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Far Quarter Gravel: Gravel Rides Around Trinidad, Colorado

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Far Quarter Gravel: Gravel Rides Around Trinidad, Colorado

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…

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Flashpoint MVMNT

Our friends at Giro have sponsored a new collective of athletes and brands that stand united in a common goal to introduce new audiences to cycling. Read the full press-release on this group below!

Moksha Patam: Snakes and Ladders – Flashpacking Through the Tasmanian Mountains

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Moksha Patam: Snakes and Ladders – Flashpacking Through the Tasmanian Mountains

Moksha Patam is a game based on traditional Hindu philosophy. It was designed to teach players the Hindu concepts of Karma and Kama: virtue and desire. The virtues of generosity, faith, and humility are the ladders that carry you up the board, upwards towards enlightenment and to the end of the game. But if you follow the path of vices—lust, anger, murder, and theft—the snakes will pull you back to the beginning of the game. Up and down. Enlightenment and rebirth. Making it to your destination or being pulled back to the start.

Dead Man Gravel Registration is Open for BIPOC and Women

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Dead Man Gravel Registration is Open for BIPOC and Women

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.

Endura’s New Gravel Lineup: GV500 Foyle T

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Endura’s New Gravel Lineup: GV500 Foyle T

As part of the new Endura Gravel line, dubbed GV500, the Foyle t-shirt is a lightweight, wicking jersey that is woven with stretchy fabric on its sleeves for extra durability and flexibility. The Foyle T has a single zipper side pocket and has a fit described as relaxed, but flap-free fit.

Specs:
Sizes: S,M,L,XL,XXL
Standard Fit
MSRP: $79.99

See the entire GV500 line at Endura.

A Look at Rapha’s New Powerweave Explore Gravel Shoes

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A Look at Rapha’s New Powerweave Explore Gravel Shoes

In my opinion, you don’t need racing shoes to do rides. Back when we started riding ‘cross bikes on singletrack and fire roads, the only real options were stiff ‘cross racing shoes. Footwear tech and ideologies have come a long way since with the case in point being the latest from the Rapha apparel line, the Powerweave Explore Gravel Shoes. I’ve been lucky enough to get my grubby hands on a pair to check out and post up a quick first impressions review of these beautiful shoes.

GoodYear’s Bike Tires Expand into Gravel: the Connector Tire

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GoodYear’s Bike Tires Expand into Gravel: the Connector Tire

If GoodYear’s gravel tire offerings are as robust as their mountain offering, then the Connector tires are going to be a great option for gravel riding and racing. The Connector tire comes in 120tpi casing, a fast-rolling tread pattern, an anti-puncture belt beneath the tread, and in sizes 700×35, 700×40, 700×50, and 650b x 50. These tires are available now with two more models on the way in a few months. See more at GoodYear.

High Plains Byway Extended Edition: A Sandhills Odyssey

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High Plains Byway Extended Edition: A Sandhills Odyssey

This Reportage took place a year prior to the pandemic… please be considerate and avoid traveling to small towns during the pandemic.

Some trips stay with you more than others, and this trip is one of those. Nebraska isn’t often touted (read: never) as a cycling destination, but the truly unique and varied geography we encountered offered some of the most quality riding I’ve had the opportunity to experience. The state’s remoteness—a combination of the incredibly low population density and vast, often exposed, landscapes—was initially a concern but in actuality lent a heightened sense of adventure to our days. This is also still the longest tour I’ve taken and being able to fully settle into the rhythm of passing the days—sun up to sun down—on the bike for a week straight was a pretty intoxicating experience.

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Into the Dark

With the release of their aluminum gravel bike, the Atlas, Focus has started supporting video projects like this one. Follow along as a group of friends ride from Stuttgart to Basel, through the Black Forest… See the full story at Focus.

