Shoulder Season Riding with the Light and Motion VIS 360 PRO

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Shoulder Season Riding with the Light and Motion VIS 360 PRO

Whether you like it or not, shorter days are on the horizon and that means your after-work rides will be most likely happening in the dark. We’ve already been putting in miles once the sun dips behind the Jemez mountains here in Santa Fe and I’ve finally figured out what my winter riding kit will be. After Light and Motion worked on the video profile of the Radavist last year, I got a bag of lights to try out. My favorite in the bunch is the lightweight VIS 360 PRO. When mounted on a helmet like so, it’s a great supplemental spotlight to help guide your way on even the darkest trails. Check out a quick review of this system below.

Adopt a Part of the Oregon Timber Trail

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Adopt a Part of the Oregon Timber Trail

Since 2017 the Oregon Timber Trail‘s ambitious stewardship initiative has been valued at over $80,000 annually and as a result, hundreds of miles of fallow trails have been reopened for access to all. Due to Covid-19, all of their stewardship events have been canceled, leaving hundreds of logs down, blocking the trail. If you’ve ever been riding and have come across downed trees, you know how much of a bummer that can be and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Like a lot of trail organizations, most of the OTT’s humble budget is funded with government grants and many of these grants require a match in the form of volunteer labor. Which means their grant funding is in jeopardy as well.

Furthermore, it’s been a bad year for wildfires. The trail has been torched by at least six(!) separate fires in 2020, which will undoubtedly require extensive rehabilitation work in addition to the 3,000+ hours we’ve already committed to the Watson Fire Rehab project in 2021.

Not only do they have an $80,000 budget shortfall, but they also have a backlog of maintenance compounded by multiple actively-burning wildfires. The Oregon Timber Trail needs your help. The trail needs your help. If you’ve had the pleasure of riding any section of this trail, please consider donating something, anything, if you can and have the means. Consider it a usage fee ;-)

Donate now and ADOPT A TRAIL ➜

Onza’s Porcupine RC is a Tough Casing Tire Designed for High Speed Cornering

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Onza’s Porcupine RC is a Tough Casing Tire Designed for High Speed Cornering

It’s that time of year. When we’re either waiting for rain or the trails are so blown out and dusty that you can’t see your riding buddy due to the dust. The Porcupine RC is Onza’s toughest gumwall tire ever, with deep knobs, widely spaced to shed soil, and with double-supported side knobs to reduce folding while cornering. The Porcupine RC might not be the fastest rolling tire ever but it sure looks to be mighty robust. Head to Onza to see more and your local dealer for ordering.

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Trash Rat

Ratboy is sick of trash on his trails and there’s only one thing to do about it…

An Interview with Tyler of BTCHN’ Bikes About His New Raw Mullet Gravel Prototype

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An Interview with Tyler of BTCHN’ Bikes About His New Raw Mullet Gravel Prototype

 Most of you know I’m attracted to weirdos and eccentric people, so of course I love stopping by the BTCHN Bikes shop here in Chico to see what Tyler is welding on. He’s spent most of his life racing all types of motorcycles at insane speeds, and has been adapting the hyper-analytical engineering he’s learned in the motorized world into pedal-powered machines he pushes to equally scary speeds. He’s also one of the most enthusiastic people I’ve ever met, so imagine that he’s yelling and gesturing wildly with his hands as you read this interview about his latest prototype.

Merlin Announces the Limited Edition Titanium Newsboy MTB Frame

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Merlin Announces the Limited Edition Titanium Newsboy MTB Frame

These bikes have always strummed a heart chord with us. Merlin has brought a version of the Newsboy to various bike expos over the years. The one pictured here is from the 2018 Philly Bike Expo.

Due to popular demand, Merlin will be offering eight limited-edition Newsboys in November 2020. Each and every Newsboy will be custom made specifically for the customer. These bikes are inspired by the 1950’s cruisers that later inspired the first American mountain bikes.

A frame and fork will run ya $4,800 and there are build kits available from Merlin direct! Head over to Merlin to contact them if you’re interested. You can also order a custom Merlin Newsboy titanium fork!

Wheel Size: 26”, 27.5″, 29″,
Fork Optional: Custom Merlin Titanium Newsboy
Bottom Bracket: BSA 68/73 English, PF 30, T47
Rear Hub Spacing: 142 x 12m drops – 44m
Cable Routing: External or Internal
Front Derailleur: 31.8 mm or 34.9mm Clamp-On
Derailleur Pull: Bottom, Top, or Forward Pull.
Brake Type: Disc
Seatpost Diameter: 27.2 mm ( 31.6m Optional )
Seat Collar: Thomson
Recommended Use: Road, Gravel, Mountain
Manufacturer Warranty: Lifetime

“The Riddle Was the Mountains” – F. Kafka

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“The Riddle Was the Mountains” – F. Kafka

Photo by Ryan Vannoy

We’re riding along with the bikes in the bed of a truck eating the fat end of a wedge of dust as it explodes from the back of the vehicle ahead. This is before the Blade Runner light, before that blood rich red captured the sun, and after, no during, the airborne everywhere terror. The most recent one, the one that I’m worried there are not enough of us who believe in it.

Search and State: Midweight Flannel

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Search and State: Midweight Flannel

Search and State is known for high-quality, well-designed, domestically-manufactured apparel for on and off the bike. Their shorts are some of my personal favorites as are their jerseys. Their latest product is just in time for autumn. The Midweight Flannel is made from Japanese-milled, yarn-dyed cotton, that’s not too heavy and not too light. This gives it durability and wearability on and off the bike.

