There were a lot of practical and well thought out bikes at this year’s Super Stoke Weekend and if time had allowed – short days and long ride agendas always make it hard – I would have shot them all. My methodology was to try to capture some of the themes present in the stable of steeds. With Gideon’s bike, I was able to shoot a 333 Fab. One of four present at the ride. With Spencer’s bike, it was about a similar approach to frame design but from an overseas production perspective. Black Mountain Cycles is a shop in Point Reyes Station, California. Mike Valey who owns the shop designs bikes for the brand after he spent years designing bikes for other companies in the industry. He and Sean from Soulcraft worked on this frame, dubbed the MCD, or Monster Cross Disc, with specially-designed dropouts for the thru-axles. While this bike is a departure from the traditional monster cross ideologies (700x45mm ish wheels with wide dirt drops,) it gets the point across and thrives off the ambiguity of mainstream monster cross definitions.
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.
Up on Mt. Lemmon in Arizona, a rider has an unexpected run-in with a deer.
Radavist Ride with Advocates: Joe and Amber, Save the Dells
Words and photos by Locke Hassett
When you say “mountain biker” to most people, the image of a baggy shorted, full-face-helmeted, taurine fueled adrenaline junky schralping berms and cutting switchbacks with little regard to the world around them comes to mind. The mainstream MTB media doesn’t help that image much, and bikes with names that evoke human dominance over landscape exasperate the narrative of a sport that is more concerned with KOM’s than connection.
We are criticized for not “showing up” to the table of conservation issues, and as a recreation group, we are often seen as a self-interested group of shredders. Trying to gain access to everything and terrify hikers and equestrians alike, drafting legislation that concerns hardline conservationists, and generally going too damn fast. Let’s face it, the sport has an identity crisis.
The Holiday season is my favorite time of year. It gives me a chance to reconnect with friends, to travel, and to ride without feeling the need to take a camera with me each time. After a relaxing Christmas in Santa Fe, we headed South to the city of Tucson, where we spent five days Sonoran soaking! This gallery showcases a few of the places we rode and visited during our stay.
Registration opens tomorrow at 9am MT at Bike Reg!
The Ruta del Jefe is a race in Elgin, Arizona, thrown by Sarah Swallow and it lands in Elgin, Arizona on February 16th. Here are the details:
“Happy 2019 Everybody! Let’s start this year off by kickin’ our butts in gear with a healthy dose of challenge and friendly competition. Ruta del Jefe is on February 16 and registration opens January 9 a.m. MT.
Ruta del Jefe is a 125-mile self-supported adventure race following a variety of dirt, rocky, and sandy surfaces around the Santa Rita Mountains, the lair of El Jefe, one of only three North American Jaguars to remain in the U.S.
The ‘fun’ doesn’t stop there. We’ll be having a camp out the night before and the night after the race/ride and word on the street is @ultraromance will be cooking everyone a very special post-race dinner.
The Sky Islands region of Arizona is one of the most biodiverse regions in the WORLD and remains one of the most spectacular places I’ve ridden a bicycle, yet the region is plagued with many environmental threats and a humanitarian crisis. To read more about the route and the issues at play, click the link in my profile.
Now go get training!”
Flyer artwork by the amazing Mary Rose Lytle Art.
We’ll see everyone there!
What is Gravel Camp? First, watch this video and then go to the Cyclist’s Menu to find out more about the event in Arizona, which is now open for registration.
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.
Geological wonders are the largest attraction for Cari and myself to Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. The Kanab, Utah region has countless zones that look like they’re straight from a science fiction film. One of the most popular being the Coyote Butte region and “the Wave.” The problem is, with popularity comes demand and thus, human impact. From people walking on the crypto soil to toilet paper and even the wear and tear on the delicate Navajo sandstone from walking on its surface. The Bureau of Land Management throttles visitors to this space by running an online lottery, four months in advance, or an in-person at the Kanab BLM office, for the following day. Each morning, hundreds of people show up for the Wave lottery, or one of the other Coyote Butte zones; North and South.
New bikes often launch with a video, and this one’s great! Join Sam Schultz and his pup Pancho as they travel from Missoula to Arizona for a winter escape with the new Rocky Mountain Solo.
The Solo has been a drop bar bike in Rocky Mountain’s lineup for years, and the most recent version is slanted toward dirt roads and getting shreddy with clearance for 700×40 or 27.5×2.2″ tires, dropper post routing, a 1x-specific frame, and a carbon fork with anything cage mounts. Morgan just got one in for review, so you can drop any questions for him in the comments.
Hit the jump for a few more photos, and get all the details on the new Solo at Rocky Mountain.
Laboring up Mount Lemmon this winter with roadies on light bikes with rim brakes, I started thinking, I want a road bike! It rarely rains in Tucson, almost never in the winter. In the sunshine, rim brakes on carbon rims work fine. But what really is the difference? I was riding around on a Specialized Diverge, a performance carbon gravel bike with disc brakes and 38mm tires. I love the Diverge. It rides great. But I still had questions. What would a true road bike feel like? How would it feel after 100 miles or 200 miles or 1,000 miles?
