Reportage

Longform

That Guy Has Style for Days: Gideon’s Madrean 27.5″ Hardtail

Reportage

That Guy Has Style for Days: Gideon’s Madrean 27.5″ Hardtail

Over the past year, I’ve had quite a few people roll through Santa Fe on road trips. Knowing Covid is still running rampant all up and down the Rockies, I usually opt for a meet-up outdoors. Whether that means for a cup of coffee or a bike ride, I like catching up with people but want to err on the side of safety these days. Last March, our good friend Gideon came through town with his new-to-him Madrean 27.5 hardtail. If you recall our Shop Visit with Madrean – and our older Shop Visit from 2013 with Cycles d’Autremont – then you’ll recognize Hubert d’Autremont’s handiwork…

The 5th Annual 2021 Nutmeg Nor’Easter: A Personal Account

Reportage

The 5th Annual 2021 Nutmeg Nor’Easter: A Personal Account

Arya and Ronnie, the two cuties that are at the front of our bike bag sponsor Ron’s Bikes, invited my partner Karla and me to come over to their event, the Nutmeg Nor’Easter. Described as “the non-competitive alt cycling world championship” and running its fifth edition, this would be the first Nor’Easter after a time where reunions were discouraged, but the organizers still took care of delivering an event 100% outdoors and only for vaccinated people, although no vaccination cards were verified. Because you see, this is the type of gathering where you are trusted to care for yourself and those around you, but in a non-coercive way. For Karla and me this would be our first time not only in Connecticut, but also east of the Rocky Mountains; the first impressions, provided by our Uber trip from the airport at 1 am, made us think we were in a good scenario for which stories, and local tales revealed we weren’t wrong.

Improving on a Icon: A Review of the New 2022 Santa Cruz Chameleon 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike

Reportage

Improving on a Icon: A Review of the New 2022 Santa Cruz Chameleon 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike

Back in 2018, I reviewed the Santa Cruz Chameleon in the 27.5+ platform with a tricked-out build spec thanks to Hope Tech. Much like its namesake, the Chameleon really stood out from the crowd of other production hardtails on the market, making it a proper icon in the world of hardtail mountain bikes. Fast forward three years and I’ve had the new and improved 2022 Chameleon model under my butt for a few weeks now, have taken it on similar terrain as I did in Los Angeles with its predecessor, and have a few thoughts about the two models. Which one is worth your money? Read on below to find out…

Weather Or Not: The 2021 Hope Cyclery Higher Ground 100 in Johnstown, PA

Reportage

Weather Or Not: The 2021 Hope Cyclery Higher Ground 100 in Johnstown, PA

If you’re not from Pennsylvania there’s a good chance you have at least heard of Johnstown. Maybe it was from the lyrics of a Bruce Springsteen song, or the pages of your history books. Sitting in the Conemaugh River Valley, Johnstown was the site of a devastating flood in 1889, and then again in 1936 and 1977. Given the city’s notoriety for flooding, the staging of this year’s Higher Ground Hundo event put on by the fine people of Hope Cyclery was mildly concerning.

New Mexico’s True High Country Gems: South Boundary Trail and Heaven on Earth

Reportage

New Mexico’s True High Country Gems: South Boundary Trail and Heaven on Earth

There’s a window of opportunity in the high country, albeit a small one, wherein the aspen leaves transform from their jade green scales to a deep gold opalescence, and with each wind gust, the overhead canopy flickers like an evening gown. When this window opens, we flock to the Taos Valley to ride two of New Mexico’s true gems: the South Boundary Trail and Heaven on Earth…

The Custom Gravel Beauties of the 2021 Chris King Open House: Baum, Bixxis, Legor, Prova, Victoire

Reportage

The Custom Gravel Beauties of the 2021 Chris King Open House: Baum, Bixxis, Legor, Prova, Victoire

For the past five years, we’ve hosted in-depth documentation of the annual Chris King Open House and for the second year in a row, this showcase has gone virtual. Yet, don’t fret, because we have a beautiful showcase of some incredibly talented, international builders for you today. With a catalog spanning the globe, ranging from Australia to Italy, Spain, and France, we’re bringing gravel offerings from Baum, Bixxis, Legor, Prova, and Victoire to the web for you to enjoy from the comfort of your home or office. These bikes feature an extremely limited run of grey and turquoise Chris King bits which won’t be available to the public but have informed the paint designs for each of these noble steeds.

