Category Archives: portraits
We Finished Our Cross Season with Muddy Races and a Chili Eat-Off
Scarfing.

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…

Dec 22, 2014 8 comments
FYXO: GSC and the Concrete Jungle
FYX_3672

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!

Dec 17, 2014 4 comments
Robert’s All-City JYD Work Bike
Robert's All City Junkyard Dog SS MTB

The All-City Junkyard Dog, or JYD for short, was a limited edition release due to its relatively unique use. A singlespeed mountain bike frame with canti mounts may not be at the top of your list of bikes to own, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a blast to ride. These frames really are unique. They’ll take a 2.35 tire, feature a segmented fork and are non-suspension corrected. In fact, they remind me a lot of my Indy Fab 29’r.

A lot of bike messengers use old mountain bikes with porteur racks for deliveries. They’re a bit lower trail than a road or cross bike, so they’ll handle better when loaded and they fit a bigger tire to keep the ride smooth over the rough terrain you can experience in cities like Los Angeles.

Robert runs Chicken Hawk Courier in LA and he delivers a lot of food to the guys at Golden Saddle Cyclery, where he bought his JYD frameset, Nitto bars and PAUL Flatbed Rack. To make delivering food easier, Yanco made Robert a custom porteur roll-top bag.

The build is functional, yet stylish and as soon as Robert rolled it through the doors of GSC, I had to shoot photos of it…

Dec 15, 2014 58 comments
#LARiverCampCoffee with the Los Angeles County Coffee Connoisseurs
Los Angeles County Coffee Connoisseurs

Every Wednesday, a group of coffee enthusiasts wake up with the sun, pack their camping coffee setups on their bikes and meet in a small park on the LA river. There’s no requisite, just make coffee, chat and partake in the occasional donut.

Errin Vasquez organizes this gathering, which I first found out about on Instagram and this week, I got to hang out with this growing meeting at the Sunnynook River Park. Along with capturing the general vibes, I followed Jesse Carmody‘s brewing technique and shot photos of Errin’s Box Dog Bikes Pelican randonneur bike.

Dec 12, 2014 25 comments
The LA Times Covers Car on Bicycle Hit and Runs
2051357_me_hit_run_emily_JLC

These days, you rarely see anything positive written about bikes in online news sites. With cycling in American cities on a steady climb, drivers are having to learn to cope with more people on bicycles in “their streets”.

With all the distractions offered by cell phone use and excessive multi-tasking while driving, often times this results in car on bike accidents. Some drivers will stop upon striking a cyclist, but there are hundreds of hit and run cases each year in Los Angeles… Which is what sparked this great online piece.

Head over to LA Times to check it out! I love the portraits.

Dec 1, 2014 Comments are OFF
Chunks’ Nagasawa – Morgan Taylor
Chunks' Nagasawa

Chunks’ Nagasawa
Words and photos by Morgan Taylor

When we think of building a bike, there’s usually an aesthetic ideal and a finished product in mind. While many of the beautiful bicycles we pore over are works of perfection, the range of aesthetic ideals is as varied as the riders who put them together.

I’ve known Chunks since the early days of fixie freestyle. We used to get together on a weekly basis to do backwards circles and bunny hop converted road frames – sound familiar? That weekly gathering gave us the motivation to ride through winters, sharing laughs and forging friendships along the way.

At the time, the NJS track bike was an aesthetic ideal it seemed we all lusted for. The race-bred, yet street-tough style led many down the path of looseball hubs and B123s in less than optimal conditions. Some went even further, to a carefully curated, freshly imported Keirin frameset dripping in Nitto and Dura Ace.

(more…)

Nov 25, 2014 21 comments
A Muddy Weekend in the ‘Cross Trenches
Nutter

You’ll have to excuse the excess in this photo gallery. There are a lot of shots in here.

Now that I stated the obvious, here’s even more… In Texas, we don’t get much rain, nor do we get many rainy cross races. So when the sky opens and the mud builds up, don’t be surprised to see file tread tires and Red cassettes in the staging areas.

Like house cats, having escaped for the weekend, a lot of people got quite the shock when every corner was suddenly slick and every descent, a myriad of dark brown ruts, with no grass to grip for traction.

Saturday’s race has been called the best of the season. A lotta climbing, as much descending. All in glorious mud. As the afternoon went on, it got worse and by the time the B’s raced – which is what I was in – it was pouring on us. Things didn’t go so well and I didn’t shoot many photos of Saturday’s race, but Sunday. Sunday was a blast.

New course, still just as muddy, with a run up that some of us rode and yes, plenty of pain…

Read along in the captions and enjoy the Gallery!

Nov 25, 2014 33 comments
Jordan’s Sizemore Cross Tourer
Jordan's Sizemore Cross

Buying your first custom frame can be a daunting process, especially if you’re not 100% committed to a specific kind of bike, or intended function. I feel like this particular frame design, what I’m calling the cross tourer is a fairly common request for builders. It’s a cross bike with front rack braze-ons. While the front end’s trail isn’t ideal for a heavy load, the owner can put a light bag on the front and transform it to a S24 rig, or take the rack off and race cross on it just fine.

Jordan’s been drawn to the work of Taylor Sizemore for some time now, so when the time came to put a deposit down, he contacted Sizemore and put down a deposit. The end result is truly custom. Taylor takes the time to hand-paint various logos on each of his bikes, including his signature arrows on the head tube. As far as the geometry is concerned, the top tube is a bit longer than normal to eliminate toe overlap, resulting in a shorter stem, but same reach.

Fitted with Paul MiniMotos, White Industries cranks and hubs, this bike is as American as Smokey Bear… See more in the Gallery!

Nov 24, 2014 22 comments
Will Black’s Cielo Road Racer with Dura Ace
Will's Cielo Road Racer with Dura Ace

The Cielo Road Racer is a favorite of mine and of Chris King dealers everywhere. Over at Mellow Johnny‘s, store manager Will Black ordered this size large around the same time I was reviewing the chartreuse x-large. He went all in with Dura Ace, Chris King, ENVE rims and the bright orange paint.

Mellow’s has had this bike on the shop floor all week and it’s creating a bit of a stir. Such flash for such little cash, when compared to bikes in the same pricepoint and higher even.

I couldn’t help but wish I could have gotten photos of this bike up in time for Halloween…

Nov 5, 2014 41 comments