Category Archives: photography
Porcelain Rocket’s DSLR Slingers
PorcelainRocket_DSLR_01

Scott from Porcelain Rocket launched a small run of DSLR Slingers on his site yesterday. These on-the-go camera bags allow you to drop in a mid-sized DSLR, rangefinder or Micro 4/3s camera, and simply pull them out to get the shot. There’s no need to stop and open a backpack or a handlebar bag.

While they’re not big enough for a pro DSLR with a battery grip, they fit a 5Dmkiii and a smallish lens. I fit a 5Dmkiii in mine with a 24-70 mkii lens but it felt a lot better on the bike with my Mamiya 7ii, Leica M7 or my little Fuji x100t. Remember, you’re putting weight on one side of the bike and they tend to hit your knees while climbing, so the smaller the camera, the better in my opinion.

The DSLR Slingers are in stock now at Porcelain Rocket for $150.

Apr 22, 2015 6 comments
Locked and Loaded on the Niner RLT9 Steel Cyclocross Bike
My ride: Niner RLT9 Steel with everything I need for three days of self-supported camping.

Cyclocross bikes may be designed to race for 45 minutes to an hour in various conditions, but their beauty lies in their versatility. I’ve put in a lot of time on my cross bike over the years, and only a fraction of those hours were spent racing. Instead, my bike’s been on road, trail, dirt, gravel and frontage road rides. With the right gear range, which is now as simple as a cassette or a chainring swap, a cyclocross bike could very well be the only drop bar bike you’ll need.

Companies like Niner are banking on that and while they offer a few ‘cross bikes, the RLT9 Steel is their flagship steel rig. Made from oversized Reynolds 853, with a pressfit 30 bottom bracket and a sweet carbon fork, the RLT9 Steel is being marketed to the “adventure” crowd.

What better way to test a bike’s capabilities than to pull one right from the box, strap three day’s worth of camping gear on it and chase 20 people around the mountains, roads and singletrack in central California?

That’s exactly where my relationship with the RLT9 Steel began… In the San Jose airport.

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Apr 22, 2015 29 comments
Two Hot Vintage MTB Commuter Setups
Matt's Hot Vintage MTB Commuter Setup

Literally seconds after walking into the 2015 Sea Otter Classic, I ran into Nick and Matt from SF. They had driven in that day and rode their lock-up MTB commuters down to the show. In SF, with bike theft at an all-time high, having a beater that is both cheap and functional is key.

Matt’s Trek 890 features porteur bars, a rear rack, a porteur rack and a Strawfoot bag for cargo. Meanwhile Nick’s Mongoose utilizes dirt drops and barcons. Both bikes have a fair amount of beausage and can both be maintained with a local bike shop’s parts bin.

Thanks to Matt and Nick for embracing my request for a wheelie photo!

Apr 21, 2015 32 comments
Some 2015 Sea Otter Classic Randoms
Dave, the Otter and Sean

As a first time attendee at Sea Otter Classic, I had no idea what to expect. Everyone I spoke to assured me that it would be hell on Earth, with wind, sun, locusts and boils (read: hangovers). Rather than some apocalyptic wasteland, I found it to be quite accessible, friendly and casual. Especially when compared to the chaos of Interbike, Eurobike and even NAHBS. All of which I rarely have time to talk to people while there…

No one enjoys trade shows. Not the people in the booths, not the people photographing the booths, yet most of the people I chatted with were surprisingly relaxed and dare I say, stoked to be there. Most of the major brands had already launched their big products and a lot of the smaller brands were more interested in building relationships with media outlets by sharing a beer or loaning sunblock, rather than getting some shitty booth photo taken.

Sea Otter landed itself right after Eroica and a little bikepacking trip I took with Blackburn, so maybe that’s why it was so relaxing for me. I had no obligations, aspirations, hopes or dreams and yet, I got to talk to people and shoot photos when I saw the opportunity arise. Obviously, a lot of those bikes will have their own galleries (many already have), so expect nothing but randomness in this photoset. Yeah, it’s a little skimpy, but I’d rather share these photos than delete them.

Next year, if I attend again, I will however bring a better hat, more sunblock and a damn MTB…

Apr 19, 2015 11 comments
Giro Cycling’s Grinduro Timed Gravel Race in Sierra Nevada
Ascend

The cycling industry is a competitive place. With mountain bikers clamoring over Enduro, the road and dirt industry has its sights on gravel grinder races. As the name implies, the Grinduro is a mix of the two. A mix, but a whole lot more…

Giro’s Grinduro is an entire weekend event that unfolds in the town of Quincy, California. A place that can get quite warm in the summer, so luckily, the event takes place in October. Participants will be able to camp at the fabled Quincy Campground, be fed by Chris King’s Gourmet Century, enjoy beer from Sierra Nevada brewery and enjoy music from live bands.