I hope you’re ready for some delicious gravel bikes! Let’s jump right in…

Embrace the Analog: Hunter’s Affinity Anthem with Campagnolo Chorus 12 Speed

Reportage

Embrace the Analog: Hunter’s Affinity Anthem with Campagnolo Chorus 12 Speed

In an age where rubbing disc brakes, dead electronic shifting, and fussy integrated cockpits rule the market, the idea of a simple bike with none of the above starts to look very appealing. A steel frame with a mechanical groupset has an analog quality to it that is hard to beat. It has undeniable panache, aero and weight don’t matter. I introduce to you my Affinity Anthem, a stainless steel workhorse of a bike mated to a groupset that is as timeless as they come.

Rigid and Spellbound: The Sour Bicycles Pasta Party 29er SSMTB with BERD Wheels

Reportage

Rigid and Spellbound: The Sour Bicycles Pasta Party 29er SSMTB with BERD Wheels

In some form of intergalactic serendipity, this review coincides with the 2021 International Singlespeed Day, so hopefully, this article inspires you to dust off the ol’ Cruiser or SSMTB and get out for a sunset shred with your friends.

I’ve had the Sour Bicycles Pasta Party for longer than I’d like to admit for a review period but with supply chain shortages, I decided to scrap my original plans for the build as a geared hardtail and assembled it with various spare parts and some new fancy BERD wheels which ended up resulting in one very unique rigid singlespeed 29er.

The Pasta Party is a strange bird with a few clever details and a few quirks, so read on below for my review of this unique chassis offering from the German brand Sour Bicycles…

Touring Turkey’s Lycian Coast

Reportage

Touring Turkey’s Lycian Coast

From the comforts of the coastal city of Antalya, I took to the surrounding hills for short rides between the abundant days of rain that come with the wet season in this region. Turkey had imposed significant covid restrictions for the first time since I was in the country, including full weekend curfews, so this gave me plenty of time to plan out what kind of route would still be possible when the situation improved.  Accepting sudden changes in plans and having some patience has always been important for bike touring and that is especially true these days.

A Week with the LeMond Prolog e-Assist Bike

Reportage

A Week with the LeMond Prolog e-Assist Bike

How I ended up writing this review of the LeMond Prolog is a bit surreal.

I’ve lived in Knoxville, Tennessee for the past ten years, where I’ve managed to carve out a career in the nonprofit bike space at Two Bikes Knoxville. About a year ago, my pal Matt Zingg and I started a nonprofit bike shop called Two Bikes, which has kept us pretty busy. I still get out on rides a few times a week, but my cycling is largely practical these days. I ride to work, to get groceries, to go to the community garden.

I mention this because whenever I read a review I always want to understand the perspective of the author. I’m really passionate about bringing folks together to have fun outside and about resolving the inefficacy of America’s transportation system. Bikes tick both of those boxes for me, so I really like bikes.

Fail 6 with Rui Pedro Tremoceiro

Reportage

Fail 6 with Rui Pedro Tremoceiro

As am packing for Fail 6, am looking at my notebook, it has an old map of Portugal’s front cover.

I traced my lines on that map, all the routes I made, I feel satisfied to see they go through most of the country already.

I have been in Portugal for about two years now. There is a lot to see and yet it is a tiny country, about the size of Indiana.

My map doesn’t show the extreme South of Portugal, so my pencil has to stop before the end of the next ride.
I don’t like that, am not a firm believer in signs but am a firm believer in signs.

For a minute there, I was tempted to change the route. Maybe I should just change the map…

Cjell’s Moné Hardtail with a 130mm Lefty Fork

Reportage

Cjell’s Moné Hardtail with a 130mm Lefty Fork

These days, it’s hard to set your bike brand apart from others within a specific niche but if there’s one thing Cjell has achieved with his brand, Moné Bikes, it’s just that. Moné frames are instantly recognizable with their large, bountiful brass beds of fillet brazing, unique tubing bends, intricate and ingenious singlespeed-friendly dropout designs, and yeah, rat rod aesthetics. Cjell and I have met before, albeit briefly, but at last weekend’s Dangerbird event, we got to spend a lot of time on the bike with each other, which helped me gain an even deeper appreciation for the brand, the bikes, and the man who designs and even builds some of them.

