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Don’t (Bicycle) Tread on Me!

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Don’t (Bicycle) Tread on Me!

Buzzworms, as Ed Abbey called them, get a bad rap, yet these beautiful to some, horrific to others, cold-blooded creatures are essential blocks in the biologic pyramids, especially in the desert. With warmer weather upon us, don’t be surprised to see any number of exothermic animals basking in sunlight, sometimes right in the middle of the trail. Many times, however, these snakes will be coiled up in the shade right next to the trail. In either case, give these ancient animals space and allow them to move off the trail. Don’t molest them, and don’t tread on them. They’re crucial elements in the ecosystem and don’t view you as food. In fact, they just want to be left alone. Snakes won’t chase you, they won’t bite you, unless they feel threatened. If you’re curious, maintain a safe distance and watch them from 10′ away. Snakes like this can strike up to half the length of their bodies. Don’t underestimate the speed of their strike!

While in Sedona, we came across this stunning Blacktail Rattlesnake – Crotalus molossus – while riding Hiline. It was one of my favorite moments on the trip. Expect more Reportage from Sedona later this week!

American Airlines Lifts Bicycle Cargo Fees

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American Airlines Lifts Bicycle Cargo Fees

Good news to cyclists who use American Airlines to travel around the world. The airlines have lifted their fee for traveling with a bicycle. As long as your bike falls within their restrictions: Standard checked bag fees of your destination apply up to 50 lbs / 23 kgs and 126 in / 320 cm (length + width + height) or $150 fee applies from 51 lbs / 23 kgs to 70 lbs / 32 kgs. So as long as your bike box is under 50lbs and under 126 linear inches, you’re good to go. Your bike does however fall within normal baggage fees. For more exceptions, see this page at American Airlines.

What Tent Should Ryan Wilson Use?

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What Tent Should Ryan Wilson Use?

Howdy, you wonderful people. After pushing the limits of his ultralight bikepacking tent, Ryan and I think it’s time to move on to a more rebust platform. Right now, we’re looking at the Hyperlite or the Zpacks tents but wanted to reach out to you, the readers, to see what experiences you have had with tents? High winds, rain, and constant use are the deciding factors we’re concerned with. What thoughts do you have?

It Was Time for a Switch to Shimano Pedals

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It Was Time for a Switch to Shimano Pedals

Throughout the course of my fascination with cycling, I have used Time Atac pedals. My first clipless experience was riding mountain bikes in central and western North Carolina, from the Piedmont to the Pisgah, I learned to navigate an early 2000’s hardtail over the slick rocks and roots of those wooded trails. As a cyclist, I’ve come a long way since those early days of riding Time pedals, my body has changed, and I’m getting older.

Like worn out bearings in a full suspension bike, having worn out knees and other joints can really ruin a ride. I was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter when I was 15 after an abrupt growth spurt. The resulting scarred tissue and calcification rendered large bumps right below my knee caps. Throughout my 20’s and into my early 30’s, I had very few cases of inflammation, yet into my late 30’s, it doesn’t take much to cause swelling and pain in my knee from riding. This inflammation is caused by everything from overexertion on road rides, to pushing through washboarded or sandy roads on bike tours, or even just going too hard on one of my everyday routes here in Los Angeles.

It took this last incident to really re-think my riding experience and evaluate what small changes I could make to my pedal stroke, foot placement, and even mental state, yet the biggest change is the one I wasn’t expecting; a shift from my favorite Time pedals to Shimano.

The Swift Adventure Co

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The Swift Adventure Co

If you live in the Pacific North West and are looking to get into bicycle camping but need some gear and insight, the newly launched Swift Adventure Co is there for you. Swift Adventure Co is a sister company to Swift Industries. They offer insight to Field Adventures, Urban Workshops, and Outfitters, making renting bikes and buying gear easy. Head over to the newly launched Swift Adventure Co for more information! Congrats to the Swift team for this!

Do You Want Road or MTB Jerseys? Or Both?

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Do You Want Road or MTB Jerseys? Or Both?

