Category Archives: photography
A 4th of July Red White and Blue Stinner Frameworks Monster ‘Cross
Kyle's Red White and Blue Stinner Monster Cross

Cue the speech from Independence Day, mashed up with Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA with a few fireworks and explosions, playing on a bluetooth speaker aboard a Ritchey from the 90’s (any one will do, just not those Lite Beam frames.) That was what inspired the newest from Stinner Frameworks and Golden Saddle Cyclery.

When I returned from Spain with that Monster Cross Crema Duo, rolling on 27.5 wheels and Maxxis tires, Kyle’s eyes opened wide, sparking a conversation. “Do you like those wheels?” Or something of that nature. After a few rides together, he called Aaron at Stinner, just as they were about to get started on his ‘cross bike and told them to hold off on design and construction. The following few days were spent problem solving how to fit that size tire and a traditional 1x crank. It ain’t easy and there isn’t Boost available for road / cross yet, making it difficult to get the chainstay clearance you need.

Why would you want those wheels anyway? See, Kyle and myself enjoy riding our ‘cross bikes on singletrack and dirt roads probably more than racing itself. What is essentially an XC tire fits in with this riding more, especially in LA, where the sandy and loose trails need as much rubber contact as possible. With a tubeless tire, you can run a low pressure and still have a large contact patch. So the 27.5 platform allows that, with some extra cushion too, but it’s nice to have an option to race. That’s what’s so versatile about a bike like this. It’ll fit a 700 wheel with up to a 45mm tire for racing ‘cross or it’ll fit a 27.5″ mtb wheel for thrashing trails and fire roads. The bottom bracket is designed to ride similarly with either wheel size. Coupled with the SRAM 1x system and its 10-42t cassette, you don’t spin out while you’re riding to the trail either. For wheels, I’ve been riding the WTB Horizon Road Plus system on my Firefly on and off, so I wanted to let Kyle get some time in on it too.

So what about that paint? Well, why not? That frame is made in the USA and today is the 4th of July! Stinner’s in-house design and paint team killed it with this one. My mind was blown when I saw this one…

Enjoy your 4th!

Jul 4, 2016 31 comments
An Evening with Magnum Cycling UK

Rapha UK recently hosted an evening with Magnum Cycling, part of Magnum Photos:

“Earlier this year author Guy Andrews and esteemed photographer Harry Gruyaert chaired a panel discussion to launch Magnum Cycling, a “visual survey of the relationship between the world’s best photographers and the exciting and multifaceted sport of cycling.””

You can pick this book up at your local book store now and continue reading the story at Rapha.

Jun 28, 2016 Comments are OFF
Rolling Deep into the Angeles National Forest with the Swift Campout!
What a good group!

For the past 25 some-odd years, the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association has claimed Henninger Flats as the official, yet unofficial campground for cycling enthusiasts in Los Angeles. In that time, various events have brought men and women to its cliff’s edge overlook of the city to share stories and bond. The great outdoors are like that.

So when Swift Industries announced the Swift Summer Solstice Campout again this year, Golden Saddle Cyclery, along with Ray and some MWBA OGs proposed Henninger be the destination. It’d be a perfect way to introduce bicycle campers, bicycle tourers and bike packers to this age-old tradition. Think about it this way: for as long as mountain biking has been a thing, people have been bicycle camping up here! (more…)

Jun 27, 2016 18 comments
Ride in Peace, Bill Cunningham

No one knew the world of NYC fashion like Bill Cunningham and if you haven’t seen his documentary, then I highly suggest the watch. So, who was Bill Cunningham? In short: Bill rode his bicycle around New York City, documenting fashion for various media outlets. This weekend, Bill suffered a stroke and passed away, leaving the community in shock. Ride in peace, Bill.

Jun 27, 2016 5 comments
Char Rie’s Cafe: The Hunter Cycles Super Coffee Bike Tourer
Char Rie's Cafe: The Hunter Cycles Super Coffee Bike Tourer

Bicycles. They’re only as great as their owners, and custom bikes, being as special as they are, still follow this rule. I’m sure every framebuilder has completed a project like this at some point. Specific, yet versatile, made for multi-surfaces and designed for a short in stature, big in personality owner.

Rick Hunter of Hunter Cycles takes on projects like this frequently. Or at least it appears that way. I don’t know what it is about some of Rick’s bikes, but they seem to be an exercise in problem solving, while delivering upon their specific use with confidence. A master of the touring bike, custom racks and creative designs, Rick’s finished products are some of the most unique in the industry.

Chari means bike in Japanese.

Rie’s “Super Coffee Bike Tourer” came to be when she decided to tour Europe, after her friend Mortimer from Keirin Berlin urged her to do so. Rie decided she wanted to attend various bike events, make new friends and pour coffee from her bike, something she had been doing since 2010 at her job while working for Circles and Sim Works in Nagoya from a singlespeed city bike. This trip however, would require something more capable, so she contacted Hunter Cycles and began to plan for her trip.

She started her journey on July 15, 2013 at Keirin Berlin and finished on October 28, 2013 for her birthday in Portugal at Cabo de São Vicente, aka “the end of the world”, the Southwesternmost point of European Continent. A bike’s use doesn’t die once its job has been completed though. For the past few years, Rie has tackled singletrack in Santa Cruz and various other bike tours, including our recent trip to Mount Fuji and Izu Oshima.

