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Down and Dirty in Santa Cruz – Ryan Wilson and Sean Talkington

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Down and Dirty in Santa Cruz – Ryan Wilson and Sean Talkington

Down and Dirty in Santa Cruz
Photos by Ryan Wilson and Sean Talkington. Words by Sean Talkington

Ty, Ryan, Jackie and myself were recently invited up to Santa Cruz to meet with some of our fellow Instagram bike brethren (aka nerds). We were brought up to test out the new Roubaix Di2 disk outerspace/starwars bikes by Specialized. I was getting over a cold so Ty and I decided to carpool up a day later. We showed up a little late but arrived just in time to partake in what we hoped to be four straight days of great riding with or without torrential rainfall. Regardless of the forecast, we were optimistic. Each day was scheduled to be wetter than the previous, but the terrain was going to be so good that the weather wouldn’t be a factor.

Everything was pretty awesome. Things couldn’t be better! That is, until the start of day 3. That’s when it happened. When I got the feeling in my stomach. You know the feeling?! The feeling when your stomach drops, like REALLY “droooooooops” (30 minutes into the ride) and you start sweating profusely (even though its 51 degrees outside). Then you realize you’ve caught the stomach bug that has been going around the house (Rudy from The 5th Floor had it the day before and a European journalist before him).

I would now like for you to put yourself in my shoes for a minute (or better yet my bibs). You are now officially going to turn your insides out. The probability of you holding it in for more than a single minute is extremely low and while the rest of the group keeps on riding, you start to fall off the back. Then you realize you left your phone at the house because you didn’t want it to get wet. So you have absolutely no idea where you are or how to get back to the house and of course you don’t know the address/location where you are staying.

The Long Road to Titus Canyon – Ryan Wilson

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The Long Road to Titus Canyon – Ryan Wilson

The Long Road to Titus Canyon
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson

It started for me two years ago when I made my first trip to Death Valley National Park. I was rolling along the road to Ubehebe Crater when I passed a little dirt road named “Titus Canyon” that gradually sloped out of the valley floor until hitting a seemingly impassable rock wall a few miles in the distance. No signs of the road switching back and climbing over it… just abruptly ending.

Fast forward to a year later, I had done a bit of research and found that the road does in fact go through the range and over the Nevada border. It’s a 25 mile stretch of dirt that is a one-way road from the Nevada side into California. Plans were set, and I was going to give it a shot. Only hitch was that I wanted to climb it rather than descend it (on a road bike), so I would be heading up going the “wrong” direction, then looping around over a paved pass back into Death Valley…

Sunset Chasing Southern California’s Best – Ryan Wilson and Sean Talkington

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Sunset Chasing Southern California’s Best – Ryan Wilson and Sean Talkington

Sunset Chasing Southern California’s Best
Photos by Ryan Wilson and Sean Talkington. Words by Sean Talkington.

Ryan and I recently planned a ride up Highway 39 to get some “work” done. We needed to shoot some of the Team Dream products in their natural habitat (shameless self promotion #1). We asked our friend Jackie to come along as a lady model. Jackie originally wanted 10K in cash (up front!) to model but settled for a turkey sandwich (also up front!) instead.

This ride is (in our opinion) the absolute hands down best climb in all of Southern California. The road used to be closed to cars a few years back and in those days you could do the bulk of the twisty climb without ever seeing another human. It was really post apocalyptic feeling back then. Now the 39 is open to motor vehicles until just after Crystal Lake, but even with the occasional “Fast And The Furious” car ripping by you every so often, this climb is still easily #1.

Chasing Peaks In The Cascade Range: Part 2 – Ryan Wilson

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Chasing Peaks In The Cascade Range: Part 2 – Ryan Wilson

Chasing Peaks In The Cascade Range: Part 2
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson

I woke up on day four in Bend, Oregon at 6am, in what is likely the shittiest motel the (otherwise quite nice) city has to offer. Next door I could hear the muffled sounds of what seemed like an escalating argument over who stole whose bag of weed. Rather than stick around for the thrilling conclusion to this one, I quickly packed up and headed straight to Smith Rock State Park just a few miles north.

Chasing Peaks in the Cascade Range: Part 1 – Ryan Wilson

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Chasing Peaks in the Cascade Range: Part 1 – Ryan Wilson

Chasing Peaks in the Cascade Range: Part 1
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson

It started last fall when I got my first taste of the Pacific Northwest on a one week road trip, riding in parts of Northern California and up into the Cascade mountains of Central Oregon. Immediately following that trip I started laying the groundwork for another trip that would span the entire range of the Cascades from California’s Lassen National Park to Washington’s Mount Baker, near the US/Canada border. 15+ days of volcanic peaks, lush rain forests, and tired legs.

