Photos by Brian Vernor
This morning, Brian Vernor left for a week long bike tour with these three companions. Where they are going, what they will be doing and why they’re doing this is still a mystery. A mystery that you can follow along with the Blackburn Designs Instagram.
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.
At a glance, this chop-job might actually appeal to some of you. Hey, it’s got everything you need. Low-riding porteur rack, shifting options, multiple paint finishes, massive tire clearances, rim options, disc brakes (hydro or cable) and a reasonable saddle to bar drop.
Doing this little exercise made me realize one thing: damn, there were a lot of disc brakes at NAHBS this year!
While I enjoy detail photos, the drive side of a bike lets you see so much, especially when it’s shot at a nice and level side profile. You can see clearances, BB drop, overlap, trail and reach.
The drive side photo is the most important portrait you can shoot of a bike, in my opinion anyway… This Gallery breaks it down. Flip through for easy comparison and if you missed any of these photosets, check out the 2014 NAHBS archive.
At NAHBS, themed bikes are usually hit or miss and by that I mean, people usually get it or they don’t. If you can’t see the theme in this bike, then you probably didn’t grow up on the 80′s watching reruns of Smokey and the Bandit… Or… You just don’t get it.
Josh from Avery County Cycles went way over the top with this homage bike. Built for himself, as his new touring rig, everything was thought out and executed with precision. Down to the choice in tire: Michelin’s Country Rock. The stem is custom and Josh even got Coors-themed water bottles for the show.
For the saddle, Mick Peel from Busyman hand-embossed the firebird logo from Bo Darville’s Trans Am. Other details include PAUL Racers, hand-made carbon fiber racks – with Paragon ends (Josh isn’t 100% sure the front rack is structurally sound, these were mostly for show) and the exquisite Trans Am-inspired wet paint by Jordan Low.
I can almost hear the theme song playing as I’m typing this! See more in the Gallery!
This is so rad Ace! Great job dude…
“1,300 miles of climbing mountains, swimming in rivers,talking to strangers, keeping journals, camping in forests, and getting lost; this is Summer Champ.”
Do you have the touring bug yet?
From snowy Minneapolis to sunny SoCal…
What better place to shoot this bike in Los Angeles than a spot that Kyle calls “Little Big Sur”. In actuality, it’s near the top of Griffith Park, just 30 minutes and 1,000′ in elevation gain from Golden Saddle Cyclery. This is the shop’s official sunset beer spot.
Just about every time we ride up, Kyle’s been on his All-City Space Horse. We’ll poach the horse trails as the sun is setting, rather than take the road and climb in half the time (they’re freaking steep). Usually, I’m huffing, out of the saddle on a cross bike, but Kyle kicks it into his triple and spins on up.
This bike is setup for the kind of rides Kyle enjoys: fully-loaded dirt S24 camping trips in the Angeles National Forest. He’s taken it up Mt. Lowe in the middle of the night, down a dirt track off the backside of Gleason and all over the San Gabriel Mountains. The build specs tell the tale:
Surly’s do-all Rack up front holds his E3 lamp, powered by a SON hub. Sitting on top is the JANDD Briar beer cooler rack bag (in stock at GSC). His shifting relies on Retroshift and Shimano. PAUL Minimotos provide the stopping power. A well-used Selle Anatomica saddle has seen its share of spills and thrills and those Bruce Gordon Rock n Road tires keep his rear wheel roostin’ turns.
This is probably one of the nicest Space Horse builds I’ve seen! I love the brown Chris King NoThreadset too. See more in the Gallery and remember, if you’re in LA and want a similar build, the guys at Golden Saddle Cyclery can make it happen!
Photo by Anthony Bareno
I love the idea of light tourers, or randonee bikes. To me, they’re one of the best all-around machines. Part commuter, part weekender, part audax, loaded or unloaded, they’re fun to ride. Allaban is Gaelic for “wandering” and that’s exactly the intent of this machine. See more at Winter Bicycles. By the way, those are the best cranks for a touring bike!
Chrome taps into the touring portage market with four new bags in their new Knurled Welded line: the Urban EX Rolltop 18, Excursion Rolltop 37, the Saddle Bag Rolltop 20 and the Front Rack Duffle 40. Here’s the lowdown:
“Chrome created Knurled Welded™ Waterproof Rolltops for bike camping, adventure biking, and all weather commuting – when weight matters and getting wet is not an option. Knurled Welded™ Rolltops are made with our proprietary welding technology that combines RF welding with a mechanical interlock to create the toughest, lightest 100% waterproof bags. Each bag has a watertight rolltop closure for submersible water protection, a Hypalon® Molle loop system for expandability, and five-bar webbing haul straps for hand carrying. Go Farther. Stay Dryer. Guaranteed for Life.
The Knurled Welded line consists of Saddle Bag and Front Rack Duffle Rolltop. Knurled Welded Rolldtop Duffle and Saddle Bag Rolltop work on the bike and off. Both bags leave the hardware on the bike where it should be. The Result is a saddle bag and front rack duffle you can carry around.”
See more below!
Super Bowl Weekend. It’s an excuse for people to drink, eat and yell at the television while a bunch of men in spandex chase a ball around a field. Personally, it’s not my thing and luckily, not my friends’ thing either. So rather than spend the weekend indoors, myself, some friends and Beat the Clock Cycling decided to take advantage of the vacant Texas parks and plan a ride.
Well, I planned the ride. 100 miles, over half of it was dirt. I did one of the roads on the last Yonder Journal Brovet and I wanted to explore the area even more. We’d leave from Inks Lake and take a series of back-country, private roads and kick in Willow City’s popular loop before heading back to camp. Water? Food? None. We had to pack it all in. Most rode cross bikes or light tourers, with bags for food. There was maybe one stop along the way.
Because I had to drop Lauren off at the airport that Friday morning, I drove with two others. The rest either drove out that night after work or rode the 75 miles from Austin, fully loaded.
Since we wanted to convey only the chillest of riding paces and as a protest to the Super Bowl, most of us left the lycra at home. Giro was kind enough to supply some New Road apparel, shoes and helmets. I brought the bourbon. Spencer brought a dull hatchet and we were all stoked.
Did I mention cliff jumps in January? Yeah… Check out more photos in the Gallery, all shot with my Mamiya 7ii and Portra 400 / Kodak TMAX 400. Many thanks to Giro for supplying equipment for this ride!