Category Archives: portraits
West Coast Best Coast Day 01 – Portland
Wow.

Vacations, holidays, or just plain breaks. We all need them and regardless to how fun you may think this job is, it’s a lot of work. Like, I’ve worked for 8 years in architecture and I thought that was a lot of work. No way. Traveling, shooting photos, maintaining this site, is all work and once a year, I like to take a break.

Granted, the very fact that I’m writing a post today, on the first day of our West Coast Best Coast trip, contradicts the notion of a true “holiday”, but hey, I can’t just leave the site alone for a week!

Lauren and I have been apart a lot this year, she’s been kicking ass in Myanmar doing design research and I’ve been jet-setting around the globe attending various events. So when we had a week or two open in our schedules, I planned a trip.

The general idea was fly into Portland, spend a few days there and then dip down to LA along the Pacific Coast Highway, aka PCH.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this route, I rode it a few years back on my touring bike, albeit a bit later in the year. In August, it’s a haven for people in the US and around the world, leaving camp sites, hotels, everything booked out for months, making it difficult to plan anything.

Luckily, I’m not a big fan of plans and I have a pretty good idea of where to go, what to see and how long to spend in each place.

The only planning I did was our vehicle. I’ve been wanting either a mid 80’s – mid 90’s Toyota 4×4 4 cylinder pickup since moving to Texas and getting back into mountain biking. Trucks in Texas are crazy expensive and so I extended my search to the west coast, where I found a pretty good deal on a ’96 Tacoma.

It’s red, has a 3″ lift, camper shell and it needs a name. More on that later. Best news is, it runs and will be our vehicle for this trip and hopefully many others.

Yesterday, we did the tourist thing in Portland. Went to a few shops, met friends and took it easy.

It was a perfect day to begin our West Coast Best Coast trip!

Aug 4, 2014 11 comments
Seven Months with the Santa Cruz Tallboy LTC 29’r with SRAM XX1
Seven Months with the Santa Cruz Tallboy LTC 29'r with SRAM XX1

I love long-term reviews. “Here, take this bike, travel with it and shred it for around six months, then send it right back to us.” Pretty ideal, huh? Especially when there’s a no-strings-attached policy. If you like it, do a review, or don’t, no big deal. Just get out and ride it. For The Radavist, that’s how I like to do product reviews: honestly and with no commitments. The problem is, you’ve got to be really stoked on a bike to want to ride it a bunch, and then photograph it / write about it.

Reviewing bikes is something I don’t often do, partially because I rarely get the chance to ride anything else besides my own bikes but mostly because so few companies contact me to review their bikes. One of the companies that has embraced what I’m doing over here is Santa Cruz and I can’t complain. Great company, great bikes and as I said before, no strings attached.

When Santa Cruz offered to send me out a Tallboy LTC with SRAM’s new – at the time – XX1 groupet back in December, I obliged! Who wouldn’t? I traveled with it, raced it a few times and rode the shit out of it for half a year.

While the world of the $8,000 – $10,000 MTB is certainly saturated at this point, I’ve ridden a few of them and yet I keep wanting to come back to the Tallboy and its unique riding characteristics. The best way I can describe the way this bike rides is solid. There’s no “plastic feel” to the frame, no annoying resonance when you hit technical sections and when the bike tells you to go in a particular direction, it’s usually on point… What often requires honing are your own skills and your confidence on that bike in particular.

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Jul 30, 2014 28 comments
Cole’s Early 90’s Rossin Road with Campagnolo Athena 11
Cole's Early 90's Rossin Road with Campagnolo Athena 11

There are very few experiences like riding a custom bicycle, but when it comes down to it, there are plenty of frames out there that are completely fitting for most people. These frames were designed to be raced, or just plain ridden, like many of the bikes on the market today. While they might not be custom-fit, they were fine-tuned for their intended use. In short: if the frame fits, shred the shit out of it.

Cole was looking for a new road frame last year and while it was tempting to go continue saving for a custom steel rig, he decided to keen an eye on eBay and Craigslist, in hopes that something, light, tight and Italian might pop up in his size. Low and behold, it did. A NOS Rossin crit frame from the early 90’s hit eBay one day and soon, it arrived in Austin. All for around $700.

He chose Campagnolo Athena 11, Mavic Open Pro rims, a classic 3TTT Pro Chrome Columbus stem, Deda bars, Zipp post, Fizik Antares VS saddle, Speedplay pedals and some reliable Conti rubber. The build is very tasteful and the lines of this classic race bike are seducing enough for even the seasoned carbon ‘pro-minded’ consumer to second guess their recent ‘upgrade’…

Thanks for dropping by the office today Cole!

Jul 28, 2014 21 comments
The Vancouver Island Badass 200 – Eiry Bartlett
You gotta check out the Vista Points (even when they’re not worth photographing)

The Vancouver Island Badass 200
Words and Photos by Eiry Bartlett

The plan: 6 women, 6 bikes, 2 days, fully self-supported bike-camping trip around southern Vancouver Island, covering 200km+ and completing the Rapha Women’s 100 in true Pacific Northwest style. Confirmations were sent, gear lists made, training rides were organized. Really, the most important thing was that our kits looked good together.

Well, apparently life can really get in the way of fun. My girls were picked off like ripe cherries on a summer day and by time the trip rolled around we were down to three, but we were three totally stoked, badass ladies ready for whatever was thrown our way. A smaller group meant a smaller vehicle and the addition of our dutiful camp commander – soon to be known as Captain Sparkles – who was willing to transport our food and gear to the campsite while we made our way across the wilds of the Cowichan Valley.

Weird weather happened, kooky locals, drivers – speeding like bats out of hell, and all the benefits you’d expect cycling a route that starts in a logging zone and ends in a gorgeous temperate rainforest.
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Follow Eiry on Instagram.

Jul 28, 2014 20 comments
My Argonaut Cycles 2.0 Road with SRAM Red 22
My Argonaut Cycles 2.0 Road with SRAM Red 22

I’ve learned a lot in the past two years and so has Ben at Argonaut Cycles. He looks at his made in the USA, fully custom carbon road bikes as a project that’s ever-evolving. With each frame, he learns more not only about his customers, but his own process. My Argonaut was perfection in my eyes and while I loved it, some things about it made it less than ideal for my lifestyle and by that I mean, I travel. A lot. At the time, Ben didn’t offer a traditional seat post, only an ISP…

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Jul 22, 2014 41 comments
Garrett Chow on the Argonaut Mavic 125ans Road Bike
Mavic_125ans_Project-58

Garrett Chow is an exceptional designer and I’m very fond of his work. In today’s industry, so many cycling-related projects rely on paint design, meaning it’s the ultimate crux in a project’s success.

It’s easy to draw some chevrons, or paint a logo a pantone and call it a day, but to really dive into data, something that’s typically not visually stimulating and pull a compelling paint job from a series of numbers and historical markers takes talent.

With the recent Mavic 125ans project bikes, I took a liking to Argonaut‘s design. There was information there and it required you to stop and really examine every aspect of the bike. There were a lot of immaculate paint jobs in the 125ans bikes, but this one was more than that…

See more below!
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Jul 21, 2014 7 comments