Our friend Hannah was busy shooting video on the Machines for Freedom Expedition in Utah and it’s live on their website now, along with their photo essay from the trip, written by Mason Griffin. Head on over to the Machines for Freedom blog to check it out.
Unapologetic. Relentless. Persistent. A Machines for Freedom Expedition in Utah
Words by Aimee Gilchrist, photos by John Watson
The Utah desert, or desert in general, does not often offer comfortable accommodations to outsiders. High winds, isolated vegetation, sun-soaked and shadeless valleys, rapid nocturnal cooling and infrequent precipitation. The desert can feel like a bitter and unforgiving stranger. Lucky for us, Utah was well-behaved. Late March riding and a window between April showers painted the varying landscape with fragrant sage and spring blooms. Barren mesas were glowing with red and gold dust. And instead of the reliable, wind-blown silence often found on these remote roads, our Machines for Freedom team shared conversation and laughter that could be heard echoing in the canyons for miles.
A few months earlier, Jenn Kriske from Machines for Freedom gathered a group of ladies to ride an aggressive route mapped by John Watson. Our MFF riding team consisted of seven badass, hilarious, strong athletes from Santa Barbara and LA to Portland by way of Bozeman and Durango: Jessica Baum (Santa Barbara), Gritchelle Fallesgon (Portland), Mason Griffin (Bozeman), Stephanie Ortega (LA), Ginger Boyd (LA), Sarah Swallow (Durango) and I (LA). Heavy winter snow and rain this Spring impeded the original route and last minute adjustments were made exchanging knee-deep mud for pavement. Our goal was to ride 350 miles from Tropic, Utah to Green River, Utah in 4 days. We were well suited for this undertaking.
This is the fourth layout of the Radavist 2019 Calendar, entitled “Sleeping Rainbow” shot with a Canon 1DX and a 70-200mm lens in Fruita, Utah.
“The Waterpocket Fold is the defining geological feature in Capitol Reef National Park. This 100-mile long buckle in the earth’s crust runs from the north, around Hanksville, all the way South, to Bullfrog on Lake Powell. Along this Fold, rocks have been pushed upward and erosion has cut through the layers, creating deep narrow canyons and dynamic vistas. Capitol Reef got its name due to the unique formations resembling Neoclassical architecture found within the United States’ capitol buildings. Kinda shitty huh? Especially compared to the indigenous tribes’ name for the Reef, Sleeping Rainbow. Last week, we embarked on a ride through this incredible zone with Machines for Freedom. Our full-length post is following this month.”
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2019 Calendar – April. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
The mobile background this month is the same shot as March’s, but with a special touch. Click here to download April’s Mobile Wallpaper.
We wrapped up our four-day ride with Machines for Freedom and it has been an incredible journey. We’re traveling back to Los Angeles today from Green River and over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing this story. Right now, I wanted to thank Machines for Freedom and the riders for this opportunity. Head over to our Instagram for more teasers…
This weekend, we’re going to be taking on a ride I’ve wanted to document for some time with a badass group of ladies for Machines for Freedom. We’ll be updating our Instagram accounts along the way and as always, a big gallery will follow shortly. In the interim, give Machines for Freedom a follow on Instagram and if you don’t follow the Radavist on Instagram.
A few months back, Machines for Freedom announced a new partnership with Specialized. In the latest We Got to Hang Out, Jen Kriske from MFF discusses the news and more.
I have been riding for close to a decade and have never been able to wrap my head around the connection between frame geometry and gender. A bike seat, of course. But the frame? A frame is related to body proportions, leg length, arm reach, and the like; not our reproductive organs. Anecdotally, swap out my bike seat and my brother and I could comfortably ride the same bike. So what is the industry telling us? That I am built like a man? That my brother is built like a woman? The conversation quickly spirals into uncomfortable territory.
This is one of the most beautifully-shot and visually compelling cycling videos I’ve seen. There are so many wonderful shots including Tracy‘s Leica M240 selfie and that amazing Starling Flock as the riders descend at sunset. Here’s the description from Machines for Freedom:
“None of this is free. But that’s what makes the payoff so sweet.
Anyone who has ever stuck with a training plan to prepare for a new challenge knows this. Anyone who has pedaled through a cold winter to reach new distances come spring knows this. Chances are if you’ve ever ridden a trainer indoors, you might have felt yourself banging up against that wall and asking yourself, why?
“Free,” the new film from Machines sets out to capture the inner dialogue of the rider who has found themselves at this crossroads and come out the other side with a reason… something to hold on to when those questions start to bubble up within.“
I love when two brands come together for a project like this. Cadence is known for their performance cycling kits, for men. Machines for Freedom is known for their exceptional fit and quality kits, for women. So when Cadence wanted to make a kit for women, they contacted Machines for Freedom to supply the fit and performance of their kits with a Dustin Klein-illustrated Cadence design. The result is one of my favorite collaborations this year.
See more photos below and ordering at Cadence.
Photos by Jesse Carmody
The Thrive print is inspired by the flora of the springtime and is metaphorically used to express our motivation to ride. Liz is one tough woman, taking on various rides like the White Rim trail and shredding Los Angeles’ trails on her mountain bike. She recently modeled the MFF Thrive Jersey and I think these are some of the best studio shots of a kit I’ve seen in some time. Check out more at Machines for Freedom.
Photos by Tracy Chandler
Death Valley is one of my favorite National Parks and while its conditions in the summer are far from inviting for even the most experienced cyclists, the spring and late fall can make for exceptional riding weather. Machines for Freedom used this pastel backdrop for their latest photoshoot. Head on over to MFF to check it out!
I love seeing brands working together for a greater good. Machines for Freedom and Mission Workshop are bringing a series of events and rides to San Francisco, beginning May 14th as a two-week long celebration of the female cyclist.
These Girls are Machines will feature a pop-up shop by women’s cycling brand Machines For Freedom, an art gallery presented by Fast Chance Collective showcasing pieces by five local women artists and cyclists, and many other events and group rides designed to help carve out a space for women riders in the Bay Area.
Check out the full schedule below!