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Jake’s Pacific Northwest Do-All Trek 970 – Morgan Taylor

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Jake’s Pacific Northwest Do-All Trek 970 – Morgan Taylor

Jake’s Pacific Northwest Do-All Trek 970
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

While we can easily find ourselves lost in things shiny and new, there’s no denying the allure of a carefully curated classic being put to good use. Jake’s Trek 970 is just one of those bikes, with a build that takes advantage of classic mountain bike practicality to create a versatile and stylish bike for days long and short.

Jake’s no stranger to well-thought-out steel bikes, already having a number of sweet builds in the quiver before his 970 came together. He leans toward time-tested components, durability over flashiness, and comfort over outright speed. The 970 is Jake’s Pacific Northwest do-all bike, with wide tires, loads of carrying capacity, and inspiration taken from its home in Seattle.

Finding Something Special in Maui’s Haleakalā Crater – Morgan Taylor

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Finding Something Special in Maui’s Haleakalā Crater – Morgan Taylor

Oh, what a difference a few thousand feet can make. In sharp contrast to the incredible lushness of the story we shared yesterday from our ride to Hāna, the surroundings at elevation in Haleakalā National Park are cold, stark, and windy – simply other-worldly.

As is usually the case with high elevation destinations, you really are at the mercy of the weather on Haleakalā. What was a picture-perfect Hawaiian day down at sea level and for most of the drive up the volcano took an about-face as soon as we dropped off the ridge into the Haleakalā crater. We reached for our insulated jackets and descended into the fog.

Riding in a Forest of House Plants on Maui’s Road to Hāna – Morgan Taylor

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Riding in a Forest of House Plants on Maui’s Road to Hāna – Morgan Taylor

Riding in a Forest of House Plants on Maui’s Road to Hāna
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

If you’ve spent any time in tropical places, this may not come as a surprise to you – but to Stephanie and I, content and comfortable in the damp temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, riding Maui’s Road to Hāna was completely mind blowing. We didn’t go to Hawai’i for the beaches (in fact, we didn’t even swim), and we weren’t really doing it to escape the rapidly deteriorating weather conditions at home. We didn’t have expectations, just a few recommendations and an open mind – our usual way of traveling.

Rambling with the 333fab Air Land Sea – Morgan Taylor

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Rambling with the 333fab Air Land Sea – Morgan Taylor

Rambling with the 333fab Air Land Sea
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

Look at the surface of the 333fab Air Land Sea, and you’ll see a drop bar bike that fits bigger tires than most, amazing custom paint and graphics, and components that reflect the very best of what’s available. But dig a bit deeper and you find something that can really only be found in a custom bike, something that innovates and pushes the boundaries, something that’s truly special. The Air Land Sea draws you in. It asks you to look, not to rush, but to consider what a bike might be if there really were no rules. And, you can have one.

29 Camping Bikes and Their Riders From Swift Campout Vancouver – Morgan Taylor

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29 Camping Bikes and Their Riders From Swift Campout Vancouver – Morgan Taylor

Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

From first time bicycle campers to experienced fully loaded singletrack riders, 30 people joined us for Swift Campout here in Vancouver. Swift Industries‘ global call to head out for a bicycle overnight on solstice weekend was a perfect opportunity for us to scope a camp spot and a route and put out an open invite.

After weeks of route planning, helping with camp setups, and hoping for good weather, the sun shone down Saturday morning and we set out en masse with spirits high. For a good number, it was their first time camping by bike, or their first time loading up without racks to ride singletrack to camp.

A quick ferry ride landed us on the Sunshine Coast just outside Vancouver and the group split up, one third to ride a challenging singletrack-heavy overland route and two thirds to ride the backroads, eat ice cream, and swim in the ocean. We converged on the camp spot in the evening and shared stories of our travels.

As expected, we met lots of great people, got to ride bikes and hang out on the roads and trails and beaches, cook and camp together, learn more about ourselves and each other. Thanks so much to the wonderful folks at Swift Industries for facilitating this global event!

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Follow Morgan and Stephanie on Instagram at Found in the Mountains, and if you find yourself in Vancouver, join them for #CoffeeOutsideYVR every Friday!

Stephanie’s Blacked Out 650B Straggler – Morgan Taylor

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Stephanie’s Blacked Out 650B Straggler – Morgan Taylor

Stephanie’s Blacked Out 650B Straggler
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

For what is admittedly a bit of a mish-mash build, Stephanie’s Straggler has come together with a lot of character. The parts kit borrows heavily from other bikes, so you may very well recognize some pieces from other builds. It’s the collection of parts, and the stories behind all of them, that makes this bike something special.

Coffee Outside and a Hidden Dirt Ride – Morgan Taylor

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Coffee Outside and a Hidden Dirt Ride – Morgan Taylor

Photos and words by Morgan Taylor.

I unclipped the far side of Stephanie’s Sugarloaf to get coffee going and something I knew was eventually bound to happen, finally happened. After 15 weeks of #coffeeoutsideyvr, an object of actual (and sentimental) value fell off the pier: Stephanie’s double wall titanium camp mug, that had dangled carefree for 4,000 km of touring last summer and lots more since, was now floating in Burrard Inlet.

That was how our Good Friday began: with Tom stripping down and sending it into the cold, cold ocean to retrieve Stephanie’s prized possession. What we’ve come to know in the past three-and-a-half months of getting together to make coffee every Friday, is that there are a lot of rad people out there you haven’t yet met – people who might one day jump in a frigid body of water on your behalf.