Geology Through Bikepacking
Photos and words by Locke Hassett
As humans, we seek exploration of new places and the lessons that such exploration may bring; self-discovery, physical challenge, humility, solitude, community, and unforgettable views to name a few. We refer to this as recreation, which comes from the term “to re-create”. These endeavors are valuable, perhaps necessary, to the self. But, if we only learn about ourselves, the amount that we can give back to the world that allows us the privilege to explore can be limited. Ever so often, we must explore for reasons beyond understanding and re-create ourselves. We must explore with intention and inquiry. If the intention is set to learn not only about ourselves but about the landscape; it’s natural history and current state, we just might be able to become stewards of its future.
The Geology through Bikepacking course offered at Prescott College explores the geology, geography, and ecology of the Colorado Plateau through 3 different bikepacking trips over the course of a month. This course provides an opportunity to learn about a landscape by traveling through it. It uses the bicycle as a means not only for recreation, but for education. This is the story.
Boiz in Knitters: Get Weird. Ride Bikes. Care Less.
Photos and words by Locke Hassett
April in Arizona. Colors are erupting from every tree, water is still vaguely flowing in some of the washes, the nights are still cool and the days warm enough to wear short shorts. Students itch to finish the semester. Love is in the air, or maybe it’s just pollen.
When Andrew first mentioned to me that he and Wilson were planning a bike tour for the last weekend before finals, I was hesitant. But then four seconds passed and I remembered what truly matters in this life: using the bicycle as a means to avoid adulthood.
State takes on a new approach to show their appreciation for pro cycling. In the first episode of “Riding Fixed Up Mountains with Pros” they join Pro Cyclist Travis McCabe up Mt. Lemmon.
International Kook Exchange Program Part O1: Milk and Honey Edition
Words and photos by Jorja Creighton
Founded April 2017, the International Kook Exchange Program (IKEP) provides a safe place for vulnerable kooks in the international biking community, globally, worldwide.The International Kook Exchange Program is for everyone. Chances are… you are a raging kook, embrace it, nurture it, take it into the wild and spread the kook pollen this summer. The exchange aims to provide inspiration to travel and mingle with other bike enthusiasts, it’s a reminder you’re ugly and it’s all goood!
Pedaling in Anger: Training Camp Camping Arizona
Photos and words by Ultra Romance
What do you ride a bike for? Is it simply fitness and abs? Primordial warrior expression? JFF (just for fun)? Commuting? Too many DWI’s? Do you just merely believe that personal auto ownership should be banned, and only for commercial use? Or maybe it’s all of the above? Regardless, if you are reading this, you are likely some kind of cyclist, or merely just a fan of my creative spellings and punctuation style. So what kind are you? What does sykling mean to YOU???
As many of you who subscribe to the fan club letter my mom mails out bi-weekly may know, I’ve recently enlisted in a documentary art performance piece directed by Dan and Kyle at Yonder Journal. It’s entitled Project Y, and its purpose is to answer the question Y (why) (get it?) predominately white suburban career professionals train and compete in events that are both nonsensical and detrimental to one’s health and interpersonal relationships for no real reason other than the intrinsic reward of simply finishing. I don’t get it, or maybe I once did, but regardless, it’s a documentary MOVIE, and I wanna be a movie star, always have. The catch is, I have to race the Dirty Kanza 200. I’m a 20-40 mile a day kinda guy, so some training would be necessary, I suppose.
Springtime Siestas on the Black Canyon Trail
Photos and words by Locke Hassett
A month or so ago, a friend and I decided to use a long weekend to explore the treasure that is the Black Canyon Trail (BCT). This flowing ribbon of almost all singletrack brings riders through distinct desert ecosystems bordering the eastern edge of the Bradshaw mountains between Mayer and just north of Phoenix. Being able to flow through prickly pear and ocotillo into the Sonoran desert, packed with Saguaros is an amazing experience, and to be able to do it over fantastic quality singletrack is icing on the spiny cake. We rode this trail in March, but it was still incredibly hot (90+ degrees at noon) especially for my Montana bones. We had the fortune of having plenty of water, while still having safe river crossings. To avoid the heat, we took siestas in shade near water sources and made trailside margaritas.
The desert is a destination for many, who seek its healing potential and spiritual homeostasis. For us, we just wanted the red sands of Sedona, Arizona to cleanse us from Las Vegas and Interbike.
When I mentioned to Ty that Sean and I were driving back to Texas after the tradeshow, he was stoked for us. Then, when I said “yeah, I’m thinking we’ll head through Sedona for a quick ride”, he immediately wanted in.
That’s why I love Ty so much. Hell, that’s why I love my friends so much. They’re willing to go 7 hours out of their way to ride bikes for 3 hours. Ok, ride bikes for 2 hours and shoot photos, fuck off, play with snakes for an hour.
We rolled into town and couldn’t find an open camp site, so we set up at a hotel next to the Bike and Bean, a local MTB establishment at the trailhead. The guys were super friendly and then, out of the blue, a local named Duff asked us if he could join us. Uh, sure!
It turned out to be a short, but sweet trek through the desert and I’ll definitely be returning!