My job surrounds me with Beautiful Bicycles, of all shapes and sizes, sometimes desensitizing me to just how insane they can be, yet I can’t get over how rad this bike is… See more from Rie’s trip or her bike at her blog and be sure to check out her Instagram for more photos from her life of bikes!

Yattaaaaa!

Jun 15, 2016 19 comments
We Welcomed the Tour of California to Town with a Mountaintop Party
Peloton

When Sean from Team Dream found out what the route was for this year’s Tour of California stop in LA, he began scheming about how we could welcome the race with a KOM party… The thing about partying on top of a mountain is it takes a bit of planning. Sure, you could pull a grill, a cooler and food up a 5,500′ climb in a Bob Trailer but you’d end up being too pooped to party at the end of it. This left Sean with a decent plan: he’d shuttle his VW van, dubbed “the Brick” up to the top of Upper Big T at HWY 2, filled with all the necessary goods to throw down one hell of a hangout on the course. We’d wait for the peloton, grill hot dogs, drink beer and when the race came through, erupt with unrivaled support for the racers. Sounds like a good time, right?

As I was herding people from Golden Saddle, Sean was shuttling his van up to the KOM, barely arriving back to South Pasadena in time to begin the group ride. We went up Highway 2, one of the most scenic road rides in California. All 40 of us. With bikepacking bags loaded with food, water and camera equipment, I took off with the group on my rigid 29’r and sneakers. Believe me, doing a “road ride” on a loaded down MTB isn’t all that fun, but I was stoked to see Adam doing the same… and yeah, it made for some playful jibs along the way.

Check out the story in the Gallery!

May 20, 2016 12 comments
Brian Dunsmoor of Hatchet Hall is Riding for Chefs Cycle
Brian's Cinelli Work Bike

As cyclists, very few of us make a living riding bikes. In fact, I’d say probably 3% of the readers of this site fall within that category. This is all merely speculation of course, but I will say with great certainty that almost all of you have a job of some sort that you spend time performing. Sure, we all find time to squeeze in bike rides when we can, but unfortunately we spend a great deal of our lives working.

So when you have the opportunity to mix business and pleasure, you probably take it. That’s where Brian Dunsmoor of Culver City’s Hatchet Hall comes into the story. Brian is the head chef of the ‘Hall and a dedicated cyclist. He’s been training for the past few months for a benefit ride called Chefs Cycle, a P2P fundraiser working to raise awareness and funds for No Kid Hungry. Brian, along with other chefs are riding from Carmel to Santa Barbara in an attempt to help put a stop to child hunger. (more…)

May 19, 2016 38 comments
A Pushwacker’s Guide to Peppermint Falls in the Sequoia National Forest
... like a rollercoaster!

There’s an old saying: “wherever your relationship is going, it’ll get there faster on a _____ ride.” Whether it’s a bicycle tour, mountain bike, group, or tandem ride, new relationships often encounter stress that can either solidify or deteriorate your bond. Acknowledging this, I planned out Cari’s first bikepacking, or rather bicycle camping trip together with a certain degree of trepidation. Knowing Cari’s background of extensive backpacking, I planned out a quick, but somewhat difficult ride for us to undertake in the Sequoia National Forest.

Let me backpedal a bit here and give you a brief synopsis of Cari’s background. In her 20 years of backpacking, she’s undertaken a series of difficult multi-day trips throughout the Western United States. She’s hiked Whitney, Half Dome, Rae Lakes, Lost Coast and various other undertakings that are far from beginner. When she and I first started dating, she had a commuter bike but other than riding around Los Angeles, she had very little experience, especially on dirt. I explained the premise behind bicycle camping, touring and bikepacking, with the differences in each outlined. “You basically carry everything you need on your bike, rather than your back, and you can cover more ground on various terrain…” She seemed to gravitate towards bikepacking since the idea of dealing with cars isn’t all that appealing to a backcountry explorer. I agreed and began planning.

Initially, I had one ride planned in the Eastern Sierras but this time of year meant it could still be snowing at 10,000′, so I began looking a little further south before landing in the Sequoias – one of my favorite parts of California. (more…)

May 17, 2016 32 comments
As the Clouds Moved In
Ascent

Being nestled in between the Pacific Ocean and giant mountains is the only reason why Los Angeles isn’t a complete desert. The moisture that rolls in off the water gets trapped by the San Gabriel mountains and that’s where the predictability ends. Those mountains, in their old age, have developed a bit of a temperament when it comes to weather. It’ll be warm and sunny at sea level, only to be completely socked in at elevation. As we’ve seen numerous times in the past, this makes for really interesting photographs as those of us who inhabit Southern California rarely get to witness weather patterns, usually native to North California.

A few weeks back, just about everyday the ANF was encased in a foreboding sky, with big, thick, black clouds looking like they were going to descend upon us all, delivering much-needed water. But they didn’t. They just sat there, keeping us from riding our bikes up to them for fear of being literally washed down the mountain, alongside chunks of decomposed granite. Been there, done that, it’s not fun. Just ask Sean and Hans!

However, Sean asked me to shoot Team Dream’s new kit which as we’ve seen is high vis yellow. I put logic aside, grabbed my camera and a model willing to brave the weather (hey, Californians don’t bide well in cold.)

On days like this, you end up with a lot of shots, but these 12 were my favorite, omitting the obvious product detail shots. Enjoy!

May 15, 2016 12 comments