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.
There is a case for wilderness in the American West, which is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “an uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region.” The problem is, this classification was written by colonizers and erasers of indigenous history. Humans have long inhabited these areas, before the Spanish or the Pilgrims infiltrated these lands, long before it was called New Mexico.
This topic is a heated one. Organizations like the Sierra Club lead the way in this classification, establishing rules about who can or can’t visit these lands: for instance, cyclists. I’m not here to talk about whether or not bikes should be allowed in areas classified as wilderness, so let’s step back a bit and discuss what that word, wilderness, means in the context of the original inhabitants of the Americas.
Is this an article written by Cjell, about a bike built by Cjell? Yes, indeed. Not too many other people around here to tell ya about it, so it’s me you’ll have to listen to.
My operation has a couple of facets to it. One being stock frames that I have the privilege of working with a shop in Taiwan. They’re faster and much better equipped to put together frames more efficiently, and their neighborhood is full of toolmakers, tube benders, casters, etc. The fact that they put up with me trying to keep up in the shop is a testament to their patience and capacity.
We’d like to add a note sending our love and support to all those affected by the fires in the Santa Cruz region. You’re in our thoughts…
Back in February, before the whole world was turned upside down, Jimmy Rosas and I took a quick trip up to Santa Cruz. We wanted to ride mountain bikes and eat deep fried zucchini burritos, but most importantly we wanted to visit the Whitney Ford-Terry curated show at the MAH, Trailblazers: Uncovering the Roots of Mountain Biking in Santa Cruz. The show had just opened, and originally this piece was going to be all about driving traffic to the show, but now it’s turned into more of a closing statement. A fare thee well to one of the best mountain bike exhibitions that no one will ever see. A true comprehensive look at the history of mountain biking in Santa Cruz, a place that has now become a mountain bike mecca for hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, a place where residents who don’t mountain bike are the weird ones.
THERE IS A DISTINCT SHARPNESS in the Sunday morning Andean air as José Villegas plucks a tiny coffee shoot from the ground, barely as tall as an espresso cup. Looking out over the valley on the edge of the steep slope, the setting is idyllic, like something from a late 20th-century film epic. Dressed in little more than slippers, gym shorts, and a t-shirt, he studies the greenery carefully nestled in his palm, nods in approval, and continues scouting the steep slope around him for other shoots. His son, Juan Pablo, explains that this is how his father propagates new coffee plants on the farm, eschewing the far more common method of using commercial seeds. It keeps the fields GMO-free, organic, and high-quality. This is single-origin coffee grown at the perfect altitude (1800m/6000ft), something prized the world over. Everything on the farm is done mostly by hand. There are no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. The family has been farming like this “from the beginning”, José explained, not because it was popular, but because it was the right way to do things. The only way.
Considering I’ve reviewed three Surly bikes here on the Radavist and have loved every one of them, it’s a bit surprising that I don’t have one of my own. Thing is, we live in a two-bedroom apartment, and our family collection has room for three bikes each not including cargo bikes: slow, medium, and fast (still slow by many folks standards).
Review bikes come for tryouts, but in the past two-and-a-half years, none which have been able to displace our collection, which includes my Kona Unit (slow), our Soma Wolverines (medium), and my humongous Rock Lobster (OK, pretty fast). There’s a slim chance that a bike could be added, but for the right bike it is possible, and that’s where this story begins.
DISCLAIMER: Travel is limited to New Mexico at this time and there is a mask requirement. This trip was planned before the recent changes and we adjusted to ensure safe distances and to limit any small community contact. Be safe.
Starting at the border of Colorado and following along the Continental Divide Trail, some friends helped hatch a plan to traverse the central highlands of New Mexico by bike over 3 days, covering 100 miles of unbelievably-beautiful country.
Years ago, after finishing the slowest-known-time attempt on the Oregon Outback during its 2nd annual ride, I wound up in Seattle. Just to clarify for those familiar with our rolling squad of rodeo clowns from that year, we didn’t shit in that dudes yard, we were drunk in the woods 40 miles behind because we couldn’t even make it to most peoples 1st night camp on our 2nd day.
