Category Archives: road bike
Independence, California is the portal to Onion Valley road, one of the many climbs in the Lone Pine to Bishop corridor. Like Horseshoe Meadows and Whitney Portal, Onion Valley goes, straight up in the Eastern Sierra mountains. If you’d like to step back into the archives on the Radavist, Ryan Wilson has documented this area thoroughly. While shooting Team Dream’s new Spring apparel line, I took the time to document each of the road bikes the guys were riding. These are these rider’s own road bikes. They’re not props. Nor were they sent in from the companies for some web-time.
Danny Heeley works at the Cub House part time. He’s a track racing national champ – holla! – and loves British comedy. He bought this, Made in the USA CAAD5 from eBay a while back and built it up with a hodgepodge kit of Ultegra and Dura Ace. Then Sean gave him the Mavic wheels and viola, this beaut is on the road again.
We were staying around the corner from the famous Independence, California USPS and I couldn’t think of a better locale to shoot this bike.
So many blue bikes as of late here on the site, but maybe that’s a sign for the bluest of blue Spring skies. In the Eastern Sierra corridor last weekend, we had some pristine weather. Minimal cloud cover with snow-capped mountains and temperatures in the 80’s. It was the perfect backdrop for a photoshoot. One of the Team Dream models, Adam, has this drool-worthy Indy Fab Crown Jewel built with Campagnolo Chorus 11, Mavic Ksyrium wheels and White Industries VBC cranks. I know this bike looks clean, but trust me, it gets ridden plenty.
I love how this bike pops against the environment and how great it looks going fast!
… and it was so sketchy to photograph!
Early spring is an ideal time to ride bikes in the Eastern Sierra corridor and Death Valley. The daytime temperatures aren’t scorching hot and even in the exposed, dry heat, there are nice cool breezes blowing off the surrounding mountains. Needless to say, in the spring, I like to leave the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles for some desert solitude. Now, “solitude” isn’t something easy to find in Death Valley, on a weekend, in one of the peak tourist times, but it’s remarkable how the park crowds thin out once you’re away from the stores and outposts sprinkled along highway 190.
Cari helped me on a photoshoot in the Eastern Sierra mountains on Saturday, so on Sunday we decided to drive over the Panamint Range in the Inyo National Forest and into Death Valley National Park to ride an easy, but breathtaking loop called Artist Drive. If you spent time in museums growing up as a kid, perhaps you remember “Astronaut Icecream?” Well, Artist Drive takes you through chunks of that stuff, only at the scale of mountains. The colors are other-worldly and since the road is freshly paved, it makes you feel as if you’re riding in a video game.
We parked on the side of the highway, put up window shades and began the morale-breaking 1000′ climb up to the first saddle. From there, it’s a rainbow rollercoaster through geologic formations and colors akin to broken easter eggs, with the occasional motorist driving past, looking at you with such disbelief that you can’t help but laugh.
Once you complete Artist Drive, it’s a 3.5 mile ride back uphill on the park road to your car and for Cari and I, a 3 hour drive back to our house in Independence, California. If you time it right, Mother Nature will put on a different display of colors… If you’re in Death Valley with a bike, I highly suggest this short, but scenic ride.
… I’m off to the desert to chase Team Dream around on a photoshoot.
For their newest collection, PedalEd worked with JLT Condor in Mallorca.
After the dust from the explosion of hydraulic disc brakes, electronic and wireless shifting settled over the bike industry and ultimately, NAHBS, I found myself tuned into the classic road bike offerings. There’s a misconception that steel is heavy, and perhaps many of the readers of this website aren’t privy to that, but plenty of conversations with cyclists prove this negative connotation exists.
This year at NAHBS, Carl Strong of Strong Frames looked to break that stigma, with a classic road bike, built with Dura Ace that weighed in at 16lbs. Carl described this bike as a throwback to the 7402-era race bikes. He even used Dura Ace hubs on the wheel build. It’s easy to get caught up in technology at NAHBS, but bikes like this just make me swoon.
Each year, Argonaut brings some very classy bikes to NAHBS and even though I loved the matte black and Olive Drab with King 40th build he brought, I couldn’t help myself and had to shoot this white beaut with SRAM Red eTap. Being a tall guy myself, I love seeing bigger bikes that still nail the proportions and aesthetics.
The best thing about Argonauts is they ride just as well as they look.
NAHBS isn’t just about $10k road bikes with wireless shifting and every year, there are still a good number of classic, rim-brake road bikes lining the convention center halls. This year, Mike DeSalvo brought one of my personal favorites. A Builder’s Special in gold and turquoise, built with Shimano Ultegra. These completes go for $4,300 as pictured, or $3,650 sans Chris King components.
It’s hard to beat that pricing, especially from a guy like Mike, who knows how to lay down some beautiful weld beads. If you’d like a Builder’s Special, holler at DeSalvo!
McGovern Cycles makes carbon bikes by hand in Nevada County, California. I don’t know why, but I can’t help think that a tequila sunrise was the inspiration for this John Slawta-painted McGovern Cycles road bike. That or a desert sunset.
Either way, this red, white and orange bike just popped out during NAHBS and I couldn’t wait to photograph it against the blacked-out background.