Category Archives: Rides
Inside / Out at the Vanilla Workshop and the Workshop Buildoff Party

It’d been a while since the last time I had been to Portland. 2015 or so, if I recall correctly. In that time, a lot has changed in the city, and over at our friends at the Vanilla Workshop.

While I was in Portland at the Workshop Buildoff, I did my best at documenting the space, a few people, and the party scene from the kickoff. Portland’s got a deep cycling culture, and seeing it come out for this party was a great way to spend a Friday night. Feeling the frenetic buzz leading up to the event, only to be released with the first can of beer opening was a real treat and one that I enjoyed watching unfold. (more…)

Aug 11, 2018 7 comments
Practice Makes Perfection at the 2018 Downieville Classic

The Downieville Classic has been a work in progress since its inception in 1995, yet most recently the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship – the trail organization that throws the race and maintains hundreds of miles of trail in the Lost Sierra – made a massive leap in progress, but not without a lot of persistence, a little luck, and yes, tons of practice. Whatever mountain biking is to you, be it sport, hobby, lifestyle, or all of the above, it requires practice. The SBTS has logged over 25 years of practice working with various Forestry departments: learning the ins and outs of trail stewardship, including but not limited to the politics and practices of making and maintaining mountain bike trails. (more…)

Aug 7, 2018 41 comments
A Solstice Ballad for My Hometown – Tenzin Namdol

A Solstice Ballad for My Hometown
Words by Tenzin Namdol, photos by Ultra Romance and Thomas Hassler.

While the God-fearing Christians of the lower Connecticut River valley ended their day cleaning off their lawn care equipment, a small group of Wiccan-observing, season-worshipping heathens rolled their tires through the forested glades of the Nutmeg Country triangle in honor of the Swift Campout. We smell of essential oils and the crystals around my neck jingles at each pedal stroke. The leaves on the trees have matured from their Spring-emerged highlighter green to a darker, more robust hue, properly at the ready for the next summer storm. The back-to-back Nor’easters these trails have endured in recent months have left branches and huge fallen trees in the path as we head for the lean to’s in Cockaponsett State Forest- a mouthful, I know, especially paired with the Pattaconk Lake that nests inside. This area is full of names like that: Hammonasset Beach is a rock throw away from Benedict’s home, the Quinnipiac flows into New Haven harbor several miles away. Connecticut is a colonized spelling of the Native Algonquian, Quinnehtukqut, which translates to “place of the long river”. (more…)

Aug 6, 2018 5 comments
If You Build It, They Will Come: Gladys Bikes in Portland

If you build it, they will come, and by “they” I mean women. Yet not the women we typically see the industry sinking hundreds of thousands of dollars into R&D to make the perfect bike. No, this segment of the industry often gets the back-burner.

Let’s backpedal a little bit. Gladys Bikes is, as their Google profile so succinctly puts it, “a cycle shop for women.” The owner, Leah, felt there was a void in Portland’s current bike shop offering in one key way: they tend to leave out the hybrid, or commuter market, especially for middle-aged women. Particularly when it comes to bike fitting and saddle selection. Leah and her crew cater to this group, dare I say the “forgotten demographic” in the cycling industry. (more…)

Aug 2, 2018 19 comments
I’m Not Tired, I’m Just Tired of the Situation: the Trans Ecuador Mountain Bike Route – Cjell Mone and Corbin Brady

“I’m not tired, I’m just tired of the situation.”
Words by Cjell Monē and photos by Corbin Brady

Corbin’s family calls it ‘Going Nuclear’…It’s precisely the time when ol’ Hard Corbin stops enjoying the infinite riches of bikepacking and tells the world to ‘go, fuck itself.’ Two days of bike carrying and rationing food are a good recipe for a nuclear reaction.

Cass Gilbert over at bikepacking.com teamed up with a couple of nut-jobs living on an organic farm outside of Quito, the Dammer Brothers, to ride their bikes across Ecuador. I can’t tell you a lot about these guys other than between them they have 7 million bikepacking miles and their hobbies include lifting steel fatbikes over their heads. (more…)

Jul 31, 2018 13 comments
Leave it On the Road Stampede 2018

WE DON’T WANT TO FIGHT CANCER, WE WANT TO END IT.

