Category Archives: trails
David at Death Spray Custom has been painting forks for people all over the world, for what is quickly becoming the “Fork You” series. He always gives me shit about having purple bikes, and in one email he asked if I “thought I was Prince” – which quickly became the theme for this German rain camo inspired design. Before I could even argue, he told me I was getting “Purple Rain”.
David’s process on something like this must be maddening. Especially masking off every little marking over his Dark Sky Horizon fade and with the Death Spray on the inside of the fork legs…
Originally, I was going to save this fork for an upcoming project, but I thought it would look sinister on my Geekhouse Mudville instead. I do travel with, ride and shred this bike more than anything else in my stable. Personally, I think the worn and tattered powdercoat of my Mudville contrasts the funky DSC design, especially with the Chris King purple headset and bottom bracket.
Last Friday, I rode with some friends out to some trails here in Austin, jammed around a few hot laps, with my camera in a hip bag and took a few minutes to shoot this bike in the late afternoon sun…
The Mudfoot Dirty Hundo
Words by Kyle Kelley / Photos by Kyle Kelley and Ace Carretero
Chris Skogen (the organizer of the Almanzo Gravel 100) once said, “If only 10 percent of the people racing Almanzo would organize and throw a grassroots race, we would have a race to go to every weekend of the year.” It was the spirit of that statement that originally sparked the idea for the Mudfoot Hump Hundred last year and brought it back again this year.
Nearly half of this year’s 90 mile ride, called the Dirty Hundo, took place on steep, loose and rocky service roads in the Angeles Forest. The route wasn’t entirely out of the ordinary in terms of SoCal dirt rides, but it was special nonetheless, with some of my favorite views in the area.
SO GOOD. SO FREAKING GOOD! Thank you Chris. Also brings up a good segue into that Thomson 27.2 dropper conversation…
Everyone, in the history of friends who’ve been to Utah, particularly Moab, have said “broooo, you have to ride Porcupine” – which is followed by Enchilada – “ohhhh man, you gotta do Enchilada too!”
Let me just say that Utah is completely wild. It’s like a hipper Nevada. The word “Adventure” is literally everywhere you look – Adventure Raft Tours, Adventure Desert Guide, etc – I could have done a post on the vernacular of adventure x companies. Next time.
Back to Utah – I’ve been here once before.
Moab, however is a lot different than I expected. The trails are incredible and yes, Porcupine did indeed deliver. If you’ve ridden it, then you know. If you haven’t… broooo. The morning began with a quick cup of coffee and a breakfast burrito. Then came the sunblock lather, kit check and bag-stuffing. Snacks, water, tools, camera, check. In the interest of time, we shuttled to 7,000′ and ripped back to town.
Part of the SRAM Trail House media launch experience is getting to have some talented photographers shoot photos of you ripping down the mountains. To give you a point of reference: we stopped about every 10 minutes or so and went down the trail one by one. That results in a very long day – but for me, it just means I got to shoot my own photos in the downtime, some of which, I’m very stoked on.
Photographing MTB riding is pretty new for me, but I think this photoset captures what it’s like to ride in Moab, particularly Porcupine. At least in a pretty ok manner. What I’m saying is, I’m stoked on a lot of these, so don’t miss ‘em!
Over the past four years, SRAM MTB has invited a handful of media representatives out to Moab, Utah to unveil new products, talk tech and most importantly shred the abundance of trails just a few short miles from town. Getting an invite to an event like this is as exciting as it is unnerving. Dude, you have to like, ride new stuff with like 20 people. Most of which you just met that morning…
The trails in Moab are unlike anything I’ve ridden before. Some are infamously techy, then others envelop you in smooth, flowy 1-track ribbons. Today, we hit the HyMasa – Captain Ahab loop and I had an absolute blast. Once you get over the whole new bike / new trail / new terrain and just embrace your surroundings, the anxiety subsides and with each break you take, it’s easy to fall into the environment. Or, in my case you OTB, get up, laugh and everyone is stoked. Then you all get to hang out as the sun sets over the cliffs.
I’ve only been in Moab for 24 hours and I can see why it’s a favorite for many of my friends…
See more of the weird Utah vernacular and mind-blowing landscape in the Gallery!
Photo by Gary Perkin
Juliana Bicycles, the sister company to Santa Cruz, sponsored a rather epic MTB excursion in February with Anka Martin throughout New Zealand and the surrounding areas of the Nelson Tasman district. I’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand and now, I want to go there even more. This looks like it was quite the trip!
I’d like to think the kind of riding my friends and I enjoy would be considered “dumb”. From the freestyle on track bikes, all the way to the trail riding on cross bikes (even road bikes), sometimes, it’s just more fun to use the lesser-capable tool for the job. When Sean from Team Dream asked if Ty, Eric, Kyle and I wanted to ride Backbone trail during my last trip in LA, I said hell yes. Then I asked “which bike should I bring to LA?” The answer was what I had hoped for: cyclocross.
