#gravel

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Giro’s Ventana Shoes are the In-Between Shoe for Gravel and MTB

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Giro’s Ventana Shoes are the In-Between Shoe for Gravel and MTB

If you’re like me, you’re discontented with the mountain bike industry’s offerings when it comes to footwear. With most options looking like a mid 90’s skate shoe, they tend to feel bulky and heavy, which is not ideal if you’re the type that enjoys bigger backcountry loops with hiking usually involved.

The same can be said about gravel shoes, with most being adopted from ‘cross racing shoes. They’re narrow and not ideal for hike-a-bikes or long days in the saddle. This is all ATMO, of course, but I’m always on the hunt for the ideal in-between shoe for gravel riding and mountain biking.

Giro’s latest shoe, the Ventana seems to be the perfect in-between shoe for both activities. Can it replace your gravel and mountain shoes? Read on to find out.

What Races Would You Like Seen Covered Here on the Radavist?

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What Races Would You Like Seen Covered Here on the Radavist?

We cover a lot of gravel races here at the Radavist and while most of them are in the Western United States, we’ll be returning to the Mid South this year for an in-depth look at Stillwater, District Bicycles, the new race, and a look at the racer’s bikes. As you can imagine, it’s a lot of work to cover races and it costs a lot of money out of our pocket to fly out, document, edit, and post these events. While as a whole, we’re less interested in roadie 2.0 races like the DK and more interested in races with a unique format, which is why we’ve covered Grinduro so much in the past. It’s a really fun environment to be working your ass off in.

So I wanted to ask, what races would you like seen covered here on the site? We’ve already got SSAZ, the Mid South, Grinduro, and a few others on the calendar, but I’m interested in hearing your thoughts. If you could, leave them in the comments, with a link to the race’s website, that would be helpful.

We want to spend our time covering the things you want to see, so these posts are VERY helpful!

xo

The First 2020 LA Tourist Race Was Massive!

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The First 2020 LA Tourist Race Was Massive!

We’ve got Reportage on the way from this past weekend’s LA Tourist Race but I just wanted to personally thank everyone that turned up at 7am on a Saturday morning to race 80 miles and climb over 10k in elevation!

There was snow, beautiful weather, and lots of elevation to be had. Over 130 racers started with Kent winning yet again for the men and Erica Schwanke coming first place for the women.

Keep an eye here on the Radavist for the full report, written by Erin Lamb and Jen Whalen!

Mino-giizhigad; Maazhi-giizhigad: The Marji Gesick

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Mino-giizhigad; Maazhi-giizhigad: The Marji Gesick

Credit: 906 Adventure Team. Cable, age 9, carving out his legacy.

(It’s a good day; it’s a bad day)

Shakespeare insisted that a name held nothing significant; in fact, a name is but an arbitrary designator. A rose,  “by any other name would smell as sweet.” If the rose weren’t called a rose, we would still swoon over the sweet smell. Poor Juliet, the owner of a smitten young heart, failed to see everything that exists in a name. In my case, at thirty years old, I still carry my maiden name. Instead, I like to say it’s the name I’ve made for myself; I don’t see that changing any time soon. I grew up in the trailer park across the street from the General Motors Factory in Janesville, Wisconsin, and attended Jackson Elementary school. It was there I celebrated Andrew Jackson as a glorious president; Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830. What’s in that name? A legacy of brutality*, I say.

*Yes, this is a reference to the 1985 album by the Misfits. Hybrid moments is one of my favorite songs of all time.

The LA Tourist Race Returns This Weekend!

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The LA Tourist Race Returns This Weekend!

Last year’s LA Tourist Race brought challenging courses on familiar trails and this year’s event is looking to up, up, up the ante in the Angeles Crest!

This weekend (1.11.2020 at 7:30am) is the first round for 2020 and here are the details.

“Ok folks. These are your checkpoints. If you’re entering these into google, remove the N and W when searching. Start/Finish is @goldensaddlecyclery The points are numbered but you can do them in any order you want. This has also been emailed to all registered riders
Stock route is live on Strava .
If you live local and do not want to wait until Saturday morning to get your race plate, feel free to come by this week and pick it up @goldensaddlecyclery Starting Thursday morning. .
.
If you have not registered online you can still race but you will need to fill out paperwork in person to receive your race plate. Videos of the books are in our stories & FB page. Good luck with your routes. And be aware there are down trees and snow. Weather seems to be staying sunny for us but it is cold and wet on the ground.”

You can register now at BikeReg and see the checkpoints at the LA Tourist Race Instagram!

The Service Course: Tajikistan – The Not Knowing

Reportage

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.

Land Run 100 Changes Name to the Mid South for 2020

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Land Run 100 Changes Name to the Mid South for 2020

The history of the Land Run is a sordid one, which you can read all about it our earlier Reportage from the 2018 event. This question comes up a lot these days: if we know better, are we supposed to do better? While local vernacular influences the discussion, the Land Run wasn’t exactly something you want to build a community upon in the modern age. There is a much larger discussion to be had about this and the Land Run founder Bobby Wintle did such a great job on the official announcement, that I’d prefer to let him explain it below.