A bold statement but with a bold intent and bold action. For Leave it on the Road, this yearly journey has become a staple. Beginning Monday, July 30th, six riders will traverse 1,200 miles in 12 days from Boulder, CO to Boise, ID to help fund cutting-edge cancer cell and gene therapy research. Cancer awareness is no joke but with efforts like this, I truly believe humanity will find a cure. Head to Leave it on the Road to read more on the Stampede 2018, RSVP for their grand depart party at Rapha, don’t forget to check out their raffle for a Specialized Diverge while you’re over there and see the official LIOTR bike design below! (more…)

Jul 31, 2018 3 comments
SWOT and the North Cape 4000 – Erik Nohlin

SWOT and the North Cape 4000
Words by Erik Nohlin, photos by Beth Welliver

Editor’s note: this is a long piece, but I wanted to leave it mostly unedited to maintain Erik’s voice, and all are encouraged to ask Erik questions here, just 24 hours before he departs for the North Cape 4000. So feel free to ask away and hopefully he’ll have time to address any questions you might have!

Fuck.
Wednesday / July 11 2018 / 04.22 am / Orlando International Airport / T-16 days to NC4000
Dehydrated and wrecked after canceled flights and a week on the road hunting Tour de France in cars, being off the bike completely for eleven days while eating shitty gas station food. The longest ride I’ve ever done is two weeks away and I’m lacking the fitness I wish I had enough of to relax about it at this point. Gear is not dialed and there’s a lot of questions without known answers right now. I’ll use this piece as a checklist, trying to get some answers for myself and to give you a picture of what’s in my head right now as I write this on a plane from Orlando to San Francisco, but first some context and a SWOT, a thing I tend to do when shit’s about to hit the fan. When this is published in two weeks from now, we’ll be on our way to the start in the north Italian city of Arco on July 28th. (more…)

Jul 25, 2018 51 comments
When in Bozeman: Come Together on the Alter Cycles Supper Club Shred Group Ride!

We interrupt what would be more bike galleries from the Builder’s Camp in Bozeman, with an interjection of stoke. Stoke for the ride we did last night and the community at large, with emphasis on that word, large.

Every Tuesday night in Bozeman – during the warmer months – Alter Cycles throws an event they call the Supper Club Shred. It’s an open invite, all-are-welcomed ride, which ping-pongs around the various trails surrounding this quaint lil’ mountain town. Since meeting Mason and Steve from Alter, I’ve been following them on Instagram, checking out the local scene through their lenses and I must say, the internet doesn’t do it justice.

For one, the riding community here is as superb as the riding. Last night, over 50 people showed up for the party ride up to Emerald Lake via one of the chillest and most stunning singletrack climbs we’ve taken on thus far. As a self-described desert rat, I don’t often find myself deep in forests, or lush thickets such as this. With this form of riding comes a summoning of throwback skills from learning to mountain bike in the hills and mountains of North Carolina. Steep, slick, rocks and roots await! (more…)

Jul 18, 2018 23 comments
I’m Not Stopping: Lael Wilcox on the Navad 1000 – Rugile Kaladyte

Day Two on the Navad 1000
Words by Lael Wilcox, photos and intro by Rugile Kaladyte

In June, Lael Wilcox raced the Navad 1000, a 1000KM mountain bike race in Switzerland with over 100,000 feet of climbing. Bikepacking races are typically a lonely affair, where riders pedal in solitude without support or company. Switzerland is a small country with huge mountains and heart.

Willi Felix, the race organizer, would like this race to be more accessible to newcomers. As such, he encourages people to come ride with the racers and allows the racers to accept unexpected trail magic. In addition, at the halfway point in Finsterwald, there is a Navad 1000 depot where racers can leave a box of supplies to refuel them for the rest of the race.

On the first day of the Navad 1000, Lael rode nearly 300KM, riding past all of the other riders while they were sleeping. She slept for a couple of hours in a hikers’ hut, packed up her bivvy and got back on her bike. (more…)

Jul 12, 2018 24 comments
Into the Woods for a Dungeons and Dragons Themed Wildcat

Into the Woods for a Dungeons and Dragons Themed Wildcat
Photos by David Smith, words by Hans Van Housen

On the 1st of July 30-some people showed up for the Dungeons and Dragons-themed Wildcat. Wildcats are alleycat-style checkpoint races, but on dirt, and with no experience necessary. These champions came to the Santa Cruz Forest above UCSC to prove that the Sharpie was indeed mightier than the sword. Four checkpoints scattered about the woods stationed with wizards and space wolves. Each racer had to throw a 20-sided dice and if they threw an 11 or lower they would have to spin in a circle 20 times. If they threw higher then a 12, they’d get their manifest signed and head to the next checkpoint. It was madness. (more…)

Jul 8, 2018 16 comments