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Between Cacti and Cypresses: A Little Taste of Southeast Sonora with Álamos Adventure

Reportage

Between Cacti and Cypresses: A Little Taste of Southeast Sonora with Álamos Adventure

Álamos is a town in the southeast of the Mexican state of Sonora popular for its colonial architecture and for hosting an annual art and music festival and is also part of the network of “Pueblos Mágicos” in the country. After taking the long way from the nearest city which took me and my friend Javo five days instead of the 65 km on the main road, we arrived looking for the commodities of a town with full services. As we ride on the cobbled streets and alleys that give this town part of its essence, the fresh memories from the days that brought us here are slowly replaced by the blurry, drunken memories from my college days coming to the biggest music festival in the state. I recognize porches where I slept or found my friends sleeping, and the house where an old man invited me for a morning sip of lechuguilla, a distilled liquor made from a local species of agave, which he was drinking from a repurposed coca-cola bottle.

Radar

Grenzerfahrungen (Borderline Experiences)

‘Grenzerfahrungen’ (Borderline Experiences) documents a self-supported cycling journey along the European Green Belt. Born and bred in Germany, Markus Stitz traveled 700km along the former Iron Curtain on a gravel bike through the federal states of Thuringia, Lower Saxony, Hesse, Bavaria, and Saxony in October 2020, shortly after the 30th anniversary of the German reunification. The film launches the Iron Curtain Gravel Trail, a new bikepacking route mapped by the round the world cyclist, which is available to download for free at Bikepacking Germany.

Radar

The Bikeraft Guide: The Ultimate How-To Guide, History Of and Wild Adventure Stories About Bikerafting

Remember all those wild Reportage reports from bikerafting in Colorado and Utah with Four Courners Guides we’ve posted over the years? Well, Doom and Lizzy have launched a fantastic project born from those endeavors and more:

“We launched the IndieGoGo Campaign December 21st (soft, unofficial for all our fans and followers). You can start pre-ordering the book now through January 29! What is The Bikeraft Guide? It’s a community multi-media storytelling project that will ultimately result in a comprehensive book on bikerafting. It will be the definitive guide on the sport, and includes a comprehensive history section, “The Pirates of Bikerafting” Anthology (a collection of stories from 15 of the world’s best bikerafters) and a how-to section, mostly by Steve “Doom” Fassbinder, but also including interviews with various experts. It will also have a safety section by the “packraft safety guy” and author of the Packraft Handbook, Luc Mehl, a repairs section by Alpacka Raft repairs manager, Ben Phillips, and a Positive Impact Ethos section contributed by Bikepacking Roots.

In addition, this project includes our new The Bikeraft Guide Podcast, and short films in the The Bikeraft Guide enewsletter, on the IndieGoGo Campaign page, on @TheBikeraftGuide Instagram page and on the Four Corners Guides blog.

Our goal with the IndieGoGo Campaign is to raise $20-$30K through pre-sales of the book and “Perks” donated by our sponsors. This will pay for printing, distribution, contributors and editing. We’re really relying on you – aspiring bikerafters and people who love great adventure stories – to help us make this dream a reality.”

Head to the IndieGoGo to support this project!

Radar

Focus Bikes: Atlas Aluminum Gravel Bike

With four build tiers, Focus’ new gravel bike, the Atlas rolls on an aluminum chassis with a carbon fork, outfitted with cargo bosses to fit racks, fenders, and other accouterments.

This video showcases the Atlas’ possibilities but to see the build kits in detail, head to Focus.

Dean Liebau Illustrates Cyclists and Captures Their Personalities

Reportage

Dean Liebau Illustrates Cyclists and Captures Their Personalities

Drawing cycling portraits admittedly started as a self-serving venture. Looking for a breather from the largely geometric aesthetic I gave my illustration work, I dug down deep to my formal college Drawing 2 class and after a seven-year hiatus, I gave realistic portraiture another shot. After some hesitation, I decided to publish them but still didn’t have the courage to tag the people referenced. The internet can be a small place and they were quickly tagged for me but this served as the little form of validation I needed. I figured if people could be recognized, then they couldn’t be that bad right?

Rockgeist is Now Stocking Porcelain Rocket Welded Bar Bags

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Rockgeist is Now Stocking Porcelain Rocket Welded Bar Bags

A few weeks ago, Porcelain Rocket announced they were selling their bag designs and technology to the Ashville, NC brand Rockgeist. Over the weekend, Porcelain Rocket and Rockgeist posted on their Instagram that they now have two Porcelain Rocket designs for sale, the Nigel bar bag and the Meanwhile Wald Basket Bag. Both of these bags use welded seam technology, resulting in a waterproof portage option from a small company. Head to Rockgeist to see more.

