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!
Let’s see, where were we? Oh yeah. We left off with the Blackburn Rangers at the top of Granite Mountain – 7,000′ – in the Prescott National Forest. Camp was set up, we consumed calories, sat around a propane campfire and after we killed all the liquor, we settled in for the evening. The weather report called for a 60% chance of rain and temps in the low 40’s. All was well, right? Wrong…
We had a busy day ahead of us. One filled with supplying the Whiskey Off Road racers with bacon and high fives. The plan was to descend to around 4,000′ at a site right before the last climb of the day and before a stretch of technical 1-track. From there, we’d blast music and shove bacon down the gullet of any hungry racer. My job for the day was to document all the fun…
Check out the full day’s Reportage from the Whiskey Off Road race with Blackburn in the Gallery!
The Blackburn Rangers, a group of cyclists, selected from hundreds of applicants, all of which range in experience, yet they represent what it means to push yourself physically and mentally on a bike. In essence, they embody what Blackburn is striving for as a company.
So far, there have been two years of inductees into the Rangers. Last year’s troops tackled either the Pacific Coast or the Great Divide and last week at the Whiskey Off Road, two Rangers from last year’s selection met the four new inductees…
I’m super stoked to be here in Prescott, Arizona with the Blackburn Rangers checking out the Whiskey Off Road race. Tonight we had a quick dinner and then watched a few bike movies on a projector in the middle of a soccer field. Like always, there’s more to come, so stay tuned.
Also, we’re going to be camping in the mountains this weekend, so get out and ride your bike and follow me on Instagram for updates.