Category Archives: photography
Yeah, you heard that right. The dynamic duo of cycling anthropologicalisms had one hell of a year and their Best of 2014 post is one of the longest scrolling articles in the history of cycling journalism. It’s like a 2000k brevet on a desktop.
Head over to Manual for Speed to see the whole thing!
This year was a whirlwind. I think I traveled somewhere around 220 days, jumping the pond a few times and yes, spending lots of time in California. But what was the pinnacle of the year was the rebrand from PiNP to the Radavist. The pinnacle because it meant more contributors, more photos and ultimately, more, good content.
Without the contributors to this site, it wouldn’t have been such a successful year. Those guys really killed it.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start from Day 01…
I’m loving this photo that Ashley Gruber took, during the Giro last May. It’s so very relevant, especially in the winter months.
The stick that held up the bikes in this Gallery…
I shot a lot of bikes this year. In fact, I shot more Galleries this year, than any other two years combined. From April 1st’s launch of the Radavist, until last week, the entire team worked hard on bringing a full photo gallery just about every weekday, sometimes twice. Pulling in those metrics took some time, but rather than limiting this year’s selection to just ten, I found the following bikes to be all within the same realm.
Some of these bikes never dropped a chain in terms of year-long momentum, still churning in pageviews and social media chatter to this very day. Surprisingly to me, a few were completely stock bikes. These were all chosen for their Facebook likes, social media engagement, comments and overall traffic. I feel like there were a lot of bikes that were flops as far as traffic was concerned, but I wanted to be fair in selecting the list.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s back up a bit.
We began the year with a few big stories, all leading up to one of the busiest weekends of the year, NAHBS. After record-breaking traffic, the world of Beautiful Bicycles culminated in the 2014 NAHBS Drive Side Gallery. From there, it was onto traveling for stories and documenting Beautiful Bicycles along the way… We’ll start off in Prescott, Arizona for the Whiskey Off Road.
You know the saying “good things come to those who wait?”, well, the original saying, which was shortened for public consumption was written by a cyclocross racer in Belgium back in the 1850’s. His text, which was later transcribed on his tombstone said “good things come to those who wait all ‘cross season…”
Here we are, at the end of the 2014 season, with all but two races left for the year, States and Nationals. Most of us are at our peak fitness, or maybe we’re already packing on the winter weight, but for whatever reason, suddenly I feel a lot stronger. Those parts that have been waiting for months suddenly have a home and my bike rack in the house, with that empty hook, finally has a mate. This is the peaceful twin, to the black metal steed, my Geekhouse Mudville.
When this project was first announced, I was honored to have Luis and Geoff from Mudfoot think of me to be involved. I can’t help but think Aaron Stinner may have had something to do with it as well. After a few email correspondences, Aaron agreed to ditch the “production geo” and go full custom. He asked which geometry I preferred and to be honest, I was completely satisfied with my Geekhouse, so we stuck to that for the most part, save for a half a º steeper head tube.
I should preface this gallery by saying, as an isolated selection of images, it’s ok. But after I post all the content I got from this weekend, it’ll be more complete. That includes, reviews, portraits and yeah, my new cross bike. For now, however, it does encapsulate our race conditions and a rather fun way to end the season.
We’ve had a fairly wet fall here in Austin, resulting in some grueling races with a lot of mud. The problem is, we don’t get normal mud here, since the base is limestone. Instead, we get iron-rich clay and clay, well, clay doesn’t like bikes. At all. Unless it’s in the drying process, when suddenly it becomes rails of brown pow.
Saturday’s race was more of a Tough Mudder course than a race course, with the day starting off as a 2 mile track, with around 1.25 miles of running. It sucked. Sucked the energy from your legs, sucked your derailleur off your hanger and sucked all the space it could find within your stays, cranks and fork. The officials shortened the course, resulting in faster times, but still, a lot of running. I’ve never had to shoulder a bike in a race before. Usually, everything was ridable, for some of us, anyway.
When Sunday came around and I could barely walk, I wasn’t looking forward to the course.
Alas, there’s that magical moment where mud transforms to fast lines of singletrack through the woods and mudpits become tacky enough to form a rut. Those are the moments where cross racing takes hold of your skills and sharpens them like a battle ax. Sunday was amazing and fast!
