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Hard to the Core: The Kona ESD is a Misfit Hardtail

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Hard to the Core: The Kona ESD is a Misfit Hardtail

There seems to exist a set of truisms in mountain biking: your next bike will always be better than your last, my local trails are harder than your local trails, and the fastest local rider isn’t on Strava and humbly rides a singlespeed. Then there’s the local legend, a misfit rider, the slightly anachronistic character that emerges on the trail mid-group-ride on a hardcore hardtail who rides loose and fast and with reckless disregard.

When Kona announced the Honzo ESD earlier this year it came as a great surprise. The original Honzo has remained relatively unchanged since 2012 and this new version looked like a poolhall brawler by comparison. Dominated by modern geometry, BMX inspired frame lines, and a build kit suitable for Bender himself, it was clear this was going to be no ordinary Honzo…

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Bikepacking in the Desert Gear List

Colt Fetters takes us through his gear list for bikepacking trips in the desert. As you can imagine, the desert is one of the harshest environments to tour through, so check out Colt’s recommendations here.

Every Fool Has a Rainbow on El Camino Del Diablo

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Every Fool Has a Rainbow on El Camino Del Diablo

Before we all realized the great changes that were in store for us due to the increasing spread of COVID-19, six friends and I set out for a 3-day bike ride on the historic El Camino Del Diablo. The El Camino Del Diablo is believed to have started as a series of footpaths used by desert-dwelling Native Americans. Today, the Camino Del Diablo is a road only a lonely few have traveled that runs along Arizona’s southern border in a remote section of the Sonoran Desert. With signatures signed, safety videos watched, permits printed and a shuttle set, the crew was ready to roll out.

Hear the Voices of Traditional Land Owners: Up the Guts of Australia

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Hear the Voices of Traditional Land Owners: Up the Guts of Australia

Up since the break of dawn, all day we’d been rolling on washboard roads. Yet it was hard to complain. We’d just spent a few days hiking around Ikara/Flinders Ranges National Park and it felt good to be headin’ north again. As the sun dropped toward the horizon I stopped for a bit of a feed. Dan rolled up beside me and we began to look for somewhere to camp. It was dead flat aside from the occasional patch of scrub. You could’ve pitched in anywhere but for some reason, it still felt good to choose a spot. It was then, with bikes stationary and no wind to speak of, that we were struck by the immense silence of our surroundings. This was our first proper encounter with the vastness of the Australian desert. The endless horizon. We had made it to the edge of the outback, and thousands of kilometers of dusty track lay in wait.

The Radavist 2020 Calendar: January

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The Radavist 2020 Calendar: January

This is the first layout of the Radavist 2020 Calendar, entitled “Mountainous” shot with a Canon 5D and a 70-200 lens in Darwin, California.

“Layers upon layers. The magical glow that encompasses these vast lands is undeniably beautiful.”

For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right-click and save link as – The Radavist 2020 – January. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)

The mobile background this month is a vertical format of this image. Click here to download January’s Mobile Wallpaper.

The Service Course: Tajikistan – The Not Knowing

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The Service Course: Tajikistan – The Not Knowing

Tajikistan. It’s wild. It’s remote. It’s unforgiving. It’s out there.

Over eight days of breathtaking riding and spectacular scenery, we follow Christian Meier and Peter Gaskill of The Service Course on their adventure through Tajikistan, weaving through the Wakhan Valley, over the Khargush Pass, along the Pamir Highway, into the Bartang Valley and beyond. A journey into the unknown, and one that will live long in the memory. As a result, The Service Course will be hosting their inaugural Tajikistan Gravel Tour in June 2020, limited to six adventurous participants.

Deserted, Dusted, and Dolomite: A Central Death Valley Bicycle Tour

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Deserted, Dusted, and Dolomite: A Central Death Valley Bicycle Tour

The cold. Oh, the cold. Never before had I experienced 10º temperatures at night and 70º during the day. There I lay, in chrysalis, asleep in my bivy thinking to myself, “this is miserable.” That was two years ago, at the foot of the second tallest sand dunes in North America, nestled between the Last Chance and Amargosa Mountains in Death Valley National Park. Needless to say, it took a while for me to want to tour this unforgiving place again. There’s something transformative about touring in the Mojave Desert. The dryness, the elevation, the sand, the silt, the wind, the washboard roads; insurmountable obstacles really bring out the truest human condition, that Lovecraftian urge to get out and test one’s limits. Push it a little bit further and come out the other side. Had I known that this love for the deserted, the dusted, and that grandiose dolomite was merely biding its time as I shivered uncontrollably in my bivy sack two years ago, I might not have been so absolute in my cynicism. It was time for emergence.

