The Salton Sea first appeared to me back in 2016, a couple of days into the Stagecoach 400 bike packing trip with the Borrachos. It appeared to me then as it appeared on this passage, an out of place body of water in the desert landscape, planar and mirage inducing. It could have been the heat exhaustion the first time I saw it, but the sea seemed to bend the horizon. We only saw it in the distance at that time, as our Stagecoach route took us up and away into Anza Borrego. This time around though, we’d pedal straight for it.
Welcome to the beautiful dark twisted world of Paul de Valera and Atomic Cycles‘ Coaster Brake Challenge! A race I have known about for over a decade, a race that my mentor JimC would race religiously, but for some reason, I never made the time to attend. I always made up some kind of excuse, usually, it was about the bike, which is bullshit. Paul and Atomic Cycles have plenty of loaners, and as you can already tell from the title of this story, these bikes are simple, cheap, and easy to build.
The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship knows how to throw races. There’s a reason we cover each and every one, year after year! The proof is in the puddin’. Every year, 1000+ racers show up for Lost & Found, even more for the Downieville Classic and with Grinduro leaving Quincy, the SBTS decided to up the ante and continue throwing a weekend event of racing and partying, dubbed Mountains to Meadows. The location is too good to not pick up where Grinduro left off. Mark your calendars for September 24-27, 2020 and read on below.
This bike is the direct result of many experiences, beginning with my 44 Bikes touring bike and culminating with the Moots Baxter I spent a great deal of time on last year both fully-loaded and set up in what I could call expedition mode. After a lot of back and forth, I realized that I like 29+ bikes for bikepacking and yeah, titanium is really nice for desert riding. These mental musings came to the full realization after spending some time talking with Adam from Sklar Bikes this summer in Bozeman.
Years ago when I first met Trevor, he came to a photography show I was showing at and without much on an introduction related to me a story of how stoked he was to be a counselor at a camp for kids learning to ride mountain bikes. Ever since then I’ve always wanted to check out what he was jabbering about way back when. Bikes, cool. Kids on bikes, even cooler. Kids on bikes learning how to explore on bikes and have water fights, the coolest…
Cooper and Pius decided to quit their jobs and spend the foreseeable future traveling from Seattle to Mexico by bike, with their surfboards in tow. They’re riding, surfing, and cleaning up the beaches along the way… More videos like this, Light and Motion!
Head to Bike Mag to read the full piece, Burned Lines, to gain a better insight into how these communities are bouncing back after a summer of blazes.
Crossing the high desert from Nevada’s Sand Mountain, across to the Sierra and Alabama Hills, through the basin, and over to the coast, Canyon hits some of the lesser-known trails in their new video.
I don’t know what to title it. But the bike is really fun, so this is worth the read. I like to think that the writing is also fun, making it double worth the read.
The bottom line at the top: The new Juliana Joplin ups the “raucous trail ability” of its predecessor a few ticks with the new build: feeling right at home pointing down chunky and steep serpentine terrain, while somehow maintaining that xc pedal-ability we sometimes care about. While the positioning of the historic Juliana Joplin, which launched with the brand in 2013, pointed towards super-capable cross country, this bike and its lineage have always pushed the boundaries of the technical ability of a bike that can still pedal fast.
Here’s the latest from the 36 Hours in Kitsbow series, as a group of friends escapes to Catalina Island. Be on the lookout tomorrow for photos from this trip!
Hardtails. Antiquated examples of mountain bike technology to some but to others, they’re liberated and simplified machines. Each year, I plan on riding a full suspension in Downieville, yet I always end up bringing my hardtail for one reason or another so this year, I took a look at just some of the bikes that were rolling around this Gold Rush town.
[WARNING – please read with enunciations of the Queen’s English spoken with a harsh American accent leached with dry monotone and finished with a slight southern drawl.]
[NOTE – All persons are mixed and mashed conglomerations of friends masked by pseudonyms as to respect their identities.]
[FICTION –It actually may be close enough to nonfiction. Every tale is drenched with truth, maybe not all the truths belong to me, I might not even be the eyes telling this tale.]
With another eight to nine-hour drive ahead of me, this time solo because the polluting toots of my automobile fill me with joy—just kidding, hell, felt like an asshole—I had to figure out a way to fuck with my perception of time in order to maintain some level of sanity. Although being a fellow cyclist, y’all get that the bar is set real low when it comes to sanity. So, to risk sounding like a surface-wannabe-cultured-erudite, I tried hooking myself onto classical music with this grandiose nisus of increasing my attention span. Hear me out: not only would being able to melt into a forty-five-minute score enable me to complete long intervals with ease but enduring an entire classical score would help me get through the long drives to get to the long and arduous races those said and absolutely supposed intervals would prepare one for. Leave it all on the trail and go baroque.
That’s right. It can be done and it’s a lot of fun. We’re heading to the Downieville Classic this weekend and while I’ll be out on the course shooting photos of the race, I’d love to feature a gallery of all the hardtails that are being ridden at the Classic. Each year, it’s the bike I bring with me and I am always amazed at how many people are there racing on their steel hardtails as well. So, if you’re at the Classic, make sure you flag me down with your bike because this should be a great gallery!
One year and a week ago, a vehicle’s faulty catalytic converter ignited roadside vegetation igniting a blaze that would consume 96,901 acres of Sierra and Sequoia National Forest, eventually closing Yosemite for the first time in the National Park’s history. This was the first “big” fire of the indomitable 2018 fire season that torched the Western U.S. and serving as an unwelcome backdrop to this 12-minute major motion picture.
The Old Growth Classic is coming back to Big Basin Redwoods State Park once again on September 14, 2019! Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) is proud to partner with Ibis Cycles to present the second annual Old Growth Classic. This event is a full weekend experience featuring a 55-mile mixed terrain race, two nights of camping, live music, delicious catered meals, and more summer camp fun. A significant portion of the proceeds will go directly to State Parks.
This year there are two event packages available: Full Weekend Package and Race Day Only Package. The total participation has also increased to 500 racers. Registration opens on Wednesday, July 10, at 7:00pm Pacific, so mark your calendars because this event will sell out quick. Click here to register!
Learn more about Old Growth Classic here: http://oldgrowthclassic.
Register here: https://timeyourrace.
Juliet was one of those smiling faces in Nam and Benedict’s story yesterday. In this video, she walks us through what she brought on that epic Big Sur trip. Head to her site for a more in-depth breakdown on her gear.
I was looking at everyone’s legs. The group of 13 included professional and semi professional racers, life-long athletes focused specifically on their relationship to the bicycle. There aren’t six packs; there’s, like, eight to ten pacs. Some even have muscular faces! How is that even possible to accomplish? Seeing my own soft animal body as lesser than their impressive builds. The grass kept getting greener and greener on the other side of my eyeballs and I felt myself getting smaller and smaller. Where in my body is this discomfort living? I had three days and the grand views around beautiful Big Sur to find the site of where this discomfort lived in my body. Aside from physical discomfort from physical exertion, I came up empty. Instead, I found an interstice where feelings of awe grew and that became my saving grace.