Category Archives: portraits
Jake’s Caletti Steel Wül Road
Jeff's Caletti Steel Wül Road

Steel Wül is a club in Santa Cruz, founded by Jake Hess, a local fire chief. He started the club to give people a super chill platform to explore the many roads in the area. I got to ride with Jake during the Giro #SantaCruzEffect event and his Caletti steel road bike looked so damn good the whole time.

Some of my favorite details are the custom-painted Ritchey stem, his family’s names on the stem cap, his battalion number on the NDS top tube, Steel Wül branding and the paint. When we rolled out of the Giro offices, the morning light made the frame just pop.

Granted, it looked even better after descending down that gnar gnar gravel on Gazos Creek…

Apr 10, 2014 11 comments
The Mudfoot Dirty Hundo – Kyle Kelley and Ace Carretero
Dirty Hundo - Photo Kyle Kelley

The Mudfoot Dirty Hundo
Words by Kyle Kelley / Photos by Kyle Kelley and Ace Carretero

Chris Skogen (the organizer of the Almanzo Gravel 100) once said, “If only 10 percent of the people racing Almanzo would organize and throw a grassroots race, we would have a race to go to every weekend of the year.” It was the spirit of that statement that originally sparked the idea for the Mudfoot Hump Hundred last year and brought it back again this year.

Nearly half of this year’s 90 mile ride, called the Dirty Hundo, took place on steep, loose and rocky service roads in the Angeles Forest. The route wasn’t entirely out of the ordinary in terms of SoCal dirt rides, but it was special nonetheless, with some of my favorite views in the area.

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Apr 9, 2014 13 comments
Havana Bikes

This is amazing…

“Cuba underwent a bicycle revolution in the 1990s during its five year ‘Special Period’. Oil was scarce as a result of tough economic constraints, and throughout those years of austerity, bicycles where introduced as an alternative mode of transport. Thousands of Cubans used bicycles on a regular basis, as pedalling became the norm on the island.

Years later, the transportation crisis subsided and motorised vehicles returned, and the country’s bicycle culture took a hit. Now, new bikes are difficult to come by and parts are not readily available, yet many Cubans still use bicycles daily and, despite the limited resources, a handful of mechanics provide a service to those who rely on their bikes in their everyday lives.

Plenty of cyclists roam the streets of Havana and the rest of Cuba. Ángel, a typical bike riding Habanero, provides a brief insight into Cuban bicycle culture and the importance of bike mechanics in the capital as we come across both riders and repairmen.”

Apr 9, 2014 3 comments
Eli’s Punk Rock Lobster Road
Eli's Punk Rock Lobster Road

It’s the week leading up to Sea Otter and each year, Giro invites a group of media heads to come out to Santa Cruz, ride bikes, talk product and soak in the #SantaCruzEffect. That means it’ll be slow for the next few days while we’re out riding, exploring the local roads and sleeping in cabins.

After our intro ride this afternoon, I scooped up this special Rock Lobster for some very quick photos – I literally had a few minutes with this awesome machine. Eli is the lead visual designer at Giro and he’s got a thing for punk rock, prompting him to add a few custom logos to his Rock Lobster. Many of which you should recognize.

The thing I like about this bike is its no-nonsense build, the simple color palette with matching stem and one of a kind graphics. Those Rock Lobster logo treatments look so good!

Apr 8, 2014 15 comments
FYXO: Woods Point Epic
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Photo by Andy White

This is by far, my most favorite FYXO photo ever and this is one of Andy’s greatest long tales:

“Many have tried to replicate this ride, some with success, some with failure, none without awe of the surrounds of this part of the world and the challenges it presents when it’s just you and your bike.

I look back and think ‘did I really do that?’. Particularly day one’s 200km+ on dirt, sand, rock on a singlespeed CX one gear without an iPhone – yes, this post is that old.

These posts have inspired many to get out on there bikes and push limits and find new roads, surely helped popularise ‘gravel grinding’, yondering and whatever the hashtag of the moment is, but in truth it’s just #ridingabikewithmates.

The words of this story remain unchanged, though I’ve stitched the three day / three post report from 2009 into one. Lily Allen still puts me right back in the Eildon pub every time I hear it.”

If you could hear and smell this post, it would be the complete experience. Instead, you have to rely on words and photos. See more at FYXO.

Apr 7, 2014 No comments yet
Tales from the 2014 Red Hook Crit – Chris Lee
Tales from the 2014 Red Hook Crit - Chris Lee

In order for the Red Hook Crit to maintain its unofficial title of the gnarliest track bike criterium, it sometimes must rely on mother nature. This year’s race was a total wash. Literally. Rain poured all day and well into the women’s and men’s circuit, shortening both and creating a less-than-desirable mental mind fuck for the racers.