During the fabrication of a Pursuit Cycles, Carl Strong’s custom carbon brand, each of the six sections of the MUSA carbon frame come out of the mold and then are printed with some stats. This includes mold number, frame size, layup version, and a number of parts made from that mold, then finally weight is handwritten on. Eventually, when the frame is complete and getting prep for paint these notes are removed. As this bike was one of the firsts Lead Out ARs to be produced this idea hooked me, I loved the process and tracking, I wanted to play into that. Taking some inspiration from recent sneaker trends as well. I decided on a Helvetica style to the point design.
This year’s ENVE Builder Round-Up featured two builds that didn’t make it through US Customs in time for the complete unveiling. Last weekend we looked at that beautiful Isen, a colorful build on its own, and this weekend, we’re featuring this lovely Bastion, a brand known for its ultra-high-tech frame construction by using 3D printed titanium lugs and beautifully woven carbon tubes. All made in-house in Victoria, Australia. Yes, this Bastion flew a long way to Ogden, Utah for the ENVE Builder Round-Up, but as you can see, it was worth it! See the full details below in an interview video with Bastion and a complete gallery within…
Living at 7,000′ has its ups and downs, particularly for someone still acclimating from life at sea level for the past 5 years. One of the positives though is easy access to alpine riding. Well, easy is subjective for sure but if you only have a few hours to kill and want a quick loop that’s equal parts hard as it is beautiful and most importantly, fun, then have I got one local Santa Fe ride for you…
Josh Ibbett just won the GBduro. A 2000 km mostly off-road Ultra Distance race from the most southern tip of the UK to the most northern in Scotland.
This is the second edition of this race.
The first one was won by Lachlan Morton last year.
The Racing Collective, organizers of the race, best described by themselves as “the UK’s flagship not-for-profit bikepacking club” had to change their race format this year. They did it, brilliantly.
There were no stages anymore, the race described as “a scrappy rolling picnic through Britain’s ever-changing landscapes” had that new daunting rule about it, you had to be “self-sufficient”, no stopping allowed in shops, cafe, restaurant or hotel, whatsoever, so you carry your own food, filter water from streams or sources and mind yourself and your bike ‘till the end. There is a new level in the game of Epic.
What do you call a stainless Italian disc road bike, built with Cinelli and Campagnolo, right here in Santa Fe? Spaghetti Western? Sure, why not?
Mellow Velo, purveyors of modern bikes, with a long history of building up classic Italian road racing machines, recently completed this build for a customer back on the East Coast. Adam, the owner of the bike, refinishes mouthpieces for saxophones, so as you can imagine, he has a particular penchant for procuring pristine pedal machines like this one. Luckily for him, David from Mellow Velo has a soft spot for modern Italian-made frames.
We land in Deadhorse on the North Slope of Alaska in the evening under sunny skies and drag our cardboard bike boxes out of the single gate terminal. We’re the only passengers on the flight not starting a two-week work shift on the oil fields. The wind is ripping so fast, it’s hard to put the bikes together. We help each other. We velcro bags to our bikes and load up our camping gear. It’s cold enough that we put on all of our clothing layers. We cram days’ worth of food into every pack. The workers at the airport are kind and helpful. A woman gives us directions to the shop where we can buy a camping stove canister and a can of bear spray that we couldn’t bring on the plane. She asks us to leave our bike boxes in storage. They always save the big ones for hunters.
Last year, ENVE opened its doors to the public for an Open House event. Once inside, visitors took a tour of its Ogden, Utah facilities and were greeted by two-dozen custom bikes from builders across the globe. This year the pandemic forced ENVE to pivot a bit, holding a virtual tour and framebuilder showcase they’re calling the Builder Round-Up. We’re pleased to once again host this showcase, with two-part coverage, so read on below for a full breakdown on these Beautiful Bicycles along with a few teasers of new ENVE product…
I first became aware of Cameron in 2019 whilst working at NRG Cycles in Great Ayton. A few regular customers had been in and asked if I knew of this local lad – ‘somebody’ Dixon was all I had to go on and that he rode his bike….a lot.
Working in a small North Yorkshire village you tend to know all the local cyclists and with my involvement with Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling, that knowledge is spread further a field into the race scene. I’d never seen him on a start sheet before, so who was he?