In years past, we’ve often found ourselves meandering through the deserts of the Western United States. The Colorado, Mojave, Sonoran, and Great Basin all have provided ample inspiration to my tired body and mind. While many of these ecoregions feel familiar, by far the Chihuahuan is the most mysterious to me. It’s the one region we haven’t spent much time in and with our relocation to Santa Fe, I was looking forward to spending days meandering through the various public lands in southern New Mexico.
I’d like to think the actions of our company have proven that we are trying to make cycling a better, more inclusive place. That’s not saying we don’t have a lot more work to do, that we are anywhere near the horizon. We cannot stop pushing towards this goal of ridding the outdoors/cycling of white supremacy and making this community more inclusive. The actions by those white supremacists/terrorists who stormed the Capitol this week is simply evidence of the challenges we face as a nation. We will continue to do our best. Thank you.
What a year it’s been. As you might imagine, we need some time off to rest, recover, and spend time with our families. We’re going to take the rest of the week off but will be back on Monday with our year-in-review posts, some of our favorite moments, and the top Beautiful Bicycles of the year.
The first week of the new year, we’re going to have a very special restock of our made in the USA Radavist hats as well as some other goodies.
Enjoy the Holidaze and let’s look forward to a brighter future.
It’s no secret that for the past few years, we spend a lot of time on the road traveling to bike events. We often spend 7 months on the road, visiting gravel races, MTB events, framebuilder showcases, or just checking out the cycling communities and rides in various towns all over the Western United States. 2020 put a damper on that with Covid-19 but this year I’ve been building out a desert tourer and road trip vehicle of a different sort, an HJ75 Troopcarrier from Australia. This “long van” is one of the most capable and compact RVs in the world and unfortunately, we never got this specific model of Toyota here in the States.
When BF Goodrich caught wind of a recent interview with me where I discussed desert touring… by bicycle. They had to know more. How in the world do you ride in the desert on a bike? So I sat down with them for an interview about the Radavist and what it means to “Shred Lightly.”
Guide books like this are where I get a lot of inspiration for bike rides and tours.
The piece might be common knowledge for a lot of y’all but it’s always nice to push a positive message for outdoor recreation on a large platform like that. Head over to BF Goodrich Garage to check it out.
Today’s Reportage shines a light on a movement that has been a ray of light in this tumultuous year. The LA Bike Academy is getting the youth of the greater Los Angeles area stoked on bikes, using our favorite two-wheeled transport as a vessel for learning real-life skills. We’re pleased beyond words to share the work of Alonso Tal (photos) and Michael Cedeño (video) today with you and to use this post to announce LABA’s partnership with Easton Cycling for 2021…
If you’ve been to the Crust Bikes website over the past few days, you probably noticed a message that reads:
“Thanks for the six years of support, it has been a ride. Closed until further notice.”
Now, this set the internet into a frenzy. How could the bike company that has been seemingly killing it for those past six years suddenly fold? Well, they didn’t fold. I was waiting on a returned text message from Matt all weekend before I posted anything and my suspicions turned out to be true.
This website helped launch Crust Bikes. I met Matt in Austin back in 2015 and shot his personal prototype 26+ Evasion. At that time, I was really blown away at how thoughtful everything about the OG Evasion was. I knew Matt was onto something. The brand launched right when the adventure/gravel/touring stuff took off. As expected, Crust Bikes did blow up! Everyone at Crust has been moving so fast that they haven’t had time to figure out what sustainable growth looked like.
Then Covid hit and international supply chains were halted. Fast forward to today, Crust’s stock of frames is low, and thus, Matt’s emails have gone through the roof. While they’re waiting on new frames to be delivered in 2021, Matt and Cheech, and the entire team are using this downtime to restructure their business, rebuild their website, and figure out how to grow and operate more sustainably.
It sucks to suddenly see their site with that message but please just know, they’re not going anywhere. They all just need some time off and some space. Please respect this moment in time and don’t reach out to them. Let them work and recover in peace. If you want to pour out some emotion in the comments here and just let them know how much Crust Bikes means to you, you’re totally free to do that, just don’t send Matt another email. ;-)
What a year it’s been. To be honest, as the editor/owner/curator of this website, I was very nervous about how we would survive the pandemic and subsequent lockdown. So much of my work that goes into this site is about traveling to other communities, documenting shops, group rides, races, and yeah, people’s bikes. All that was put on hold and we had to resort to more bike galleries and reviews than I’m used to.
My passion comes from the aforementioned activities and while I love bikes, I love what they create and enable even more. All year, I’ve been personally battling a pendulum of moods but one thing that has been the great equalizer is a jaunt into our mountains, the Sangre de Cristo Range, the southernmost tip of the Rocky Mountains. Living on the last stop on the Colorado Plateau has its perks I suppose and a simple hour or two-long pedal in the foothills often gives me perspective that is much-needed in this year of uncertainty. It’s something I have to remind myself daily. Yesterday was a perfect example.
I met Mitchell many years ago while riding opposite directions on the Tour Divide and since then we’ve kept in loose internet contact. Mitchell and Matt are launching a new shop in Knoxville with an amazing goal and I wanted to share it with everyone:
Howdy, we’re Mitchell and Matt, two regular people who ride bikes. We also happen to be starting a non-profit bike shop in the Historic Old City district of Knoxville, TN. We’re calling it Two Bikes and our mission is to give away a bicycle for every one we sell.
