Rides

category

The Readers Write: the New York Pizza and Dynamo Society

Radar

The Readers Write: the New York Pizza and Dynamo Society

The Readers Write is a short-form feature where readers can write about their local rides, submit photos, and course routes, lowering the barrier for entry with sharing stories here on the Radavist. It’s a new feature we’re implementing in 2020 but have yet to set up the infrastructure for submissions, so sit tight!

Convincing folks to do a group ride is difficult enough during daylight hours in nice weather conditions, but as the nights grow longer and colder, finding a crew to roll with becomes damn near impossible. Enter the New York Pizza and Dynamo Society (NYPDS): A group of cyclists dedicated to exploring some of our city’s finest eateries, exclusively by the light of kinetically-driven lamps.

Sand and Snow: Bikepacking to the Salton Sea from Palm Springs and Then Some!

Reportage

Sand and Snow: Bikepacking to the Salton Sea from Palm Springs and Then Some!

The Salton Sea first appeared to me back in 2016, a couple of days into the Stagecoach 400 bike packing trip with the Borrachos. It appeared to me then as it appeared on this passage, an out of place body of water in the desert landscape, planar and mirage inducing. It could have been the heat exhaustion the first time I saw it, but the sea seemed to bend the horizon. We only saw it in the distance at that time, as our Stagecoach route took us up and away into Anza Borrego. This time around though, we’d pedal straight for it.

Dances with Kyrgyz Wolves

Reportage

Dances with Kyrgyz Wolves

“You’re sleeping in a tent out there? Aren’t you worried about them?” a girl from Kyrgyzstan’s capital city who was enjoying a weekend trip to the local favorite Song-Kul lake asked us. I thought to myself wondering what she might be referring to.  After a moment she realized our confusion and clarified… “The Wolves”.

The Kosciuszko Alpine Classic: A Bikepacking Trip Before the Bushfires

Reportage

The Kosciuszko Alpine Classic: A Bikepacking Trip Before the Bushfires

The Kosciuszko Alpine Classic is just a name I came up with for a ride I did with my two good mates, Ben and James. We had organised a week off work in late October to go and spend some time in the Australian Alps. The route would see us riding primarily through the Kosciuszko National Park, taking in the wild brumby infested Long Plain, then going up and over the highest rideable trail in Australia, and also along some of the newest and flowiest single track built in the region. It was going to be classic!

Start Where You Are: Fundraising Through Fun Racing with Leave It On The Road

Reportage

Start Where You Are: Fundraising Through Fun Racing with Leave It On The Road

My friend Rebecca Gates once told me, “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” She quickly admitted that this piece of wisdom came from tennis legend Arthur Ashe. Since then it has been at the top of my mind. There is power in this expression “Start where you are” eliminates steps to action. “Use what you have” wrests back agency– doing this engages oneself in action while giving oneself to taking action, or “do what you can.”

Action, especially towards a greater good, is the most salient way to combat the various tentacles of existential dread, whether they are cancer, capitalism, or climate change. No matter where we turn, dread appears. Unavoidable but not unconquerable, we succumb only through inaction. Taking the first step towards action can be difficult, especially in our culture, which seems to perpetually discovering new heights of apathy. The world and our culture can feel like an incredibly heavyweight.

Mino-giizhigad; Maazhi-giizhigad: The Marji Gesick

Radar

Mino-giizhigad; Maazhi-giizhigad: The Marji Gesick

Credit: 906 Adventure Team. Cable, age 9, carving out his legacy.

(It’s a good day; it’s a bad day)

Shakespeare insisted that a name held nothing significant; in fact, a name is but an arbitrary designator. A rose,  “by any other name would smell as sweet.” If the rose weren’t called a rose, we would still swoon over the sweet smell. Poor Juliet, the owner of a smitten young heart, failed to see everything that exists in a name. In my case, at thirty years old, I still carry my maiden name. Instead, I like to say it’s the name I’ve made for myself; I don’t see that changing any time soon. I grew up in the trailer park across the street from the General Motors Factory in Janesville, Wisconsin, and attended Jackson Elementary school. It was there I celebrated Andrew Jackson as a glorious president; Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830. What’s in that name? A legacy of brutality*, I say.