My bike has been through the ringer and it’s still one of my favorites to ride. Climbing some serious mountains, both on sealed and gravel, blasting trails in Texas, Vermont, California, Australia, Minnesota or where ever my travels take me. It’s been the most diverse beast in my stable. This ride however, this ride outdid just about everything else.
The day would be big. 60 miles and 7,500′ of climbing. 85% on dirt. Most of it on legitimate / illegitimate singletrack. There were very few chill spots. This was a MTB ride on 33c tires and drop bars. Even as part of our group passed a guy on a full sus MTB riding a downhill section, the dude had the audacity to label our cross bikes as “cheater bikes”. Ok Mr. fullface helmet and pads.
For as many fire road climbs, there were 1-track descents. Nothing was too technical or difficult to ride down, but some parts were too steep to climb with a 34/28. To top it off, I broke my fucking pedal in half at mile 20, Eric was just getting over a serious injury from a car hitting him and we were grossly unprepared for the lack of water.
High points: finding water that had been stashed in the bushes for months (the labels were bleached out, condensation formed at the top – i.e. it had been forgotten), the damn Coke machine at the Malibu Creek State Park (make sure you have plenty of $1 bills – I had 10), the subsequent swimming hole and wearing a hip bag, stuffed with a mushy breakfast burrito from Pedalers Fork.
THE HERO OF THE DAY WAS CARLA, SEAN’S GIRLFRIEND FOR DROPPING US OFF AND PICKING US UP!
We started at the Yerba Lot trailhead (one, 10 mile section is closed to bikes, so we had to re-route around that) and ended at the Santa Monica pier inside the photo booth.
I know I post a lot of ride photosets, but this one is not one to be missed! Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery!
Tools of the trade:
Yashica T4 / Kodak Portra 400
Talk to anyone familiar with the trails in this area and they’ll tell you that we went up to Inspiration Point the wrong way. Truth is, however, we’ve been going up the right way too often (on cross bikes) and wanted to try something new. Riding, or in this case, hiking up a downhill line ain’t fun. Especially on a long travel bike.
Kyle from GSC, Sean from Team Dream and myself had a lotta fun on the mountain that day. I was riding the Foes F275, we did a quick review, stopped a lot for photos and blasted down one of my new favorite trails.
Our route for the day: lower Merrill to upper Merrill, to Inspiration Point, back down upper Merrill, down a trail called Monkey Face, to Sunset, Brown and El Prieto. It was a short day on paper, but a big ride on the legs. Any MTB riding in Los Angeles is tough on the legs…
If you’re from the area, you know how fun that is. If you’re not, well… check at the photos in the Gallery!
It ain’t easy hitting trails with a Viking Blazer. Remember: if you aren’t crashing, you’re not going fast enough. Drop one of these on your backpack, bar bag, saddle bag or jean jacket. Artwork by Kyler Martz!
Patches are 3″ wide, iron-on, crafted with care in the USA and will cost you $7 shipped to the USA and $8 shipped worldwide. Expect shipments to leave Austin in two weeks!
Sorry, sold out!
The 970, one of the last made in the USA, lugged MTB frames ever produced by Trek. In recent years, there has been a resurgence in interest for these bikes. Especially seeing as how a XO-1 can set you back a pretty penny. They’re Wisconsin-made, rugged and actually pretty lightweight, considering. Frames can be found on eBay for around $200.
These bikes are, one of the best options out there for those looking for to convert a 26″ MTB to a full-bore 650b Shred Sled. Which is exactly what Benedict began doing a few years back. After procuring the frame, he immediately stripped it, then acquired new decals and treated it with shellac.
Next up: the fork. He wanted to keep the frameset Wisconsin-made but needed an upgrade to replace the stock unicrown. Clockwork did the job for around $200 – a Pacenti crown, with a nice, classic bend to the blades. From there, it was pretty straight forward: Suntour Cyclone rear derailleur, XT front, XTR cranks, Suntour power thumb shifters, Nitto post, Brooks saddle, Tektro cantis, Bullmoose bars and some older 650b wheels a friend gave him. Oh and a Campy Record 10 speed chain, drizzled with garlic-infused, extra virgin cold press olive oil, because what else do you lube a Campy chain with?
Benedict’s added numerous personal touches to this bike. The Sackville bag carries his stealth camping gear, pipe and tools. Newbaum’s cloth bartape provides ample grip, protection against chain slap and an additional wrap on the brake lever ensures proper skids.
With all those details, most people would scoff at the thought of riding in Austin on it, with its rocky and technical trails, but little do they know, the captain of this shred sled is a master at roosting. Besides, he’s got a lucky penny on the fork crown!
I don’t really know what else to say about this bike, especially since the photos do the talking! See more in the Gallery!