WTB’s Wheels Return with MTB and Gravel Proterra Light and Tough Models

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WTB’s Wheels Return with MTB and Gravel Proterra Light and Tough Models

You might recall a few years back, WTB had an extensive MTB and gravel wheel lineup. Well, after a few years hiatus, it’s back, a bit more dialed, with a bit more options. The Proterra wheel lineup is hand-built in California and has something for just about anyone’s needs. On the 29er and 27.5 MTB side, the light option is a 27mm wide rim with alloy nipples, while the tough is 30mm with brass nipples. Both wheels use 3-cross spoke lacing. Meanwhile, the gravel options come down to a 700 or 27.5 Proterra light in a 700 x 23mm rim or a 650 x 25mm rim. You’ll most likely be seeing these wheels in an OE application, rolling out under familiar bike models from big brands but should you be on the hunt for a $295 wheel, they do look like a great option. See more at WTB.

Dean Liebau Illustrates Cyclists and Captures Their Personalities

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Dean Liebau Illustrates Cyclists and Captures Their Personalities

Drawing cycling portraits admittedly started as a self-serving venture. Looking for a breather from the largely geometric aesthetic I gave my illustration work, I dug down deep to my formal college Drawing 2 class and after a seven-year hiatus, I gave realistic portraiture another shot. After some hesitation, I decided to publish them but still didn’t have the courage to tag the people referenced. The internet can be a small place and they were quickly tagged for me but this served as the little form of validation I needed. I figured if people could be recognized, then they couldn’t be that bad right?

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Lael Rides Alaska

After we featured various Lael Rides Alaska stories last year, PEARL iZUMi has sponsored this wonderful video project by Rue!

Lael Wilcox is a 4th generation Alaskan and an ultra-distance cyclist. In 2014, she began pushing her limits in her home state and dreamed that one day, she’d ride all of the major roads in Alaska– connecting the dots and traveling under her own steam to places she’d heard of but never seen. In 2017, after her first year running Anchorage GRIT, Lael spent the summer riding all of the roads, some 4,500 miles. She had the time of her life but rode mostly solo, and that experience was all her own. In reflection, she wanted to share more–to show people the beauty and truth of Alaska and inspire more people to ride there. The global pandemic of 2020 provided a unique opportunity to revisit this project–ride from home, spend time with her family, bring them along, and encourage others to pursue their own adventures.

Riding roads is feeling topography and weather, seeing history and reality, and experiencing everything along the way. If the finish line is home, how much farther can we go? If we bring along our loved ones, how much more will it mean?

This project is in support of the Anchorage GRIT project and the “Lael Ride Alaska Women’s Scholarship Program.”

The Ritchey Outback is an Instant Classic

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The Ritchey Outback is an Instant Classic

Over the years, having had the chance to ride a lot of different bikes, I’ve whittled my personal preferences down to a few assumptions about geometry and materials. Based on these preconceptions, I wasn’t sure I’d be into the Ritchey Outback.

Gravel bikes with carbon forks are pretty predictable in my experience: more capable and adaptable than the ‘cross bikes they evolved from, but too stiff to be enjoyable on rough terrain or long days in the saddle. Gravel bikes have also evolved to have longer rear ends than ‘cross bikes, and yet the Outback has the longest rear end of any performance-oriented drop-bar bike I’ve ridden.

I will also say that I’ve learned to keep an open mind about this stuff, and in the past couple of years I’m finding myself excited to ride bikes that don’t fit into neat and predictable categories. The chance to review oddball bikes helps me expand my experience and therefore become a better bike reviewer. I’m open to being surprised!

Well, there must be exceptions to rules and there must be challenges to preconceptions, and the Ritchey Outback fits into both of those categories for me.

Halo Wheels Designs Gravel Tires: RXR, GXR, GXC

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Halo Wheels Designs Gravel Tires: RXR, GXR, GXC

Halo, makers of various wheels and components, have entered the gravel market with three new models of tires. Their RXR (650b x 47mm) is an all-road/hardpack tire, GXR (650b x 47mm) is an all-surface tire, and the GXC (650b x 47mm or 700 x 38mm) is a gravel tire with lots of grip for the roughest days out on backcountry roads. Each tire comes in black or gumwall and you can find out more at Halo Wheels.