Category Archives: tourism
Snow, Beer and Mountain Bikes: The Whiskey Off Road with the Blackburn Rangers
Escaping the Mountains of Madness!

Let’s see, where were we? Oh yeah. We left off with the Blackburn Rangers at the top of Granite Mountain – 7,000′ – in the Prescott National Forest. Camp was set up, we consumed calories, sat around a propane campfire and after we killed all the liquor, we settled in for the evening. The weather report called for a 60% chance of rain and temps in the low 40′s. All was well, right? Wrong…

We had a busy day ahead of us. One filled with supplying the Whiskey Off Road racers with bacon and high fives. The plan was to descend to around 4,000′ at a site right before the last climb of the day and before a stretch of technical 1-track. From there, we’d blast music and shove bacon down the gullet of any hungry racer. My job for the day was to document all the fun…

Check out the full day’s Reportage from the Whiskey Off Road race with Blackburn in the Gallery!

Apr 30, 2014 11 comments
The Messenger’s Guide To New York City 02
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The Messenger’s Guide To New York City: The West Village and Midtown
Standby with Hiromi/Ghost stories and local comfort with Stoned Tone
Words and photos by Chris Lee

In the second installment of The Messenger’s Guide To New York City, I got a chance to have the man behind Boda Boda, Hiromi Bruni show me around. Hiromi was born and raised in the West Village and knows the neighborhood like the back of his hand. We payed respects to the remains of Gray’s Papaya, a hot dog joint that was a fixture in the neighborhood and got some desert at Rocco’s. We went by Dave’s Work Wear, the local’s only one stop shop for work wear. And finally chilled at his favorite midtown standby spots.

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Apr 30, 2014 7 comments
See Ya Later SF!
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It’s been fun, but too chaotic and short. Hopefully I’ll be back for more riding and photos! Sorry if I didn’t get to hang out this trip but I’ll be back!

Jan 14, 2014 2 comments
Thanks Interbike!
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… for bringing three friends even closer together. I didn’t have wifi all week at my hotel, so posting will commence tomorrow morning. Let’s just say, we had a blast!

Sep 20, 2013 1 comment
Heading Out to Cali

Over the next few months, I’ll be spending more time on the road than I will in Austin and it all begins today with Los Angeles for the Amgen Tour of California. Last year, I was in LA and SF almost as much as I was in ATX. This summer, it’ll be even more.

Expect nothing but the best on-the-road coverage for the next week or so…

May 13, 2013 Comments are OFF
MelburnOut: Shifter Dan’s 40th Birthday Bush Bash Day 02
If I could let one photo sum up day 02, it would be this one. Look at the ferns!

The wood is a magical place. It turns fat bloggers into slightly less fat raconteurs. It clears your head, makes your chest pound, legs throb and palms sweat. You bond with your mates and let the beauty of nature envelop you. The first day of Shifter Dan’s 40th Birthday Bush Bash set the stage for the second…

After a much-needed 12-hours of sleeping, I awoke in my Courthouse Hotel bunk bed to the call of the Magpie and the ruckus of Cockatoos around 7am. We showered, packed and went over our bikes. Which, after the rutted, bumpy and dusty descent into Jamieson, were in disrepair. A little bit of lube and a quick tightening of the bolts and we were ready to take on the second day of Dan’s 40th Birthday Bush Bash.

The course this year was the reverse of last year. We left climbing over the Great Dividing Range and ended up on the very track that caused so many flats on the previous ride, but this time we were climbing up, rather than flying down. Our spirits were bright, our legs were loose and all we could do was soak in the sights and sounds of the bush.

We finished the day at 76 miles and over 14,500′ of elevation gain. There was only one thing, wait, a few things that I wanted after the ride: a bottle of ginger beer, a coffee and a pair of mushroom and steak pies!

Enclosed is the ride report for the first leg of this 19.33 MP/C* ride.

Check out a bunch of narrated photos in the Gallery!