In the Shadow of the Fann Mountains

Reportage

In the Shadow of the Fann Mountains

(Note: This story took place before the pandemic)

Following our ride along the Tajik/Afghan border, Chrissa and I paused for a few days in Tajikistan’s capital city of Dushanbe to soak up the local culture and stock up at the grand bazaar. Even in the biggest city in the country, the outgoing personality of the Tajik people comes through. Where in a typical city of this size the locals would mostly keep to themselves, here it was very common for people to stop and chat with us on the street, asking what brought us to their country and giving us tips about places to visit in the city.

Radar

Lael Rides Alaska

After we featured various Lael Rides Alaska stories last year, PEARL iZUMi has sponsored this wonderful video project by Rue!

Lael Wilcox is a 4th generation Alaskan and an ultra-distance cyclist. In 2014, she began pushing her limits in her home state and dreamed that one day, she’d ride all of the major roads in Alaska– connecting the dots and traveling under her own steam to places she’d heard of but never seen. In 2017, after her first year running Anchorage GRIT, Lael spent the summer riding all of the roads, some 4,500 miles. She had the time of her life but rode mostly solo, and that experience was all her own. In reflection, she wanted to share more–to show people the beauty and truth of Alaska and inspire more people to ride there. The global pandemic of 2020 provided a unique opportunity to revisit this project–ride from home, spend time with her family, bring them along, and encourage others to pursue their own adventures.

Riding roads is feeling topography and weather, seeing history and reality, and experiencing everything along the way. If the finish line is home, how much farther can we go? If we bring along our loved ones, how much more will it mean?

This project is in support of the Anchorage GRIT project and the “Lael Ride Alaska Women’s Scholarship Program.”

The Radavist’s Top Articles of 2020

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The Radavist’s Top Articles of 2020

Coming off a week of downtime after one of the most tumultuous years of our lives has brought clarity to this annual retrospective. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect as Covid-19 gripped the global community and changed life as we know it. We looked to our new home in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the surrounding areas for inspiration, pinged our good friends for their penmanship, and listened to communities that have been underrepresented in cycling. What resulted were a lot of articles that tackled some big issues and the realization that we still have a lot of work to do.

I’ve spent the past few weeks mulling over our content and have compiled a list of some of the most meaningful and fun pieces from the past twelve months.  Read on below for a selection of memorable moments from 2020, in chronological order…

Buckhorn Bags Makes Custom Bags and More in Albuquerque

Radar

Buckhorn Bags Makes Custom Bags and More in Albuquerque

Northern New Mexico is home to a lot of cyclists, so it should come as no surprise that many of these cyclists are also makers. From framebuilders, manufacturers of MTB bars, and yes, bag makers. Down in Albuquerque, a new company just launched. Buckhorn Bags makes custom frame bags, hip bags, and more, using lightweight materials. There isn’t much on them online, so check out their Instagram account for all the tidbits and if you’d like one of their hip bags, Sincere Cycles has some in stock.

Chasing Fabian Burri

Reportage

Chasing Fabian Burri

What’s a day, an hour, a few seconds, or a month?
What’s the point of time if it’s still and untouched?
Where are we now, and can it be then?

I woke up that morning from sweat and fears, dreams that fade away in the blink of an eye but a feeling that takes longer, lingers around, just for a while. I had a crash but it left no rash.
I met Fabian over a year ago, in Oman, at a race, he was wearing skinny black stuff and had a lot of tattoos, he had a mustache and looked a lot like bike messengers, or my friends from Brazil.

Radar

Matty and Clare: Lost Camptures

The latest video from Bombtrack has all the vibes!

“Matty has bikepacked plenty of times in Europe and Australia and has passionately shared his infatuation for riding with me. I was fairly new to this way of life and adventure but excited to share this experience on my first bike-packing trip overseas. More than a year of travel ahead and a one-way flight to Oslo, Norway was the beginning of the unknown. The trepidation of leaving our family, friends and jobs behind was tempered by the excitement of the new challenges we would soon be facing. Add to this a strong emotional link to Matty’s Grandfather, Bob, who had cycle toured Scandinavia in the 1950’s, we felt a powerful draw to this mountainous country to mark the beginning of our world trip. There was also the challenge of tracking down the same locations Bob had captured on an old film camera, recently uncovered in a dusty photo album.

The film documents our daily trials and tribulations, from strong headwinds, torrential rain, the odd argument and uncontrollable happiness as we attempted to re-trace the pedal strokes of Matty’s Grandfather. Maybe, we dared to think, even recreate one of his images and come to find his ‘Lost Captures’…” – Clare Nattress