The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship Announces Mountains to Meadows and Gravelation in Quincy!

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The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship Announces Mountains to Meadows and Gravelation in Quincy!

The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship knows how to throw races. There’s a reason we cover each and every one, year after year! The proof is in the puddin’. Every year, 1000+ racers show up for Lost & Found, even more for the Downieville Classic and with Grinduro leaving Quincy, the SBTS decided to up the ante and continue throwing a weekend event of racing and partying, dubbed Mountains to Meadows. The location is too good to not pick up where Grinduro left off. Mark your calendars for September 24-27, 2020 and read on below.

Grinduro Expands to Six Events Worldwide and a New California Location This Year

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Grinduro Expands to Six Events Worldwide and a New California Location This Year

For 2020, Grinduro is continuing to expand throughout the globe, bringing the mixed-terrain event to California, as well as Wales, Switzerland, Japan, Quebec, and Australia. Its global support network brands, Giro, Fabric, Maxxis, and Rapha will team up with each event’s hosting brands, Cannondale, Canyon, Devinci, and Salsa.

Now, for the biggest change announcement. The inaugural event’s location of Quincy, California has been part of the weekend’s charm and this year, Grinduro will be leaving Quincy and the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship for the Mt. Shasta area, where they will work with the Siskiyou Outdoor Alliance.

Keep in mind that while Grinduro might be a weekend of partying and racing, it also raises money for local trail organizations, totaling $500,000 for trail organizations backing the event.

As someone who has put in a ton of effort into this event over the years, I’m glad to see it expanding!

Our Grinduro 2019 Event Recaps:
Scotland
Japan
California

Sometimes You Meet the People and the Animals: Racing the Spirit World 100

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Sometimes You Meet the People and the Animals: Racing the Spirit World 100

Riding through a landscape gives you a deeper appreciation for that place. It’s sensory. You breathe the air and you feel the sun and the wind and the weather. You muscle over the hills and your tires surf through the sand and over the rocks. You learn why roads exist and where they lead and who lives among them and what grows there. Sometimes you meet the people and the animals. Sometimes you share the space with fellow travelers and sometimes you ride alone. The farther you pedal, the more your mind becomes part of that space– the space between your body and your bike and the earth. Your mind is in the sky and the tall golden grass. When your body and mind relinquish control over expectations and judgments and find connection to your surroundings, you enter the spirit world, a place of truth and acceptance.

A Summer of Riding in the Quoc Gran Tourer All-Terrain Gravel Bike Shoes

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A Summer of Riding in the Quoc Gran Tourer All-Terrain Gravel Bike Shoes

Now, I know it might sound silly to call a cycling shoe “gravel” specific but hear me out. Traditional ‘cross racing shoes have extra padding, extra stiffness and aside from deep treads to shed mud, are different than what you’d typically want for just riding dirt roads. Lots of companies have taken their ‘cross shoe line and expanded into less racing-oriented designs and while a lot of bigger companies have stout offerings, I wanted to shed some light on the Quoc Gran Tourer all-terrain gravel shoes here.

A Few Rides in With the Fizik Terra Ergolace X2 Shoes

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A Few Rides in With the Fizik Terra Ergolace X2 Shoes

Products like this intrigue me. They pique my interest and pull at my heartstrings. Oftentimes, I find the cycling industry’s apparel offerings to be too wrapped up in the supergraphic, the superhero, the loud, obnoxious, and ostentatiously-designed garb most of us are forced to wear due to brand simply one-upping, building off of and straight biting-off of other’s designs. Personally, I want my cycling gear to emulate my outdoor gear. I want my cycling shoes to look like boots and honestly, most of the time while I tour and bikepack, I wear just that.

Fizik’s Terra lineup – their dirt-focused shoes – has trapesed about the tundra that is earth tones and laces for some time now but it wasn’t until their Ergolace X2 model dropped earlier this year that I was intrigued enough to reach out to the brand to review a pair. So, aside from a rugged aesthetic, how do they really feel in person?

Grinduro Japan: Soaked n’ Stoked

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Grinduro Japan: Soaked n’ Stoked

With Grinduro spreading its wings across three continents this year, landing on the western side of Japan at Madarao Kogen with Salsa Cycles this fall. A resort mostly known for its deep powder and tree skiing welcomed some early season visitors as over 300 cyclists descended upon the ski town. The resort’s main chalet served as the staging ground for the expo and meals for the event. With the threat of Typhoon Hagibis on the horizon, the largest Typhoon to hit this region of Japan since 1958, people were nervous about the viability of the event. The storm was forecasted to reach the resort and produce very heavy rains and strong winds midday Saturday, right during lunch between the two planned rides for the day. With safety and ride-ability in mind, the organizers decided to swap the afternoon ride to the morning and add a segment. This was the more dirt/singletrack focused portion of the day which I don’t think anyone was bummed about. At 19 miles the route still has over 3000 ft of elevation gain.