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Golden Tunnels and Shipping Containers: Touring the Grand Staircase on the Aquarius Trail Hut System

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Golden Tunnels and Shipping Containers: Touring the Grand Staircase on the Aquarius Trail Hut System

While fully loaded touring and sleeping under the stars provide an enticing self-contained experience, there is a unique allure to the quintessential hut trip. Hut-supported routes are rare here in the U.S., but our rag-tag group of cyclotourists has taken advantage of the proximal classics, including the San Juan Hut Durango-to-Moab and Telluride-to-Moab routes. When the Aquarius Hut Trail Network was announced last year, our exploratory interests were piqued. Home to the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, southern Utah has become one of my favorite destinations from time spent riding and touring in our 4×4 in its rugged backcountry. Even so, the beauty of the riding and surrounding landscapes still bowled me over.

We have a lot of thoughts about both the route and the huts—read on for a full review of this majestic trip…

An Evening With Rocket Ramps on the New Flow Trail ‘Chips and Salsa’ at Glorieta Camps

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An Evening With Rocket Ramps on the New Flow Trail ‘Chips and Salsa’ at Glorieta Camps

Santa Fe has a booming mountain bike community. Partly due to the abundance of trails, yet it takes skilled professionals to build and maintain those trails. For our National Forest, we rely on the kick-ass team that is the Fat Tire Society. They act as the liaison between the BLM/USFS and our public lands. Currently, the Fat Tire Society is working on a sprawling network of trails just south of Santa Fe in Arroyo Hondo. Yet, further south in the town of Glorieta, there’s a brand new trail that’s opening up on October 22nd that I have to tell you about…

Riding for Rights in Vermont: The 2022 Repro Ride

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Riding for Rights in Vermont: The 2022 Repro Ride

A warm Saturday morning, September 10th. I arrive at the top of a long, steep dirt road in the woods of Pomfret later than I planned. Four parking attendants in neon pink shirts, older gentlemen with gray beards, greet me. Birds tweet, crickets chirp, and insects buzz in the background. Mists of gnats swarm my face. I rush to braid my hair in the reflection of the car window, clip my helmet, pull up my bib straps, zip my jersey, and tie the laces of my cycling shoes. “Deep breaths, deep breaths,” I whisper to myself, willing my jittery hands to stop shaking. Due to nerves and too much coffee, they don’t. I quickly stow my sunglasses in my helmet vents, bidons in their cages, and gloves in my jersey pocket. It’s the Repro Ride. And I go.

I roll down the hill to check in aboard El Guapo, my blue Trek Boone gravel bike. More volunteers in pink shirts welcome me behind the registration tables book-ended by red, white, and blue “Vote Yes on Article 22!” signs.

Caminos del Sur: Bike Touring from Volcano to Forest In The State of México

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Caminos del Sur: Bike Touring from Volcano to Forest In The State of México

As residents of the desert state of Sonora when not touring, Radavist contributors Daniel Zaid and Karla Robles decided to pay a visit to the lush state of México further south. Daniel teams up with Nicolás Legorreta, the physicist, cyclist, and nature enthusiast behind the bike bag company Peregrinus Equipment. The two embark on an overnight tour, starting at the 15,000’+ reaches of the volcano Nevado de Toluca and making their way back to Nicolás’ home of San Simón el Alto. With a route that’s all downhill, what could go wrong? 

Building Routes and Community for the 2023 Komoot Women’s Slovenia Rally

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Building Routes and Community for the 2023 Komoot Women’s Slovenia Rally

Katja says, in Slovenia when a family has salad for dinner, they all eat from the same bowl. The bigger the family, the bigger the bowl. One person gathers vegetables from the garden– green leaves, fresh beans, tomatoes and cucumbers, onions and herbs. One person chops them up. One person dresses the salad with oil and vinegar, salt and pepper. One person tastes it to make sure it’s just right. They place the bowl in the middle of the table and everyone digs in with their own fork. There’s the usual family back and forth– who’s eating too fast, who’s picking out only the best parts, who’s pushing down too hard with their fork. When the vegetables are all gone, someone picks up the bowl and drinks the juice.

When I think of our route-building project in Slovenia for the upcoming 2023 Komoot Women’s Rally there, and all of the people that played a role, this story sticks with me.

