Category Archives: portraits
The stick that held up the bikes in this Gallery…
I shot a lot of bikes this year. In fact, I shot more Galleries this year, than any other two years combined. From April 1st’s launch of the Radavist, until last week, the entire team worked hard on bringing a full photo gallery just about every weekday, sometimes twice. Pulling in those metrics took some time, but rather than limiting this year’s selection to just ten, I found the following bikes to be all within the same realm.
Some of these bikes never dropped a chain in terms of year-long momentum, still churning in pageviews and social media chatter to this very day. Surprisingly to me, a few were completely stock bikes. These were all chosen for their Facebook likes, social media engagement, comments and overall traffic. I feel like there were a lot of bikes that were flops as far as traffic was concerned, but I wanted to be fair in selecting the list.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s back up a bit.
We began the year with a few big stories, all leading up to one of the busiest weekends of the year, NAHBS. After record-breaking traffic, the world of Beautiful Bicycles culminated in the 2014 NAHBS Drive Side Gallery. From there, it was onto traveling for stories and documenting Beautiful Bicycles along the way… We’ll start off in Prescott, Arizona for the Whiskey Off Road.
You know the saying “good things come to those who wait?”, well, the original saying, which was shortened for public consumption was written by a cyclocross racer in Belgium back in the 1850’s. His text, which was later transcribed on his tombstone said “good things come to those who wait all ‘cross season…”
Here we are, at the end of the 2014 season, with all but two races left for the year, States and Nationals. Most of us are at our peak fitness, or maybe we’re already packing on the winter weight, but for whatever reason, suddenly I feel a lot stronger. Those parts that have been waiting for months suddenly have a home and my bike rack in the house, with that empty hook, finally has a mate. This is the peaceful twin, to the black metal steed, my Geekhouse Mudville.
When this project was first announced, I was honored to have Luis and Geoff from Mudfoot think of me to be involved. I can’t help but think Aaron Stinner may have had something to do with it as well. After a few email correspondences, Aaron agreed to ditch the “production geo” and go full custom. He asked which geometry I preferred and to be honest, I was completely satisfied with my Geekhouse, so we stuck to that for the most part, save for a half a º steeper head tube.
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…
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!
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…
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.
Like father, like son? Who knows, but it’s inspirational to see this photo. Check out more at Tomii Cycles’ Flickr.
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.
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.
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!