Category Archives: Ultra Romance
Tucson to Kanza: a Long Ride to a Long Ride – Ultra Romance

Tucson to Kanza: a Long Ride to a Long Ride
Word and photos by Ultra Romance

Dirty Kanza: How does one prepare their mind, legs and undercarriage for a 200 mile “race?” How do you relaxation cycle ésport™ without relaxation? How does one saunter through the day, resting in the sun whenever the mood strikes, dine on expensive chocolate after a fine fine yogurt cupping at the local co-op, all whilst riding 200 miles in one go?? Can that even be kinda fun?

I suppose it depends on your Myers Briggs score divided by how many years you’ve spent in dental school. Dentists were all over the road scene, and as road has taken a major swan dive into a pile of 20c used rubbers (sounds dirty cuz it is), grav grinding (sounds dirty but only mildly) has become the future world arena for the well-to-do-sadistic. Dentists are sadists by nature, nothing against them, they just are. They drill and pull teeth outa screaming peoples faces all day. They love training for 200-mile races. (more…)

May 24, 2018 20 comments
The Beauty of Fatigue: Slow (SLO) Road to Eroica – Tenzin Namdol

The Beauty of Fatigue: Slow (SLO) Road to Eroica
Words by Tenzin Namdol, photos by Ultra Romance

Something happened to me while I was riding the 90-mile NOVA Coastal Route of Eroica California, I started loving the ride. A bit of a “duhhhh” moment, right? That may have had something to do with the skill and knowledge of the route-maker who has expertly joined some of the most stunning roads of San Luis Obispo County. From wineries to summits to the Oceans’ shore featuring some loosen-your-filling descents. I’m sure we could have easily found a dentist at Eroica to fix that last problem. So, not really a problem. It also helps to have beautifully cheerful people at rest stops handing you wine, chocolate-covered strawberries, and praising your athleticism. I felt so undeserving of such treatment, but that’s for me and my therapist to figure out together. Regardless, treatment like that could make a cyclist out of just about anyone. (more…)

Apr 30, 2018 20 comments
Loose Lobster At The Landing: A Pre-NAHBS Tour Of Nutmeg Country

Loose Lobster At The Landing: A Pre-NAHBS Tour Of Nutmeg Country
Photos By Renaldo, words by ‘Cobra Bones’ Sinkford

The show coming to the east coast for the first time meant all eyes are on Connecticut, and who could provide the ultimate pre-NAHBS experience with home court advantage than the mayor of Lobster Landing himself? I was told Nutmeg Country was a place of peace. A place of pizza, and pancake flat roads soft to the touch and pleasing to the eye. Two of those things are true.

Over the holidays the modern and progressive geometry of the #ultranutmegger was designed. Sklar would build a nutmeg themed dream bike for NAHBS, as custom as desired. That was a rabbit hole he should have never walked down. Seriously. One bike became two, because I was not going to be left out of the party. Truss forks and custom racks haunted young Adam’s dreams as the parts started to roll in, literally like Christmas. (more…)

Feb 28, 2018 10 comments
2018 NAHBS: Behold the Sklar Bikes x Ultra Romance Nutmegger

Where do I even begin here? A bunch of awesome brands working together on a unique concept, featuring unique products and a lot of uniqueness. Is that even a word? Sklar and Benedict, aka Ultra Romance teamed up to build the ultimate bicycle. It’s so ultimate that I don’t even know what to call it. Is it a road bike? A touring bike? A mtb? Who knows. Right now, the consensus seems to be just “Nutmegger,” so that’s what I’ll call it. Before I go any further here, I’ll just say this bike begs for more than the brevity associated with copywriting of my NAHBS galleries and maybe one day we’ll dive in deeper, until then, I’ll give you the gist.

This is a part fillet, part tig welded steel frame in a nickel finish, with a custom stem by Hubert from Madrian Fabrication. It’s got a long wheelbase, mid-trail and a truss fork design, along with a double top tube to support the massive head tube. When you ride this thing, you’re really IN it, not on it.