We’re about to place an order for some new jersey designs and wanted to poll you, the readers about which sort of jersey you’d like to see? In short, road or mountain? This spring/summer order will feature more solid tones and fewer patterns, so they’ll be more like our jerseys from years prior. Please cast a vote below so we have a handle on quantities to order. Thanks!

Trophy of Nations, You’ve Got my Mind Racing – Kyle von Hoetzendorff

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Trophy of Nations, You’ve Got my Mind Racing – Kyle von Hoetzendorff

Trophy of Nations, You’ve Got my Mind Racing
Words by Kyle von Hoetzendorff, photos by Sven Martin

The EWS (Enduro World Series) and the UCI recently announced The Trophy of Nations.  A multi-day enduro race with a team racing component. Since 2013 the EWS has been run independently from the UCI and for good reason. It allowed the EWS to develop and hone the series from track selection to race format and rules without the bureaucratic lethargy and bungling that is typically associated with the UCI.  Chris Ball and the rest of the EWS staff deserve high praise for taking the mandate to independently foster the growth of this series.

We’re at the Sea Otter Classic!

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We’re at the Sea Otter Classic!

We’re here in Monterey, California for the Sea Otter Classic, camping and breathing in some of that fresh coastal California air. If you’re here, make sure you say hey and we’ll see you out at the Laguna Seca Raceway!

Support Trails and Win a Caletti!

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Support Trails and Win a Caletti!

Want to support trail building, the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz and win a Caletti? Check out how below!

One lucky supporter will get a custom steel Caletti Cycles frame in the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz’s (MBOSC) “Support Trails & Win a Caletti” campaign. MBOSC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit trail stewardship and advocacy organization that works to improve trail access in Santa Cruz. Donors receive one entry for every $10 donated to MBOSC between now and May 4 when a winner will be selected. The winner then gets to work with John Caletti, framebuilder and owner of Caletti Cycles, on a custom steel frame. The winner can choose any frame model that Caletti Cycles offers. Donations can be made at www.mbosc.org/win-a-caletti.

Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz: the Mountain Biking Impact Review

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Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz: the Mountain Biking Impact Review

As cyclists, do we impact the environment? Should this cause pause while we’re riding damp or blown out trails?

“Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) is proud to introduce the Mountain Biking Impact Review, which is the product of a year of comprehensive research by MBOSC’s Science Committee.

This Mountain Biking Impact Review poses questions that we believe are the most frequently asked concerning the social and environmental impacts of mountain biking and trail construction. The answers to these questions were created based on a comprehensive literature search on the relationships of trails and recreational trail users (specifically mountain bikes, but also other user groups) and natural resources within the following topics: Hydrology & Geology, Plants & Wildlife, and Social Issues. The questions provide constructive discussion topics as we work together to advocate for improved trail access.”

Head to MBOSC for the full report.

Thank You, Machines for Freedom

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Thank You, Machines for Freedom

We wrapped up our four-day ride with Machines for Freedom and it has been an incredible journey. We’re traveling back to Los Angeles today from Green River and over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing this story. Right now, I wanted to thank Machines for Freedom and the riders for this opportunity. Head over to our Instagram for more teasers…

You’ve Heard of What Bars? Now There’s What Tires?

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You’ve Heard of What Bars? Now There’s What Tires?

Have you ever found yourself cruising Instagram late at night wondering, lusting after someone’s bike build, and wondering… “what tires?” Well, you’re not alone. We all do it.

And lucky for us, the folks behind WhatBars.com have now put together What Tires? The Bicycle Tire Database. Since launching WhatBars.com, they’ve had a lot of requests for a similar resource for tires, and couldn’t help but give the people what they wanted.

Sim Works and Crust Bikes jumped on board to help support the project, and here we are. The database is still being built out, but you’ll find tires from Sim Works, Rene Herse, and WTB up on the site. Head over to What Tires to compare and keep the rubber side up!

We’re in Utah with Machines for Freedom

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We’re in Utah with Machines for Freedom

This weekend, we’re going to be taking on a ride I’ve wanted to document for some time with a badass group of ladies for Machines for Freedom. We’ll be updating our Instagram accounts along the way and as always, a big gallery will follow shortly. In the interim, give Machines for Freedom a follow on Instagram and if you don’t follow the Radavist on Instagram.