Wind, Chile, Chonk, and the Monumental Loop: the 2021 Dangerbird in Las Cruces

Reportage

Wind, Chile, Chonk, and the Monumental Loop: the 2021 Dangerbird in Las Cruces

Washboard roads, rocky doubletrack, creosote, cacti, centipedes, tarantulas, and vistas for miles. The Monumental Loop provides it all in a healthy mix, featuring the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, BLM, and state lands surrounding the town of Las Cruces, New Mexico. With the mighty Organ Mountains looming in the background, it’s hard to imagine a better touring or bikepacking route in Southern New Mexico. When you add in the delicious food on the route, you’ve got yourself a winning combination. To help celebrate this monumental achievement (tee hee), Matt Mason, co-founder of the Loop, throws a grand depart each year dubbed the Dangerbird which took a brief hiatus last year due to the Pandemic. With Covid protocols in place and our numbers remaining slightly elevated in New Mexico, Matt made sure the entire weekend’s events took place outdoors, so I felt safe to head down to experience this gem of the Chihuahuan Desert…

Scenes from the 2021 New Mexico Bikepacking Summit and the Dangerbird Grand Depart Rider and Bike Portaits

Reportage

Scenes from the 2021 New Mexico Bikepacking Summit and the Dangerbird Grand Depart Rider and Bike Portaits

New Mexico has a lot of really amazing bicycle touring routes, from the mountainous aspen forests to the southern deserts. One such route is the Monumental Loop, which is based out of the Southern New Mexico city of Las Cruces, co-founded by Matt Mason. The Monumental Loop is a passion project for Matt but this year, he wanted to do something special to celebrate the cycling community in New Mexico. Part of that includes the first-ever New Mexico Bikepacking Summit. The weekend’s events included a Makers’ Mart at Outdoor Adventures, a local bike shop, and a grand depart for the Dangerbird, Matt’s nickname for the Monumental Loop. As you can imagine, after photographing the weekend’s events and touring the northern loop, I’m super zonked, so let’s get to it!

The Westfjords Way: Bicycle Touring One of Iceland’s Most Remote Areas – Part 04

Reportage

The Westfjords Way: Bicycle Touring One of Iceland’s Most Remote Areas – Part 04

It starts raining ten minutes into the ride and we pull over to suit up. Twenty minutes later, we’re at the base of the climb and we derobe. Half an hour later, I’m at the top of the pass, sweating through my sweater. It’s a screaming descent to the sea and I freeze on the way down. I never want to stop and it’s tough to regulate my body temperature. The climbs are hot work and the descents a cold thrill.

We wait at the junction for the group to catch up. Today we’ll ride out and back to the westernmost point in Iceland, the seasonal home of the puffins, but they’ve gone for the year. I eat a sandwich and unwrap half a piece of leftover blueberry cheesecake to split with Rue. We’re into the stage of the trip where we’re eating machines. We hide behind a signpost to get out of the wind. Nichole and Payson join us at the bottom. We’re all chilled to the bone. Chris says there’s an old ship up ahead that might be a good spot to snack and warm up. We ride there.

A First Timer’s Take on Sea Otter

Reportage

A First Timer’s Take on Sea Otter

There’s dust, cold, chaos, and bikes.  Bikes everywhere. Almost more bike tracks than footprints in the thick dirt of the Laguna Seca Raceway paddock, where rows of tents and more flags than the eye can count have taken over for the weekend – this is The Sea Otter Classic.  It’s my first time not only to Sea Otter but to a bike expo- having gotten seriously into cycling during the quarantine this first wave of events post- pandemic is also my first wave of cycling events- period. I did my first bike race two months prior, and while there was an expo there it nowhere near compares to this ocean of logos.  Being a photographer in the cycling world this weekend is a chance to connect with clients I haven’t seen in a while, touch base with connections I have prior only talked to through emails and DM’s, and hug the bejeezus out of the rad gravel ladies I photographed for ‘The Leaders of Gravel’, a series here on The Radavist.