#Colorado

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Brave New Wheel Builds: Johnny’s Monē El Pebblito with Oddity Squid Fork

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Brave New Wheel Builds: Johnny’s Monē El Pebblito with Oddity Squid Fork

Brave New Wheel bike shop is a Fort Collins, CO staple and community hub that has been around since the 1980s. Co-owned by Johnny Daggett and Mike Woodard, the shop focuses on service and repair, wheel-building, and suspension work. Johnny recently finished building a Monē Bikes El Pebblito gravel rocketship with custom Squid Fork from local builders Oddity Cycles. Continue reading below for Johnny’s full rundown with a chilly photoset from Aaron LaVanchy

A FoCo Collabo: Josh’s Bender 29+ Touring MTB with Oddity Squid Fork

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A FoCo Collabo: Josh’s Bender 29+ Touring MTB with Oddity Squid Fork

Will Bender is a bicycle frame builder based in Fort Collins, CO. His custom frames run the gamut from all-road to gravel, touring, and modern hardtails. Last summer, Josh paid Will a visit to document his shop and learn about his background and approach to building bikes. While he was there, he enlisted Will to build the touring MTB of his dreams — a comfortable 29+ rig capable of carrying heavy loads and designed to harmonize with the Oddity Squid Fork made concurrently by another Fort Collins frame builder, Sean Burns. Continue reading below for the full rundown on this build…

Shawn Gillis Helped Build the Mountain Biking Community in Salida, Colorado

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Shawn Gillis Helped Build the Mountain Biking Community in Salida, Colorado

If you stop in at Absolute Bikes, a bike shop in the mountain town of Salida, Colorado, Shawn Gillis, with his welcoming grin under a distinct ginger mustache, will likely be there to greet you. Whether you need a flat fixed on your commuter or the brightest bike light money can buy in order to finish the 2,745-mile Tour Divide, Gillis will lend a hand and have you riding again in no time.

But what he really loves is setting someone up on their first mountain bike, hearing about the adventures they want to tackle, and giving them tips about which local trails to start on.

Inside/Out at Oddity Cycles: Mastering the Dark Arts of Framebuilding

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Inside/Out at Oddity Cycles: Mastering the Dark Arts of Framebuilding

Looking at an Oddity Cycles-designed frame, handlebar, or fork, you might think that it was welded in a circus sideshow tent by a depraved, frazzle-haired, torch-wielding, radical. That these wildly bent steel and titanium tubes, contorted and bonded into freakishly beautiful forms, could only have originated in the darkest corners of a PT Barnum exhibition. And that’s exactly what Sean Burns, founder, designer, and fabricator wants you to think. So, on this eve of All Hallows, let’s pull back the curtain on this iconic framebuilder, and his assistant “Spooky,” along with a close look at a couple of Sean’s personal two-wheeled creations…

Eric’s Hyphy Klein Quantum Race Fixie

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Eric’s Hyphy Klein Quantum Race Fixie

Summoning Fixed Gear Gallery, circa 2006, here with this one! Eric works at Revel Bikes in Carbondale, Colorado. He’s their product design engineer and loves CNC components and old, vintage frames. His latest build is this wild Klein Quantum Race built to 2006 standards, with a few nods to current trends, so let’s check it out!

Under No Pretext Should Radness Be Surrendered: Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol Review and Factory Visit

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Under No Pretext Should Radness Be Surrendered: Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol Review and Factory Visit

The Trail Pistol is Guerrilla Gravity’s short travel trail bike with 29″ wheels and 120mm of travel. It’s the type of bike that seemed to fit my riding style, and I was super excited for the opportunity to spend some time with one for a long-term review. Since the factory where these bikes are made is just a short drive from where I currently live, it made sense to combine the review with a more in-depth look at the brand, their manufacturing process, and the modularity of their bikes. The original article was close to 6500 words, so we decided to split it up a bit for everyone’s sake. Next week, we’ll share a slightly shorter article that takes a look at the modular frame platform, new paint schemes for the brand, and the next-gen Gnarvana, which is GG’s long travel enduro bike. Let’s get to it!

Inside / Out at Bender Bicycle Company of Fort Collins, CO

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Inside / Out at Bender Bicycle Company of Fort Collins, CO

I’ve always wondered if there was something special about the water in Fort Collins that makes it a hotbed for legendary bicycle frame builders. Is the Poudre River’s clean mountain water that so famously supplies New Belgium, Odell, and numerous other local breweries in some way responsible for the wildly beautiful frames made by the likes of Black Sheep Bikes, Oddity Cycles, or Moonmen Bikes? Well, the answer is probably not, but Fort Collins’ water is delicious and it’s a great place to build bikes. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting with the Choice City’s newest framebuilder, Will Bender, of Bender Bicycle Company. Will has been making frames part-time for a handful of years now, with some truly beautiful machines under his belt, and he just recently moved into a new shop space to start building full-time.

Below, let’s take a look at Bender Bicycle Company as well as some of Will’s recent customer builds!

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2022 FoCo Fondo Recap Video

The 2022 FoCo Fondo featured some of Northern Colorado’s incredible mixed surface and gravel road riding with multiple expertly-curated routes ranging from 12 to 145 miles. All while fostering an inclusive and accommodating environment for a diverse group of riders.

