The Radavist 2022 Calendar: March

Radar

The Radavist 2022 Calendar: March

“Grasslands” is the third layout of the Radavist 2022 Calendar. It was shot with a Sony A9 and the Tamron 28-200 lens outside of Elgin, Arizona.

“Our recent ride with Sarah Swallow in Elgin, Arizona served as a reminder that the roads in Southern Arizona are from a dream…”

For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right-click and save link as – The Radavist 2022 – March. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)

The mobile background this month is a vertical crop of this image. Click here to download March’s Mobile Wallpaper.

Snowbirding in Southern Arizona and Riding the Santa Rita East Adventure Route

Reportage

Snowbirding in Southern Arizona and Riding the Santa Rita East Adventure Route

Birds, whales, pronghorn, and butterflies, among other animals, all have migration patterns. They spend their summers in warmer climates, but once the mercury beings to drop, they head south in hopes of finding warmer temperatures. I don’t blame them one bit for avoiding the cold. As a Colorado resident, I tire rather quickly of snow and spending more than fifteen minutes getting dressed to go on a ride. Shoe covers, while invaluable in the winter, are loathsome to put on over cleats.

Ruta Del Jefe Returns March 4-6, 2022 and Has a New Website!

Radar

Ruta Del Jefe Returns March 4-6, 2022 and Has a New Website!

Our favorite gravel event, the Ruta Del Jefe, is returning in 2022 with registration opening up November 21-24th. This event takes place in Southern Arizona, in and out of Patagonia’s surrounding mountains and dirt roads. It’s an amazing weekend and hopefully you can make it to the 2022 event! That said, there’s a lot to digest about how you can enter, where the RDJ is being held, who is a part of the event, and what the event’s intent is, so for those unfamiliar with the Ruta del Jefe, read the full press-release from Sarah Swallow below and check out our event Reportage in the Related Archives. Holler in the comments with any questions and we hope to see you there!

The Leaders of Gravel: Dominique Powers’ Medium Format Portraits

Reportage

The Leaders of Gravel: Dominique Powers’ Medium Format Portraits

This series is a look at the women pushing gravel cycling to be better than it already is.  I photograph them to share their stories, their outlooks, their experiences. 

With my hatchback stuffed with cameras and stands, camping gear, more cycling kit than I could wear, and my bike on the back I created this project. I put 3000 miles on my car over a month traveling around the country, connecting with these women in parking lots and trailheads, trekking through woods and up mountains. When I pulled up at the start line of SBT GRVL for my first bike race it was with many of them toeing the line as well.

Through every conversation, I learned more about them and the world of gravel that I’m falling so deeply into.  I shot against a backdrop to single out, raise up, and celebrate these icons of the sport.  Our time shared in this space I created sacred because of its intention.

What is more special than to create a moment, and then capture it?

A Gentle Stoke: Touring the Lower Dolores Canyon

Reportage

A Gentle Stoke: Touring the Lower Dolores Canyon

On the last Friday of April, four strangers convened at the Bradfield Campground near Cahone, Colorado at dusk. Our two rigged up trucks and one camper van were parked neatly near the start of what would turn out to be a grand adventure: a weekend of sanctity, the fruition of an obsession, training in preparation for a big tour, and then checking off of a box to confirm that yes, all of the time, energy, and research spent assembling this could lead to something quite special.

A Review of the Wahoo Roam and a Reluctant Luddite

Reportage

A Review of the Wahoo Roam and a Reluctant Luddite

To start, my Review of the Wahoo Roam is definitely going to be a bit narrow in scope, I don’t often ride road bikes, have a bunch of random sensors all over my body and bike, or keep meticulous logs of all my riding, so about 50% of the cool shit this device can do goes untouched by me.  You’re probably asking, what the hell do you ride and why are you talking to me about this? Well, I like to do short mountain bike rides and longer touring routes, both of which are super rad to have a GPS device for.  I also dabble in route creation, Im no Sarah Swallow, but I’ve been dipping my toes in the water and having a Wahoo has made that a more fruitful experience.

The State of Gravel Racing and the WTF Bikexplorers Gravel Program

Reportage

The State of Gravel Racing and the WTF Bikexplorers Gravel Program

The idea for a WTF Bikexplorers Gravel Program sprouted in 2019 as I spun back into the gravel race scene. I saw the same deficit in diversity that bike-touring had (and still has) when five friends and I decided to organize the first WTF Bikexplorers Summit in 2018. Despite gravel racing as a rapidly growing sport within cycling, it is still very grassroots. It is not controlled by the UCI – yet – or any other sanctioning bodies and therefore it has the opportunity to mold and change to be the way we want it to be.

