Category Archives: photography
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…)
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!
This is the fifth layout of the Radavist 2016 Calendar, entitled “Hard Work.” This one’s from the archives and was shot on my Leica M7 with a 50mm Summicron.
Spring is here and it’s one of the busiest times of year for local bike shops. Everyone wants a tune-up, or a new bike, or even a set of new wheels. If you’re going for the latter, make sure you chose local, hand-built wheels and if you’re in Melbourne, Australia, go by and give Dan at Shifter Bikes a high five for me.
NEW: There’s also a mobile image uploaded for anyone wanting a mobile phone background each month. Click here to download May’s Mobile Wallpaper.
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2016 Calendar – May. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
We’ve featured Spencer Harding’s photos in the past here at the Radavist and while digital, or online photos are great to look out, printed books or zines make for great conversation pieces or coffee table reading. Spencer has taken some of his more memorable trips and made beautifully-printed, perfect bound photo books from them, all from $15 to $25 in limited runs. If you have a bit of wanderlust and enjoy looking at photos when you can’t be out on your bike, make sure you check these out. See all of his books at his webshop.
People love shooting photos while riding their bikes and now, there’s another option for carrying your camera on a ride. Head over to Mettle to see what makes the Speed Strap so special.
… outriding storm clouds at the highest point in the City of Los Angeles and then finding myself on a MTB trail on my ‘cross bike, completely covered in flowering Spanish Broom. Hope yours was filled with lots of riding and your steeds are sated.
Yeah, technically I live in Los Angeles, yet this time of year, with all my travel, a duffel bag feels more like home. So when I do find myself at my home address, I like to get out on the bike as much as possible, with camera en tow. Earlier this week, I asked Kyle if he wanted to do a ride. Initially I was thinking of riding up Hwy 2 on a road ride, but that quickly evolved into a bigger undertaking.
Mt Lowe has been the subject of many rides here on the Radavist and rightfully so. It’s a doozie of a climb, much shorter than any other route up to Mt. Wilson’s 5,712′ peak and consequently, much, much steeper. The kind of steep where even MTB gearing is quickly bottomed out and your legs burn with each rotation as you climb in a series of necessary zig zags along the broken paved roadway. Eventually, the grade levels out once it turns to dirt, but for the beginning 6 miles or so of this climb, you’re in a dark, painful place.
No matter how many times I’ve ascended Lowe, I’m always humbled by it. Not necessarily through some suffer-induced form of personal gratitude, but through taking in the majestic views the San Gabriel mountains have to offer. These dry and arid peaks have been getting some rain this winter, resulting in a bloom unlike anything I’ve witnessed in Los Angeles. Every plant is a full-on pollen factory as it blooms with life after living for years, parched by the unforgiving sun. Plants weren’t the only thing sated on this ride. It’s exactly the warm welcome I was hoping for.
Once Kyle and I exited Mt. Lowe we headed up to the top of Mt. Wilson before heading back down Mt. Wilson Toll Road, a road I’ve only heard of. Here’s where it got fun, especially on my Crema 27.5 x 2.2″ machine. I railed everything, hit all the water boards with speed as they booted me into the air and further down the trail, only slowing up to roost a corner and wait for Kyle, who was having a slight mechanical issue.
We railed the dirt and surfed the somewhat sticky sand, stopping for photos, or appreciating the nuances that exist in a mountain range that is in a constant state of erosion.
As the sun fell, we descended back to the city of 10 million people, where fish burritos and coconut water awaited us, and where Max greeted us with a wagging tail… The route provided 55 miles and around 6,500′. All within the city of Los Angeles.
Landsharks appear to be quite common in Southern California, especially in the San Diego area where David picked up not one, but two of these beautiful steel frames. The first being his own Track Shark and the second, a Road Shark for his brother. After scooping up the frame for a mind-melting deal, he built it with the spare parts he had from previous track builds, including some black Campagnolo Shamal wheels. In its current rendition, David’s got a platform pedal and foot strap so he can comfortably ride the bike in whatever sneakers he pleases. Fret not, pista purists, he also has a set of Campagnolo Pista pedals to completely dial it in… Personally, I think it’s awesome to see this bike being ridden still, with tons of potential for inner and outer city rides.
Also, that paint! Slawta never disappoints!
If the Greek god Zeus rode a touring bike, it’d be a Rivendell and most likely, it’d be a Joe Appaloosa. Rivendell is straight forward with the Joe Appaloosa. First off, it’s named after a rather unique breed of horse, then, they took their two most famous touring bikes, the Sam Hillborne and the Hunqapillar, combined them and made one bad-ass road touring bike. These bikes are confidence-inspiring works of art, chiseled from stone and as timeless, or legendary as mythology. Ok, maybe that was too much… They’re just damn sexy!
Those frames scream fully-loaded confidence with a fist-sized gap between the rear tire and seat tube, ensuring that even if you want to dive into a turn, this frame will take its own, secure and smooth line. Which is great for a touring or city bike. Loaded on descents, this long wheelbase makes for a predictable and comfortable ride.
Or, to be more concise, the Appaloosa is:
“It’s not for stunts, boulder-bouncing, or loaded expeditionary off-road touring, but as a trail bike for sober non-yahoos who weigh less than 215lb, it’s ideal, perfect.. That 215lb isn’t a scientifically-derived number, just a hipshot suggestion based on the Joe having a heavier fork than Sam’s and lighter one than Hunqapillar’s.”
So, when Jonathan was looking for a new bike, meeting the above description, he went with a complete Appaloosa. After a few upgrades, namely Paul skewers, Paul brake levers, a Brooks Cambium saddle, SOMA rack, Swift saddle bag and a Tomii bell, this bike is ready for anything… For $2,600 complete, this is the best looking complete touring bike on the market. Find out more at Rivendell!
There’s no better way to shake jetlag than to take on a big ride. After riding in a relatively flat city for a few days, I was ready to head up into the Angeles National Forest, climb Mt Disappointment and Mt Wilson before taking off down Mt Lowe and back to town. It ended up being around 65 miles with over 8,000′ of elevation (not including the ride up Griffith asterwards) and my legs are feeling it today. As always, I try to take some photos while riding and while there isn’t necessarily enough for a gallery, I posted them up below.