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Rain Clouds Will Move Across Sahalee Tyee

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Rain Clouds Will Move Across Sahalee Tyee

Recently, as I was telling the story of this trip, and this moment when, after a hard day of hill climbing in the rain and a miserable night of freezing cold sleep, we finally saw Klickitat punched out against a clear blue sky – Someone responded – “don’t you mean Mt. Adams?”

Since I’ve committed to learning the precolonial names of the outdoor spaces I explore, some understandings have begun to emerge about how we as human beings interact with the natural world. Indeed, Klickitat itself was also named Pahto by the tribes of the region. Later named for a U.S. president who was born and died in Massachusetts. Only the mountain knows what other names it’s been called. ‘Intelligent’ (I’m skeptical of anthropocentric definitions of virtue) hominids may have lived in the area for 15,000 years. What did they call the mountain in 13,000 BC, if anything at all?

From the Masters of Metal: a Long-Term Review of the Moots Womble 29er

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From the Masters of Metal: a Long-Term Review of the Moots Womble 29er

Let’s just say I didn’t expect any less than greatness from Moots when it came to the Womble, the latest creation from their shop in Steamboat Springs. From previous experiences, I knew how well Moots’ titanium bikes rode and was looking forward to trying out their take on a modern 29er.

A few years back, I put the Baxter 29er through the wringer on the Steamboat to Fort Collins Ramble Ride, and during my project with SRAM in the Inyo Mountains, I pedaled it high up in the Mojave Desert and through Death Valley, across miles of washboard roads.

If I learned anything from those experiences it’s that titanium is the greatest frame material, especially when it’s wielded by the Masters of Metal. I’ve had the Womble 29er for a few months now, throughout the dusty ‘n’ dry end of summer, well into the snow-filled fall, and am finally ready to make my thoughts official, so read on below.

Touring Not Tourist: Pittsburgh to DC Along the Great Allegheny Passage

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Touring Not Tourist: Pittsburgh to DC Along the Great Allegheny Passage

I’ve lost hours with a pen in hand staring at the empty page in a notebook. A cursor on a vacant screen blinking, daring me to try and recount our days from Pittsburgh to D.C. without a single mention of Covid. Alas, I couldn’t even make it two sentences without avoiding the dreaded C word, and rightfully so. Covid-19 and the pandemic we are currently in the grips of have dictated all aspects of our daily lives and certainly dictated this trip’s timing. Without Covid, the three of us would likely have been on the road in some capacity or other. Steph has been touring with bands big and small, managing their merchandise sales. Ed has been a touring musician for the better part of six years and was getting ready to embark on another tour just before the pandemic striking. As for myself, I would have oddly enough found myself in Washington, D.C., just the same, camera in hand, shooting the annual DCCX race.

Looking Forward for the Youth: The LA Bike Academy

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Looking Forward for the Youth: The LA Bike Academy

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…

Lael Rides Alaska: End of the Season

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Lael Rides Alaska: End of the Season

Alaskan summer energy, at its height, seems endless. You don’t need lights because the sun never sets. Schedules are mostly irrelevant— ride late, sleep in, take breaks, or never stop. It’s all possible.

Then the dark starts eating into the day. In late August, we start losing minutes that cumulate into hours over weeks. It’s hard to adjust. Night returns. And maybe that’s part of what makes it so special. That fleeting feeling of freedom that leaves, but not forever.

Not a Yeti: Gravel Jesus’ Surly Midnight Special Pro Fro Tribute Bike

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Not a Yeti: Gravel Jesus’ Surly Midnight Special Pro Fro Tribute Bike

The mid of March is usually a time where you think about the upcoming season and what kind of adventures you are going to tackle during springtime. Suddenly, the world is closing down, throwing everyone into the status of the unknown. Leaving us with restless and raving minds. Diving into the world of bikes has always been a great way of escaping reality for me. Let it be physically or virtually – if you don´t have the chance for some saddle time.

I was blessed to have the chance of getting my first taste of ultra-cycling at the Atlas Mountain Race last February. The harsh brutality of the Morrocan rock fields brought up the first ideas for this project. Rocks and smaller stones hitting my frame and rims for hours let me think about how I would repaint my bike after the race.

Ride The Rainbow: Industry Nine’s New Carbon Rims by We Are One Composites

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Ride The Rainbow: Industry Nine’s New Carbon Rims by We Are One Composites

Alrighty just gonna come out and say it, this Industry Nine carbon wheelset is amazing.  Fucking duhhhhh, for $2500 it better be sweet right? Well, yeah, it is.  If you’ve read this far and gleamed as much as you need to know about a really expensive wheelset that you (and me honestly) can’t afford, great, look at the cool photos and enjoy.

If you are seriously interested in making this purchase and want to know my thoughts then, please follow me down the rabbit hole…

‘Going for a Bike Ride’ Book Digital Preview

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‘Going for a Bike Ride’ Book Digital Preview

Last year in May 2019 Dan and I left Santa Monica, CA on a cold rainy day to start pedaling to New York. Dan had this goal of riding across the country a few years ago after we had done some shorter bike touring trips together. I didn’t want to do this ride at all when he initially brought it up.

