While the relationship between ranchers and cyclists can be tenuous at times, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, SBT GRVL has worked closely with local ranchers to strengthen this relationship.
With my partner Cari’s birthday always falling on the Summer Solstice, it’s usually up to her to decide how we spend the longest day of the year. This year, with temps in the 90s here in Santa Fe, we were excited to get out on the river in our Alpacka rafts with our friends Doom and Lizzy from Four Corners Guides, where we spent our Solstice evening on the San Miguel river…
Just past the Animas River and tucked into a neighborhood back alley lies a modified garage holding one of the newer secrets of Durango. There is no signage, no storefront, no Google Maps locator. Nope, your only hint at what lies behind these doors is a subtle triskelion logo on the side door. This is the headquarters for Myth Cycles, the most recent continuation of handbuilt bicycles in Durango, Colorado.
On the last Friday of April, four strangers convened at the Bradfield Campground near Cahone, Colorado at dusk. Our two rigged up trucks and one camper van were parked neatly near the start of what would turn out to be a grand adventure: a weekend of sanctity, the fruition of an obsession, training in preparation for a big tour, and then checking off of a box to confirm that yes, all of the time, energy, and research spent assembling this could lead to something quite special.
It’s not often that I have to buy a fishing permit to do a Shop Visit but when Why Cycles and Revel Bikes offered up a good time riding and fishing in and around the Western Slope city of Carbondale, Colorado, I couldn’t resist the offer. The collision of outdoor activities is my favorite and knowing a whole weekend of mountain biking and fly fishing awaited me, I was eager to see how it would play out, all while learning about the brands the entire bike industry seemed to be talking about…
Our friends at Moots just announced they won a Colorado manufacturing award for the best consumer brand. For those interested in what’s going on with Moots, this might be right up your alley.
Our 40-year history of manufacturing played a part in receiving the award as a nod to our consistent pursuit to building the highest quality bikes we can. We don’t get too wrapped up in pursuing awards but it is an honor to be recognized by an association that is not bicycle industry based.
Rread the full story at the Moots blog!
In a few short years Trinidad, Colorado has gone from a relatively unknown adventure travel destination on the I-25 border with New Mexico to one of most talked about by Front Range gravel cycling enthusiasts. When the Colorado Tourism Office supported Explore Las Animas gravel cycling tourism campaign was launched in 2019 by Backshop Bicycle Travel Supply, an experiential agency, the goal was to make southeastern Colorado a worthy bike destination in tandem with the growing gravel trend. Now, as the Santa Fe Trail celebrates its 200th anniversary, a host of multimedia cycling tourism related content and ride events in 2021 are poised to carry that objective further down the path as Trinidad reclaims its old west mountain trail town heritage by welcoming gravel cyclists to a distinct travel experience on the Colorado-New Mexico border.
Boosting expected summer cycling visitation this year is the new Trinidad-Las Animas County Gravel Adventure Field Guide developed by the City of Trinidad to assist visitors wanting to sample the over 1,600 miles of county roads accessible from downtown. The guidebook is produced in partnership with Backshop Bikes, Beneski Design, and People For Bikes. Its 64 pages highlight the region’s distinct culture and history, and includes 11 curated Ride Spot routes that are downloadable. The guide intentionally fosters an online and offline user experience. This handy jersey pocket sized book not only helps navigate the remote southeastern Colorado terrain, but also helps make a more enjoyable trip by directing visitors to local restaurants, shops, galleries, and museums. Accompanying the guidebook’s release is a Beneski short film shot by Justin Balog detailing its contents in a fun and quirky way.
This is the third part of an ongoing series:
Full Circle on the Grand Loop: Part II – The First Modern Bikepacking Race
Full Circle on the Grand Loop: Part I – Trail Visions Ahead of Their Time
Back in the late 2000s, I was a geology Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado and a devoted cyclocross racer. I got up early and did intervals in the dark before class and I raced around in little circles every weekend from September to December, chasing other skinsuit-clad guys hopping on and off their bikes for rather contrived reasons. I flew around the country to some of the biggest race weekends, chasing UCI points and top-20 finishes. I was infatuated with the sport until I rather abruptly became bored of those little circles.
Two years ago Backshop Bikes introduced one of the first gravel cycling tourism efforts in Trinidad, Colorado. The perception was that gravel had already matured to the point where as a category it would evolve towards a destination model akin to mountain biking. If it worked, then suddenly rural drive-by towns had a chance to leverage gravel bikes towards social prosperity. This is why we created the Explore Las Animas campaign in 2019, which included a website with community and route information. Unfortunately, it came down and I’ve been brainstorming on ways to get one back up since…
This video documents a couple on a road tour through southwest Colorado and southern Utah in 1982. That’s prior to the internet, mobile phones, and GoPro. All images within were captured on Kodachrome slide film and were just recently scanned and uploaded to YouTube. Videos like this have all the bicycle touring vibes!