Glorious Groads for All: The 2022 FoCo Fondo

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Glorious Groads for All: The 2022 FoCo Fondo

All year long, gravel races and events seem to pop up in towns across the US. With its approachability, it’s no surprise that “gravel” has become so popular with cyclists in disciplines spanning the continuum between mountain and road riding. IMO, the most successful of these races are the ones that embrace and exemplify the values and character of the communities in which they are based. Having lived in Fort Collins, CO for nearly fifteen years, the FoCo Fondo is a special one for me, as it shows off some of Northern Colorado’s incredible mixed surface riding with multiple expertly-curated routes while also fostering an inclusive and comfortable environment for a diverse group of riders.

A few weeks ago, at the tail end of a trip to the Choice City, I jumped in a course car with locals Peter Discoe and Taylor Kruse to document the event.

Recreational Climate Refugees: A San Juan Season Opener

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Recreational Climate Refugees: A San Juan Season Opener

Mega drought. It’s no secret that the southwest US, with its ever-increasing population straining what little resources are available, has found itself in the midst of a great reckoning with a lack of consistent rainfall and snowpack which traditionally sustained its communities for thousands of years. As I began typing this, I could count on one hand the days which have had precipitation this spring, including a brief, but much-celebrated storm the prior afternoon. A combination of normal, historical shifts in climate, anthropogenic climate change, and a booming population have put an increased strain on our delicate ecosystems. This strain is evidenced by a longer, more intense fire season and a rapidly increasing aridification, once mostly evident at lower elevations and now climbing its way into Ponderosa stands; amongst many other examples.

She Digs: A Women’s Trail Building Retreat

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She Digs: A Women’s Trail Building Retreat

Kristen Smith – Co-Founder of The Elevated Alpine – and Brooke Goudy – Co-Leader of Black Girls Do Bike Denver – recently organized a trail-building retreat for women, non-binary, and femme individuals in Nederland, Colorado. She Digs brought over fifty riders together to shape new trails and become advocates for trail building.

We’re pleased to share a wonderful video and photos recapping the event. Check it out below!

A Goodday Romp with Rain Dog During Crested Butte’s Mud Season

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A Goodday Romp with Rain Dog During Crested Butte’s Mud Season

Having been a resident of western Pennsylvania for my entire existence has given me a supernatural view of real mountains. I understand that they are real, but part of me doesn’t grasp how something so magical and awe-inspiring is there for us to become a part of whenever we choose. Perhaps having grown up in a society where things like the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus were so embedded in our childhood has permanently skewed the collective vision of what is real instead of an illusion. Even when I’m touching the snow or granite rock, the concept that it is me, in the physical form present, and not a dream or a postcard, takes a fair amount of internal dialogue to accept the reality.

Swift Campout 2022: An Alpine Solstice Celebration

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Swift Campout 2022: An Alpine Solstice Celebration

For eight years running, around the time of the Summer Solstice, Swift Industries has put out a rallying cry for cyclo-touring enthusiasts the world-over to strap some bags to their bikes, head out for a couple days of pedaling and sleep on the ground. It’s a call to go out and have a memorable experience. The collective Swift Campout was this past weekend, but with some free time surrounding the actual Solstice, my partner Tony and I decided to ring in the best season for bikecamping a little early.

The Southwest Scramble: A Bike-To-Ski Journey from Colorado to Utah

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The Southwest Scramble: A Bike-To-Ski Journey from Colorado to Utah

In spring 2021, I decided to embark on a couple hundred mile bike-to-ski journey from my home in Telluride, CO to the La Sal mountain range near Moab, Utah.

During the winter season, I’m a professional skier. Usually, I’m traveling around the globe, doing photo shoots and film projects. I will acknowledge it’s quite the privileged life, and I’m very grateful to so many who make it possible for me. The winter window is short, and when I make my career happen. So when things don’t work out during those few months, it feels like a failure and loss of a season. With a film project that wasn’t quite materializing, 2021 was starting to feel just like that I found myself just wanting to get away – from my own winter’s demise and seemingly everything else. So, I decided to pack up my skis and hop on a bike, headed towards the desert of all places, far from any normal ski hill, to hopefully disconnect from it all.

Bikepacking the Kokopelli Trail Helped Me Grieve

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Bikepacking the Kokopelli Trail Helped Me Grieve

Still reeling from the loss of my father in February of 2020, I was in the depths of grief and drowning in the weight of his absence when I decided to accept my friend Jalen’s offer to go bikepacking for the first time. In his youth, my father loved spending time moving across mountains, and since I loved being outside too, I felt like going on this bikepacking trip was less of a pure adventure (although adventure would ensue) and more of a way to honor him by doing something that he enjoyed when he was young. I felt like doing something productive with my grief, to move my body forward and look back on all our memories together while observing how much he shaped who I am. In his youth he rode through Mexico on horseback transporting cattle between ranches and, while I was pedaling my bike on this trip across the land, I often thought about similar experiences we might have shared. As I rode through the Kokopelli trail on my first bikepacking trip, I took in the scenery and imagined what my dad felt when he was in the Sierras of Mexico every time I stared off into mountains or observed the star-filled night sky. I envisioned him looking at similar things as if we were sharing a moment.