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Road Trippin’ to Sea Otter: Riding Gooseberry Mesa

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Road Trippin’ to Sea Otter: Riding Gooseberry Mesa

My friend Sinuhe Xavier and I have always been “out of context” friends. By that, I mean that we’ve only hung out at coffee shops or lunch spots until a few weeks ago. The contextual slip is that we’re both known for our photographic work in the backcountry. He’s well known in the moto and auto world as always doing shoots deep in remote areas of the American West, and I, too, love those “big country” vistas but with cycling.

When my plans for Sea Otter were shaping up, I dropped him a note, asking if he would be anywhere on the Colorado Plateau in the coming weeks. We hashed out a plan and sent each other options for a campsite meet-up. Precious GPS coordinates were shared, and we settled on a date. The road to Sea Otter had begun…

The Radavist 2021 Calendar: November

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The Radavist 2021 Calendar: November

“Monumental” is the eleventh layout of the Radavist 2021 Calendar. It was shot with a Sony A9ii and the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 di iii rxd lens outside of Radium Springs, New Mexico.

“With cooler temps on the way, it’s time we migrate to the Southwestern deserts for long and dusty rides. This was our cover image for our Dangerbird gallery. If you missed that, check it out!”

For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right-click and save link as – The Radavist 2021 – November. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)

The mobile background this month comes from Iceland’s Black Sand Beach, Reynisfjara. Click here to download October’s Mobile Wallpaper.

Wind, Chile, Chonk, and the Monumental Loop: the 2021 Dangerbird in Las Cruces

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Wind, Chile, Chonk, and the Monumental Loop: the 2021 Dangerbird in Las Cruces

Washboard roads, rocky doubletrack, creosote, cacti, centipedes, tarantulas, and vistas for miles. The Monumental Loop provides it all in a healthy mix, featuring the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, BLM, and state lands surrounding the town of Las Cruces, New Mexico. With the mighty Organ Mountains looming in the background, it’s hard to imagine a better touring or bikepacking route in Southern New Mexico. When you add in the delicious food on the route, you’ve got yourself a winning combination. To help celebrate this monumental achievement (tee hee), Matt Mason, co-founder of the Loop, throws a grand depart each year dubbed the Dangerbird which took a brief hiatus last year due to the Pandemic. With Covid protocols in place and our numbers remaining slightly elevated in New Mexico, Matt made sure the entire weekend’s events took place outdoors, so I felt safe to head down to experience this gem of the Chihuahuan Desert…

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Diamonds In The Sand Trailer

On the fringe of the Namib Desert lies the Skeleton Coast. No one has ever completed its entire length in an unbroken line before by their own power. Explorer Kate Leeming sets out to be the first.

Her thousand-mile journey sees her enduring some of the most inhospitable terrains and harshest climates on the planet, in one of Africa’s most remote and spectacular locations. Accompanied by local companions, she battles extreme winds, energy-sapping sand dunes and quicksand, and comes face to face with the endangered but deadly Kunene Lions hidden in the vast desert. Travelling on an all-wheel drive fat-bike, she traverses beautiful landscapes and discovers the region’s hidden secrets and the harsh realities of life in this unforgiving land.

Watch the full documentary at Outside.

Education Through Experiences: Bikepacking the Yellow Dirt Route onto Comb Ridge with Dzil Ta’ah Adventures

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Education Through Experiences: Bikepacking the Yellow Dirt Route onto Comb Ridge with Dzil Ta’ah Adventures

In the Navajo Nation town of Kayenta, Arizona, Jon Yazzie runs a guide company called Dzil Ta’ah Adventures. Its intent is to educate visitors on the history of the areas surrounding Kayenta through guided bike trips. This particular route is one he’s been working on for a while which parallels the mighty Comb Ridge before climbing the Sandstone Backbone via an old Mormon dugway, overlooking Kane Valley where the US government drilled into the Earth, uncovering uranium for the Manhattan Project. The result would send waves of radiation through the community for decades to come…

Impossible Route: Yuma to Bishop via Death Valley

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Impossible Route: Yuma to Bishop via Death Valley

February 28 – March 8, 2021
February 27th 
Arrival in Yuma, Arizona

The Impossible Route team arrived about as prepared for it as a groom to a shotgun wedding. 

We planned on paper, but this was the Mojave Desert and Death Valley; and they would definitely hold some big surprises.  

From DUST to Ashes… Fixed Gear Drag Racing on the Verneuk Mud Flat in South Africa

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From DUST to Ashes… Fixed Gear Drag Racing on the Verneuk Mud Flat in South Africa

You know how a hashtag can fuck you? Well maybe not, but a few years ago my good friend Nic and I had this idea … we’d always been intrigued by the pans – or mud flats – of the Northern Cape here in South Africa. At the time we were really getting into riding fixed gear bikes and one day it hit us – let’s take our fixed gear bikes onto the pan! Why not? Surreal landscapes, super smooth surfaces good enough for world speed records! Sounds like a good adventure right? We did some research and found out that that year there was a South African Speedweek planned in September 2014 on the Hakskeenpan, coinciding with the launch of a planned rocket-propelled car land speed record attempt – the Bloodhound SSC. We decided to travel up in Nic’s old 1963 Porsche 356 – it seemed appropriate. Bikes on the roof, gear in the back.

BF Goodrich Garage Interviews the Radavist

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BF Goodrich Garage Interviews the Radavist

It’s no secret that for the past few years, we spend a lot of time on the road traveling to bike events. We often spend 7 months on the road, visiting gravel races, MTB events, framebuilder showcases, or just checking out the cycling communities and rides in various towns all over the Western United States. 2020 put a damper on that with Covid-19 but this year I’ve been building out a desert tourer and road trip vehicle of a different sort, an HJ75 Troopcarrier from Australia. This “long van” is one of the most capable and compact RVs in the world and unfortunately, we never got this specific model of Toyota here in the States.

When BF Goodrich caught wind of a recent interview with me where I discussed desert touring… by bicycle. They had to know more. How in the world do you ride in the desert on a bike? So I sat down with them for an interview about the Radavist and what it means to “Shred Lightly.”

Guide books like this are where I get a lot of inspiration for bike rides and tours.

The piece might be common knowledge for a lot of y’all but it’s always nice to push a positive message for outdoor recreation on a large platform like that. Head over to BF Goodrich Garage to check it out.

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.