The Great Basin region of the western US stretches from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Wasatch range, and from the Columbia Plateau all the way down to the Mojave Desert. This expansive, high elevation desert has a nickname, the Sagebrush Sea, and I live right on the beach. I’m tucked away in a rural area at the northern end of the Eastern Sierra.
An average ride around here could go any which way. It might be a 3500 foot climb into the mountains on steep, rugged forest service roads, or I might end up riding long stretches of washboard and gravel out in the desert. There’s a network of shady chipseal ranch roads that wind along the edge of the valley and a maze of cow trails that are my substitute for local single track. On an ambitious day, I might end up riding a little bit of everything.
The bike I reach for most often is my Crust Evasion. It’s snappy and fast enough to out-sprint even the most athletic local ranch dogs, and it still has the teeth to handle all the rough stuff beyond the barns. It’s comfy on long climbs and confident on rowdy descents, loaded or unloaded. This bike is really fun to ride everywhere.
I put the Evasion together with a mix of new and used components that I chose with durability, serviceability, and price in mind. It’s pretty straight-forward stuff except for the rear shifter; to make that work I transplanted the internals of an Advent 9 speed bar-end into a Gevenalle 10 speed paddle.
For the kind of riding I do racks and bags are just as important as any of the other components, and here I indulge myself. For touring and overnight trips, Porcelain Rocket and Swift bags hang on the RatKing and Pass & Stow racks, a setup that leaves me plenty of room for everything I need (and quite a bit that I don’t). When I’m planning on getting home before bedtime, I pare down to an extra-wide randonneur bag from Ruthworks, which is a huge bag for day rides but it looks just right nestled into those Towel Rack bars.
Drop bar bikes with chubby tires aren’t hard to come by these days, but the Evasion really stands out. Nimble handling? Yep. Big tires? Check. Dashing good looks? Of course (it’s a Crust, after all). This bike is the total package and the perfect ship for sailing the Sagebrush Seas.
We’d like to thank all of you who have submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared over here. The response has been incredible and we have so many to share over the next few months. Feel free to submit your bike, listing details, components, and other information. You can also include a portrait of yourself with your bike and your Instagram account! Please, shoot landscape-orientation photos, not portrait. Thanks!