Erik’s Peacock Nüke AWOL 650b is a Death Valley Tourer

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Erik’s Peacock Nüke AWOL 650b is a Death Valley Tourer

Behold. A steel bicycle that lasts a lifetime and pushes through the trends, accepting new builds and uses with ease, with finesse, and most importantly, with style. Do you remember Erik’s Di2 Alfine 11 Peacock Nuke AWOL? That photoset was fire back in 2014 when we originally posted it. While propped up on a hillside in Bernal Heights, an incredibly scenic neighborhood in the US’ most scenic city, Erik and I lamented how this whole “adventure” stuff was going to take off, big time. The AWOL was the first bike Erik designed for Specialized, which is raced the Transcontinental Race on and little did he know that just five years later, the brand would put a bullet in this peacock project.

The Radavist 2019 Calendar: November

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The Radavist 2019 Calendar: November

This is the eleventh layout of the Radavist 2019 Calendar, entitled “Weathering” shot with a Canon 5D and a 24-70mm lens in Palm Springs, California.

“After we shared this photo from our trip to Palm Springs with the Mojave Desert Land Trust, we got a lot of messages on Instagram and emails requesting it be shared in a desktop-friendly format. Well, it just so happens to coincide with the Radavist Calendar for November. Enjoy!”

For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2019 Calendar – November. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)

The mobile background this month is also from the same location. Click here to download November’s Mobile Wallpaper.

The Radavist 2019 Calendar: October

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The Radavist 2019 Calendar: October

This is the tenth layout of the Radavist 2019 Calendar, entitled “Sandstone Sunset” shot with a Canon 5D and a 24-70mm lens in Bryce, Utah.

“Bryce Canyon and the northern region of the Colorado Plateau has been home to the Paiute since 1200 A.D. and before them, the Fremont and Anasazi (a weighted name with indigenous propaganda roots) since 200 A.D. Not much information is out there regarding the creation of Thunder Mountain. Sure the National Forest service made the trail, but did this area have previous navigation lines? What we do know is that indigenous peoples have long called this part of the Colorado Plateau home and it has great spiritual energy for the First Nations even today:

“Before there were humans, the Legend People, To-when-an-ung-wa, lived in that place. There were many of them. They were of many kinds – birds, animals, lizards, and such things, but they looked like people. They were not people. They had the power to make themselves look that way. For some reason the Legend People in that place were bad; they did something that was not good, perhaps a fight, perhaps some stole something….the tale is not clear at this point. Because they were bad, Coyote turned them all into rocks. You can see them in that place now all turned into rocks; some standing in rows, some sitting down, some holding onto others. You can see their faces, with paint on them just as they were before they became rocks. The name of that place is Angka-ku-wass-a-wits (red painted faces). This is the story the people tell.” – NPS

For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2019 Calendar – October. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)

The mobile background this month is also from Bryce. Click here to download October’s Mobile Wallpaper.

Red Velcro, Skipping Vortices, and Heavenly Sandstone: Riding in Sedona, Arizona

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Red Velcro, Skipping Vortices, and Heavenly Sandstone: Riding in Sedona, Arizona

With cooler temps approaching, I really wanted to circle back around to our late spring trip to Sedona. Colin and I bugged out for a bit, camping just outside of town, riding bikes, 4-wheeling, and enjoying the local cuisine. While this isn’t necessarily a “Guide to Sedona” nor will it dive into history, both colonial and indigenous, it is meant to spark a desire to ride in this veritable mountain bike theme park.

Quicksand, Camaraderie, and Existential Optimism in Canyon Country – Spencer Harding

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Quicksand, Camaraderie, and Existential Optimism in Canyon Country – Spencer Harding

Quicksand, Camaraderie, and Existential Optimism in Canyon Country
Words and photos by Spencer Harding

Sometimes you plan a trip months in advance and mother nature decides that the normally dry ground you planned to ride your bike will now be a raging soupy brown milkshake of a river. 

Sometimes you help a random couple push a broken down vintage Jaguar in the middle of nowhere in the rain. 

Sometimes you get stuck in waist-deep quicksand in said raging soupy brown milkshake river and have to yell for help until your friends come to rescue you covered in cockle burrs. 

Sometimes you ride your bike even though the map says you are underwater in Lake Powell. 

Sometimes you decide to drag your bike and raft upstream for some damn reason.

Sometimes your overnighter was shorter mileage-wise than an average grocery run. 

Sometimes in desperation, you make a pipe out of the darndest things and then eat it.

Sometimes you realize maybe you should have left the damn bike at home this time.

Sometimes you decide to go for a leisurely ride to see pretty fall colors on the way home, which turns into a two hour long hike-a-bike ending with Y’all running from a snowstorm.

 

And finally, sometimes none of these things matter because the people and places around you are so dang beautiful…

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