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…)
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…)
Tyler wanted to get a limited slip differential installed in his Volvo 142. The problem is, Tyler lives in Santa Cruz where he works for Santa Cruz Bicycles in the design department, and the Volvo experts were down in Long Beach. No one wants to drive from Santa Cruz to Los Angeles on the weekend, and the shop was closed then anyway, so what’s a dude with a slick Volvo to do? The genius of this whole ordeal was that Tyler, and David – two design department dudes at Santa Cruz Bicycles – were able to convince their bosses to let them ride the newest bike models down in Los Angeles, allowing Tyler’s car to get worked on while we shredded some of the area’s best trails. I’m sure it didn’t hurt to have me offer to show them around, ride the new bikes and obviously tell a story about the whole shindig. Sure, this is about the bikes, as much as it is about showing Tyler and David Los Angeles’ best trails in a condensed, two-day experience.
Playing host in Los Angeles is as much fun as it is hard work. Hard in the sense that these are my local trails that I ride quite frequently, so seeing the “new” in the familiar can be photographically challenging. Add to that, technically I’m injured. I found out right before the guys rolled into town that my pinky was indeed broken from a collision with a Prius’ side view mirror one day while I was riding home. That incident happened almost a month prior. Bummer for me, my bike control, and the potential to have a full-on shred fest, but I was so excited to ride the new 5010, so I sucked it up, taped my finger, and clipped in… (more…)
Keep Santa Cruz Cross
Photos and words by Chris Corona
I’ll never forget when I first moved to Santa Cruz, standing in line at the grocery store and seeing mountain bike mags where tabloids usually sat. I rode XC MTB for several years in Philly and I just moved to MTB heaven. The dirt here is soft, smooth and loamy. The scent of the redwoods paired with the ocean mist is a smell like no other. The weather is mild and fog can roll in just as fast as it burns off, depending on nature’s mood. The scenery is like no other here – seeing a visitor’s look on their face staring at a giant redwood is priceless. Seeing the look on their face when they are standing on a bluff overlooking the Pacific, just 20 minutes after the giant redwood is even better. (more…)
Solo Swift Campout in the Tushar Mountains
Photos and words by Spencer Harding
Ok, so to start, I missed the actual date of the Swift Campout by a day. I was finishing up work in St George, Utah and after a week of playing adult daycare as a tour guide I was exhausted. Sitting in a Starbucks in Cedar City, I spied a small glacial lake about an hour north in the Fishlake National Forest that promised some relief from the 110+ heat. I had every intention of actually riding out Saturday night, but then I got lazy and slept for 13 hours instead. So now its noon on Sunday, still time for redemption right? (more…)
Live in any city for long enough and you’re bound to feel confined after a while. Constricted by repetition, the familiar, the norm. While I’ve only been in Los Angeles for two and a half years, I’ve been riding here for longer and much of that time has been in the dirt. Once the familiar sets in, it takes extra work to break from the shell, oftentimes requiring a catalyst to do so. More often than not in this city, the catalyst takes the form of visitors looking to broaden their perspective on not only the riding in Los Angeles but the entire experience of what it means to mountain bike in the San Gabriel mountains, particularly on some of the longer descents.
There is a shuttle which drops you off at Eaton Saddle, off Mount Wilson Road, allowing you to descend back down to the suburban sprawl, via 4,000′ of elevation loss on ripping singletrack. For me, the hassle of buying the shuttle ticket, getting in the van, and having it drive you all the way up to Mount Wilson isn’t enough to merit the mostly downhill experience, which is why I have only taken the shuttle a handful of times since moving here. It’s not that the descent isn’t fun, it’s just not my idea of an afternoon exercise. Which is why when Colin proposed we take his friends Corey and Dave on a bigger, badder ride, I was all ears. (more…)
Old Ghost Road & Heaphy Track
Words and photos by Tom Clayton
I said to my friend Jesse one day I’d love to do a weeks riding in either New Zealand or Tasmania. Straight away he rolled off a heap of trails he’s got pilling up, as he’s got an encyclopedic brain for good riding and always keen to head out. After no persuasion at all there was myself, Jesse, Teef and Joan at the airport in Melbourne boarding the red-eye for Nelson, South Island New Zealand.
The route we’d planned was a seven day, 600km loop around the Kahuranghi National park—taking in The Old Ghost Road at the south and The Heaphy Track at the North. Fuelled mainly by fish and chips, stout beers and more single track than you could shake a stick at, we saw the best of nature, the friendliest people and an amazing network of eco-tourism.
I’d also get the daily distance wrong by at least an hour, Joan would look handsome in every photograph and we’d get rained on for the last 10km. And probably more fish and chips. A big thank you to The Cycle Shop in Nelson for graciously looking after our stuff while we pedalled around, Curve Cycling for making very fun bikes and our friends at Rapha Australia.
See our route at Ride With GPS.
Follow Tom on Instagram, Follow Jesse on Instagram, Follow Sarah on Instagram, and follow Joan on Instagram.
Over the past few months, the Cub House has been host to a number of pop-up shops inside its San Marino space. There’s a 10’x10′ room which happens to make for a perfect space for brands to display their product. This round, Sean, Danny, and Carla reached out to Japan’s Sim Works to open a “convenie” – Japanese slang, shortened from convenience store – filled with Sim Works, their outdoor brand, RAL, as well as Japanese snacks and trinkets. In the Cub House fashion, the team decided to make a big deal about it, throwing a group ride, and pinging Mick from 100 Tacos to cater the event.
If you’re in the Los Angeles area, be sure to swing through the Cub House to see the Sim Works Convenie Store!
The Cub House
2510 Mission St
San Marino, CA 91108
Biting Off More Than You Can Chew
Photos by Locke Hassett and words by Sam Schultz
Often times, the best adventures begin with high-noon departures, loose planning, and biting off a bit more than you can chew.
It was my first bikepacking trip, and though I have backpacked and traveled by motorbike quite a lot, I was clueless about how to pack a bicycle–and I must say, quite skeptical of this trending form of travel. Who would want to ride a fully loaded bike on singletrack?, I had always thought. Visions of struggling up climbs, only to be rewarded by awkward flow-less descending had always come to mind. (more…)
Tucson to Kanza: a Long Ride to a Long Ride
Word and photos by Ultra Romance
Dirty Kanza: How does one prepare their mind, legs and undercarriage for a 200 mile “race?” How do you relaxation cycle ésport™ without relaxation? How does one saunter through the day, resting in the sun whenever the mood strikes, dine on expensive chocolate after a fine fine yogurt cupping at the local co-op, all whilst riding 200 miles in one go?? Can that even be kinda fun?
I suppose it depends on your Myers Briggs score divided by how many years you’ve spent in dental school. Dentists were all over the road scene, and as road has taken a major swan dive into a pile of 20c used rubbers (sounds dirty cuz it is), grav grinding (sounds dirty but only mildly) has become the future world arena for the well-to-do-sadistic. Dentists are sadists by nature, nothing against them, they just are. They drill and pull teeth outa screaming peoples faces all day. They love training for 200-mile races. (more…)