Category Archives: MTB
A Berry Blast from the Past: 1981 Jim Merz MTB

Yesterday morning I had a date with a framebuilding legend from the American West. Like DiNucci, Strawberry, Bruce Gordon and others, Jim Merz was a key figure in promoting the production of custom frames in the ’70s and early ’80s. He was a machinist first, turned cyclist, turned builder. He was also an endurance cyclist, pedaling from Portland to Panama in 1970, logging over 8,000 miles. He also toured extensively in South Africa.

Jim brought his knowledge of loaded touring and trekking to his own operations, designing, fabricating and in a lot of ways shaping the world of touring bikes forever. So why haven’t you heard of Jim Merz? (Or perhaps you have, no assumptions here.) Well, Jim’s a unique guy and one that didn’t necessarily seek out the limelight like others in his day. That didn’t mean Jim wasn’t busy. In fact, in his ten years of solo framebuilding from 1972 through 1982, he built around 400 frames from Columbus and Reynolds tubing; he was the first US-builder certified to use Reynolds 753. (more…)

Apr 27, 2017 12 comments
3rd Gens a Charm with the New Ibis Ripley

The OG Ripley was the first modern full suspension mountain bike I rode, years back. Having only ridden hardtails and rigid bikes before, the Ripley opened my eyes to just how fun full sus bikes can be. A lot has changed since then and while I’m still a dedicated hardtail rider, the new Ripley has piqued my interest. See more at Ibis and I can’t wait to shred one of these!

Apr 26, 2017 1 comment
Tramontana

What is “Tramontana?”

“…is a journey through human ancestral fears and primordial virtues of the fire, the natural element that, since the dawn of time, allowed it to defeat the dark, the cold, the isolation and the wild beasts. A tribute to the human wild side that gets lost in the origins of our story.”

Apr 20, 2017 8 comments
Red Diamond Rattlesnakes and Dropping Out of Art School in Laguna

Tuesdays are almost as bad as Mondays, so anytime I get the chance to ride, I take it, as long as I’ve done my work for the day. Last week a few of us decided to ride the trails in Laguna, about an hour’s drive south of Los Angeles. Our plan was to leave mid-day, ride until sundown, eat dinner and head back once traffic had subsided. Yesterday, we met up at Golden Saddle, packed the cars with gear, our stomachs with food and drove to what has to be one of the best places for mountain biking in Southern California. (more…)

Apr 19, 2017 5 comments