The format of the race includes timed climb segments, timed descent segments and a ripping 12-mile long singletrack ender. The intent is to chat leisurely in between segments, get to know your fellow racers, enjoy delicious food along the way and then give your all during the timed sections. Once you’re done, finish up the night at the campsites with a massive shindig.

The following Gallery was taken on the Giro Grinduro course, a 65 mile long mixed terrain route with approximately 9,000′ of elevation. These roads are some of the most beautiful in the area and as you will see, will not disappoint… Will you Grinduro?

Registration is open now, so head to the Grinduro site for more information.

Apr 14, 2015 37 comments
A Weekend at Eroica California
Eroica

Like many people, we decided to make a weekend of the Eroica California. Rather than fly or drive in for the ride itself. The city of Paso Robles hosted the event this year and since it’s smack dab in wine country, there were numerous places to eat good food and plenty cheap wine to go around. Luckily, my friends at Giro had rented a house, so a few of us camped out in the yard, atop a bluff overlooking town, rather than have to spring on a hotel.

The first day was spent mostly working on bikes. There was a lot of late-night tubular gluing, cable stretching, brake adjustment and minor part replacements. Things like that are always last-minute, right?

Saturday brought around the festival and the Concours. Tons of vintage bikes were on display for people to ogle, ask questions about, reminisce and take photos of. My only regret for the weekend was not shooting a few of these unique rides…

Yesterday was the event itself and since I had already ridden the course earlier in the year and was rather pleased with my photos, I decided to opt for my Fuji X100T, rather than the DSLR setup I’ve been lugging around on these rides as of late. We got a later start than anticipated, but had a decent sized group.

We rolled out of the gate at 8:30, almost two hours late and headed into the morning sun. It’d be a long day, filled with rest stops, wildlife, wine and plenty of climbing. We’d lose some of our group to wrong turns and our minds on the climbs. After 130 miles and around 10,000′ of elevation on 7 speed freewheels, we were all a little shelled…

Check out more in the Gallery and many thanks to Eroica California, Giro and all the volunteers for making the day so memorable!

Apr 13, 2015 20 comments
Eroica California Rides: Mid 80’s Rossin Ghibli with C-Record
Rossin Ghibli with C-Record

The time has come for Eroica California and at our rental house in Paso Robles, everyone’s bikes have been getting the final tune ups required for either the 60 mile party loop or the heroic 123 mile route. This one beauty in particular is Mark Riedy’s personal bike and it’s more modern than most of the rides you’ll be seeing in the next few days here on the site. Built with Campagnolo C-Record, this Rossin Ghibli is made from Columbus Gilco tubing with an outrageous paint job the Italian company is known for.

My personal favorite detail on the Ghibli models being the bottom bracket shell and from this bike specifically, the original Keith Haring-designed City Cycles NYC sticker from the 80’s…

Apr 11, 2015 12 comments
Yo! MFS Cribz Episode 01
manualforspeed_girona_apts4_eg-2-1680x1344

Face it, professional cyclists are celebrities, at least according to Manual for Speed. How do they live? What do they eat? How do they recover? … and what’s in their trash? All this and more will be revealed upon entering the vortex that is Yo! MFS Cribz Episode 01.

Apr 9, 2015 3 comments
The Long Haul with Humble Frameworks – Kyle Kelley
The Long Haul with Humble Frameworks - Kyle Kelley

The Long Haul with Humble Frameworks
Words and Photos by Kyle Kelley

A lot of people asked me why I was flying into Chicago for NAHBS this year when the show was another 5 hours away in Louisville, KY. Well… the answer was easy for me. I wanted to get the party started up north and keep it going all the way down south. There were friends to see, hot dogs and pizza to eat, bike shops to visit and dogs to be walked (my dog lives in Chicago). And last but not least I wanted to spend time driving down Interstate-65 through my home state of Indiana with Michael Catano from Humble Frameworks.

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Apr 9, 2015 11 comments
Sub 24 Sunset Chasing
Sub24_McKinney-post-16

Lauren and I have done plenty of camping and she’s done her share of cycling around town, but we’ve never gone on a bicycle camping trip together. Yesterday morning, I was surprised to hear her ask if I wanted to get in some tent time before I headed out on the road again on Friday.

So last night, I packed up some bags, a tent, my trusty Lodge cast iron skillet and food for two meals. We headed out to the closest state park in the area: McKinney Falls. The route there is pretty easy, even loaded down with a bunch of gourmet food, wine, a hatchet and a skillet. I took it slow and coached Lauren through the climbs, we stopped for photos and tried our best to ignore the impatient rush-hour traffic zipping past. The weather looked nice, with bright blue sunny skies. It didn’t rain this go-round, but it was still quite enjoyable…

I didn’t think this mandated a whole gallery, so check out a scrolling story below.

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Apr 8, 2015 15 comments