Recent Roll

category

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.

Fast Friends: Big Thoughts Through Big Sur

Reportage

Fast Friends: Big Thoughts Through Big Sur

Words by Tenzin Namdol, photos by Ronnie Romance

I was looking at everyone’s legs. The group of 13 included professional and semi professional racers, life-long athletes focused specifically on their relationship to the bicycle. There aren’t six packs; there’s, like, eight to ten pacs. Some even have muscular faces! How is that even possible to accomplish? Seeing my own soft animal body as lesser than their impressive builds. The grass kept getting greener and greener on the other side of my eyeballs and I felt myself getting smaller and smaller. Where in my body is this discomfort living? I had three days and the grand views around beautiful Big Sur to find the site of where this discomfort lived in my body. Aside from physical discomfort from physical exertion, I came up empty. Instead, I found an interstice where feelings of awe grew and that became my saving grace.

Cactus Fruit and Community at FASS Bike

Reportage

Cactus Fruit and Community at FASS Bike

Cactus Fruit and Community at FASS Bike – Locke Hassett
Words and photos by Locke Hassett

A few weeks back, I found myself an hour from the Mexican border with no real plan. This impromptu trip was a response to bad weather in Moab and a spooky snowpack in the La Sals putting a damper on a spring break sufferfest that had cooked up. I found my passport in my truck, and we decided the night before leaving to head to Baja instead. This would in no way be the same trip, and I’m ok with that. Still, I couldn’t go on a week-long road trip and leave the bikes at home. Luckily, my co-pilot understood my addiction and played along. Before the border crossing, I sent some friends a message asking for tips of cool places to ride in Baja. Lael came through with the recommendation of checking out FASS Bike in Vicente Guerrero and the trails near there. Lael knows what’s up, so I heeded their advice.

Single Speed Arizona: Black Canyon Trail Edition – Josh Weinberg and Corbin Brady

Reportage

Single Speed Arizona: Black Canyon Trail Edition – Josh Weinberg and Corbin Brady

Single Speed Arizona: Black Canyon Trail Edition
Words by Bryan Harding, photos by Josh Weinberg and Corbin Brady

“It’s the annual family reunion!” a friend exclaimed at Single Speed Arizona (SSAZ) a few years ago and, to me, it’s a sentiment that still holds true. This is in no way meant to indicate the annual ride/race is clique-ish. To the contrary, riders and volunteers descend on Arizona every February from all over the states, including Alaska and occasionally the UK. It doesn’t matter if you’re Lycra-clad, in baggies and pads, or prefer to remain in costume for the day, all riders are equal while pushing single speeds up a steep pitch in search of a cold one. The allure is simple: the weather sucks everywhere else in February, so venture down to Arizona where you can actually spend time outside and have a blast on your bike.

Holy Gaiole!!! – Kyle Kelley

Reportage

Holy Gaiole!!! – Kyle Kelley

Holy Gaiole!!!
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley

l’Eroica Gaiole has always been a dream of mine. Since the early days of Tracko I would fantasize about traveling to Italy with only two things: a vintage Cinelli and a 35mm film camera. I hadn’t yet been outside of the United States and was young, dumb, and thought I could get anything done. Looking back, I probably would have forgotten to bring film. I was most definitely a bit naive back then.

The Devil in a Dress; L’Eroica Celebrates Alfonsina Strada – Tenzin Namdol

Reportage

The Devil in a Dress; L’Eroica Celebrates Alfonsina Strada – Tenzin Namdol

The Devil in a Dress; L’Eroica Celebrates Alfonsina Strada
Words and photos by Tenzin Namdol

“The act of remembering is about the future, not the past.” -Dr. Tashi Rabgey

There was a poster on the door of the Jolly Bar in downtown Gaiole In Chianti advertising a one woman play about and dedicated to Alfonsina Strada, the only woman to have competed in the Giro d’Italia way back in 1924. She was called “The Devil in Dress” by the press who sensationalized the story of a woman riding the Giro against pro racers of the time who were very well known and very male. Strada is no doubt a darling of the Italian vintage cycling social scene but completely unbeknownst to me. The play was one of the many official events organized for the L’Eroica weekend of ogling at relics that function as baseline vision for countless daydreams of bike builds, some looking much like the bike Strada rode for the Giro.

The Beauty of Fatigue: Slow (SLO) Road to Eroica – Tenzin Namdol

Reportage

The Beauty of Fatigue: Slow (SLO) Road to Eroica – Tenzin Namdol

The Beauty of Fatigue: Slow (SLO) Road to Eroica
Words by Tenzin Namdol, photos by Ultra Romance

Something happened to me while I was riding the 90-mile NOVA Coastal Route of Eroica California, I started loving the ride. A bit of a “duhhhh” moment, right? That may have had something to do with the skill and knowledge of the route-maker who has expertly joined some of the most stunning roads of San Luis Obispo County. From wineries to summits to the Oceans’ shore featuring some loosen-your-filling descents. I’m sure we could have easily found a dentist at Eroica to fix that last problem. So, not really a problem. It also helps to have beautifully cheerful people at rest stops handing you wine, chocolate-covered strawberries, and praising your athleticism. I felt so undeserving of such treatment, but that’s for me and my therapist to figure out together. Regardless, treatment like that could make a cyclist out of just about anyone.