Durability: Super High.
Fabric: 100% Yarn-Dyed Japanese Cotton.
Weight: These are midweight flannels. Not too light. Not too heavy. Just right.
Care: As easy as it gets.
Fit: True to Size / Athletic.
Temperature Range: Pretty much all year.

In stock now at Search and State.

The Sim Works John Bottle Cage

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The Sim Works John Bottle Cage

The newest product from Nagoya-based Sim Works is the “John Cage”, a bottle cage unlike anything we’ve seen before, designed from scratch, designed and made in Japan, and a truly elegant design. The John cage’s inspiration is best summed up by the team at Sim Works:

“When a young musician found hunger on his path, he looked to the ground beneath him to carry him onward. Thus began a life-long quest for fungi and the mirror it shines on the rest of our worlds. That fascination spawned- and cast its spores through the vibrations we hear and the paths we follow.”

Material: Stainless Steel
Weight: 74g
Finish: Black, shot blast
Double mount system – high and low offset

In stock now at Sim Works.

Frozen in Time: Riding Tajikistan’s Bartang Valley

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Frozen in Time: Riding Tajikistan’s Bartang Valley

2019. It feels like an entirely different timeline at this point. For months as the Coronavirus has shifted the focus of our lives, I sat on these articles covering the rest of my time in Asia, wondering if they felt relevant at a time like this. Or when the next time would be that I’d see a photo that reminds me of when kind-hearted villagers would invite a random weirdo like me into their homes with open arms and not find it as bitter as it is sweet.

Howlin’ on the Mt Ashwabay Trail Network

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Howlin’ on the Mt Ashwabay Trail Network

First off, let’s acknowledge the Chippewa land this article takes place on.  The Chequamegon Bay that is visible from the middle of the ride, “encompasses the spiritual center of Anishinaabe nations.” You can learn more about the local Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa here.

Just a few miles outside of Bayfield, Wisconsin hides a compact but wonderful system of trails that weave their way around Mt Ashwabay. These trails were masterfully crafted by CAMBA (Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association). After sampling their handiwork in the Cable/Hayward area as well, I feel like I can say that I found the Mt Ashwabay system to be some of the most fun trails I have ever ridden in the Midwest and some of CAMBA’s best work. 

Readers’ Rides: RJ Rabe’s Sequoia Basket Bike Build

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Readers’ Rides: RJ Rabe’s Sequoia Basket Bike Build

For this week’s Readers’ Rides, our friend RJ Rabe shares his vintage Sequoia townie build in a high res gallery…

I don’t know much about this particular Sequoia before it came into my life. Beyond that, it lived in the rafters of my friend Austin Horse’s New York apartment before I brought it back to California some years ago. You can see the sticker from the shop that originally sold it on the seat tube, with the protective film somewhat intact.

LOOK and Vibram: Urban and Trail Flat Pedals

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LOOK and Vibram: Urban and Trail Flat Pedals

We knew LOOK was expanding their lineup to include flat pedals when the Geo Trekking was announced and today, the brand dropped their modular collaboration with Vibram. These pedals are marketed to the commuter market and the dirt market. While the commuter pedals lack any sort of retention studs, they rely on super-grippy Vibram technology. The dirt pedals, however, rely on a series of studs to keep your feet planted while riding trail. These pedals don’t cost an arm and a leg either. At just $70, you get the pedal platform and Vibram pad. You can purchase additional pads as well for $45 and yes, they come in a variety of colors. Head to LOOK to see everything and your local dealer for an in-person experience.

All-City Updates Space Horse and Gorilla Monsoon with GRX Builds

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All-City Updates Space Horse and Gorilla Monsoon with GRX Builds

For this year’s model launches, All-City took their two most popular off-road bikes and laced them with Shimano GRX, a few hardware updates like thru-axles, and new paint jobs. The Space Horse GRX ($2,099) comes with Teravail Rampart gumwall tires, a new metallic pink paint job with burgundy chevrons, while the Gorilla Monsoon GRX ($2499) has a champagne gold to cream ombré fade, with big meaty WTB Riddler, 27.5 x 2.4″ tires. Both of these bikes are looking their best ever and if GRX is too rich for your blood, they also come specced with Apex (GM) or Tiagra (SH).

Head to All-City to read more!

Dzil ta’ah Adventures Navajo Youth Bike-Packrafting Adventure Series: Nazlini, AZ

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Dzil ta’ah Adventures Navajo Youth Bike-Packrafting Adventure Series: Nazlini, AZ

This is the first installment of what we hope to be a series chronicling our efforts to develop sustainable tourism on the Navajo nation through the establishment of meaningful bikepacking routes and accessible singletrack. In addition, we hope to build a bikepacking community starting with the youth and eventually extending to interested community members.  Our first foray in this ongoing project will be a Fall bikepacking series with local Navajo youth NICA riders. This series consists of three trips; the first two being on Navajoland and the last with Four Corners Guides, out of Mancos, CO, to include packrafts.

The first in this series begins in Kayenta on Sept 26th and ends Oct 31st in Lake Powell, Utah.  The planning started back in July and continues every chance I can meet up with the participants.

Here is the first of a journal I hope to keep, documenting this event.

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Colorado Trail Documentary

Dave Baumann made this video to celebrate the Colorado Trail, an equally beautiful as tough 540 mile trail from Denver to Durango across the Rocky Mountains…