Even the photographers and crowds suffered.

Chris Lee has contributed multiple times to the Radavist and I couldn’t think of a better person to capture and document the eerie environment of the 2014 Red Hook Crit…

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Apr 3, 2014 24 comments
An Icarus Road Bike with Shimano Ultegra for My Mom
An Icarus Road Bike with Shimano Ultegra for My Mom

It says a lot when someone buys the two most important women in their life custom frames from one builder. Ian Sutton from Icarus Frames is a good friend of mine, so when I realized that my mom was in need of a new road bike, I called him up and got the ball rolling.

This is the third custom bike I’ve bought from Ian. The first being my Viking Track, then Lauren’s Porteur and now, this True Temper road bike for my mom.

The geometry is clearly road, but the drivetrain is geared more towards a cross bike. Up front, I chose Shimano‘s Ultegra cross crank, with a mid cage Ultegra rear mech and a 32t cassette in the back. This will help my mom get up steep hills with ease, while giving her the range she needs while riding coastal North Carolina roads.

Circle A nailed the paint, coating the frame and the ENVE fork in a bright “marine” blue.

Easton was kind enough to send along the bars, post, stem and even bar tape. I couldn’t be more thankful! For her wheels, I bought a set of the NAHBS display Chris King Alloy Ride wheels. Taking advantage of the trade show pricing, I also bought some King Cages.

When I dropped the parts off to Mellow Johnny’s I still needed a headset – NoThreadset in Sotte Voce black, a saddle – Fizik Vitesse- and tires – Continental Gran Prix 28c. In the end, it came out great. As shown, it weighs 17lbs on the head.

There is no greater feeling in this world than to see your mother happy, healthy and riding in style. Cycling has no doubt changed her life for the better and to me, this bike was worth the investment. She did her first century last summer and I’ll be pressing her to do another this summer!

Apr 2, 2014 25 comments
Chris’ Spectrum Track Bike
Chris' Spectrum Track Bike

Over the years, Tom Kellogg has produced some insane track bikes, most of which go for a steal on eBay, Craigslist and at swaps. These machines have tight clearances, little details, great paint and you’d be hard pressed to find any two of similar breed.

Chris bought this frame off the Boston Craigslist years back. He’s raced it at Red Hook Crit and while it spends a fair amount of time hanging on the wall, sometimes he takes it for a spin into work at Mellow Johnny’s, where he wrenches.

Details include: custom fillet stem, insane seat stay cluster with bi-lam lugs, clearances for a 19mm tire up front, that fork, the clincher Shamals (rear rim was a road Shamal, laced to track Shamal hub) and yeah, that paint!

Apr 1, 2014 7 comments
The 2014 NAHBS Drive-Side Gallery
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At a glance, this chop-job might actually appeal to some of you. Hey, it’s got everything you need. Low-riding porteur rack, shifting options, multiple paint finishes, massive tire clearances, rim options, disc brakes (hydro or cable) and a reasonable saddle to bar drop.

Doing this little exercise made me realize one thing: damn, there were a lot of disc brakes at NAHBS this year!

While I enjoy detail photos, the drive side of a bike lets you see so much, especially when it’s shot at a nice and level side profile. You can see clearances, BB drop, overlap, trail and reach.

The drive side photo is the most important portrait you can shoot of a bike, in my opinion anyway… This Gallery breaks it down. Flip through for easy comparison and if you missed any of these photosets, check out the 2014 NAHBS archive.

Mar 27, 2014 9 comments
Mars Cycles Track
Beautiful Bicycle: Mars Cycles Track

In my groggy state at this year’s NAHBS, I met Casey Sussman, the builder of Mars Cycles, a small frame builder out of Oakland. His bright magenta track bike caught my eye but in a world of mail-order “fixies”, I didn’t initially register the bike as a hand made frame.

Once Casey introduced himself, I quickly realized that was no mail-order, made in Taiwan bike. It’s a legitimate, hand made track bike. Clean fillets, racing geometry, non-nonsense details and that tapered head tube. Mars Cycles’ work, at this point, is focusing on crit-ready track bikes and Casey’s bike is a prime example.

Mars Cycles will have a few racers rolling these frames at this weekend’s Red Hook Crit in Brooklyn, so if you see them, make sure to wish them luck!

Leave a comment in the Gallery with any comments or concerns.

Mar 26, 2014 25 comments