The idea of “free” these days usually comes with a catch, yet when the Levi’s Commuter Workshops popped up in Brooklyn, LA and London, free really does mean free. A free desk to work at, free bike repair / wash areas, free coffee, free wifi and yes, free tailoring. So what’s the catch? No, really, there isn’t one.
The 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup
Words and photos by Chris Lee
I’m not gonna lie, I’m not very well versed or informed about the mountain bike racing circuit. But I do know about the MTB World Cup and when the announcement that it was going to be making a stop in Windham again, I knew I had to make the trip up…
Photo by Andy White
Back in 2011, Andy from FYXO got to visit the workshop of Giovanni Pelizzoli, founder of Ciöcc and torch-bearer of the Pelizzoli brand. In an era when Ciöcc has forgotten its steel days, Giovanni continues to craft beautiful steel frames in the spirit of Italy’s golden era.
Andy did a great job documenting the space and faces inside Pelizzoli, so head over to FYXO for the full photoset.
Well, we’re here in Los Angeles, after four days of pedal to the metal driving down Highway 1 from Portland to Los Angeles. The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the nation’s most popular bicycle touring routes and unfortunately, that also means it’s one of the most popular RV / Camper / no-clue how to drive windy road tourist destinations.
Ok. Seriously. Now it’s a vacation. Nothing against hanging in cities but it’s damn stressful trying to get around and see all your best buddies. Well, a different kind of stress, especially when compared to driving with the windows down and music blasting down some rad gravel road with no one in sight. That’s stressful.
Lauren and I spent the day on a route I planned out to take us from Portland to the 101, without getting on any major highways. It ruled. Then, a wreck happened on the 101 and we had to take a 50 mile detour. That didn’t rule. Getting to eat at the Local Ocean in Newport, Oregon made up for it though.
I didn’t shoot a lot of digital today, because I’m shooting medium format, but I did get a little trigger happy at a nice little beach spot before we called it a night.
Check out some in the Gallery!
Look, I didn’t want day two to be more Portland photos. I know this city is awesome and I have a lot of rad friends here but come on. I need some nature. Alas, yesterday was our last day in PDX, before we head out of town, along the Nestucca River to the PCH.
It’s been 12 years since I owned a vehicle and I was quickly reminded at the cost of maintenance. New tires? Yeah, expensive. Funny how you can rationalize $80 tires for your bike, but $200 tires for a car or truck? Dammit!
After running some errands, I swung by to see my friends at Rapha North America to see their expanded offices and drink all their coffee before heading out to do much of the same – try to meet as many friends as I could before we headed out of town in the morning…
Vacations, holidays, or just plain breaks. We all need them and regardless to how fun you may think this job is, it’s a lot of work. Like, I’ve worked for 8 years in architecture and I thought that was a lot of work. No way. Traveling, shooting photos, maintaining this site, is all work and once a year, I like to take a break.
Granted, the very fact that I’m writing a post today, on the first day of our West Coast Best Coast trip, contradicts the notion of a true “holiday”, but hey, I can’t just leave the site alone for a week!
Lauren and I have been apart a lot this year, she’s been kicking ass in Myanmar doing design research and I’ve been jet-setting around the globe attending various events. So when we had a week or two open in our schedules, I planned a trip.
The general idea was fly into Portland, spend a few days there and then dip down to LA along the Pacific Coast Highway, aka PCH.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this route, I rode it a few years back on my touring bike, albeit a bit later in the year. In August, it’s a haven for people in the US and around the world, leaving camp sites, hotels, everything booked out for months, making it difficult to plan anything.
Luckily, I’m not a big fan of plans and I have a pretty good idea of where to go, what to see and how long to spend in each place.
The only planning I did was our vehicle. I’ve been wanting either a mid 80′s – mid 90′s Toyota 4×4 4 cylinder pickup since moving to Texas and getting back into mountain biking. Trucks in Texas are crazy expensive and so I extended my search to the west coast, where I found a pretty good deal on a ’96 Tacoma.
It’s red, has a 3″ lift, camper shell and it needs a name. More on that later. Best news is, it runs and will be our vehicle for this trip and hopefully many others.
Yesterday, we did the tourist thing in Portland. Went to a few shops, met friends and took it easy.
It was a perfect day to begin our West Coast Best Coast trip!
How to work the Chris King Gourmet Century
Words and Photos by Eiry Bartlett
A couple of months back I was down in Portland, riding some local hills and catching up with friends who had just completed the Oregon Outback, when an offer of working at the Gourmet Century fell into my lap. I had another tour in the works for the same weekend – it immediately went out the window.
Photos by Sean Talkington
… of how much #LASucksForCycling. Head over to Team Dream for a few more 35mm jammers.
I miss that town all the time. Actually, I just miss the West Coast, period. Luckily, this weekend, Lauren and I are leaving for a proper vacation. We’ve got a week to drive from Portland to Los Angeles (which isn’t nearly enough time) and I’ll be shooting vacation photos the whole way.
Hopefully, if you have never been down HWY 1, the next week will make you want to do so.
How’s everyone’s summer going?
I love long-term reviews. “Here, take this bike, travel with it and shred it for around six months, then send it right back to us.” Pretty ideal, huh? Especially when there’s a no-strings-attached policy. If you like it, do a review, or don’t, no big deal. Just get out and ride it. For The Radavist, that’s how I like to do product reviews: honestly and with no commitments. The problem is, you’ve got to be really stoked on a bike to want to ride it a bunch, and then photograph it / write about it.
Reviewing bikes is something I don’t often do, partially because I rarely get the chance to ride anything else besides my own bikes but mostly because so few companies contact me to review their bikes. One of the companies that has embraced what I’m doing over here is Santa Cruz and I can’t complain. Great company, great bikes and as I said before, no strings attached.
When Santa Cruz offered to send me out a Tallboy LTC with SRAM’s new – at the time – XX1 groupet back in December, I obliged! Who wouldn’t? I traveled with it, raced it a few times and rode the shit out of it for half a year.
While the world of the $8,000 – $10,000 MTB is certainly saturated at this point, I’ve ridden a few of them and yet I keep wanting to come back to the Tallboy and its unique riding characteristics. The best way I can describe the way this bike rides is solid. There’s no “plastic feel” to the frame, no annoying resonance when you hit technical sections and when the bike tells you to go in a particular direction, it’s usually on point… What often requires honing are your own skills and your confidence on that bike in particular.