The LeMond Prolog E-Bike Review: There’s Lots to Talk About

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The LeMond Prolog E-Bike Review: There’s Lots to Talk About

Sometimes a product has stories to tell which go beyond simply comparing the function and aesthetic of objects. These stories can be controversial, and they can be intriguing. Simply mention the name LeMond and anyone who’s been around bikes will have something to say – and now that conversation includes lightweight carbon e-bikes.

The LeMond Prolog, and its step-through stablemate the Dutch, have lots to talk about. Greg LeMond’s Tour de France wins and the history of the LeMond Racing Cycles brand. LeMond’s anti-doping stance and conflicts with Lance Armstrong and Trek. The LeMond Carbon Company’s US-based carbon manufacturing that’s suited to much more than just a couple of urban e-bikes. The seamless integration in those e-bikes of essential components often written off as accessories. And, the potential bikes like this have to disrupt transportation paradigms.

Sure. These bikes are relatively expensive, mostly recreational machines – but just as ideas tested and experience gained in Formula 1 racing cars and World Cup mountain bikes eventually trickle down into more accessible consumer products, LeMond’s cutting-edge products offer a glimpse into what might be around the corner in our own apartments, office building bike rooms, and much, much more.

John’s 1983 Ritchey Everest MTB: A Happenstance Acquisition

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John’s 1983 Ritchey Everest MTB: A Happenstance Acquisition

What’s this? Another grey, size 23″ Ritchey? Well… yes!

Over the past year, I’ve revisited my love of handmade, vintage bikes and have honed in with particular interest on the work of Tom Ritchey, a builder at the fore of early mountain bike design. My goal in this case study of sorts is to provide a few examples of the major shifts in Ritchey’s production, primarily through the 1980s, with a single specimen representing these stages. My catalog of Ritchey frames includes a recently acquired anonymous 1980 model devoid of serial number, a 1985 Annapurna (arguably the finest bike model Tom ever brazed), and a 1982 Tam that is now being replaced by this 1983 Everest.

Earlier this year, we looked at my 1982 Tamalpais, built to catalog spec and in pristine condition. Yet one thing never really sat well with me about the build: the Bullmoose bars. You see, these early Ritcheys had a very unique Bullmoose that was more complex than the quill stem Bullmoose bars found in the late 1980s.

It’s a long story but one I’ll unravel here…

A Double Header of Dispatches from a Canadian Summer

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A Double Header of Dispatches from a Canadian Summer

Long tours are often lauded as being the ultimate way to tour but getting out for overnighters, here and there when the schedule allows, can be just as powerful an experience. Amidst general life busyness, photographer and pedaling-enthusiast Pat Valade makes time for a couple overnight bike campouts this summer. It should be no surprise that he packed the camera and we’re stoked to share the following doubleheader photo essay and its myriad glimpses offered into the Canadian summer. 

Les Liens: Staying Connected in an Analogue World

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Les Liens: Staying Connected in an Analogue World

In modern society, it seems that many of our connections are made in a world of algorithms, a superficial sphere where swipes and likes have replaced the more tactile world I grew up in. This seems intrinsically wrong; we need to be connected physically but we are increasingly isolated from one another, caught up in a world where our eyes and hands are fixed to our screens.

Hotdogs and Mallets: The Eugene Bike Polo Club

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Hotdogs and Mallets: The Eugene Bike Polo Club

For years the words “Bike Polo” have elicited, in my silly little noggin, some sort of barbaric mosh pit of hardcore/anarchist/fixie-skidding/male-presenting jousters, bloody-fresh shinners and maybe getting whacked by one of those croquette things being swung around like a Morgenstern circa 1490. A fight to the death on bikes. I grew up dancing ballet and racing BMX, forging me timid of sports balls and physical contact sports, in general. I had this unfounded bias that bike polo was too edgy and savage; like something I’d not ever try because of my aversion to sports where another human might hit you with a ball, a mallet, or heaven forbid, their own sweaty soul-sack. I imagined a lot of brute force and all-out thrashing: Steel bike frames colliding in explosive fashion inside of a cartoon fight cloud, mallets and balls flying from all directions, and me in the center with time standing still, going full-on Neo (The Matrix, 1999 film) from the saddle in an act of self-preservation.

I was wrong.