*Yes, this is a reference to the 1985 album by the Misfits. Hybrid moments is one of my favorite songs of all time.

The Baja Divide Website is Now Available in Spanish Translation

Radar

The Baja Divide Website is Now Available in Spanish Translation

One of Lael Wilcox‘s dreams when it comes to the Baja Divide is to provide the route in Spanish. Well, thanks to Daniel Zaid, that dream has become a reality. The Baja Divide begins at the US/Mexico border and continues all the way down the Baja Penninsula, with the route describing each section in detail. This is a huge undertaking for Daniel to take on. Many thanks to Lael and Rue for making this happen!

See the translated site at Baja Divide.

Get inspired by our coverage of the route:
Baja Divide, El Valle De Los Cirios
Baja Divide, La Sierra Norte
DFL the (Baja) Divide
Going Back to Baja

The Coaster Brake Challenge: And Y’all Thought You Were a Freak!

Reportage

The Coaster Brake Challenge: And Y’all Thought You Were a Freak!

Welcome to the beautiful dark twisted world of Paul de Valera and Atomic Cycles‘ Coaster Brake Challenge! A race I have known about for over a decade, a race that my mentor JimC would race religiously, but for some reason, I never made the time to attend. I always made up some kind of excuse, usually, it was about the bike, which is bullshit. Paul and Atomic Cycles have plenty of loaners, and as you can already tell from the title of this story, these bikes are simple, cheap, and easy to build.

The Service Course: Tajikistan – The Not Knowing

Reportage

The Service Course: Tajikistan – The Not Knowing

Tajikistan. It’s wild. It’s remote. It’s unforgiving. It’s out there.

Over eight days of breathtaking riding and spectacular scenery, we follow Christian Meier and Peter Gaskill of The Service Course on their adventure through Tajikistan, weaving through the Wakhan Valley, over the Khargush Pass, along the Pamir Highway, into the Bartang Valley and beyond. A journey into the unknown, and one that will live long in the memory. As a result, The Service Course will be hosting their inaugural Tajikistan Gravel Tour in June 2020, limited to six adventurous participants.

Churches, Chanclas and Cheese: A Trip Into the Hills of Sonora

Reportage

Churches, Chanclas and Cheese: A Trip Into the Hills of Sonora

Karla and I had planned to explore a route that has been in my books for a while now which would connect Naco at the México-USA border to the city of Hermosillo via mostly dirt roads, as part of a project I tend to call “Ruta Trans-Sonora”, a way to cross the Mexican state of Sonora from north to south offering a continuation from the GDMBR, the AZT, and the most recent Wild West Route. This could, eventually, connect with the also recently released Trans-Mexico Route, which so far assumes you’d do the Baja Divide first. Although I don’t know why anyone would miss the opportunity of doing the Baja Divide, the idea is to put another option in the menu, and well, it’s my home state after all.

Puritanically Soft Times: The 3rd Annual Nutmeg Nor’easter

Reportage

Puritanically Soft Times: The 3rd Annual Nutmeg Nor’easter

LAST YEAR: 8 pm, downtown Clinton CT.  In an hour the 3 street lights will be set to blinking mode; the sleepy Connecticut shoreline town is doing just that… Sleeping… more like watching true crime TV in bed, but in bed nonetheless.  Through this stillness, the beams of 50 dynamo lights flicker, piercing through the evening river fog—the eclectic electric thumps of several Bluetooth boomboxes keep rhythm to the whirl of 100 fat tires on the damp pavement.  If anyone had been out of bed to see it, this would have been the largest parade Clinton had ever held.

Lower the Heavens: Attempting to Summit White Mountain

Reportage

Lower the Heavens: Attempting to Summit White Mountain

We had set aside that Autumn weekend months earlier, just after having briefly met at a bike race called Lost and Found in late Spring. Matt was planning an extended bike commute through my town and asked to camp in my backyard. I told him sure, I have a fire pit, so it can really be like camping, but I’m going to barnacle onto that trip because it sounds fun. This trip took on many different names, with the goal to write some mockingly weird shit about it, and this one stuck: Tour of the Barnacle: The Chronicles of Holding On. The Barnacle Tour fell through, and a story that will not be told passed between then and this, but hell, we decided to stick to doing some exotic bike trip that weekend.