Road tripping in Southern Utah – Ryan Wilson

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Road tripping in Southern Utah – Ryan Wilson

Road tripping in Southern Utah
Words and photos by Ryan Wilson

Utah has always been on a list with Colorado, the Alps, Pyrenees, and few other places that I’ve wanted to go to, but knew I’d never have enough time to do and see everything I wanted to do there. It always made me hesitant to commit to a shorter trip. However, a few weeks ago I saw a small window of opportunity, and finally decided I’d rather see a fraction of it than none, so I took the 6 hour haul from Los Angeles to the southwestern corner of Utah to hit a few big climbs and national parks. The plan was to try to squeeze a couple rides and hikes in through Zion, Bryce, and some of the surrounding mountains in 4 days.

The Sequoia and Kings Canyon Loop – Sean and Ryan

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The Sequoia and Kings Canyon Loop – Sean and Ryan

The Sequoia and Kings Canyon Loop
Photos by Sean Talkington and Ryan Wilson words by Sean Talkington, photo captions by Ryan Wilson.

About a month ago I received an email invite from Ryan Wilson to join in with a small group riding Kings Canyon Loop. I had never really ridden with Ryan and had no idea what Kings Canyon was, but seeing so many of his bitchin photos in the Western Sierra on Instagram was more then enough to lure me into a day of riding. What I didn’t know was that this guy goes out on some REALLY HUGE days to take these shots of scenic wonder and most of the time he does it alone.

The Big Climbs of Lone Pine, CA – Ryan Wilson

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The Big Climbs of Lone Pine, CA – Ryan Wilson

The Big Climbs of Lone Pine, CA
Words and photos by Ryan Wilson

Highway 395 through Inyo County is renowned amongst cyclists in California as a jump-off point for some of the best riding in the country. All of the highest roads in the state intersect this stretch of road tucked between the Eastern Sierras and Death Valley. None loom quite like the 10,000ft+ Horseshoe Meadows near Lone Pine, CA.

A couple weeks ago when I heard rumors that Horseshoe was being cleared of snow/debris and opened for the season, the gears started turning, and I invited my buddies Jeff and Gus to get their first taste of riding in the Sierras.

The Road to Mineral King and Kings Canyon – Ryan Wilson

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The Road to Mineral King and Kings Canyon – Ryan Wilson

The Road to Mineral King and Kings Canyon
Words and photos by Ryan Wilson

A couple weeks ago I woke up at about 4:30am on a Saturday morning with no real idea where I was heading. I just knew that I packed up my gear the night before for a reason, and I was definitely heading for the mountains. I’ve done a number of Eastern Sierra trips the last few months, so I decided to switch it up a bit and head up the 5 from Los Angeles toward Sequoia and Kings Canyon, in the western range of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Road Cycling in the Valley of Death – Ryan Wilson

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Road Cycling in the Valley of Death – Ryan Wilson

Road Cycling in the Valley of Death
Words and photos by Ryan Wilson

Death Valley National Park is one of those places that frequently gets overlooked as a destination for cyclists.  Probably because it’s too miserably hot to do just about anything there for a good portion of the year.  There’s also no cell service at times for 40 miles in any direction, and some of the best roads in the area are some of the most isolated in the country.  That sounded right up my alley, so I planned my first visit in November 2012, when I was looking for some new mountains to ride while the Sierras were snowed in.

Winter in the Eastern Sierra Nevada – Ryan Wilson

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Winter in the Eastern Sierra Nevada – Ryan Wilson

Ever since I started following Ryan Wilson on Instagram, I knew he had an incredible eye for roadscapes. Landscapes are one thing, but roads speak to us as cyclists. We look at the bend, the bank and the angle differently than other travelers. Being able to capture those traits isn’t easy, especially while being completely overwhelmed in a place like the Sierras. I’ve never ridden there, yet suddenly I really want to, in the Summer of course…

Ryan Wilson’s Roadscape Photography

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Ryan Wilson’s Roadscape Photography

As cyclists, we look at roads, paths and tracks a little differently. We notice the nuances of undulation, the tipping point of turns and with each climb, we relish the descent. Some individuals can evoke emotions with a single photograph.

Instagram is great for many reasons, but one of which is sharing your environments with users all over the world. I travel quite frequently, but one man’s photographs always give me road envy. Known on the app as @RMDUB, Ryan Wilson is, by all means, a roadscape photographer.

Ryan works in Hollywood as a sound designer. He’s lived in Los Angeles for over 6 years and only recently ventured into the surrounding mountains, upon buying a road bike. For the past 3 years, he’s been exploring all the various veins of asphalt that trickle down the faces and flow into the valleys.

In August 2012, Ryan loaded his road bike into his car while on assignment and drove north to the Sierras, from that point on, he always travels with his bike and has been to some of the most majestic roadways on the west coast.

So what kind of camera does Ryan use to capture these breathtaking vignettes? The pocket-sized Sony RX100M2 with Carl Zeiss optics. Or his iPhone.