Category Archives: photography
Oregon’s Big Country and the Steens Mountain
Photos and words by Gabe Tiller
Nick had never been to the Steens. It’s not his fault — they’re closer to Boise than anywhere that anyone’s actually heard of in Oregon. They’re technically just one weird mountain, not a range. Steens Mountain is one of the ten highest summits in Oregon but you can drive to the top. It stretches for 50 miles north to south, but the snow dusted eastern flank drops 5,000 dramatic feet to the contrasting Alvord desert lake bed, known for its hot springs and land yacht races…
The allure of the eBay score is strong, especially after so many Landsharks have been recently featured here on the site. Such temptation was too great for Andre. After looking on eBay for a few months, he finally scored this Road Shark with Shimano 600 for $400. It came as shown, minus some dry-rotted tires and no saddle, which were easily replaced. It’s in ok overall condition, just don’t look too closely at the bar tape!
The future of this bike is uncertain. There’s been talk of long-reach calipers, 650b conversion with porteur bars, or a modern 10-speed group, and my vote goes to keeping it as-is, just overhaul the damn thing a bit. For now, Slawta’s crazy personal touches shine regardless as to how much patina is present. My favorite detail is the chomping shark mouth on the internal cable routing exit…
Vacation. Holiday. 3-day weekends. From Memorial Day until Labor Day, the road is wide open and the sun is putting in overtime. Taking advantage of those days is key to sucking the last drop from life and its possibilities.
Last summer, I bought a 4 banger Tacoma pickup in Portland and it kickstarted a whole series of road trips. Most of which centered around cycling-related themes or events but it was the interstitial spaces and moments that I remember vividly. Sunsets, sunrises, rain, fog, wind. All of these had a specific scent and sensation. Most of which were captured visually throughout those long summer months.
I carried my Mamiya 7ii with me on every trip, loaded with Portra 400 220 film. It wasn’t until recently that I finally sat and dug through it all, compiling a Gallery of these moments and vignettes. They’re mostly in the correct order, beginning in Portland and traveling down south.
A lot of these spots are well-known, others not so much but they all serve one purpose: to inspire you to travel to the West Coast and see what you’re missing. Pardon the succinct nature of this intro, but there’s not much to say. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
Photo by Brian Vernor
It’s nice to see one of the US’ most prominent painters getting some much-deserved exposure. Joe Bell is the man. Hands down. His work has been showcased on many builder’s steel handy work. For an inside look at Joe Bell’s shop, head over to Brian Vernor’s Tumblr. Great photos Brian!
I’ve gotten a lot of emails regarding this bike. We’re dialing in some details and you can expect a thorough review and gallery in the next few weeks… For now, poke around on the Vanilla Workshop Instagram and the #UrbanRacer hashtag for more teasers.
One of my favorite trails in Los Angeles recently became the backdrop to a photoshoot for a brand that I’m very excited about. Ringtail is a new company, started by Sean Talkington from Team Dream and Kyle Kelley from Golden Saddle Cyclery. Their intent is to make great fitting, practical cycling apparel and accessories in the USA. As of now, everything is made in the Los Angeles area, which is an added plus for the dudes, seeing as though they like being a part in the production process.
Slack and low, with bigger tire clearances this time. That’s the main difference between this bike and its predecessor. As noted in the previous bike’s gallery, the first version of this bike wasn’t what I wanted. Luckily, Seth Rosko is a good friend of mine and a very capable frame builder. He’s also human and humans make mistakes. What makes a human a great human and a great framebuilder is their ability to rectify those mistakes.
We had a miscommunication, and there was a fabrication error that resulted in a frame with clearance for 2.0 29’r tire in the rear. It’s something that happens from time to time. Framebuilders make mistakes. Chainring clearances, missing or incorrect cable stops, off-square rear triangles. You’re getting a functional piece of art and art has character. Right? Maybe not so much. It needs to function, above all.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move onto what I’m calling my “Agave Slapper” hardtail. This version clears a 2.4 Ardent on the rear, has a 69º head tube angle, a mid-range BB drop and an option for a 2x or 3x front ring. It’s easy to get it low through corners and in Texas, that means the occasional run in with the blue agave plant, where its color was inspired.
One of my favorite cycling photographers, Jered Gruber has a story up on Exposure, showcasing the art of photography, cycling and story telling. Head over to Exposure to check it out now. When’s the story on Ashley Gruber going up?!
Fluoro and functionality. That’s what caught my eye when I first saw Justin‘s Serotta T Max mountain bike. That and the big ol’ Columbus Max OR sticker (I have a crush on that tubeset). Justin took what many would consider an obsolete 26″ frame, added mustache bars to it, a rack with a Wald basket and flat pedals, resuscitating it back to daily use. Of course it still shreds dirt, but it also shreds to and from work. Now we gotta find you a front derailleur dude.
Bum tracks, fire roads, singletrack beware, this Serotta T Max is looking for lunch!
Photos by Morgan Meredith
New bike day is the best. It’s a special occasion that sometimes merits special attire. Like a suit… Wait, what? Morgan and Brian went up into the San Gabriel mountains to shoot some photos of Brian’s new Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt. Loving the #RubberSideUp photo! Check out the rest, including a short video at Vernor Film.