International Kook Exchange Part 02: Velvet and Gold Edition – Jorja Creighton

International Kook Exchange Part 02 – Velvet and Gold Edition – Previously Part 01: Milk and Honey Edition)
Words and photos by Jorja Creighton

Part two lead us to ride the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Metal Ray as our spiritual leader (or father as we now call him). The Grand Canyon was a dream come true.

An extra special trip because I was on my very new, gently sparkling Evasion frame from Crust Bikes, which had arrived from Crust HQ all built up ready to shred. The Limp Dick stem and Salsa Cowchippers combo is making me feel like a wizard up on 7/10 difficulty terrain.

All the bikers out riding the Rim were full suspensioneers, but the Kook Exchange; Marcel, Ray and myself rode our bucking rigid Crust and Moustache Cycles like real cowgirls. Unnecessarily loaded in necessary hi-vis we rode and giggled high on… life through the winding track that unexpectedly threw you out onto loose shelves overlooking that big ol’ hole.

A mind altering #natureisneon sunset glowed that evening making us feel all was right in a Trump world… we Kooked out in one last Kookfest under the Arizona stars, on the edge of the world, inside our 50mph wind battered tents. So peaceful. Leaving Ray in Flag (as we affectionately call it now) felt as if we were baby bald head eagles falling from the high altitude nest, ready to seek and destroy as many trailheads as we could find. Fuelled by enthusiasm we rode in over 110 degrees (that’s over 40 degrees for you metric kooks). Although we were dizzy, disorientated and dehydrated this is what high altitude training is all about. Nobody said being a Kook was going to be easy. We rode morning and evening sweating under a thick coating of sunscreen and wide brim hats in Sedona, Joshua Tree and Las Vegas. As we toured fast pace through the sweltering south-west we started noting down life hacks we learned through America, such as; ride your bike next to a Greyhound bus that offers free wifi for effective web surfing on highways.

More Kook life hacks coming soon.

We sat in the shade of Joshua’s Tree, the branches beckoning us to the promise land like the Mormons who named them said they would. Resisting that godly pilgrimage, we lazily sipped box wine mixed with flavored vitamin c powder instead, to stay ahead of vitamin deficiency and not because we made a bad attempt at cocktails. We rode in the early morning and late evenings in the sweet relief of golden hour. Rolling through 29 Palms, the “desert oasis”, with more tattoo parlors than palms, we labored around the stifling thrift shops looking for the perfect cowboy hat to go with our American flag umbrella.

The south-west heatwave turned both Marcel and me into moody bitches and so we abandoned plans for Utah and diverted to the City of Angels to make it big LA. Like most starry-eyed hot young things, we left LA with our tail between our legs and set off, en route towards San Francisco to collect our willing Kooks who will be riding as much of the Oregon Timber Trail as possible with us for the month of July.

Come find us on the trails, we will be in hi-vis.

Until next time . . . Keep it Kook. Love Jorja and Marcel


Follow Jorja on Instagram and follow Crust Bikes on Instagram.

  • Times like this, I wish I was Australian

    • Jorja Creighton

      It feels good to be the idiots aboard

  • guy davis

    Lone Pine has some AMAZING smoky quartz crystals to collect if riding bikes isn’t enough to stay busy.

    • Jorja Creighton

      It’s a rad little town fo sur

  • Nealipo

    You took all the fun. There is none left for the rest of us. That’s ok. We’ll make more.

    • Jorja Creighton

      Oh no. There is pleeeenty more fun to go around

  • Brian Zglobicki

    Crushing it guys! Cant wait to see and read your next post about the great PNW.

    • Jorja Creighton

      Cheers mah dude. Will deliver

  • Raymond Walker

    As acting Kook Exchange Northern Arizona Region Manager, I must report that the initial execution of the International Kook Exchange High Altitude Training Center, Heckyeah (IKE-HATCH) was a glaring success. The trainees @jorjacreighton:disqus & Marcel were not only deployed to the Oregon region, but also survived. Applications always accepted, but involve requirements:
    – Willingness to implement alternative training methods as deemed necessary.
    – Have a kickass ‘tude & accent.
    – Take pictures of me lounging about on and/or off bicycle to be published on bike blogs including but not limited to The Radavist™ (ride/cycling/tour reporting optional.)
    Upcoming Winter IKE-HATCH opportunities (ala Philmont Kanik sans morals or plans) include:
    – Snow camping
    – Freezing ya balls off, yah-no
    – Identifying which whiskeys keep one warmest
    – Bike portaging through a bunch of winter bullshit
    – Cross Country Ski trail poaching
    – Best practices for carrying stupid shit on your bike (skis and/or snowshoes)