Bikepacking Navajoland with Dzil Ta’ah Adventures

Reportage

Bikepacking Navajoland with Dzil Ta’ah Adventures

“See that rock formation over there, and the other skinnier one in the distance?” Jon Yazzie says, “they represent the story and fate of Big Snake and Owl Maiden.  Big Snake came from what is called Sugar Loaf near Mexican Hat, Utah slithering its way down, and eventually ending up coiled around Agathla Peak or (what Kit Carson called) “El Capitan.” The Owl promised to look over Big Snake until he came back to life again.  Owl is frozen in sandstone looking right at big snake on Agathla Peak.” Having passed through Kayenta countless times, driving from the southwest US to Moab, or further into Colorado, these prominent volcanic plugs and sandstone towers rising iconically out of a sea of sandy fields and sandstone mesas have always caught my eye. As we rested there just a few miles into the ride, legs slung overloaded bikes attempting to absorb everything Jon was telling us about the surrounding landscape, I knew this was going to be a special weekend.

Sometimes You Meet the People and the Animals: Racing the Spirit World 100

Reportage

Sometimes You Meet the People and the Animals: Racing the Spirit World 100

Riding through a landscape gives you a deeper appreciation for that place. It’s sensory. You breathe the air and you feel the sun and the wind and the weather. You muscle over the hills and your tires surf through the sand and over the rocks. You learn why roads exist and where they lead and who lives among them and what grows there. Sometimes you meet the people and the animals. Sometimes you share the space with fellow travelers and sometimes you ride alone. The farther you pedal, the more your mind becomes part of that space– the space between your body and your bike and the earth. Your mind is in the sky and the tall golden grass. When your body and mind relinquish control over expectations and judgments and find connection to your surroundings, you enter the spirit world, a place of truth and acceptance.

Deserted, Dusted, and Dolomite: A Central Death Valley Bicycle Tour

Reportage

Deserted, Dusted, and Dolomite: A Central Death Valley Bicycle Tour

The cold. Oh, the cold. Never before had I experienced 10º temperatures at night and 70º during the day. There I lay, in chrysalis, asleep in my bivy thinking to myself, “this is miserable.” That was two years ago, at the foot of the second tallest sand dunes in North America, nestled between the Last Chance and Amargosa Mountains in Death Valley National Park. Needless to say, it took a while for me to want to tour this unforgiving place again. There’s something transformative about touring in the Mojave Desert. The dryness, the elevation, the sand, the silt, the wind, the washboard roads; insurmountable obstacles really bring out the truest human condition, that Lovecraftian urge to get out and test one’s limits. Push it a little bit further and come out the other side. Had I known that this love for the deserted, the dusted, and that grandiose dolomite was merely biding its time as I shivered uncontrollably in my bivy sack two years ago, I might not have been so absolute in my cynicism. It was time for emergence.

Reflections on the Border: Bikepacking the Wild West Route Part 02

Reportage

Reflections on the Border: Bikepacking the Wild West Route Part 02

The grass grows steadily, towering over us until we can no longer see the San Pedro Trail. My partner and I hadn’t seen anyone else that day and it was peacefully quiet. We can only hear the bees buzzing, ignoring our presence among the thicket of yellow flowers growing wildly across the trail. It was still early in the afternoon and we already had an eventful morning – dodging thorny bushes cutting both our arms and legs, navigating muddy streams covered with overgrown grass, surprising a few jackrabbits from their homes, and getting startled by two rattlesnakes lying across the gravel path.

Jambi Jambi and the Soft Time Tour d’Idaho with Friends

Reportage

Jambi Jambi and the Soft Time Tour d’Idaho with Friends

It has been a month since returning from the most recent trip to the US. That’s 4 weeks to digest all the colours, flavours, energy and emotions that come from every foray into the wild world of the United States of America. For this write up I am picking my favorite part – Soft time Tour d’Idaho w. Friends – Not the official name but rather what I recall it as. It was a modified version of the Idaho section of the newly formed Wild West Route. Pioneers of fresh route from Bikepacking Roots!