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2022 Concourse de Machines Part Two: The Race and The Show

Reportage

2022 Concourse de Machines Part Two: The Race and The Show

Saying we woke up would imply sleep, which is a luxury the night before the Concours de Machines race hadn’t afforded us, owing to thick black clouds of mosquitoes that infested our van. I lit a church of citronella candles and closed all the doors and windows, while Josh rolled himself up in a sheet and slept outside on a decrepit shezlongé that sat outside the factory. Mosquitos spent the night screaming and raging in our ears while doing their best to tear us limb from limb. At 4 am they sat lining the window sills, fat and bloated, drunk on our blood.

I killed a dozen of them with an old sock in one limp sleep-deprived swipe as a tokenistic act of vengeance, knowing they’d be saving their strength for another assault the next evening. I stood in Andreas’ elegant la fraise workshop contorting my body to scratch bites between nerve endings on my back, craving coffee as the pilotes clip clopped in on road shoes. For many of them, road shoes were a terrible choice. The 204km route billed as a road with some cobbles and gravel somehow encompassed 1466m of short sharp climbs in an oppressively pancake-flat landscape, as well as some muddy singletrack. The singletrack must have caught teams rolling on 28c slick tyres off guard, and would prove catastrophic for some.

This is the second of two reports from the 2022 Concours de Machines. Be sure to check here for the first installment!

2022 Concours de Machines Part One: The Contest and the Contestants

Reportage

2022 Concours de Machines Part One: The Contest and the Contestants

In 2018 I was invited to take part in the third edition of Concours de Machines as Dear Susan, in the medieval town of Bruniquel in the south of France. The Concours is a recent(ish) revival of a frame-building contest first organized in 1903 that ran up to the late 1940s. It was traditionally hosted in different locations around France, the goal of which was to demonstrate the superiority of artisanal “constructeurs” and their machines, over production bikes.

Before accepting the invitation, there were some red flags for me. For instance the idea of “better;” how you can numerically score one bike against another, especially if they’re designed and made around a particular rider for a particular course? There’s so much that just comes down to preference! Reading further into the scoring system, the seemingly arbitrary categories actually became quite liberating, in that scores were given based on abstract criteria rather than what constituted a good or appropriate bike. Limitations included things like: “the bicycle must have wheels with tyres, and a system with which to steer,” as well as point scoring sections like: “the bicycle must be able to power its own lights and it must have bags to carry everything you need for an overnight trip.”

This is the first of two reports from the 2022 Concours de Machines. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the second installment!

Rifqi Akbar of Indonesia Wins the 2022 Radavist x Swift Campout Photo Shootout

Radar

Rifqi Akbar of Indonesia Wins the 2022 Radavist x Swift Campout Photo Shootout

For eight years running, around 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 of days of pedaling, and sleep on the ground. For this year’s Campout, we partnered with Swift to host the Radavist Swift Campout Photo Shootout, which called on campers to document their SCO experience through photography for a chance to win a load of prizes. The esteemed jury made up of representatives from The Radavist, and Swift Industries judged over 100 entries on their merits, including but not limited to technical considerations, composition, lighting, and impact, as well as the raw emotional power of the images (aka STOKE FACTOR!). We’re pleased to announce that Rifqi Akbar has been selected as this year’s winner and, below, he shares about the campout he and his friends embarked on near Bandung, Indonesia! Congrats, Rifqi!

Sim Works USA: Social Reform Benefit Raffle

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Sim Works USA: Social Reform Benefit Raffle

Our friends at Sim Works are throwing a raffle to raise money for a handful of organizations, with the goal of aiding in social reform. The raffle starts today, June 26th, at noon, and closes on Friday, July 3 at 5pm (PST).

$25 for a raffle ticket (per entry). 100% of proceeds will be donated to the organizations.

Also, all customers spending $100 or more in the SimWorks web store will be added to the raffle participants list, and 10% of their merchandise total will be donated to the organizations that SimWorks has elected to make financial contributions.

BLACK LIVES MATTER
DON’T SHOOT PDX
NAACP
BIKEPACKING ROOTS – THE BIPOC ADVENTURE GRANT
WTF BIKEXPLORERS

Head to Sim Works to buy a raffle ticket at 12 noon PST today!

Help Rebuild North Minneapolis and Win a 2021 All City Space Horse

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Help Rebuild North Minneapolis and Win a 2021 All City Space Horse

Help support North Minneapolis and enter to win a 2021 All-City Space Horse! All proceeds go to the WBC & Northside Funders initiative to help businesses impacted by COVID-19 and the events following the murder of George Floyd. Learn more or donate directly here.

There are two ways to enter:  Click here or call Behind Bars at 612-436-0255 to buy a ticket (or several!). Raffle ends Thursday June 11 at midnight. We’ll announce the winner next weekend. Behind Bars/Michael’s Cycles will match funds up to $1,600.

All-City’s 2021 Space Horse will be released in August. Winner may choose the size of their liking.

WhatBars.com Spring Giveaway!

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WhatBars.com Spring Giveaway!

Hey! I’m Chip and I run WhatBars.com and the @whatbars Instagram page. I’ve had a the privilege of working with some great companies, and I love sharing that excitement with others as well!

I reached out to a few of those companies and together we put together a pretty great prize package including:

– 1-pair of Velo Orange handlebars, of your choosing
– An Atwater Atelier Basket Tote
– A pair of Teravail Tires, of your choosing

Read the official rules below for a chance to win!

Raise Money for the Oregon Timber Trail and Win a Giant Trance

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Raise Money for the Oregon Timber Trail and Win a Giant Trance

Building trails require funds and one way for trail organizations to raise money is by raffling off a brand new bike. The Oregon Timber Trail is working with Giant/Liv so that one lucky winner will walk away with a new Giant Trance Advanced 29 2 or Liv Intrigue Advanced 2 carbon mountain bike in your size, plus a full set of Giant bikepacking bags and a guided trip with Cog Wild. This explorer’s prize package contains $3,000 worth of prizes and all the proceeds from this giveaway go to support the work required along the Oregon Timber Trail.

Sign up at Oregon Timber Trail!

Team Dream’s Sunset Chasing Photo Contest

Radar

Team Dream’s Sunset Chasing Photo Contest

Sean from Team Dream is throwing a contest:

“Sunset Photo Contest Starting…NOW!

Post your best sunset shots on instagram by 1/1/15 at midnight and tag #teamdreamsunsetchasingteam. If you have a photo friend in mind feel free to tag them here & give him/her a heads up. Prizes from @teamdreamteam, @goldensaddlecyclery, #theradavist, @jonesville, @endocustoms, @mudfootismurder, @theathletic #nogarminnorules and more. Grand prize is your choice of any @maviccycling footwear!!!

The winners will be decided by Instagram nerds…I mean legends @johnprolly & @rmdub Here are the rules-
-Photos must be newly posted to Instagram. Preferably taken within a day of the post (that means no old stuff).
-Use the tag #teamdreamsunsetchasingteam
-Have Fun!!!

Winners will be announced on 1/2/15”