In its first year, Dead Man Gravel is the newest race to join the gravel racing circuit. Today, the DMG registration is open for women and BIPOC participants – and general registration opening on March 23rd for everyone else. The event is scheduled for July 31, 2021 in Nederland, Colorado. This unique event strives to be both inclusive – as organizers believe everyone should feel welcome, regardless of experience, race, gender, or sexual identity/orientation – and challenging – as very few other races have as much climbing, technical sections, and sustained elevation.
To strike a balance between challenging and inclusive, Dead Man Gravel will feature three courses: the 66 mile Tungsten loop, the 41 mile Gold loop, and the 25 mile Silver loop, providing three distinct experiences for riders of all levels.
DMG is also partnering with Ride for Racial Justice and Shark Tooth Cycling, two non-profits doing incredible work in bringing new, and typically disadvantaged, athletes into the sport by helping to increase awareness and reduce barriers to entry.
Register today if you’re BIPOC, or female at Dead Man Gravel.
For State Bicycle’s latest episode of Riding Fixed, Up Mountains, With Pros, they take Alex Howes up a 3,600-foot climb on Colorado Highway 103 to Echo Lake.
Over the course of 32 miles up and down the mountain, listen in on a wide-ranging and inciteful interview including these tidbits:
-Would you guess that Alex is a science geek?
-Why does Lachlan Morton, the Australian Pro, have his brake levers reversed?
-Did you know that “undorkifying” is a word?
-Fashion commentary: US men versus Europeans. (Who believes cargo pants never go out of style?)
-Alex Howes quote of the day: “In every Pro, there’s an average Joe.”
This week’s Readers’ Rides comes from Katherine in Colorado with her do-it-all Orbea hardtail. Check out more details and the history of this unique submission below…
We’ve all heard John wax poetic about the ride quality of his Starling Murmur. For people who prefer steel to carbon, there are more and more full-suspension designs coming out. These bikes offer the smooth ride of steel over the chattery ride of overly-engineered carbon frames. Myth Cycles announced they’ve opened the pre-order for their slick Zodiac 150/140 29er frames…
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!
Last week members of the Colorado cycling industry, including retailers, government agencies, and journalists, attended the first Trinidad-Las Animas County Off-Road Cycling Symposium hosted by the City of Trinidad and Trinidad State Jr. College. It was a chance to share and learn more about the emerging southern Front Range cycling scene. Attendees heard from speakers like Troy Rarick and Paul Aieta of Over the Edge Sports in Fruita and Tony Boone of Timberline TrailCraft, and myself discussing gravel+mountain bike destination development in the region. Fueling the two days of discussion was the new Fisher Peak State Park and TSJC Trail Maintenance and Construction program. Most agreed that Trinidad’s historic setting on the tail end of the old west provides a unique platform to discuss the future of sustainable bike destination town development. A number of innovative ideas were shared around transportation, hospitality, and what a gravel+mountain bike destination could look like in SE Colorado and NE New Mexico. Many are already looking forward to continuing the conversation at next year’s symposium.
Its time for another episode of Wahoo Frontiers this time with Durango based Sarah Sturm, read on below for the full story from Wahoo.
If you’ve seen a Beautiful Bicycle here on the Radavist with a crazy paint or powder coat from Mosaic or other brands, there’s a good chance it came from this shop, Spectrum Paint & Powder Works:
“Typically this time of year, many in the bike industry are (would be thanks to the pandemic) be priming for the Chris King Open House in Portland, Oregon. It’s an event that highlights amazing unique bike builds from a small selected group in the bike industry. One of those chosen for this year is Arthaya Nootecharas of Spectrum Paint and Powder Works. She also works for the sister company Mosaic Cycles.
Spectrum Paint and Powder Works isn’t shy about what they do our how they do it while being welcoming of any rider looking to have a bike that others will drool over. Especially this masterpiece for the Open House that was to be.
Arthaya’s concept reflects her art outside of spraying frames or designing the next dream build, incorporating her style of drawings and sketches of the world. The bike is full of simple yet organic lines, laden with little details. “It’s not chaos. It’s just a lot of lines, but it’s organized,” she says. Come along and learn more about Arthaya’s craftwork and passion for cycling art.”
Nice one, PEARL iZUMi!