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Team Brooks: a Grassroots Gravel Performance Art Installation Does Kanzaz

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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.

2019 Tour Divide Race: Part 1

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2019 Tour Divide Race: Part 1

Words by Spencer Harding, photos by Spencer Harding and Rugile Kaladyte

Last year, Rue propositioned me about helping her document the Tour Divide race in which Lael Wilcox intended to best her previous record, I jumped at the opportunity. Later, Jay Ritchey would be added to the team to help Rue with the film they intended to produce about the race.  I was tasked with focusing on photographing her attempt and the race itself.  Rue has been flipping between photo and video very deftly and has some incredible images to add to this gallery.  Here is the first installment of our ongoing coverage of the 2019 Tour Divide Race. 

Rawson’s Schwinn Le Tour Gateway Bike

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Rawson’s Schwinn Le Tour Gateway Bike

Gateway bikes. We’ve all had one. You know, that first bike that got you hooked on riding bikes and expanded your horizon into the world of cycling. When the fixed gear craze was sweeping cities all over the world, Rawson bought this Schwinn Le Tour while he was living in Ohio. He immediately converted it to a fixed gear, stripping the bike of all the necessary components, as per the norm at the time and rode it like that for a few years before eventually buying a road bike, then a gravel bike, and a mountain bike.

Try Before You Buy at Santa Fe’s Mellow Velo

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Try Before You Buy at Santa Fe’s Mellow Velo

“Try before you buy.” It’s not a saying you’d normally associate with a bike shop. Sure, most shops will let you take a bike on a test ride around the block or in their parking lot, but to pull a brand new bike off the shelf and “demo” it for a day, or two, or a whole month, if you so wanted to, is unique. That model was very foreign to me until I walked into Santa Fe’s Mellow Velo.

Fast Friends: Big Thoughts Through Big Sur

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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.

The Knolly Fugitive 29er: How a Small, Rider-Focused Brand Stays Ahead of the Game

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The Knolly Fugitive 29er: How a Small, Rider-Focused Brand Stays Ahead of the Game

Modern Modular Boingers, or How a Small, Rider-Focused Brand Stays Ahead of the Game.

Can we all agree that Mountain Bikes are just so damn good these days? Anyone who started out dropping chains on a triple ring rigid MTB back in the day will appreciate how lucky we all are now: brakes stop fast (whether or not your wheels are true); droppers drop; giant cogs for chilling; tubeless tires! Those parts all have to hang on something though, and here’s where we’ve seen leaps and bounds in design in the last five years toward lower, slacker, and longer bikes with short stems, big wheels, and unique suspension designs.

Locke’s Silly SOMA B-Side

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Locke’s Silly SOMA B-Side

Words by Locke Hassett and photos by John Watson

Some bikes are just too good to get rid of. Or too sentimental, or broken, or otherwise a purely “eye of the be(er)holder” sort of thing. This Soma B-Side is that bike for me. It has lived its life as many different bikes. For a long time, it was built up as a new/old school Montana singletrack shredder, with a 2x drivetrain (gasp!), 660mm bars (double gasp!), a short fork and no dropper. It lived a few months as a 26+ singlespeed when I found a pair of Nokian Gazzalodi tires in some back room of Free Cycles.

The Los Angeles Tracklocross Series

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The Los Angeles Tracklocross Series

Tracklocross. Yeah, you heard it, Tracklocross. It’s exactly what it sounds like and it’s spreading faster than you could ever imagine. With contingencies popping up all over the globe, things are really beginning to culminate this year as we lead up to Nationals in June (Bay Area) and the World Championships in August (Japan). With Los Angeles’ second race of the season in the bag, the vibes are only growing stronger out here as things continue to build momentum. Safa Brian came out and completely crushed the course. He took a commanding lead out the gate and put a significant gap between him and the rest of the pack. The spectator crowd camped out in the middle of the grass and more or less turned their heads as everyone ran laps around them.

