Category Archives: Specialized
Sand Pits and Rednecks: AWOL on the Oregon Outback – Day 02
After lunch, we felt revitalized and headed onward, where we saw some people taking a break as well.

The second day of any big ride is usually the toughest. Your body just assumes it’s going to be on the defensive for an unknown amount of time and begins to push back. Usually, that is. For Erik and I, we awoke in the Silver Lake Community Park f-u-c-k-i-n-g freezing. The weather said it would drop to 45 degrees as the low, so he and I brought hammocks and 40 degree bags in the interest of space and weight.

At 4am, my phone said it was 28 degrees. A cold front had moved in.

I was shivering uncontrollably, had I known it was going to be that cold, I would have brought a sleeping pad and a tarp, both of which I’ve used to alleviate the loss of body heat that happens in hammocks at such low temperatures. But alas, you reap what you sew. We would be cold on this trip.

All our field guide said about mile 120-240 was that we’d be crossing altitude desert and would be without water for up to 80 miles. I brought an Arundel Looney Bin to hold a 48oz Nalgene, which, after making breakfast, I filled up. Along with my two large Purist bottles. We had to get moving. Fast… It was 6:30am.

Continue reading in the Gallery captions.

May 30, 2014 30 comments
Railroad Spikes and Shotgun Shells: AWOL on the Oregon Outback – Day 01
Way back when, Mount St. Helens erupted, sending pumice stones flying.

With the success and failure of Erik and my last AWOL ride on the Diablo range, we started looking for another mission to continue the story. This couldn’t be just any camping trip, it had to be hard. Like, really, really tough and big and stuff.

Then it dawned on Erik (I was too busy to actually look for anything) – we’d do Velo Dirt’s Oregon Outback. Erik contacted me in his Swedish voice “ok mannn, we’re going to do this really fucking tough ride, called the Oregon Outback, are you in?”. Me: “Of course!” – not wanting to sound like a sissy. At the time, I was probably traveling for something and I didn’t even know what the Outback was. I just assumed it was a chill weekend getaway…

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May 29, 2014 30 comments
That Hurt Like Hell
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28 hours of moving time, 60 elapsed hours, 13mph average, 15,300′ elevation, 368 miles later and Team AWOL is done. We finished the Velodirt Oregon Outback, self-supported, fully loaded on Sunday, 45 minutes ahead of schedule. I rode the last day with a bum knee and a crooked back. It was three days of highs and lows, with a constant headwind.

… but we did it. Expect a whole torrent of photos and posts once I recover and return home to Austin.

Thanks for the support on Instagram and your patience while the site has been inactive.

xo

May 27, 2014 10 comments
Team AWOL and My Oregon Outback Pack List
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So I haven’t made a big deal about this for a few reasons. First, I don’t want to jinx myself or my teammate on this ride and second, it’s part of a project that won’t see the light of day for a few months.

That said, I’m doing / racing / riding / surviving the Oregon Outback, a 360 miles MTB trek from Southern Oregon to Northern Oregon. Our plan is to do it in three days. Unsupported. That’s 120 miles a day on dirt.

I do rides like this often enough, maybe not to this degree, but essentially bikepacking or touring. So I thought I’d let you in on my packing list, via knolling. Check out a break-down below.

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May 22, 2014 47 comments
PRO Bikes

Look, just forward to the 1:50 mark… It’s 3am and I’ve been up since 6am the previous day. You’re not gonna get a lot out of me right now.

May 14, 2014 5 comments
Ride Along: Hot Boyz of Cycling – Marc Marino
Ride Along: Hot Boyz of Cycling - Marc Marino

Ride Along: Hot Boyz of Cycling – Marc Marino
Words and photos by John Watson

Marc Marino is the nicest guy ever. He’s also super hot. Ladies, take note. He’s got it all: tattoos, tan lines and a track bike. On a serious note, Marc’s a good friend and I always enjoy spending time with him, especially at the Amgen Tour of California.

Today, I forced Marc out into the course to shoot some photos before he woofed down his lunch: a donut with almond butter smeared on the top… Check out a Ride Along interview below!

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May 12, 2014 4 comments
Specialized: Color Dipped Collection Part 01
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To keep your summer bright for the next three months, Specialized will be offering a “Color Dipped Collection“, featuring three products, all washed with the same color. The first month being chartreuse and I’m guessing a blue and a bright red or orange will follow.

See the full offering below and head to your local Specialized shop to order this limited edition set.

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May 6, 2014 5 comments
In Stock Now: The Specialized AWOL Transcontinental Edition
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Since the first documentation of this project was posted on this site, I’ve been very interested in seeing the AWOL Transcontinental Edition touring bike hit local dealers. It is one of the most unique tourers I’ve ever ridden. My Product Review of the bike was thorough and Erik’s suped up Peacock Nuke edition swept everyone up in awe. Head over to Specialized for specs and contact your local shop for ordering.

Apr 3, 2014 7 comments
Some Photos from Specialized
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While I was at Specialized HQ a few weeks ago, I got a quick tour around their facilities. Amidst all the top secret products and prototypes, I was allowed to shoot a few photos at the model shop and in their new wind tunnel. For me, seeing products developed by hand, rather than on the computer, was paramount. I really miss making models in architecture and there’s something conceptual, yet tactile about the process and end product.

In a perfect world, I would have liked to see the process of modeling products and then testing them in the wind tunnel, rather than posting fragments, but so it goes!

These photos will just end up on my hoard drive if I don’t post them, so check out a few more below!

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Jan 26, 2014 3 comments