This is part two of an in depth conversation between Tom Ritchey and Ryan le Garrec where Ryan seeks to identify key periods in Tom’s life alongside key people. Perhaps second only to Tom’s father, it seems that Jobst Brandt had significant influence of the young Tom. Below, Ryan shares excerpts from Tom’s side of their conversation that highlight Jobst’s character, his notorious rides, and his lasting impact. Enjoy!
Russ Pope Studio Visit: On Skateboarding, Arting, and Bikes
The artist Russ Pope is a west coaster-turned-New England émigré. Growing up as a skateboarder and an artist, he brought his two passions together at a young age. Creativity has been intertwined with all his outdoor pursuits since, with a portfolio that boasts many skating and cycling collaborations. Hailey Moore recently had the opportunity to sit down with Russ to talk about it all—Read on for a rundown about his life of skating, arting and bikes and to learn more about a Russ Pope drawing giveaway! Thanks Russ!
Conversations with Tom Ritchey Part One: Tommy, Thomas, Tom
Tom Ritchey is not what you would call an open book. Rather, he’s a whole library; a labyrinth with many alleys, chockfull of stories, where everything splits and branches like the best network of singletrack, and there are no cul de sacs. Every door leads you to another room. Every answer opens up another question. There are no shortcuts.
The following is just a casual conversation. In it, you might not find all the details of the next frame that he is working on but you may find a better understanding into what it took for Tom Ritchey to become Tom Ritchey.
“I have a public self and I have a personal self. I could answer that question on a public side and tell you I just love riding my bike and being by myself and all (…) That would be an authentic answer but it’s not the whole answer of course. So I’ll give you the personal one too.” – Tom Ritchey
The Bird Was a Butterfly: Ana Orenz on Recovering from Injury
About one year ago, Ana Orenz had a crash going downhill during the first night of the Trans Pyrénées. Her accident ended in nerve damage, spinal injury, and facial reconstruction. But Ana never backs down.
Continue reading below for Ryan le Garrec’s multimedia profile of endurance cyclist Ana Orenz…
The 2022 TransRockies Gravel Royale
TransRockies has become an institution in the stage racing world: they have been around since the beginning. In late August, the inaugural Gravel Royale was their first foray into the world of gravel racing. The edition of the truly off-tarmac event makes sense, as the main critique of TransRockies in years past has been riders complaining about too many gravel roads. Sounds like they’ve just been honing the course for a real gravel throw down! After the four stages, Rob Britton of Victoria, BA and Rach McBride of Vancouver, BC took the top step in the Elite Men’s and Women’s categories, respectively. What follows is Barry Wicks‘ rider journal from each of the four days which gives a stream of consciousness account, followed by his interviews with other competitors. Each interview maintained the same format and consisted of just three questions designed to skip the small talk: What is your favorite color? What are you reading right now? What is the meaning of life? Enjoy the ride!
Two Legs Too Easy: Why Movement Is Medicine with World Champion Cyclist and Para-Cycling Pioneer Dr. Meg Fisher
The dawn has barely broken and early rays of summer sunshine splatter golden light across the yard while Meg Fisher throws a ball for her pup Pax. She knows she’ll be leaving him for a good chunk of the day while she gets out for a training ride and wants to make sure he gets some of his puppy energy out before she goes. Her laughter echoes under the trees and her stoke is palpable. With the great state of Montana as a backyard, the number of trails and gravel roads at Meg’s disposal are enough to make anyone want to pack up and move west.
Into the Mind: Catching Up with Ultra-Endurance Cyclist Theo Kelsey
I honestly can’t remember the first time I thought about racing bikes or the fact that people might be motivated to race them. I had some inkling that there were professional road cyclists out there, a la Tour de France, but any notion was vague. For me racing was seeped in the nostalgia of a sticky summer day, riding a green BMX bike with a dysfunctional coaster brake. Most likely hurtling at an irresponsible speed, chasing friends down a hill in the hot and dusty interior of BC. Later in life, a university roommate and great pal, clued me into gravel riding, the Tour Divide Race, and so on. Call it bike pack racing, call it ultra-endurance riding, call it solo-soul-searching, or call it some sort of competition of human versus wheels.
Conversations About Gravel and Change, Part Three: Kristi Mohn
Kristi Mohn is something of a legend. A native of Emporia, KS, Kristi started cycling in 2004. In 2008 she became the co-director of the Unbound Gravel event, which was run for the first time in 2006. Since then she’s been the driving force behind gravel cycling’s drive for inclusion. She’s worked to secure equal purses for women, pushed for non-binary event classes, and driven efforts to engage communities who have otherwise been ignored by the cycling industry. Corey Godfrey and Jason Strohbehn, the co-organizers of Gravel Worlds, cite Kristi’s “200 Women Riding 200 Miles” program, as well as their conversations with her, as inspirations behind their own efforts. Kimo Seymour, President of Events & Media at Life Time Fitness, says that Kristi’s work is what attracted Lifetime to buy Unbound Gravel in 2018. I interviewed Kristi in Stillwater, OK at the 2022 edition of the Mid South, but have been fortunate enough to have known her for close to 10 years.
