While I was driving out to meet Andréane Lanthier Nadeau, all I could hear in my head was Eminem’s Lose Yourself, “If you had one shot or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it?” I know that’s a little dramatic, right? But maybe not…I knew Andréane and I would only have a few runs to shoot, and after hearing Nikki Smith speak at this year’s Frostbike, explaining how important it was to show real people, people of all walks of life, people of all different colors and genders doing their craft, not just standing with their bikes. I knew this was important. I also knew that ALN, short for Andréane Lanthier Nadeau would crush it, but I was skeptical of my talent behind the camera. I needed to nail what few photos I would be able to take because she was leaving for her home in Canada the next day and wouldn’t be back in Southern California for a year. So yes, I literally only had one opportunity to show y’all how ALN is one of the greatest mountain bikers I have ever ridden with and spoken to.
When I was a child and about to get my first bike, a hand-me-down turquoise kid’s bike with pink and purple streamers, I remember being elated. I loved those streamers and couldn’t wait to ride around the neighborhood with them blowing in the wind. However, my father had different plans and cut off the streamer and put a playing card in the spokes — his attempt to turn it into a “boys” bike. I was devastated and barely rode the bike. This was just one instance of my struggle with society’s gendering of inanimate objects, and the social acceptability of my interaction with them. I always found solace in the illustration of Lisa Frank, which depicted a fantastical adventure free of gender where everyone has fun and gets along. In many ways, I find this same sort of adventure, acceptance, and escape from reality in bikepacking, and I’ve long wanted a bike that reflects this.
Sometimes the best bikes for camping are the ones you’ve got or ones that are gifted to you. Although this bike is the latter, many people right now are clamoring to source a bike, partially brought on by the pandemic, a rekindled love for cycling, and scarcity of bikes. There may be a rad bike in your future and you don’t even know it yet. It might just be the one if your basement, parents garage or a craigslist ad. An 80s MTB seems to make the perfect donor bike to get out, explore more, and connect with nature.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bikepacking gear has evolved so much over the last couple of years and I’m always excited to see brands expand on products and concepts that are proven to work and also step up to create solutions to carrying gear on bikes in innovative ways. Utilizing 100% the waterproof and durable construction they are known for, Ortlieb just released updates to their classic bikepacking line and also added some interesting new products. In advance of the products becoming available this week, Ortleib sent me a handful of bags from their new and revamped bikepacking lineup. I’ve been using them on my Kona Sutra, fairly full and weighted, around my local singletrack to provide some initial insights and detailed photos of some of the new aspects.
HIGH STEEP BROKEN MOUNTAINS: Riding in Threatened Central California Coast Public Land that lost protection to drilling and fracking upon the moratorium lift in December 2019, routing through the Cuyama Valley and Sierra Madre Ridge through Bates Canyon, Santa Barbara Canyon, and Quatal Canyon.
As with year’s past, we love featuring this Chico collaboration between Sierra Nevada, Paul Component, and a California-based frame builder. This year’s bike is stunning and with it comes a huge photo gallery documenting this beautiful build. Check the official press release below with all the juicy photos and read on to find out how you can win this bike!
Staying local during the pandemic has been a new thing for me. I’m usually on the road for most of the year, sleeping in our truck, documenting races, rides, people, shops, and communities. I can’t emphasize how strange it has been to just stay put. While it has been a bit of a change of pace, it’s really pushed me to take on as many of the local rides that I can and this week, I took on maybe one of the most infamous trails in our area; Deception Peak and Raven’s Ridge.
We’re big into hardtails here at the Radavist. While my personal bikes are all steel, riding carbon bikes can be a real treat, especially when the company has put so much thought into the design.
Yeti has a long history of designing capable and attractive bikes. The original ARC was a collaboration with Easton and the intent was to make a truly lightweight machine in that era. The OG ARC’s aluminum frameset weighed a mere 3.2lbs, which was a groundbreaking accomplishment for 1991 and those bikes are still iconic, even today.
You could say Yeti had a lot riding on this new ARC design and there were a few decisions that set this new model on a different trajectory from its predecessor. After riding this bike for a month here in Santa Fe, I’ve finally wrapped my head around how to review it, pointing out its accomplishments and my own personal critiques of this entirely new model, so read on for more…
Yesterday, we featured an Inside / Out piece on Moustache Cycles, a Flagstaff-based framebuilding operation headed by Richard May. Today, we’re checking our four of his bikes, with Richard describing each so enjoy!
Back in February of this year at Singlespeed Arizona in Bisbee, I had wanted to document the wild variety of funky, freaky, and beautiful bikes that had descended on the small town for the event. Unfortunately, the pace of that particular weekend didn’t lend itself to photographing individual bikes (something I certainly plan to do in 2021). Bike portraits, or not, it’s impossible to ignore the eclectic array of Mone, Oddity, Moonmen, and other eye-catching derailleur-less boutique fabrications and other unusual setups while in that environment. There were a handful of frames though – clean and somewhat understated with swoopy seat stays and moustache-shaped logo badges – that I didn’t recognize. While chatting with Nate from Absolute Bikes, I pointed to a member of Thee Deores (Northern Arizona’s premiere Mountain Biking band) cruising around on one of these swoopy-tubed moustachioed hardtails and asked if he knew anything about the bike. He responded by pointing to Richard May and informing me that Richard, based in Flagstaff, builds bike frames and other custom parts under the moniker Moustache Cycles.
There is something in the mountains, a kind of magic that from the beginning of humanity has exerted influence in our history. They have been adored as gods in different religions, they have forged cultures and inspired their stories, and even countries have been formed and developed around them. New Zealand is one of these countries.
We visit a lot of makers here at the Radavist. From frames to components to bags. 2020 has put a lot of that on momentary pause, yet I’ve enjoyed meeting cyclists serendipitously since moving to Santa Fe, many of which are small business owners. One of those is Jacob from Bread Shop. He and his wife Mayme, along with his brother Zac run a small bakery that’s big on taste. We’ve been buying loaves once a week from Bread Shop and this week I met up with Jacob to shoot his Surly Cross-Check.
In what I hope will be the first of many monthly(ish) articles, of varying lengths, Nikolai and I visited (in)famous bicycle designer Mike Burrows, who has been a constant in terms of support, inspiration and taking me down a peg or two when I need it (always). Nikolai filmed our trip on my Sony A7iii as part of an ongoing project, so I decided it would be especially fitting for Mike to document our trip on celluloid with my Mamiya C330, and a little Olympus rangefinder on Kodak Portra 800 film.