After doing my thing, there was talk of a chili eat-off between one of the older teams in town and the newer teams. Yacht Club vs Super Awesome. I had my money on the later, since Yacht Club prides themselves on their fine dining and boyish physiques. Boy was I wrong…
On my last day in Los Angeles, Sean from Team Dream and I sat in his living room, listening to the rain dump outside. Normally, a little rain doesn’t bother me, but this was torrential. You’ve heard the expression “raining cats and dogs”, right? Well this was all cats. Their claws hitting the tin awning outside Sean’s guestroom as visibility dropped to inches and the trees swayed in the wind. Dogs wouldn’t cause this much damage. It fell and fell and fell.
Los Angeles needs it.
Photos by Andy White
Looking through the latest gallery on FYXO has all kinds of nostalgic gears spinning in my head. It was one of my favorite trips to Los Angeles and easily one of the best road trips on the west coast.
Many months ago, Andy visited LA and documented the whole trip, extensively. Seriously, the mate always had his camera on him. Over a year later and he finally shared them all in one gigantic gallery.
Head over to FYXO to see more!
With the advent of the 1x drivetrain, be it SRAM (who arguably brought the technology to the cycling industry), Race Face, Wolf Tooth or the hundreds of other options, the ‘cross bike lost a bit of its versatility, when compared to having a 34t inner ring. For racing, a 40t front and 11-28t cassette may be fine, but add in a substantial amount of climbing, on dirt roads exceeding 12%, for miles, and you’ll find yourself a bit “knackered” as our British comrades say.
My decision to drop the front derailleur on the Geekhouse came after a few misguided chains that cost me precious placing in a race. Truth: I was already ready for a 1x setup. So I went with a CX1 rear mech and the CX1 11-32t cassette.
The rear range is crucial. Especially when compared to the standard 28t cassette. SRAM’s CX1 made it easy with its 32t cassette and in January, the 36t cassette will be available. Now let me preface this by saying, I’m well-aware that most of you find CX1 sacrilegious due to its pricepoint or whatever, but let’s not steer off path just yet.
My bike feels great with a 40t front and 32t rear in racing, but riding fire roads, not so much. The 40t front ring and 32t max cassette had my legs burning on the first pitch, especially with 40mm tires. Remember, the larger your wheel’s diameter, the longer your gear inches. I couldn’t imagine an 8+ hour ride with the current setup. Maybe a 38t front would help?
After a few jaunts on familiar ground in LA, Sean and Moi offered to take me up into the Verdugos. A mountain range that sits across from the Western ridges in Santa Monica, and only a quick jaunt from South Pasadena, where Sean lives. My decision to carry my camera was the right move, after we crossed the gate. It’s really strikingly beautiful up there.
The plan was to climb up the fire road and bomb the singletrack down, then ascend once again in the dark to take yet another bit of doubletrack down, at night.
Plans < Photos
We were fucking about for hours up there and before we knew it, it was pitch black, save for the glow of the city lights. We all brought lamps and layers, ideal for descending down one track and avoiding rocks on the climbs but that doesn't mean we weren't ready for dinner.
The whole time, I kept thinking I'd love to have a 38t on the front of my drivetrain, as I began tick-tacking up the dirt. 40t x 32t with 40mm tires is no joke on a 15% grade. Especially when you're lugging a DSLR on your back. What doesn't kill you...
Still, at the end of the day, we surpassed expectations of the versatility of these “race bikes”, bombed plenty of steep, rain-rutted tracks, saw a bobcat – Sean freaked out, ate pizza, drank beer and proceeded to be enamored with just how rad cyclocross bikes are.
Now, where is that 38t Wolf Tooth ring I bought at the beginning of the season?
Photos by Mike Martin
It helps a lot when your teammate just so happens to be a expert at frame design and painting, especially when you win the 2013 California State ‘Cross Championships. Garrett Chow recently completed and photographed this bike for Mash-teammate, Walton Brush. Even if it did come at the end of the season, it’s still an incredible machine!
Check out some words by Garrett and more photos below!