My Mercer Buitelander Track Bike – Stan Engelbrecht

Reportage

My Mercer Buitelander Track Bike – Stan Engelbrecht

My Mercer ‘Buitelander’ (translated from Afrikaans – ‘foreigner’)
Words and photos by Stan Engelbrecht

I have a handful of track bikes. Almost all local South African-built in the 1980s. I love these bikes, all weird and wonderful and collectible. For some years my Hansom pursuit-style 700c was my day-to-day ride, but this constant use was starting to take its toll on the frame and the beautiful pink to seafoam fade paintwork. And the front wheel / downtube clearance is so tight that normal road use would sometimes push the tyre into the frame, resulting in long black rubber streaks under the downtube. It was obvious – I needed a bike I could use every day, without having to worry about destroying a bit of South Africa cycling heritage in the process.

I’d Do Reno: An Unsolicited Photo Essay About This Year’s Cyclocross Nationals in Reno, Nevada – Laura Winberry

Reportage

I’d Do Reno: An Unsolicited Photo Essay About This Year’s Cyclocross Nationals in Reno, Nevada – Laura Winberry

I’d Do Reno: An Unsolicited Photo Essay About This Year’s Cyclocross Nationals in Reno, Nevada
Words by Laura Winberry, photos by Ian Stowe, Michael Jasinski and Patrick Means

Reno is a shit hole. This is the unsolicited and resounding opinion given to me by friends and strangers alike in the months leading up to this year’s Cyclocross Nationals in Reno, Nevada. More or less, the transaction would play out like this. Other People: Are you going to race through to Nats? Me: Yes. Other People: Cool. Reno is a shit hole. See you there. Me: Vague staring, plus some blinking.

Geology Through Bikepacking – Locke Hassett

Reportage

Geology Through Bikepacking – Locke Hassett

Geology Through Bikepacking
Photos and words by Locke Hassett

As humans, we seek exploration of new places and the lessons that such exploration may bring; self-discovery, physical challenge, humility, solitude, community, and unforgettable views to name a few. We refer to this as recreation, which comes from the term “to re-create”. These endeavors are valuable, perhaps necessary, to the self. But, if we only learn about ourselves, the amount that we can give back to the world that allows us the privilege to explore can be limited. Ever so often, we must explore for reasons beyond understanding and re-create ourselves. We must explore with intention and inquiry. If the intention is set to learn not only about ourselves but about the landscape; it’s natural history and current state, we just might be able to become stewards of its future.

The Geology through Bikepacking course offered at Prescott College explores the geology, geography, and ecology of the Colorado Plateau through 3 different bikepacking trips over the course of a month. This course provides an opportunity to learn about a landscape by traveling through it. It uses the bicycle as a means not only for recreation, but for education. This is the story.

Down the Ladder into Hell – Stan Engelbrecht

Reportage

Down the Ladder into Hell – Stan Engelbrecht

Down the Ladder into Hell
Words and 35mm film photos by Stan Engelbrecht

I don’t remember when I first heard of ‘Die Hel’ (The Hell). It’s the kind of thing that comes to you like a mysterious rural legend – a rumour of a tiny community of farmers living for decades in complete isolation in an impenetrable valley paradise. More than anything, I wanted to go to ‘Die Hel’. Places and people like this have always fascinated me. South Africa has for many, many years had a complex social and political landscape, and I always like to imagine that these individualist pioneers left whatever country they came from to escape some kind of governmental or religious ideology, and when faced with the same developing in their newfound home, they were driven further into the natural world. To live simply, in peace, with nature as their surround.

Boiz in Knitters: Get Weird. Ride Bikes. Care Less. – Locke Hassett

Reportage

Boiz in Knitters: Get Weird. Ride Bikes. Care Less. – Locke Hassett

Boiz in Knitters: Get Weird. Ride Bikes. Care Less.
Photos and words by Locke Hassett

April in Arizona. Colors are erupting from every tree, water is still vaguely flowing in some of the washes, the nights are still cool and the days warm enough to wear short shorts. Students itch to finish the semester. Love is in the air, or maybe it’s just pollen.

When Andrew first mentioned to me that he and Wilson were planning a bike tour for the last weekend before finals, I was hesitant. But then four seconds passed and I remembered what truly matters in this life: using the bicycle as a means to avoid adulthood.