Madness and Mud: Ruta Del Jefe 2020

Reportage

Madness and Mud: Ruta Del Jefe 2020

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

The world offers itself to your imagination,

Calls to you like the wild geese jaguar, harsh and exciting 

Over and over announcing your place

In the family of things.

-(modified) Mary Oliver “Wild Geese”

The weather matched the event in challenging the assumptions of what a desert landscape or a gravel race should be for most of the riders of the Ruta Del Jefe this year  which was hosted at the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch in Elgin, AZ. The imagination of a desert as a dry and sunny landscape dotted with saguaros, prickly pears, and cholla was expanded for those who held that thinking. Home to the Madrean Sky Islands ecoregion that includes the Santa Ritas, Whetstone, and many other mountain ranges, this area is a treasure trove for those who eat gravel for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sky Islands refers to the unique interplay between the low lying desert grasslands and the dramatic wooded mountains that become islands in the sky for their residents. Natt Dodge introduced this concept as “mountain island in a desert sea” back in 1948 which was then cemented by Weldon Heald’s book Sky Island in 1967. In the lowlands, this area is home to  many unique varieties of grasses who abundantly glow their sunshine and straw colors to her visitors.

2019 WTF Bikexplorers Summit: Bike as Healer for All

Reportage

2019 WTF Bikexplorers Summit: Bike as Healer for All

The outdoors can mean many different things to people. For those into bikes, especially mountain biking, the woods are a place to send and shred. We trade leads and follows, lines and trails. We might not admit it, but for a lot of us riding is a form of therapy. Instead of therapists invoices we sink our cash into new bikes and wheels for the same mental result, and a lot more sweat. Those of us who enjoy unrestricted access to outdoors might be unaware that not everyone experiences that same ease of access. As a result, the benefits one gets from riding through through the woods or in the mountains with friends are not evenly felt by all.

The WTF Bikexplorers Summit – part skill share, part retreat – is a forum for WTF folks that aims to change that imbalance. This year, the second annual summit (the first one was in Montana) featured a pre-summit camp out and ride from the Chris King Farm outside of Portland, OR to the summit in Vernonia.

The Radavist’s 2019 Photographic Year in Review

Reportage

The Radavist’s 2019 Photographic Year in Review

Where do we even begin with this post? 2019 was a year that defies all previous efforts here at the Radavist. Never have the pages of this site been graced with more exceptional photography and words! While we’re known for our full-res galleries, we really made a push to include exceptional writing this year. While this isn’t a top ten list, we’ve highlighted some of the exceptional work below. Stories that really stood out from our normal, year-to-year Reportage. Or if you’re a nostalgist, simply flip through the mega-gallery. Keep in mind, this one will take a bit to load!

I speak for everyone here at the Radavist when I say I can’t wait for 2020! Your feedback last week really helped all of us hone our vision and where we should direct our pens and our lens glass.

The Radavist’s Top Ten Beautiful Bicycles of 2019

Reportage

The Radavist’s Top Ten Beautiful Bicycles of 2019

Wow! What a year it’s been. In the past twelve months, we’ve shot roughly 300 bikes. From gravel races, to NAHBS, the Philly Bike Expo and our normal travels, we really captured some unique builds and we’ve got a good handle on the bikes the readers of the Radavist enjoy checking out based on some key metrics.

Every year we try to do our best to sort through twelve months of archives to narrow down to this list. The first filter is the comment count, which we start at 50 comments. Then comes page views, with the minimum number being 20,000 views. Finally, we look at the social media chatter; including Instagram comments and how many times was the post shared across various platforms.

What we end up with is a list that is filled with a plethora of interesting, versatile, and quirky bikes. The only editorial decision I myself made was to omit reviews of stock bikes. So no Santa Cruz Stigmata or Cannondale Topstone this round!

Check out the full Top Ten Beautiful Bicycles of 2019 below, in no particular order…

Reflections on the Border: Bikepacking the Wild West Route Part 02

Reportage

Reflections on the Border: Bikepacking the Wild West Route Part 02

The grass grows steadily, towering over us until we can no longer see the San Pedro Trail. My partner and I hadn’t seen anyone else that day and it was peacefully quiet. We can only hear the bees buzzing, ignoring our presence among the thicket of yellow flowers growing wildly across the trail. It was still early in the afternoon and we already had an eventful morning – dodging thorny bushes cutting both our arms and legs, navigating muddy streams covered with overgrown grass, surprising a few jackrabbits from their homes, and getting startled by two rattlesnakes lying across the gravel path.

