Last year the All Terrain Bicycle Challenge selected five challengers and unleashed them on a brutal 71-mile course in Vermont. For season two, the project is shifting from old school “maybe it goes” style ATB routes to randonneuring inspired distance and time. Applicants are challenged with creating their own ultimate route, and five lucky teams of three will attempt to complete their ride, documenting it along the way, for a chance to win cash and prizes from ENVE, Fat Tire, The Radavist, Acre, and Mythical State Of. We at The Radavist are stoked to be the media partner for this event, so read below, plan a route, apply, and follow along for more!
Each framebuilder has probably their own relationship with the Concourse de Machines. Mine is not monochrome.
On the one hand, there is the excitement of creating a product with soul and sharing it with the framebuilding family. Our profession is “socially” atypical. It is at the same time very solitary: us and our ideas, our tools, the calm atmosphere of the workshop. And it is also inevitable to expose the brand/our work on social networks, the only lever to promote ourselves autonomously, without counting on the press. During the CDM contest, this too virtual sphere becomes the timespan of a few days entirely palpable and real. I find in the other framebuilders a sensitivity, convictions, a listening that it is hard to find in someone who did not go through the same choice of professional life as me. For many, it remains one. The contest is also about that: talking about our joys, our doubts, our desires, our difficulties, and that makes it very attractive to me.
On the other side, there is this shell that I try to put on myself since the frustrations felt during the CDM 2019. I had a bad experience putting so much soul into a project to feel pretty much unconsidered. Too young, too shy to show off, not enough in the good papers. So I take advantage of each edition to remind myself that we are doing this competition above all for ourselves, to continue to invent ourselves. The look of others is sometimes pleasant and often relevant, but it should not affect our own.
Saying we woke up would imply sleep, which is a luxury the night before the Concours de Machines race hadn’t afforded us, owing to thick black clouds of mosquitoes that infested our van. I lit a church of citronella candles and closed all the doors and windows, while Josh rolled himself up in a sheet and slept outside on a decrepit shezlongé that sat outside the factory. Mosquitos spent the night screaming and raging in our ears while doing their best to tear us limb from limb. At 4 am they sat lining the window sills, fat and bloated, drunk on our blood.
I killed a dozen of them with an old sock in one limp sleep-deprived swipe as a tokenistic act of vengeance, knowing they’d be saving their strength for another assault the next evening. I stood in Andreas’ elegant la fraise workshop contorting my body to scratch bites between nerve endings on my back, craving coffee as the pilotes clip clopped in on road shoes. For many of them, road shoes were a terrible choice. The 204km route billed as a road with some cobbles and gravel somehow encompassed 1466m of short sharp climbs in an oppressively pancake-flat landscape, as well as some muddy singletrack. The singletrack must have caught teams rolling on 28c slick tyres off guard, and would prove catastrophic for some.
This is the second of two reports from the 2022 Concours de Machines. Be sure to check here for the first installment!
In 2018 I was invited to take part in the third edition of Concours de Machines as Dear Susan, in the medieval town of Bruniquel in the south of France. The Concours is a recent(ish) revival of a frame-building contest first organized in 1903 that ran up to the late 1940s. It was traditionally hosted in different locations around France, the goal of which was to demonstrate the superiority of artisanal “constructeurs” and their machines, over production bikes.
Before accepting the invitation, there were some red flags for me. For instance the idea of “better;” how you can numerically score one bike against another, especially if they’re designed and made around a particular rider for a particular course? There’s so much that just comes down to preference! Reading further into the scoring system, the seemingly arbitrary categories actually became quite liberating, in that scores were given based on abstract criteria rather than what constituted a good or appropriate bike. Limitations included things like: “the bicycle must have wheels with tyres, and a system with which to steer,” as well as point scoring sections like: “the bicycle must be able to power its own lights and it must have bags to carry everything you need for an overnight trip.”
This is the first of two reports from the 2022 Concours de Machines. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the second installment!
For eight years running, around the Summer Solstice, Swift Industries has put out a rallying cry for cyclo-touring enthusiasts the world over to strap some bags to their bikes, head out for a couple of days of pedaling, and sleep on the ground. For this year’s Campout, we partnered with Swift to host the Radavist Swift Campout Photo Shootout, which called on campers to document their SCO experience through photography for a chance to win a load of prizes. The esteemed jury made up of representatives from The Radavist, and Swift Industries judged over 100 entries on their merits, including but not limited to technical considerations, composition, lighting, and impact, as well as the raw emotional power of the images (aka STOKE FACTOR!). We’re pleased to announce that Rifqi Akbar has been selected as this year’s winner and, below, he shares about the campout he and his friends embarked on near Bandung, Indonesia! Congrats, Rifqi!
Here’s a reminder to submit your Swift Campout Photo Shootout photos to Instagram this week!
- Let us know you’re entering the contest by beginning your caption copy with: “here’s my entry into the 2022 #swiftcampoutphotoshootout !”
- Tag @theradavist and @swiftindustries in the photo and in the caption.
- Must enter by 11:59 PM Friday, July 1st deadline!
Let’s see what you got this past weekend, folks! The winner will receive a full limited-edition 2022 Swift Campout kit! A 27.5 Adventure Carbon Wheelset from Hunt Wheels! Tires from SimWorks! Coffee from Black Coffee Roasters of Missoula; Sandals from Bedrock Sandals; titanium puffin’ accessories from Dangle Supply; rad wearables from The Radavist!