To make this happen we rely on donated bikes – and bike parts – which we refurbish and sell for reasonable prices. The shop will also serve as a hub for the fast-growing and diverse Knoxville cycling community by offering public repair stations, mechanics classes, a taproom showcasing local beer, a resource library and – when things return to normal – an event space.
We believe in the transformative power of bikes, not just as a means of exercise or a social object, but also as a tool for personal mobility, freedom and autonomy. From the latest carbon space bike to the modest be-fendered and basketed commuter, we hope you’ll agree that with each bicycle the world becomes a more wondrous and positive place. As such, Two Bikes is committed to lowering the barrier for entry to this brighter world by providing access to affordable bikes and to creating a more inclusive and egalitarian culture through honest, unintimidating service.
We’re documenting the process of starting the nonprofit online too. If you’d like to follow along, the best spot is probably Instagram.
I feel like we’ll take all the laughs we can get these days, so let’s have a collective chuckle at this ‘Tandem’ that’s in the Dunkin’ Donuts webshop for $500. I’m really curious to see what is going on with the rear wheel and drivetrain too!
We have all been on rides that, at some point, require us to dig deep. But we still find a way to get that last bit of energy out of our bodies. We fight, we endure. And on the other side of these rides, we emerge stronger. We need to make the same commitment to anti-racism that we do to become stronger on the bike.
We’re not gloating but we do want to make a post congratulating the democratic process. Good on ya, America! That said, we have a lot of work to do to re-unite this country.
More than a year later, I’m still captivated by the memory, the scene, the moment.
It was a hot autumn day, one of the last of the year before the seasonal chill poured from the Bay of Biscay into the Spanish Basque Country. A young man stepped into the middle of the road. He wore a flapping outfit of white with a red handkerchief and belt. It was the kind of attire that flails down the narrow streets of Basque cities during the annual running of the bulls in Northern Spain.
We romanticize the outdoors here at the Radavist and this election, many of our favorite places in the Western United States are under the scalpel for oil and mineral extraction. That’s just the tip of the iceberg too. Civil rights, liberties, Covid-19, and the list goes on and on. A lot is on the table this election. Most importantly, the vessel for change lies within local elections too! Your local voting is just as essential as the presidential vote.
Please, VOTE! Head to Vote.org to find your local polling place. A lot is on the line and even if it doesn’t affect you directly, it does for many others.
This week is going to be a stressful one and rather than stew indoors, listening to the news, last night I hollered at Bailey to see if he wanted to commemorate International Singlespeed Day on our neighborhood trails…
Intro by California Travis:
Every Monday at 11 am, the entire PAUL Component shop staff has an “All-Hands” meeting to catch up on any changes or shop news or projects. For the last few months, this has been in the backyard with masks and everybody yelling across the yard to each other. It’s weird but no weirder than our usual shop vibes. Last Monday, Paul announced that November 2nd is International Singlespeed Day. We all looked at him like “Huh? Says who?” Then he said it was him and his friend Amanda’s birthday that day, and it was Amanda’s idea, and why the hell not?
Having never created an International Holiday before, I wasn’t quite sure what to do, so I got on the phone with a bunch of framebuilders and friends and said “Hey. It’s Paul’s birthday on November 2nd, and he wants everybody to ride singlespeeds. You down?” And of course, everybody said yes, I mean what the hell else are you going to do right now? So how do you join us? It’s pretty simple really, go for a ride on your singlespeed, wherever you live, post a photo on Instagram and hashtag it #InternationalSinglespeedDay, and wish Paul and Amanda a happy birthday if you want. Don’t have a singlespeed bike? Zip tie your shifters, or take the battery off your derailleur, maybe? Get creative, there are no rules!
Post your singlespeed bikes up in the comments too.
We asked Paul what the big deal is and this is what he wrote… Read on below!
The Western Wildlands Route as seen from the Paria Plateau in northern Arizona, traditional homelands of the Ute, Southern Paiute, Pueblo, Hopi, and Diné Tribes.
At Bikepacking Roots, our mission includes “advocating for the landscapes through which we ride.” Indigenous peoples are an integral part of the future, present, and past landscapes in U.S. America. Thus, as advocates for a healthy, vibrant, and whole Western landscape, we are responsible for communicating and educating ourselves, our members, and the riders of the routes we design in a way that progresses Indigenous liberation from colonial trauma. With that intent, we’re announcing the renaming of the 2,700-mile-long Wild West Route to the Western Wildlands Route.
Yep. You read that right! The team at Kona is looking to expand their brand ambassadors for 2021 and all ya gotta do is:
“To apply, please send an email to email@example.com and answer the following questions:
-Where do you live and what kind of bikes do you ride?
-What makes you unique in the biking world?
-What is it about Kona that you love and want to share with others?
-What kind of content are you able to create on your own? Any samples we can see?
-As a member of the Kona Ambassadors, what kind of support would you like from Kona?
-Who is a cyclist you admire most, and why?
-What is your dream Kona bike setup?
We’d also like you to scroll through some of the ambassador projects we’ve featured and let us know which project(s) resonate most with you and why.
Really, we’re looking for what makes YOU unique and what you’ve done to create a cool little niche in your biking world. So tell us anything you think we need to know about you and what makes you awesome.”
See more at Kona!
When I first heard about the Colorado Trail Race I was in fact riding part of the route, albeit one of the least engaging stretches. It was just ten days after I’d raced my bike for 200mi in Kansas and I’d been overly optimistic about my recovery when I’d agreed to a four-day tour from my home in Boulder through the South Platte (and on through Summit County) with my partner Tony.