Josh’s Amigo Bug Out feat. Ingrid Drivetrain, MRP Baxter Fork, and Industry Nine UL250 Wheelset

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Josh’s Amigo Bug Out feat. Ingrid Drivetrain, MRP Baxter Fork, and Industry Nine UL250 Wheelset

Earlier this year, I purchased a Bug Out, the new “stock” steel frame offering from Zach Small’s framebuilding operation Amigo Frameworks. While visiting Zach in Nashville, we spent a few days building it up in his shop before heading out for first impressions on some springtime Middle Tennessee mixed-terrain riding at the Gosh Darn Gravel Gathering. Since then, I’ve put hundreds of miles on the Bug Out and swapped components a few times to get it where it is now—an intersection of pure enjoyment and mechanical perfection. Genre-wise, this bike pushes a lot of boundaries, and I’m not sure what it is: Dropbar MTB? Adventure bike? ATB? Touring bike? Monster Gravel? At some point, labels stopped mattering, and I realized this might be the most fun bike I’ve owned. Let’s look at the Bug Out, and some build highlights, in detail below and find out why!

2022 Single Speed USA: Decorah, Iowa Edition!

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2022 Single Speed USA: Decorah, Iowa Edition!

Single speed mountain biking. It’s kinda dumb right? How hard is it to shift a derailleur, c’mon.

Let’s not sully the holy sanctity of this article with such petty things as single speed arguments (for or against). What a cliché. If you’re new here, suffice it to say there are all sorts of reasons—from cost to curmudgeonliness to cache—to ride single speed mountain bikes. Those reasons don’t necessarily make sense. If you’re a regular reader, you already know how 1-speed bikes fit into today’s bike culture…enjoy your unsullied reading.

This article is about the bond shared by single speeders and how events like Single Speed USA (SSUSA) carry and strengthen them. I also want it to be about bikes as well, as I know more than a couple of people here might be into them.

Back in School at The Bicycle Academy of Frome, England

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Back in School at The Bicycle Academy of Frome, England

From its crowd-funded origins in 2011,The Bicycle Academy (TBA) has arguably become the most influential framebuilding school in Europe. With names like Ted James, Robin Mather, Paul Burford, and Tony Corke of Torke Cycling, gracing the past and present roster of instructors, it’s no wonder that TBA has seen over 1,000 framebuilder graduates leave its halls.

TBA’s current space is a large, purpose-built warehouse with a semi-open plan on a labyrinth-like industrial estate just outside of the town center in Frome, England. Even with its spacious design, every corner is jammed full of amazing bits of work, every surface adorned with tools or momentos and every wall covered in paraphernalia that induces positive vibes. It’s a fortress for community building and the halls themselves seem built to foster forward-thinking, where shared mantras include, ”what good will I do this day” “make the new” and my personal favorite “flux is thicker than water”.

Many of the faces are TBA come and go—that’s, of course, the nature of a school—and the fluid shifting keeps the place brimming with energy and dynamism. But a few figures have become cornerstones of the institution. Below, let’s dive into some of the conversations I recently had with a few TBA long-haulers.

Dził Diyiní Biyí Iiná Hóló: Life Within the Sacred Mountains at Rezduro 2022

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Dził Diyiní Biyí Iiná Hóló: Life Within the Sacred Mountains at Rezduro 2022

Rezduro takes place in the remote community of Hardrock, Arizona which is located on the Black Mesa plateau/region on the Navajo Nation. What started out as a vision by Nigel James and friends has turned into the first and only Indigenous-led mountain bike enduro race. Nigel James dreamed of bridging his grandparents’ sheep herding trails with his passion for mountain bike enduro racing as a result, Rezduro was born in 2021. Rezduro is organized by Diné (the Navajo people) on Diné lands.

Ballz’ JP Weigle Fat Tire Road Cruiser

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Ballz’ JP Weigle Fat Tire Road Cruiser

I met Ballz last August while riding around Brattleboro VT. Afterward, I was welcomed back to Nutmeg Country for pizza, more group rides, and tour guiding. While there I spent the night in Ballz and Troy’s Garage, also known as the Nutmeg Country Historical Preservation Society Of Alt Cycling, or something along those lines. No, really, they had it all: everything from prototype Crust Leather Handlebars to prototype Nor’Easters. So, seeing a one-of-a-kind J.P. Weigle wasn’t out of the ordinary, but I didn’t quite grasp what I was looking at.