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Apr 22, 2013 13 comments
I Can’t Wait to Be Home
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Tomorrow morning (in a few hours here), I leave Australia for Austin. A solid 24 hours of travel awaits but I’ve got a few things scheduled for Monday, so stay tuned!

Apr 21, 2013 1 comment
MelburnOut: Shifter Dan’s 40th Birthday Bush Bash – Day 01
The controlled burning in the forest made for some incredible lighting.

“Aged many years in the wood”. How many years? Well, like everything in Straya, there’s a story for that. Daniel John Hale has seen his share of saddle time in the years he’s spent on Earth. An ex-pro mountain biker, owner of the Best Bike Shop in the World and one of the first solo riders to take on this particular area of Australian Bush, Dan’s no stranger to the wood.

Ten years ago, he did a similar ride to what we just completed this past weekend but instead of two days, it took him four. Rather than ride a mountain bike or a geared bike, he took his singlespeed Monster Cross. No GPS, no satellite phone and no idea where he was going, save for a map he bought on the side of the road. Later, he, Dave, Scooter and Andy began to tackle these rides annually. That’s 10 years in the wood of Upper Yarra, familiarizing themselves with the ‘bush, the many off-shooting tracks and trails.

Last year, a very similar ride changed me as a cyclist. It took the 215 pound me and slapped it around before spitting (i.e. shitting) it back out. I learned a lot in two long days, but left Melbourne wanting more. When I mentioned returning this year, Andy proposed me landing in for Dan’s 40th. As Andy put it, “we’ll do another ride”…

I’m now around 185 pounds and have been putting in serious saddle time, so the anxiety wasn’t as bad. Until he showed me the route. Day 01, 100 miles, 16,000′ of climbing. BUGGA!

A total of nine riders started, seven finished. Andy’s brother made it up the first climb before returning home and Scooter, one of the original badass couriers in Australia (and aforementioned Upper Yarra riders) only had time for Woods Point and back. That left Dan, Andy, Joe, Dave, Reuben, Mal and myself for the haul… Enclosed is the ride report for the first leg of this 26.6 MP/C* ride.

Check out a bunch of narrated photos in the Gallery!

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Apr 16, 2013 33 comments
Zài Jiàn Shanghai!
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These past few weeks have been absolutely incredible. Our bike tour was easily one of the most exhilarating rides I’ve ever been on. To be concise, it was an eye-opening experience. I really thought that I knew what China was all about but almost immediately, I realized my preconceptions vastly polarized. My anxieties about some situations subsided, as the harsh reality of globalization’s effect on a ancient land settled in.

There’s nothing that can prepare you for the realities that hide on the outskirts of the city. As my film gets processed and scanned, I’ll begin think about how I’ll present my experience on paper. Right now, I feel like I’ve been nursing a two week long hangover. My body aches, my head is pounding and my lungs need some recovery time. So would I do it again? Of course.

When it’s all said and done, I’ve met some truly amazing people and had the opportunity to share all these experiences on bikes with them. I’ll say in confidence that we all will walk away from this trip with some great memories and for that, I’ll always be thankful to the communities that we rode with, the towns we stayed in and the guys at Factory 5.

Until next time, Shanghai, zài jiàn.

Apr 7, 2013 5 comments
Subject and Subjected
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Photo by Hou Jue

Photos by Jeff Liu

In recent months, I’ve started to find myself in front of a lens almost as much as behind it, especially on this recent tour. Riding through China was overwhelming  from a photography standpoint. Everything was rich in texture and as a foreigner, the everyday was visually engaging. When I could, I’d stop and shoot, or ask one of the riders to pause for a portrait.

Just about everything was natural and that’s something James from Adventure Refugee tried to capture in his video pieces for Mission Workshop. We’d leave with no plans, or script and would point out shots, or spaces when we came across them. In a land like China, nothing is predictable, you’ve just got to go with your instincts.  That applies to the subject and the subjected.

Apr 5, 2013 2 comments