The 66.6cm wide Crust bars are mated with a custom Swift Industries bag and nestled in that top tube space is an Andrew the Maker Bag. Those perty Paul and White Industries bits are custom annodized brown. There’s even a Connecticut State Coin as the top cap! It was assembled in Benedict’s mom’s kitchen and is still kinda sorta being built up as I’m writing this. Yes, the derailleur cable is long, there are no brake cable crimps and I had to stop Poppi from shallacing the tape as I was photographing it.

So what is the Nutmegger? I honestly have no idea. It’s a bicycle that embodies Benedict and that’s all it needs to be. Will Adam from Sklar make you one? Helllll nahhhhhh.

Feb 16, 2018 59 comments
420.69th annual Nutmeg Nor’easter – Ultra Romance

420.69th annual Nutmeg Nor’easter

Words by Ultra Romance, photos by Erin @erinmarie.gordon, Jon Weekes @gungywump, Jamie M @jamiemurrett, and “Big Janet”

I’ve lived in the same area of shoreline Connecticut my entire life.  My home is a garage artist’s studio that I just so happen to share with my mom’s gardening tools.  Paris, Milan, Clinton, CT.  As weather permits, I return home about 4 months out of the year; always being sure not to miss the splendor of autumn; the beauty of death as the colors fall, ushering in the grim shadows of wintär. (more…)

Dec 19, 2017 38 comments
A Recording of Ultra Romance’s Fred Talk at the Philly Bike Expo

Nicholas Karwoski recorded Benedict’s “Fred Talk” dubbed “The bicycle, a vehicular philosophy of simplification” that took place at this year’s Philly Bike Expo. Topping in at over 80 minutes, this might be a bit ambitious for you to tackle in one go, but definitely give it a listen. Thanks to Nicholas for pulling this together!

Nov 8, 2017 3 comments
The Road to L’Eroica: An Italian Honeymoon – Ultra Romance

The Road to L’Eroica: An Italian Honeymoon
Words and photos by Ultra Romance

We had been running from winter… riding from winter… actually hike-a-biking away from winter in the Swiss Alps for nearly 2 weeks now.  Snow, wind, rain, and low UV indexes had driven us out of the most verdant and bucolic panoramas I’ve ever eyeballed. Away from the abrupt mountaintops that rise from the undulating valleys like the jagged teeth of a gnashing puma eagle.  My hair was damp and lifeless, and our bodies were craving the sunlight and ACTUAL early September weather (fair and pleasant for those of you who live in the Swiss tundra).  In a split second decision, while climbing out of a cold and empty valley after hiking down a roots rock reggae slip n’ slide, we hopped a train south to Europe’s fashion capital, Milano. It just felt natural.

Ciao Italy! (more…)

Oct 25, 2017 15 comments
Bicycle Touring the Tick Jungles of New England – Ultra Romance

Bicycle Touring the Tick Jungles of New England
Words and photos by Ultra Romance

The east coast is like a frumpy ex-lover. She wears the same green maple tree moo moo every day in the summer and wears nothing but a cold distant gray gaze all winter. Her breath smells like a yawning swamp, her clammy visage infected with ticks, mosquitos, and horseflies. Yet still, she’s comfortable and familiar, drawing me back time and time again with that ruddy olde face.

The Appalachian mountains of the northeast are among the oldest mountains in the world. 480 million years olde according to Siri; 483 million if you ask Alexa. By contrast, the sensuously photogenic Rockies are a supple 55 million years young. That’s another 428 million years of HARD livin’ for that olde bag of a spinster, Mrs. Appalachian East Coast. The glacially mowed over Appalachians sit plain and internet forgotten, cloaked in a canopy of hardwoods with nothing but a flip phone for company. This all sounds great in theory, and it really is, butttt they sure don’t photograph all that well… and if you can’t get that ‘gram, then why do it, amiright????! (more…)

Jul 25, 2017 27 comments