Before & After: 2022 Mid South Rider Interviews
Comparing what riders think they are going to experience vs what they do experience, as well as what they are taking away from the ride, has always been a fascination of mine. We all bring our hopes and, yes, our fears to the start line. After a nearly two-year layoff from in-person events, I wanted to see what this year’s Mid South participants brought with them to the race. What did they think was going to happen once they rolled over that start line? What were they hoping they’d take away from it all after they crossed it again to finish?
We Knew the Work Had to Continue: The Soul of Dario Pegoretti is Here
Not Chaotic, But Like Jazz
“We are all building on what Dario left us.”
On August 23rd, 2018 Italian framebuilder, artist, music aficionado, cancer survivor, and living legend Dario Pegoretti unexpectedly passed away. At only 62 years old he had made an indelible mark on the cycling industry. After building uncredited high-end custom frames for names such as Induran, Cipollini and Pantani he started his own company, Pegoretti Cicli. Both a traditionalist and iconoclast Dario never wavered from his love of steel while also constantly playing with innovations in technique, frame design, and painting. In all of these, he was a renowned master.
All-City Cycles’ Night Claw Collection
Emma Eubanks‘s artwork adorns the latest soft goods collection from All-City Cycles dubbed the Night Claw collection. This capsule collection includes a riding kit (pictured), socks, caps, shirts, and more. Head on over to All-City’s Blog to read all about this collaboration and your local dealer for ordering.
Jambz Interviews Sarah Swallow Post-Great Divide
@jambi_jambi, Sarah’s stand in influencer during the Tour Divide 2021, interviews Sarah after the race has finished with some of her own questions as well as answering some viewers questions.
Discussing mental strength, equipment, working with each other, hygiene on tour and more.
2 to 200: the Kathy Pruitt Story
It’s pretty common these days to see professional roadies make the transition into gravel. The racing and even the bikes are pretty similar, so it’s not a big stretch to make the leap. But what about coming to gravel from downhill? Now we’re talking about switching from races that are about 2-miles long with zero elevation gain to races that are 200-miles long with 10’000-feet of climbing. Race times go from a few minutes to hours…lots of hours. And that’s not even getting into how different the bikes are. The switch from downhill to gravel is way less common and a lot harder to wrap your head around…but let me introduce you to Kathy Pruitt.
An Interview with Brooklyn Bell on Her Ground Keeper Custom Collaboration
For today’s Reportage, we’re shining a light on Brooklyn Bell, a multi-sport athlete and artist living in Bellingham, Washington. Brooklyn launched a collaboration with Ground Keeper Custom earlier this year, with an entire capsule collection available on their website. We were really moved by Brooklyn’s artwork, so we connected for a quick interview. See the Ground Keeper Badgal Brooky collection on their website and read our interview with Brooklyn below…
Riding with Rue
Our good friend Rue was recently featured in a mini-docu put together by René Herse Cycles. Give this one a watch for a great profile on an extraordinary documentary photographer!
Chasing Fabian Burri
What’s a day, an hour, a few seconds, or a month?
What’s the point of time if it’s still and untouched?
Where are we now, and can it be then?
I woke up that morning from sweat and fears, dreams that fade away in the blink of an eye but a feeling that takes longer, lingers around, just for a while. I had a crash but it left no rash.
I met Fabian over a year ago, in Oman, at a race, he was wearing skinny black stuff and had a lot of tattoos, he had a mustache and looked a lot like bike messengers, or my friends from Brazil.
An Interview with Tyler of BTCHN’ Bikes About His New Raw Mullet Gravel Prototype
Most of you know I’m attracted to weirdos and eccentric people, so of course I love stopping by the BTCHN Bikes shop here in Chico to see what Tyler is welding on. He’s spent most of his life racing all types of motorcycles at insane speeds, and has been adapting the hyper-analytical engineering he’s learned in the motorized world into pedal-powered machines he pushes to equally scary speeds. He’s also one of the most enthusiastic people I’ve ever met, so imagine that he’s yelling and gesturing wildly with his hands as you read this interview about his latest prototype.
Bikes or Death: Episode 52 with Cinthia Pedraza
Putting yourself out there and writing about polarizing topics is not easy. We’ve hosted a lot of great writing over the years, many of which inspired some great commentary and yes, change within the industry. Cinthia‘s piece on white privilege and bike racing during a pandemic really ruffled some feathers in her local racing community. For their latest episode, Bikes or Death interviews Cinthia about these effects and it’s highly worth the listen! Check it out at Bikes or Death.