… 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.
e r t z u i ° film make some spectacular videos and part of that lies in their love for the bike, while being able to document the importance of the ride. Over the years, I’ve fallen in love with their videos and it wasn’t until the Berliner Fahrradschau that I got to meet Martin, one half of Ertzui.
We actually first met on the King of Gravus ride, where he was pedaling his Indy Fab Planet X on Panaracer Pasela tires amongst a sea of cyclocross bikes. Now, you don’t see a whole lot of Indy Fabs in Europe, especially not well-used and loved rides like this. The bike has patina, character and functionality all over it. At the moment these photos were taken, it was built up as a light tourer, since Martin had just ridden it around 100 miles from his home town of Leipzig to the show in Berlin.
Some of my favorite details: the Tracko sticker, the tooth brush in his feed bag and his Edelux lamp mount (which was difficult to document.) Kristian and Martin from Ertzui have some exciting projects on the horizon and I for one can’t wait to see the final product.
After two weeks on the road, it feels great to be home in Los Angeles. This time of year, traveling really takes it out of me and having just moved into a new apartment, I haven’t even had the chance to settle in yet. It’s kind of an overwhelming sensation, coming back to unpacked boxes, bikes in pieces and enough email to keep anyone busy for days on end. Yet with all this anxiety, there’s nothing better than pedaling on familiar roads… Or even unfamiliar roads.
Also, as a side note, my thoughts are with anyone who was traveling to or out of Belgium today, along with anyone who has been affected by this morning’s events. Be safe and spread love. xoxo
Man oh man. I had no idea what to expect these past few days. I’ve always heard the Berliner Fahrradschau was a good time, and I’ve always loved Berlin. So when Ken from ENVE invited me on a two-part trip in Europe, including Barcelona and Berlin, I couldn’t say no. So, what is the Berliner Fahrradschau all about? Well, it’s part of Berlin Bike Week, 7 days of events, races, rides, ultimately culminating with a three day expo in Station-Berlin, an old train depot in a post-industrial neighborhood. (more…)
Ryan Wilson, aka @RMDub decided to take on multiple 14,000′ summits with his bikepacking rig last year. Little did he know something sinister was waiting for him in the water… Check in tomorrow for the full story and one of the most amazing galleries to ever grace this website!
This is the third layout of the Radavist 2016 Calendar, entitled “Super Bloom.”
This photo was shot in Death Valley during the recent wildflower bloom. Spring explosions like this happen once every 10 years in Death Valley and drastically alter the landscape, scattering blues, purples, whites and yellows across the valley’s often dry and arid basin.
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2016 Calendar – March. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)