The Sierra Buttes Lost & Found 2019: Straight From the Mid-Pack

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The Sierra Buttes Lost & Found 2019: Straight From the Mid-Pack

Introduction: We pinged Erin Lamb to write about her experience at this year’s Lost & Found with John’s experience told through the gallery captions. We’re trying new models for event Reportage, so please let us know what you think in the comments! Enjoy!

I lost my wallet a couple of weeks ago, and I’m not searching to find Jesus. I’m pretty sure the wallet fell out of my purse in a parking lot when I pulled some shit out to throw into the back seat. And, the Jesus thing, just not interested. If you’re looking for a feel-good story about stumbling upon the light, then maybe this isn’t for you. This is more of a coming-of-age gravel riding tale dispatched straight from a middle of the pack 65-miler on the Sierra Buttes’ Lost & Found.

A Promising Introduction to Riding in Patagonia

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A Promising Introduction to Riding in Patagonia

While I’d already been into the area that is technically considered Patagonia a couple of times by this point, entering towns like Pucón in Chile, and San Martin de Los Andes in Argentina marked a noticeable shift from all of the regions I’d been in previously, which still felt largely unchanged by tourism. It was still quite early in the season for the hordes of travelers to have taken over these places, but the signs are there. Fancy chocolate shops. Overpriced hostels. Cafes on every street corner selling $8 artisanal muffins to a looping soundtrack of Adele and Sam Smith.

The 2019 Builders for Builders: Frame Builders Supporting the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship

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The 2019 Builders for Builders: Frame Builders Supporting the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship

Once again, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship is the beneficiary of Builders for Builders. Bicycle frame builders for bicycle trail builders. The formula is simple and effective! This year at the 2019 Lost and Found gravel race in Portola, California, the Builders for Builders raffle and fundraiser returned, bringing in the five builders offering up the winner of the raffle a decked-out, custom frame of their choice. You have from now until June 7th to donate $10. This donation enters you to win a custom bicycle from your pick of builder: Mosaic Cycles, Stinner FrameworksArgonaut Cycles, Sklar Bikes, and McGovern Cycles.

Shredding in Sedona on REI’s Co-Op DRT 3.2 Full Suspension MTB

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Shredding in Sedona on REI’s Co-Op DRT 3.2 Full Suspension MTB

Sedona. One of the Four Corner’s MTB meccas. South of Flagstaff and North of Phoenix, it’s nestled in a red rock enclave, a bastion against the sprawl of both western cities, firmly planted in its history and individuality. While there is a greater story to be told of the area, which we’ll get to later, I found myself here yet again for a press camp. Adult daycare for journalists, press camps, when embraced properly are a great way to see the local trails, sample the local cuisine, and gain a better understanding of the locale.

When REI pinged me, asking if I’d be interested in attending the camp for their new DRT 3.2 full suspension MTB, I couldn’t resist. Turns out, I was already planning on being in Flagstaff the weekend prior, so it worked out perfectly.

My Manzanita Sklar 27.5 All Road Is Meaner Now with Crust Towel Rack Bars

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My Manzanita Sklar 27.5 All Road Is Meaner Now with Crust Towel Rack Bars

This bike. This freaking bike. When I first built up my Sklar, it was built on the 700c wheel platform. At Lost & Found last year, I swapped out the i9 wheels for the new ENVE G27 650b gravel wheels and haven’t missed the 700c wheels one bit. From there, the bike slowly went under transformations but it wasn’t until I put the Crust Towel Rack Bars on it that I feel like this bike has finally come into its own.

Baja Divide, El Valle De Los Cirios

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Baja Divide, El Valle De Los Cirios

The name “California” was first given around 1535 to what’s now Baja California Sur when it was rediscovered by the Spanish conquistadores, and the term didn’t extend to the now USA-California until 85 years later, a territory commonly referred to as New Albion. Some years later for land management purposes the former was then named Antigua (old) or Baja (lower) California, and the latter Nueva (new) or Alta (higher) California; in 1848 as a result of the Mexican-American War, Alta California becomes the American state of California. Then in the 1970s a trend is born: Newcalifornians start calling peninsular California simply “Baja”, as a brand name for investing in commercial, touristic and real estate development.