Kyle’s Swift x Kona Rove ST Special Edition Touring Bike

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Kyle’s Swift x Kona Rove ST Special Edition Touring Bike

A little while back, our friends at Swift Industries worked with Kona to create a collaboration Rove ST Special Edition touring bike. If you recall this project’s release, it looked really appealing for those wanting a classic touring bike package with bags and everything, ready to hit the road.

My bud Kyle Klain picked one of these up from the Broken Spoke here in Santa Fe when they first dropped. It’s been his bikefishing mobile and commuter before upgrading a few crucial components this year. To test out my new camera setup (more on that later) I met up with Kyle at his office and took his bike for a quick shoot…

Snow and Sunsets in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains: Things to be Thankful For

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Snow and Sunsets in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains: Things to be Thankful For

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.

Bailey’s Rocky Mountain Hammer Basket Bike

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Bailey’s Rocky Mountain Hammer Basket Bike

The almighty basket bike. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Doesn’t need flashy components. Just build it out for practical uses… like wallrides!

Earlier this year, Bailey got the idea to convert this older Rocky Mountain Hammer frame into a basket bike. His intent with the bike was to have a no-nonsense, do-it-all beater that he could lock up anywhere and not worry about it. Yet, because it’s Bailey, there was a twist to this bike’s use…

Finding the Fun of Riding in Circles: Connecting Singletrack in Guaymas, Sonora

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Finding the Fun of Riding in Circles: Connecting Singletrack in Guaymas, Sonora

Up until the beginning of this year, I had barely stepped foot on a proper mountain biking trail. Not because my hometown lacks options to do so, it’s just that my approach to riding bikes as a commuter and tourer is to get places, and trail riding seemed much like riding in circles. This summer, as my long term traveling plans got postponed, a mountain biking trail 15 minutes away from home suddenly seemed interesting and I started to get the hang of riding single track as a temporary substitute for long, open dirt roads; after all, this 5 km trail did a lot for keeping me sane over the summer.

A Digital Preview – Of Crank & Chain: Cyclocross

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A Digital Preview – Of Crank & Chain: Cyclocross

Of Crank & Chain: Cyclocross is a 240 page photographic and written expression of domestic cyclocross in 2019. Both black and white and color images captured locally in the Pacific Northwest as well as at UCI events around the nation, the book is not organized by the events themselves, but rather by parts of a race day from the events spanning the season, blended together and presented as one continuous event. None of the images contain captions of the who and the where, because, in a way, a season is a singular event and also features images of amateurs and professionals and doesn’t draw a distinction between them. In the U.S., we are all just ‘cross racers suffering on the same track. In that respect, American cyclocross paints amateurs and pros with essentially the same brush. More than anything the book is about what it is to race cyclocross and what goes into it, as opposed to a year in review.

Golden State Skyline: Riding to and Climbing California’s Tallest Peaks

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Golden State Skyline: Riding to and Climbing California’s Tallest Peaks

The Golden State Skyline is a human-powered, self-supported linkup of all fifteen 14,000’ peaks in California, stretching from Mt. Shasta in the Cascades to Mt. Langley, the southern tip of the Sierra. Along with my friends Jonny Morsicato and Charlie Firer, followed by film crew Colin Rex and Nick Smillie, I set off to complete the Golden State Skyline on August 14. Our planned route covered 800 miles by bike, 100 miles on foot, and 100,000 feet of vertical gain, including technical difficulties up to 5.9. But life had other plans…

Kris Henry on His New 44 Bikes Full Suspension Steel MTB: the Snakedriver

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Kris Henry on His New 44 Bikes Full Suspension Steel MTB: the Snakedriver

My first taste of full suspension came when I was working as a wrench at a shop in Quakertown PA just after graduating from college and not really having a plan. On mornings off, I’d take out a demo and ride the local trails up on South Mountain in Emmaus. Those bikes were terrible. But at the time, I was young and loving any bicycle I could get my hands on. That was 1998. A degree project when I went back to school confirmed I didn’t have a clue about geometry, handling, let alone suspension kinematics. Fast forward to 2012 when I hung my shingle out starting 44 Bikes, I became solely focused on honing geometry and understanding fit. But deep down, I wanted to build a full suspension bike but I knew I wasn’t ready. Which brings us to the here and now. Things began to click after building hundreds of bikes and dozens of prototypes where I finally felt like I had a grip on geometry and handling. I wanted a new challenge. So in the Spring of 2019, I started acquainting myself with a platform I had largely ignored.

Sturdy Progress: Inside / Out at Sturdy Cycles

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Sturdy Progress: Inside / Out at Sturdy Cycles

Andrew stops mid-sentence, pauses, “ooooooh!…….. Oooooh…. oooooh!” his pitch rises to a maniacal school child giggle of surprise and wild childlike delight, like a two-year-olds first taste of cake. Visceral and uncontrollable joy. “Tom!?! Is this a prototype or is this a FUCKING!…. ok…. That’ll do it!” a long pause of wild-eyed observation glancing desperately around the room, eyes hungry for an affirming reaction but forced to settle for Tom’s grinning but nonchalant response of “yea, they’ve gotten lighter as well”. Another longer pause as dust from Tom’s stoic “yogi bear” response settles, a mumbled and affectionate “asshole.” The recording tapers off into minor expletives, mumblings, and the low noises people make to indicate affection for bits of metal when they’re together in sheds.