Tourist de France – Sean Talkington

Reportage

Tourist de France – Sean Talkington

Tourist de France
Words by Sean Talkington, Photos by Sean Talkington and Kyle Kelley

Roughly 8 or maybe even 9 years ago (it’s a bit fuzzy after all these years) I started working at a bicycle shop in LA called Orange 20. The shop manager at the time Mr. Kyle Kelley aka Trackosaurus Rex hired me to work in the new larger space they had just rented. Soon after that, Ace Carreterro aka The Sleepers came on board. Ace and I were both sales associates who ended up working pretty much the same weekly schedule with Kyle. I had very little in common with the two of them.

Springtime Siestas on the Black Canyon Trail – Locke Hassett

Reportage

Springtime Siestas on the Black Canyon Trail – Locke Hassett

Springtime Siestas on the Black Canyon Trail
Photos and words by Locke Hassett

A month or so ago, a friend and I decided to use a long weekend to explore the treasure that is the Black Canyon Trail (BCT). This flowing ribbon of almost all singletrack brings riders through distinct desert ecosystems bordering the eastern edge of the Bradshaw mountains between Mayer and just north of Phoenix. Being able to flow through prickly pear and ocotillo into the Sonoran desert, packed with Saguaros is an amazing experience, and to be able to do it over fantastic quality singletrack is icing on the spiny cake. We rode this trail in March, but it was still incredibly hot (90+ degrees at noon) especially for my Montana bones. We had the fortune of having plenty of water, while still having safe river crossings. To avoid the heat, we took siestas in shade near water sources and made trailside margaritas.

Double Vision in Montana and Utah – Locke Hassett

Reportage

Double Vision in Montana and Utah – Locke Hassett

Double Vision in Montana and Utah
Photos and words by Locke Hassett

This gallery is the product of dirt, light, stupidity and celluloid. The following images are accidental double exposures. Most of the time, this hack in an analog cameras’ mechanics is used for artistic effect, like purposely exposing a silhouette onto a leaf, or a friend’s face onto a bottle of Chartreuse. These images are not intentional. After shooting a roll of Portra 400 on a bike tour-party that was hosted by myself and the Freecycles crew, I wound the film back. But not quite enough. When I went to load my (t)rusty Pentax K1000, whose meter was killed by the #DFL Divide trip, I grabbed the same roll of Portra, not knowing that I would be exposing a 4-day ride of Kokopelli’s trail onto images of slingshots and drinking bagged wine from a frame bag.

Most photographers (myself included) don’t normally enjoy surprises. When I got this roll back, I was initially quite upset, until I began to review the images. Whether it be Whitney FT emerging from a hailstorm wearing goat horns, Sir Thomas Danger Kitty McKean pounding up a hill next to my boss, or Jess navigating a boulder field as Cameron cruises shirtless, I began to see that these images reflected the absurdity of bike touring, as well as the inherent unpredictability of the trail. Embracing accidents often leads to some of the best memories, and this roll is photo-proof.

____

Follow Locke on Instagram.

Touring the Rocky Mountain Front – Locke Hassett

Reportage

Touring the Rocky Mountain Front – Locke Hassett

Touring the Rocky Mountain Front
Photos and words by Locke Hassett

“Mel’s Diner, 9ish?” is the text I received from Cameron. The night before, he left in a frazzled state to go to the Rocky Mountain Front, and I followed the next morning. This vast expanse of abrupt cliffs where the Rockies meet the Great Plains spans much of North America, so I was glad that he specified a diner as a meeting place. We fueled up on strong coffee, plenty of biscuits and gravy, bought a map, two slingshots, whiskey, lemonade and a few cookies from the Augusta general store. A fine establishment that acts as the local liquor store, gun shop, grocery, outfitter and purveyor of homemade baked goods.

France, Ciao… Au Revoir… See Ya – Sean Talkington

Reportage

France, Ciao… Au Revoir… See Ya – Sean Talkington

I would like you to close your eyes for a brief moment and imagine yourself sitting at home on a beautiful Summer evening and… oh wait, you can’t really read this with your eyes closed now can you. Let’s try this again. So, now that I have already wasted this much of your time, maybe just imagine (with your eyes open this time) that you get a call from someone asking if you would like to visit the Tour de France and ride your bike for a few weeks with “American Cyclocross Legend Tim Johnson” (he prefers to be called that to just plain old “Tim”.) Now imagine that while chasing the TdF you will also be traveling through the French countryside in a fully restored vintage Mavic Service Course Vehicle from 1974. Now please imagine that you have never been to the Tour de France but you have dreamed about it for years and now someone is offering you a Willy Wonka sized golden ticket in the form of an all expense paid trip. Mavic asked us to fly into France around the 8th Stage and create some videos for social media purposes. The goal was to ride with Go Pro Cameras and capture the energy of the tour to make 4-5 videos in a little over a week. That meant we would need a real life video editor, so I made a call to my buddy Ace Carretero and the trifecta was complete!