Well, we’ve finally got our ducks in a row here and are ready to launch the giveaway for the Singular Cycles Peregrine all-rounder bike John reviewed earlier this month. Read on below for your chance to win!
The rider-owned and operated mountain bike footwear company pledges a donation to rebuild and restore Lake Tahoe wildfire-impacted trails and calls on the mtb community to join them. Read on below for how you can help out and win a $300 gift card to Rideconcepts.com.
The Restrap Solstice Century Challenge is back for its second winter edition. All you’ve got to do is sign up at Restrap, ride 100 miles between December 18th and 19th, and on the 20th of December, Restrap will email you a form to upload your ride and redeem your patch (below). As with previous editions, the challenge will be hosted on the Restrap UK social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and on its Strava club.
All riders who complete the challenge will be able to redeem an exclusive Solstice Century patch for their efforts.
Bike supply chain shortages got you bummed out? Love the Midnight Special but can’t get yer grubby mitts on one? Well check out this contest Surly is running with Full Cycle, a non-profit organization that uses bikes as a way to support and feed houseless youth in Surly’s hometown of Minneapolis, MN.
Read about how you can win this bike at Pillsbury United Communities!
In 2021, parts and bikes are hard to come by and that’s why fundraising and conservation projects like this are all the more relevant these days. A handful of bike companies, Cane Creek Cycling Components, Industry Nine, Thomson Bike Products, Continental Tires, fizik, and Crank Brothers, came together to put on a fundraiser for The Pisgah Conservancy. Read on below for how you can win the 2021 Pisgah Project Bike Raffle…
Once again, the Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship is giving away a brand new, complete Santa Cruz Bicycle Bronson! All you’ve gotta do is make a donation at their site and all proceeds go to this 501(c)(3) nonprofit bettering the trails in their community. Head on over to SCMTS to make a donation and win!
Do you recall the Baphomet Bicycles we featured a couple of weeks ago? The one that’s a fundraiser bike for Ride Group? Well, Dillen is closing out the fundraiser in a few hours, so if you wanted to enter the raffle, head over to this post to read all about how you can win! But be quick, the raffle closes at 12 Noon MST!
Why join Bikepacking Roots during this summer membership drive?
Because summer isn’t over quiet yet, and we’re giving away some rad prizes – a complete Xtrada 7 mountain bike from Polygon Bicycles, a Revelate Designs bikepacking bag package, and a set of Cane Creek titanium eeWings cranks! And for a limited time only, you could get a Bikepacking Roots T-shirt, too!
Your contribution will help Bikepacking Roots . . .
-continue creating exceptional and impactful bikepacking routes and guidebooks for new adventure opportunities
-support more equitable access to the bikepacking experience through the expansion of our BIPOC Bike Adventure program
-develop community-building and educational initiatives like our new Go Bikepacking! event series
-broaden our advocacy engagement capacity for bikepackers and the places we ride
How do you enter the contest? Simply join Bikepacking Roots as an annual or monthly member, or make a donation. Each $10 of your donation/membership gets you an entry (up to $100)! New monthly donors will receive 2 entries, and all our existing annual/monthly members will receive 3 entries.
Let’s continue together to support life-changing bike adventures. Join today!
Adventure Cycling Association has a new membership campaign launching this month. Join the ACA during the month of September and we’ll enter you to win a Co-Motion Bike Americano Touring Bike with an integrated Pinion Drivetrain. A year-year individual membership runs $85 and as a member, you’re entitled to:
-Nine issues of Adventure Cyclist magazine
-Discounts on cycling products and services through our corporate supporters
-Up to 30% off Adventure Cycling bike maps, and Free Shipping on all Cyclosource orders
See more information at Adventure Cycling Association!
Out of the Ashes is BACK! You can support @santacruztrails as they raise funds to help repair charred California State Parks trails. For just a $5 contribution, you could win your choice of bike from Caletti (outfitted with components from Fox / Easton Cycling / Race Face) or a hand-crafted walnut coffee table from @joeykochlacs_furnituremaker.
The trails throughout parks like Big Basin, Butano, and Fall Creek State Parks are a constant source of exercise and inspiration for me. It’s been nearly a year since the CZU wildfires, and there’s still a tremendous amount of work needed to restore these areas back to their former glory.
Head over to Santa Cruz Trails to get your entries! This giveaway is only live through August 9.
Do you like what you see here? Well, you could win this fully decked out, dream Hightower build from Santa Cruz Bicycles by partaking in the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship’s $5 a Foot fundraiser:
“Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship’s 5 Bucks a Foot fundraiser is back with a customized, Santa Cruz Hightower up for grabs! Sure, there’s a bike shortage, and yes, it’s nearly impossible just to get some bike parts these days. Yet, we got lucky enough to assemble this bling’ed masterpiece: a one-of-a-kind Hightower (size Large) decked out with parts you can’t even get your hands on these days. And if you want to come pick it up in-person*, you can receive complimentary lodging at The Lure Resort in Downieville, CA for the weekend. Come out and ride the Downieville Downhill on your brand-new bike!
We are building a legacy trail – the 300+ mile Lost Sierra Route – through our Connected Communities Project. The building and maintenance of “A Trail for Everyone” will employ local residents and help our small businesses thrive. For every $5 you donate to 5 Bucks a Foot between Tuesday, June 8 to Friday, July 9, 2021, you can directly contribute to this project and possibly win this sweet ride.”