I was leading the pack towards the tail end of the first annual Dirtbag Cycles Rambler on Vancouver Island. We were riding through the last singletrack section of the 90-ish km ride, and only I knew what was coming. After a quick 90-degree turn off the main trail, the forest opened up into a powerline clearing with about a half-kilometer descent. I heard behind me someone say “Oh shit, here we go!” and then all 15 of my fellow riders started hooting and hollering. I let go of the brakes and took off, reassured that the experience I’d been planning for the better part of a year had ended up being exactly what I hoped for.
Riding for Rights in Vermont: The 2022 Repro Ride
A warm Saturday morning, September 10th. I arrive at the top of a long, steep dirt road in the woods of Pomfret later than I planned. Four parking attendants in neon pink shirts, older gentlemen with gray beards, greet me. Birds tweet, crickets chirp, and insects buzz in the background. Mists of gnats swarm my face. I rush to braid my hair in the reflection of the car window, clip my helmet, pull up my bib straps, zip my jersey, and tie the laces of my cycling shoes. “Deep breaths, deep breaths,” I whisper to myself, willing my jittery hands to stop shaking. Due to nerves and too much coffee, they don’t. I quickly stow my sunglasses in my helmet vents, bidons in their cages, and gloves in my jersey pocket. It’s the Repro Ride. And I go.
I roll down the hill to check in aboard El Guapo, my blue Trek Boone gravel bike. More volunteers in pink shirts welcome me behind the registration tables book-ended by red, white, and blue “Vote Yes on Article 22!” signs.
Taylor Phinney’s Word of Mouth Ride
The Cheerios and fresh-cut strawberries were still swirling around in my mouth as I applied sunscreen. My bike was ready to roll, quietly leaning up against the fence outside the van. My rear brake was rubbing, but I decided that I’d rather ride with a little more resistance than be late. I hate being late for group rides.
A few nights prior, I saw Taylor Phinney post a flyer on Instagram. The plan was simple: a mixed surface adventure ride to an art show. Some of the pieces had never been shown before, but all of them helped him transition out of the world of being a professional athlete. Taylor strolled around the group, chatting with both friends and newcomers. Clad in a cotton t-shirt and denim shorts, you might not think that this is someone who was the world champion in something, let alone competed in the Olympics. But that’s the funny thing about a place like Boulder; you never quite know who you’ll run into.
Bikepacking The White Rim Trail: Touching the World Again
Here’s a sentence that’s sure to resonate: It’s been over a year since I booked a flight and the idea of taking a trip was just a little scary. The last time I’d flown was another bike trip with my partner Cameron and close friend Yuhnke. Our flight back from the Baja Divide had been delayed due to airport shutdowns on the dawn of the pandemic.
A Few From Last Sunday’s Los Angeles Explorers Club 1980s Movie Ride
Last Sunday, the Los Angeles Explorers Club convened in San Marino a the Cub House for a “historic” ride through the surrounding neighborhoods of South Pasadena and Pasadena, stopping at famous homes featured in Hollywood movies from the ’80s. Included in the list were houses used in Teen Wolf, Back to the Future, Pretty in Pink, Terminator, Halloween (technically 1978), Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and more.
Aimee Gilchrist, the LA Explorers Club founder, dressed up as Doctor Emmett Brown from Back to the Future, as she guided a rather large group of cyclists through picturesque, tree-lined streets, on a 14-mile jaunt around town. Afterward, a dance-off competition ensued, all while BBQ eats and beverages were sold.
If you like informative and very relaxed rides like this, be sure to follow the Los Angeles Explorers Club on Instagram!