You Could Be Bowling
Words and photos by Spencer Dillon
The trip from Salt Lake to Moab isn’t particularly onerous. Just a few hours rolling through coal country, a glimpse of Green River, and the amiable descent into canyon country. But sandstone seems a stronger attractant than US 191 can handle.
On a Thursday afternoon, two lanes of brake-tapping traffic crawl south on 191 for miles towards Arches, well beyond even the boundary of Moab proper. 191 connects Moab with I-70, and, despite its designation as a state route, boasts better pavement than much of Salt Lake. It is the sort of perfect road that only tourists can create, widening out into two lanes just as the going gets scenic so that gawkers may slow down to adequately gawp. It is new and immaculate because the tourist dollars it transports pay those maintenance costs and more. On most days, it is 31 miles of bottleneck – the carotid artery for family minivans, overlanders and $7000-mountain-bike-on-the-roof people coming from all points north, east and west. Everyone wants to go see Delicate Arch and ride the Whole Enchilada. (more…)
Over the past few years, there’s been an awakening of sorts within my scope of reporting and documenting cycling: when I travel to cover an event, or set out to ride in even a familiar landscape, I like to know the geopolitical, geographical, and geological history of the land in which I’ll be pedaling across, over and through. As much as this awareness contributes to a better understanding of the land we all recreate on, it’s also a way to pay respects to the prior inhabitants of these fragile landscapes.
This interest in the background and history of a place was a large motivation for me to take part in the Ruta del Jefe: a race through the San Rafael Valley, and Santa Rita Mountains, coordinated by Sarah Swallow. Last weekend, the race went down, and up for that matter, all around the San Rafael Valley, but the weekend had much more on the agenda than just riding bikes: it was a lesson for us all in how to sustainably use the land and how we could offer up our recreation as a resource. (more…)
Squid World Tour: China V2.0, Way Outside of Beijing
Photos by Angel Perez and words by Emily Kachorek
We kicked off the cyclocross portion of Squid World Tour early again this year in August. After a successful weekend of UCI racing Down Under in Melbourne’s winter cyclocross conditions, we made our way up (way up) to Beijing, China for the 6th Edition of the always hot and muggy Qiansen Trophy Cup. In the past the majority of the races have been held in the outer rings of the capital city. This edition, however, the events would be held at all new venues outside (way outside) Beijing. The Squad was excited for all new courses, new roads, and a whole new Chinese adventure. (more…)
What started as a weekend getaway on Super Bowl weekend with friends has evolved into something much more than that. Originally, our “Super Bro” weekend – please take that tongue in cheek – was just a bunch of friends camping and riding. The next year, it grew, more ladies attended, the weather kinda sucked but what can you do? It’s Texas in February. Once I left Austin, the event spread to our friends in Seattle at Swift Industries and the name was changed to the more inclusive, less inside jokey, Super Stoke weekend. What’s the point in joking with a name if you have to explain it each time?
The event continued, mostly in Texas, with a field trip to Seattle one April, before landing in Tucson this year. Now, it was a hard sell to get me to drive to Austin to ride in the rain, but I’d gladly drive to Tucson to ride in the majestic Sky Islands and the San Rafael Valley. (more…)
Owens Valley, the Mojave, and Death Valley have been the backdrop for many stories here on the Radavist, but there is one region in particular that has interested me in regards to both the terrain and the history. The Inyo Mountains are ripe for adventure-seekers looking to get off the beaten path of Death Valley National Park or the Eastern Sierra. It can be a very isolating place: the roads are rough, rugged, with little to no cell reception or provisions. If you can, however, access this zone safely, you will be rewarded with unsurpassed views of the Eastern Sierra as the backdrop and colorful geological features abound.
I spend my free time exploring this region for routes that are suitable for travel by bicycle and to be honest, very few have proven to be fruitful in such endeavors. The area is plagued by roads so steep that even an equipped 4×4 can overheat, or miles upon miles of rock gardens, and sand traps. Not to mention the complete absence of water. To ride in this zone, you have to be prepared, both mentally and physically. It’s a region that challenged the native tribes as well as the prospectors who were driven by the desire to strike it rich. There’s a bigger tale here before we dive into our story, that needs to be told. One that hits close to home for us at the Radavist. (more…)
Dutch Veld Dispatch: My Roller Romance (AKA Euro Bike Racing)
Words by Andrew Juiliano and photos by Tomás Montes
I hear the pitter patter of tiny feet and look out the window.
A little girl runs around the corner and crouches behind the car.
She locks eyes with me, and holds a finger to her lips. I don’t need to speak Dutch to understand the universal sign for “Don’t blow up my hide-and-go-seek spot, bro!” (more…)
Australian Kook Inc. Adventures: GRONK 690
Words and photos by Jorja Creighton
gronk – Urban Dictionary
Australian Slang, (noun) A person that is totally lacking in fashion sense, motor skills and/or social skills. Usually a total moron, an extremely unpleasant person or an unwanted guest.
Sometimes: A likable idiot or Bogan (especially in Queensland)
1. No wonder he can’t get a girlfriend, he is such a gronk!
2. Why would you “steal my car for the weekend,” you gronk!
The Jagungal Wilderness is my favorite place to take guests in Australia. Come to Australia for sun and sand? Too bad…I will give you a historically inaccurate tour of the Australian Snowy Mountains in late springtime. Where it may or may not snow, hail or cook you. (more…)
Dispatches from the Veld: On the Road to the Pontchâteau World Cup
Words by Andrew Juiliano and photos by Ethan Glading
It was just after midday in Western France when Max dragged two bike bags off the train in Pontchâteau. The 31-year old Californian had reached the end of his four-hour journey from Paris. For the past month, he’d paused his career as an upright bass player to race cyclocross across Europe. The tour had taken him to World Cups in Belgium and as far as the burgeoning Swiss EKZ scene. In two days, he’d be on the start line for the penultimate stop of the UCI World Cup circuit, right there in the small Bretton city. (more…)
Shared Territory: Iceland
Photos by Ian Matteson, video by Justin Balog, and words by Remi McManus
The plan was simple… Ride across Iceland following a little know, and even less explored medieval route through the highlands of Iceland. A route that skirts Europe’s second largest glacier, numerous active volcanos, and areas which had recently been closed due to emission of poisonous natural gases. A route by which all accounts is made up of mostly deep black sand, jagged lava fields, frigid glacial rivers, steaming geothermal fissures, and is populated only by ghosts, witches, trolls, and hidden people. (more…)
Dispatch From the Badlands
Photos and words by Carmen Aiken
On the dotted line to Sheep Mountain Table, I suddenly brake. Something tilts in my nervous system, tugs. The summer’s off-pavement riding has me forgetting the sweetness of an emptiness’s quiet when your contraption and all the nonsense it carries is, for a moment, still. What do you matter? The rocks rest as they wont to do, I suppose, the world ticks to its own endless motion, even as it’s stupidly being timed and quantified on devices it doesn’t give a shit about. (more…)