I’m a diehard fan of tough and playful hardtails. My affinity probably started with an invincible brick of a Schwinn BMX back when I was 13. It eventually evolved—I ditched my full suspension bike for the first generation of Surly’s infamous Krampus, morphed into the slacker front and tighter rear of a Carver Gnarvester, eloped with Tony’s personal Breadwinner Goodwater for a week, and then fell in love with Cjell Monē’s La Roca.
If you’re reading this, there’s a high probability you’re into bikes. Being “into” bikes comes in all sorts of flavors: racers, tourers, shredders, gear heads, collectors, vanilla, chocolate, twist. However you identify, spending time and money building, fixing, riding, and re-building is all part of it. Exposure to the melange of personalization across the cycling continuum is a big part of what the Radavist does, in addition to sharing the passion and creativity of the people behind the bikes. People who are into it. People like Karl.
I’ve been a fan of Cjell Moné‘s bikes for some time, from seeing his custom TDR bike on the wall at Adventure Cycling HQ to him writing about brazing alongside masters for his production run of frames. Until recently, I had only thrown my legs over Kirsten’s personal frame at infamous Brush Mountain Lodge waiting out snow on the TDR. Cjell and I have quite a disparity in size thus making his personal bikes out of the question. A few weeks ago, Cjell let me know that Nate from Blue Dog Bikes in Tucson was purchasing his “demo” bike that was my size and that I should take it for a spin. I jumped at the chance, I was always too self-conscious to ask an operation as small as his to put together a bike solely for me to rip and review. But since someone else already had the bike and was nice enough to let me rip it for a few days, shred I will.
Corbin’s family calls it ‘Going Nuclear’…It’s precisely the time when ol’ Hard Corbin stops enjoying the infinite riches of bikepacking and tells the world to ‘go, fuck itself.’ Two days of bike carrying and rationing food are a good recipe for a nuclear reaction.
Cass Gilbert over at bikepacking.com teamed up with a couple of nut-jobs living on an organic farm outside of Quito, the Dammer Brothers, to ride their bikes across Ecuador. I can’t tell you a lot about these guys other than between them they have 7 million bikepacking miles and their hobbies include lifting steel fatbikes over their heads.