swiss wine-tasting party that erupted outside my open hotel window.

Lyle and I awoke at 7am and ate breakfast with Stefan (owner of Stilrad Zurich) and Alberto. 7:30am we rolled out into the misty mountains. From the onset, today was supposed to be quite easy, with a few technical sections and one nasty, nasty climb. At this point, the extra rain clothes and merino base layers I brought became a burden. Every ounce of extra weight in my backpack seemed to pull me back down each climb. Not to mention the 5Dmkii and 24-70mm lens… But hey, that’s my job right?

We made it out just fine, save for a few spills, a few flats and loose legs. All I could think of was drinking a sparkling water and a Radler… 30 miles and 4,000′ of climbing at altitude, on a MTB is no joke.

Check out more narrated photos in the Gallery!

Side note: I want to thank everyone who made this trip possible. Stefan, Alberto, Mission Workshop, Santa Cruz Bicycles and anyone else who helped us out along the way. THANK YOU!

Sep 10, 2013 13 comments
The Mission Workshop Acre Alps MTB Tour – Day 02
They don't call it the Black Forest for nothing!

For the past seven years, Scott and Dickon from Santa Cruz have spent their post-Eurobike recovery in the hills and mountains of the Black Forest, just outside of Freiburg, Germany. Coincidentally, when Lyle from Mission Workshop and myself had a few extra days laying around before our Alps tour began, they invited us to join them.

That meant traveling from Glarus to Freiburg, before heading back to Zurich on Wednesday. That meant a lot of driving but surely it would be worth it. All the details and accommodations were made. Scott and Dickon knew were to stay, where to eat and were mostly familiar with the trails… What other reasons did we need? Back to Germany we go!

Yesterday morning, we engorged ourselves with one of the best hotel breakfasts I’ve had before beginning our journey. I suited up in the new Acre gear, tuned my bike and hopped off through town before we all found ourselves in a tower of switchbacks up and out of the valley.

The Black Forest is a sacred place, filled with lore and mythology. While we saw no Slender Man, or nymphs, I could feel the presence of something the whole day and it wasn’t the eggs from breakfast… Nature still owns the forest. The trees hummed and resonated with the wind. If you break yourself off here, there’s no telling what would happen to you once the sun settled in for the evening.

After a mild case of “lostness” and bordering on bonking, the whim to “take the other trail” turned our planned 3-hour jaunt into an 8-hour expedition through the absolutely stunning trail system. Some were extremely technical and steep, while others were fast and smooth. Then we hit the backside of Kandel with its fast, steep and rocky descents. We all wished we had pads…

We got a taste of everything and for me, the technical, rocky terrain was just a teaser for what awaits in the Alps. The total for the day was about 35 miles and 4,900′ and today, my legs are thanking me.

Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery!

Sep 3, 2013 21 comments