Kristi Mohn is something of a legend. A native of Emporia, KS, Kristi started cycling in 2004. In 2008 she became the co-director of the Unbound Gravel event, which was run for the first time in 2006. Since then she’s been the driving force behind gravel cycling’s drive for inclusion. She’s worked to secure equal purses for women, pushed for non-binary event classes, and driven efforts to engage communities who have otherwise been ignored by the cycling industry. Corey Godfrey and Jason Strohbehn, the co-organizers of Gravel Worlds, cite Kristi’s “200 Women Riding 200 Miles” program, as well as their conversations with her, as inspirations behind their own efforts. Kimo Seymour, President of Events & Media at Life Time Fitness, says that Kristi’s work is what attracted Lifetime to buy Unbound Gravel in 2018. I interviewed Kristi in Stillwater, OK at the 2022 edition of the Mid South, but have been fortunate enough to have known her for close to 10 years.
Rach McBride, Non-binary Professional Triathlete & Life Time Grand Prix Participant: Rach McBride is, in the words of Kimo Seymour, “a fucking badass”. A three-time Ironman 70.3 champion, Rach has committed to racing the entirety of the inaugural Life Time Fitness Grand Prix. They are also the only non-binary athlete participating in the series. This is the second in a series of interviews about the change that’s happening in cycling as seen from the vantage points of people involved in one of the biggest drivers of that change: The gravel cycling world. For each of them, I (Erik Mathy) sit down with the interviewee and have a conversation, recording it so it can be transcribed down to their words.
This is the first in a series of interviews about the change that’s happening in cycling as seen from the vantage points of people involved in one of the biggest drivers of that change: The gravel cycling world. For each of them I (Erik Mathy) sit down with the interviewee and have a conversation, recording it so it can be transcribed down to their words. The interviews are then edited for clarity and brevity. This means removing the inevitable “Uh” and “Um”’s that we all use as well as conversational tangents. I also remove myself because, as the interviewer, my voice isn’t important. It’s the words of people like Kimo Seymour, Yatika Fields, Kristi Mohn and others that are important. This will be an ongoing conversation, so please come back often as further interviews are published.
Comparing what riders think they are going to experience vs what they do experience, as well as what they are taking away from the ride, has always been a fascination of mine. We all bring our hopes and, yes, our fears to the start line. After a nearly two-year layoff from in-person events, I wanted to see what this year’s Mid South participants brought with them to the race. What did they think was going to happen once they rolled over that start line? What were they hoping they’d take away from it all after they crossed it again to finish?
Longtime readers of this site are likely very familiar with Megan Dean and her frame building operation Moth Attack. Her builds span the typology gamut – track, ‘cross, road, mountain, etc. – and she’s been doing it for quite some time now. Check out John’s visit to her space in LA back in 2012! Over the years she’s sponsored a cyclocross team, taught frame building, and has assumed ownership of Handlebar Mustache apparel company with her partner Wade. After moving around the western US, Megan and Wade recently settled in Tuscon, AZ. While I was in town for some riding earlier this year, I caught up with Megan in her home studio while she brazed and formed tubes for the gravel/adventure frame she’s building for Wade. Continue reading for an interview with Megan and a detailed look at two bikes in her personal collection: a 90s Klein Attitude commuter and Team Moth Attack CX…
Sometimes we don’t understand our reasons for doing something until we’ve fully emerged. That was my lesson learned from waffling around the start and finish lines of The Big Lonely with a camera and disconcerted heart. What is this big and lonely thing that I speak of? Described in one word by the riders themselves: it’s “relentless”, “jarring”, “cold”, “delightful” – “resilience.” It’s “incomplete” and it’s “grueling”. It’s “epic”, “stoke” and “go.” For one rider it was “mom.” Most commonly though, it was described as “community” and I found this to be a curious notion. The dichotomous idea that a 350-mile self-supported ultra-endurance bikepacking race called The Big Lonely cultivated the word “community” more than any other is sort of like a metaphor for life and all the funny ways our experiences are everything at once.
Not Chaotic, But Like Jazz
“We are all building on what Dario left us.”
On August 23rd, 2018 Italian framebuilder, artist, music aficionado, cancer survivor, and living legend Dario Pegoretti unexpectedly passed away. At only 62 years old he had made an indelible mark on the cycling industry. After building uncredited high-end custom frames for names such as Induran, Cipollini and Pantani he started his own company, Pegoretti Cicli. Both a traditionalist and iconoclast Dario never wavered from his love of steel while also constantly playing with innovations in technique, frame design, and painting. In all of these, he was a renowned master.
The GranGuanche Audax is a series of self-supported race events – trail, road, and gravel – across the Canary Islands. Pacing is established by ferry schedules, so it’s more of a race against the clock instead of other riders, as transmarine connections are required to travel from island to island. And, unlike other similar endurance cycling events, pelotons are allowed. This past November, Josh Ibbett and Sofiane Sehili took advantage of the Audax format to ride the trail version together and film their adventure. Ryan Le Garrec connected with Ibbett and Sehili to edit their video, which we’re debuting here today (below), layered with an interview between Ryan and event organizer, Matteo Minelli, and an epic image gallery from Minelli, Sergio Villaba, and Rubén Plasencia.