Team Brooks: a Grassroots Gravel Performance Art Installation Does Kanzaz

Reportage

Team Brooks: a Grassroots Gravel Performance Art Installation Does Kanzaz

Words by Coach Ronaldo Romance Jr. and photos by Team Brooks

(Gallery Photos are 95% disposable film cams that I handed out to the team.  Felt like it captured the inner “race” pretty authentically; and the medium was pretty fun in a “trip to the water park” “safe grad night” sorta way)

Booming Billowing Blooping Blurping Gravel.  

Even with DK getting as much coverage as the TDF, I trust the pace of the news these days has left your mind blank of such cognizance once again.  That’s good, as my memory of competing in the event 2 years ago has also been selectively erased, perhaps that’s why I reluctantly agreed to participate in this particular edition.

Unapologetic. Relentless. Persistent: A Machines for Freedom Expedition in Utah

Reportage

Unapologetic. Relentless. Persistent: A Machines for Freedom Expedition in Utah

Unapologetic. Relentless. Persistent. A Machines for Freedom Expedition in Utah
Words by Aimee Gilchrist, photos by John Watson

The Utah desert, or desert in general, does not often offer comfortable accommodations to outsiders. High winds, isolated vegetation, sun-soaked and shadeless valleys, rapid nocturnal cooling and infrequent precipitation. The desert can feel like a bitter and unforgiving stranger. Lucky for us, Utah was well-behaved. Late March riding and a window between April showers painted the varying landscape with fragrant sage and spring blooms. Barren mesas were glowing with red and gold dust. And instead of the reliable, wind-blown silence often found on these remote roads, our Machines for Freedom team shared conversation and laughter that could be heard echoing in the canyons for miles.

A few months earlier, Jenn Kriske from Machines for Freedom gathered a group of ladies to ride an aggressive route mapped by John Watson. Our MFF riding team consisted of seven badass, hilarious, strong athletes from Santa Barbara and LA to Portland by way of Bozeman and Durango: Jessica Baum (Santa Barbara), Gritchelle Fallesgon (Portland), Mason Griffin (Bozeman), Stephanie Ortega (LA), Ginger Boyd (LA), Sarah Swallow (Durango) and I (LA). Heavy winter snow and rain this Spring impeded the original route and last minute adjustments were made exchanging knee-deep mud for pavement. Our goal was to ride 350 miles from Tropic, Utah to Green River, Utah in 4 days. We were well suited for this undertaking.

Racing Along the Ruta del Jefe in the San Rafael Valley

Reportage

Racing Along the Ruta del Jefe in the San Rafael Valley

Over the past few years, there’s been an awakening of sorts within my scope of reporting and documenting cycling: when I travel to cover an event, or set out to ride in even a familiar landscape, I like to know the geopolitical, geographical, and geological history of the land in which I’ll be pedaling across, over and through. As much as this awareness contributes to a better understanding of the land we all recreate on, it’s also a way to pay respects to the prior inhabitants of these fragile landscapes.

This interest in the background and history of a place was a large motivation for me to take part in the Ruta del Jefe: a race through the San Rafael Valley, and Santa Rita Mountains, coordinated by Sarah Swallow. Last weekend, the race went down, and up for that matter, all around the San Rafael Valley, but the weekend had much more on the agenda than just riding bikes: it was a lesson for us all in how to sustainably use the land and how we could offer up our recreation as a resource.

Australian Kook Inc. Adventures: GRONK 690 – Jorja Creighton

Reportage

Australian Kook Inc. Adventures: GRONK 690 – Jorja Creighton

Australian Kook Inc. Adventures: GRONK 690
Words and photos by Jorja Creighton

gronk – Urban Dictionary

Australian Slang, (noun) A person that is totally lacking in fashion sense, motor skills and/or social skills. Usually a total moron, an extremely unpleasant person or an unwanted guest. 

Sometimes: A likable idiot or Bogan (especially in Queensland)

1. No wonder he can’t get a girlfriend, he is such a gronk

2. Why would you “steal my car for the weekend,” you gronk!

The Jagungal Wilderness is my favorite place to take guests in Australia. Come to Australia for sun and sand? Too bad…I will give you a historically inaccurate tour of the Australian Snowy Mountains in late springtime. Where it may or may not snow, hail or cook you.