Baja Divide, La Sierra Norte – Daniel Zaid
Words and photos by Daniel Zaid
In 2016 I rode my bike through the Baja California pennisula on the only paved highway, the Carretera Transpeninsular, and as pretty as it was, having to look over my shoulder all the time prevented me from fully enjoying the ride. I ventured in some dirt roads and after some very bumpy rides I thought I’d also look into getting another bike, something that could put more cushion between the rocks and my bones. Few weeks before finishing I read about the Baja Divide project; I saw a photo of the map and did the Cape Loop and thought “This is what I needed.” Three years later I’m finally able to go back again, this time though on a bike made expressly for dirt road touring: Ultraromance´s #RoseEmojiBikes aka the Warthog Wash Wiper aka “Rosita”. Also I’m joined by my partner Karla on her Surly Krampus, who has been dreaming of doing this route for months.
The world of gravel racing is still very foreign to me. At least the competitive side of things, yet I find myself getting roped into these races, namely the ones where they boast features like timed sections. These enduro-inspired gravel races, like Grinduro, adopt this format in hopes that people will hang out and make the event more casual, rather than an all-out battle for who crosses the finish line. In events like Grinduro, this works perfectly, keeping the pace party-level and the conversations lively. This party vibe isn’t easy to cultivate. You’ve got to convince people it isn’t worth charging ahead, stringing the group out.
So maybe that’s why I felt compelled to try out the Eroica California’s Nova race. It boasted timed segments, chiller riding vibes, and I have ridden in the area, twice before, as well as the Eroica California’s course, back when it began and ended in Paso Robles. With this year’s event starting in the sleepy town of Cambria, it surely would be one to remember. Oh, and it was. (more…)
Get Lost and Find Yourself: Cycling to the Breaking Point
Photos and words by Ryan Le Garrec
Long Distance cycling is a mental battle. (more…)
For 2019, the WTB Bikexplorers have a new Grassroots Ride Series launching. These rides are a movement toward creating a stronger, more connected WTF Bikexploring community. They are seeking ride leaders to organize multi-day self-supported adventure rides in their local communities and to register their 2019 rides, which are then listed on the Grassroots Ride Series page. Right now, there are rides in Colorado, Pennsylvania, DC, Vermont, TX, and more. If you are a WTF and would like to host a ride in your area – like LA for instance! – head to the Grassroots Ride Series to sign up by May 31st!
NAHBS the Hard Way: Bikepacking off the Beaten Path from Santa Rosa to Sacramento
Words by Nicholas Haig-Arack and photos by Derek Bolland, Rie Sawada, Brendon Potts, Toyoshige Ikeyama, Adam Sklar, and Nicholas Haig-Arack
I’m sitting here eating a bowl of melting ice cream trying to recollect a few hazy days of sungold and lime-green-tinged moments in the rolling hills and burnt panoramas of remote Northern California, where our international band of amigos took the long and dirty way to the world’s greatest handbuilt bike show.
Let me set the scene with a quick prologue: Three years ago I rode from Santa Rosa to NAHBS in Sacramento by way of scenic Hwy 128. Two years ago I took a meandering MTB road trip to NAHBS in SLC by way of Sedona and Moab, with plenty of memorable stops for singletrack sessions along the way. Last year I skipped the show in Connecticut – too far to ride, too far to road trip – but I was there in spirit since my personal purple haze hardtail was on display in the Sklar booth. After last year’s show was over, when I heard that the Handbuilt Bike Show was making a return to California’s capital in 2019, the wheels were set in motion. I had to plan a route to top them all. More mileage, more dirt, more fun, more friends, more fence-hopping, more roughin’ it. (more…)
What’s in a Name: A Recap of the 2019 Land Run 100
Photos by Brian Vernor and words by Sarah Swallow
You might be wondering, out of all the gravel events popping up around the world, what makes the Land Run 100 special? Why ride gravel in Oklahoma, in a place known as “Tornado Alley”? If you are wondering this, you are not alone.
Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in my first Land Run 100 gravel race. Bobby and Crystal Wintle host the event from their shop, District Bicycles, in the center of historic downtown Stillwater, Oklahoma. The race attracts two thousand gravel cyclists from around the country and has some legendary stories attached to it. For instance, in 2017 rain soaked the red dirt roads to the consistency of peanut butter mud and only ~25% of the riders who started the race finished. Despite the treacherous conditions that bad weather can bring on race day, the Land Run 100 has established itself as a must-do event on the gravel race circuit. Before I talk about why I think that is and what I learned from my experience there, I’d like to acknowledge the history behind the name of the event. (more…)
Salsa hasn’t had a true road bike in their lineup for some time now. Sure, they have the Warbird, which is a gravel racing road bike, but with that, comes a more stable geometry with a longer wheelbase. The Warroad is a straight up endurance road bike, with two wheel sizes and multiple build kit options. Warroad is a new platform for Salsa, designed to take on chunky, imperfect asphalt, with what Salsa is calling their “Endurance Road Geometry.” (more…)
At the end of most trips, I end up with left-over photos or photos that don’t have a home in any one specific gallery. Yet, while in Tucson, I found myself carrying a camera and shooting photos on just about every ride, resulting in some pretty stout photographic documentation of a handful of rides. Without diving deep into the history or the meaning, I decided to simply present these routes with ample photographic documentation. (more…)
Winter is Coming to Lanín of Neuquén
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson
The signs are all there. Only a couple of weeks ago the autumn nights were just “a bit chilly”. The rainstorms came and went over a matter of hours. Now they linger on for days as the snow line along the mountain top creeps slowly down the hill. Campsites aren’t picked by the most scenic view to wake up to, the most practical surface, or the most secluded location. Now I’m looking for the spot with the best line-of-site to where the sun will creep over the horizon the next day. Put the tent right next to a road? OK. In direct sight of houses? Sure. A few days of stuffing a still iced-over tent into your bags with numb hands has a way of shifting your priorities. (more…)
The Sandal Boiyz do Mallorca: Toros De Gravel
Words by Benedict Wheeler, photos by Kyle Kelley
Note: this article contains NSFW imagery. Blame Benedict!
Mallorca was a place that every true fan of pro road racing knows about. Especially if you are into the DEEPly nuanced euro trash aspects of the sport…
Mallorca is where the professional teams come to train and party in the winter months. Scores of doping scandals, both performance and party enhancing, have clumsily unfolded with the spanning mountains and electric blue waters of Mallorca as a scenicback drop. Would simply going to Mallorca allow me to be immersed in cycling scandal like all of my heroes of the golden doping age? Would Michelle Ferrari notice my talents on the beach and pump me full of ox blood in his secret lab/discotheque?? (more…)