AUZANGATE is the third Shared Territory film, which debuted this week. We recently caught up with Director, Justin Balog, for a brief Q&A about the project, which you can find below, along with a link to the beautiful film and incredible gallery of images from photographer Ian Matteson.
I met Chris Orr when I was fresh out of high school, smoking dope and working as a mechanic at VeloPro in Santa Barbara, California. Working at that shop was a truly memorable time in my life and Chris was one of the shop locals who was friends with all the employees and a regular shredder on our after-work shuttles to the top of Camino Cielo for a ripping sunset run down Tunnel Trail.
It’s worth noting that Blake, Vincent, and Tom mentioned in this interview were also employees of VeloPro at this time. For me it was an unforgettable time in a very magical place. But the years pass, and people fall out of touch. I moved from California to Portland in 2005 and it would take 10 plus years and social media for me and Chris to reconnect.
This past summer, Chris was up in Portland to work on the Adaptive trail system at Gateway Green and I was fortunate enough to have him over to my backyard for a safely distanced dinner. He has been a passionate supporter of people and community throughout his life and has a long and inspiring history of building trail systems and communities. Chris is no-bullshit.
It’s my experience that incredible people like Chris are not anomalies, that their goodwill and good deeds build the places and spaces where we find solace, safety, community, and honest enjoyment. That there are more of them in the world than we are aware and that’s a problem. It’s my belief that awareness is the mechanism for inspiration, growth, creation, community, prosperity, and peace. So please meet Chris Orr.
Do you recall the video Going Without Knowing we posted a few weeks back? Well, Hyperlite Mountain Gear just posted a follow-up interview with artist Geoff McFetridge on their blog and I think you all will find it interesting:
What parallels can you draw between your artistic style and how you travel and engage in your preferred pastimes outside?
I think I get pretty deep into things. Deep and fringe-y. I first raced my bike as cyclocross, and I became more engaged with skiing when I learned to telemark. I didn’t get interested in fishing until I saw Tenkara. I don’t run road races, only trail runs. You can see a pattern here. I am not embarrassed to go directly into the deepest (trendiest?) zone of the margin—the single-speed of EVERYTHING.
Read more at Hyperlite!
Emma Eubanks‘s artwork adorns the latest soft goods collection from All-City Cycles dubbed the Night Claw collection. This capsule collection includes a riding kit (pictured), socks, caps, shirts, and more. Head on over to All-City’s Blog to read all about this collaboration and your local dealer for ordering.
It’s pretty common these days to see professional roadies make the transition into gravel. The racing and even the bikes are pretty similar, so it’s not a big stretch to make the leap. But what about coming to gravel from downhill? Now we’re talking about switching from races that are about 2-miles long with zero elevation gain to races that are 200-miles long with 10’000-feet of climbing. Race times go from a few minutes to hours…lots of hours. And that’s not even getting into how different the bikes are. The switch from downhill to gravel is way less common and a lot harder to wrap your head around…but let me introduce you to Kathy Pruitt.
I feel like I’ve known Martina and Jason from Swift Industries since the brand’s inception. It must have been the 2010 Philly Bike Expo where we first met. Later, I bought an Ozette bag for my Geekhouse touring bike in 2011, and for a number of years, we’ve stayed in close contact. Both the Radavist and Swift Industries grew at parallel trajectories. It’s now 2021 and I realized I’ve never interviewed Martina about the Swift Campout, so today we’re pleased to host a quick interview to stoke the flames for the 2021 Swift Campout, which is coming up fast, on June 19th-20th! So read on below for some insight into this wonderful event!
For today’s Reportage, we’re shining a light on Brooklyn Bell, a multi-sport athlete and artist living in Bellingham, Washington. Brooklyn launched a collaboration with Ground Keeper Custom earlier this year, with an entire capsule collection available on their website. We were really moved by Brooklyn’s artwork, so we connected for a quick interview. See the Ground Keeper Badgal Brooky collection on their website and read our interview with Brooklyn below…
Episode 69? On 4.20? Three days before my 40th birthday? Why not? lol
A few weeks ago, Patrick from Bikes or Death swung through Santa Fe after hanging with Matt from the Monumental Loop in Las Cruces. We sat down in our new office here in town and chatted about the beginnings of the Radavist, photography, land acknowledgment, and other topics relevant to many of your interests. Patrick is a great guy and spending my Sunday afternoon with him was a real treat. As someone who tries to stay behind the scenes here as much as possible on the site, it’s a great insight into what makes me tick. Check out my ramblings in Episode 69 at Bikes or Death.
If you have questions or comments after the interview, drop them in the comments and I’ll answer them today.
Side note: we’re getting our second shots today! Woooohoooo!
For today’s Reportage, we linked up with Bay Area artist Ariel Wickham Earnhardt to discuss her artwork, her riding, and her role in the Full Circle Cycling Project video we posted earlier this month, which supports the Coast Miwok’s work to share and preserve their culture, by selling artwork inspired by the land, cycling, and community. Read on below for an interview and a look at Ariel’s local rides…