Found in the Mountains Good Friday Ride!

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Found in the Mountains Good Friday Ride!

Morgan and Stephanie are hosting an adventure pace, mixed-surface ride in Vancouver after their usual coffee outside on Friday:

“We’re crafting up a route that will keep us out of traffic and exploring off-the-beaten-path dirt and neighbourhood connectors around North Vancouver. This will be an absolutely no-drop, adventure pace ride. Expect about 50 km of mixed-surface riding with options to bail out along the way if you want a shorter ride or need to get somewhere earlier in the day.”

Get the details at Found in the Mountains.

Steel and Rubber’s Sunshine Coast Overnighter Gallery

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Steel and Rubber’s Sunshine Coast Overnighter Gallery

Words by Morgan Taylor. Photos by Geoff Campbell.

A couple weeks back I shared a set of rider portraits from a trip we took out of Vancouver and across Howe Sound to the Sunshine Coast. It was a simple winter overnighter, mostly on rural roads, with a great group of friends. Geoff and Pat, who are preparing to ride the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route this summer, keep track of their rides at Steel and Rubber with route data, travel stories, and great photos.

Check out a selection of Geoff’s photos below and head to Steel and Rubber for the gallery and story!

Seven Rider Portraits from a Winter Overnight – Morgan Taylor

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Seven Rider Portraits from a Winter Overnight – Morgan Taylor

Photos and words by Morgan Taylor.

Here in Vancouver we’ve been experiencing one of the coldest winters in decades, with more days below freezing than I can ever remember. Over the past six weeks, since firing up #coffeeoutsideyvr, there’s been much talk of packing up and getting out for some overnights. And lately, with sunset already an hour later than it was at solstice, it was imminent that the talk become action.

They Told Us Not To Ride Bikes in Yellowstone National Park – Morgan Taylor

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They Told Us Not To Ride Bikes in Yellowstone National Park – Morgan Taylor

Words and photos by Morgan Taylor.

They told us not to ride bikes in Yellowstone National Park. Why? Mostly the roads: little to no shoulder and overrun by tourists in RVs. That’s enough to spur some questions for a potential traveler, and with a quick bit of research, you’ll find the camping situation looks dire – especially from a cyclist’s perspective. Where can you even buy food that isn’t in an overpriced restaurant? And what’s there to see beyond geysers and animals, anyway? Maybe they were right.

Morgan and Stephanie’s Soma Wolverine Dirt Tourers – Morgan Taylor

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Morgan and Stephanie’s Soma Wolverine Dirt Tourers – Morgan Taylor

Words and photos by Morgan Taylor.

There are many ways you can build a bike for traveling and all of them have their virtues; striking a balance is not as much a universal truth as it comes down to where you want to make sacrifices. When Stephanie and I set out to build these bikes, we had the long term in mind. Not just the fact that we intended to spend all summer riding them around the western United States, but that we wanted bikes that would be useful beyond that trip.

For us, the guiding principle along the way was that we wanted bikes that would be fun around town and commuting bikes when we came home, which is really what determined the frames we chose. We were building bikes for a honeymoon adventure but the lasting legacy was a bike that would fit in to our daily lives when that chapter came to a close. To put it simply, we didn’t want to tour on touring bikes. And after 4,000 kilometres of fully loaded riding, we’re happy we didn’t.

Carter’s Glitter Dreams Straggler – Morgan Taylor

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Carter’s Glitter Dreams Straggler – Morgan Taylor

Photos and words by Morgan Taylor.

In the time we spent in Los Angeles, Carter’s Straggler was one of the bikes in for service at GSC. Now, as a bit of a background, the Glitter Dreams paint on the first year Straggler was actually part of the inspiration for the builds that ended up becoming our Wolverines. So when I first saw Carter’s bike leaning against the wall waiting for its turn in the service queue, with its pink King hubs and purple valve stems, it had already caught my eye.

Then, the work began. One day, the Straggler was hanging out with the new Sim Works Homage 43c tires in that throwback green. Whoa! I immediately deemed it a clown bike – not in a bad way, but in the way that there was no way this thing would come together in a subdued and complementary fashion. It was going to stand out, that was for sure.

Elliot’s Sklar 27.5+ Hardtail – Morgan Taylor

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Elliot’s Sklar 27.5+ Hardtail – Morgan Taylor

One of the highlights of our time in Bozeman with Adam Sklar was being able to see not one, but two complete bikes come back from powdercoat and be delivered to their new owners. I already posted a gallery of Sam’s powder blue 29er, on which he then rode a good chunk of the Colorado Trail in what I take to be quite inclement conditions.

The other bike to be delivered is one that you probably noticed in yesterday’s gallery from Sklar’s shop. This gleaming white 27.5+ hardtail was commissioned by a customer from Sklar’s home state of Colorado. Elliot is a former downhill and 4x racer with what sounded like a fairly big set of dirt jumps in his front yard.

Sklar Bikes: He’s Got Curves – Morgan Taylor

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Sklar Bikes: He’s Got Curves – Morgan Taylor

Words and photos by Morgan Taylor.

Last year when we visited Scott at Porcelain Rocket, we were doing the usual: shooting the shit about the industry, and Instagram, and all of the opinionated yammering that goes along with that. The topic of Sklar’s top tubes came up. Yes, those top tubes that curve upward, reducing standover while making for an instantly recognizable silhouette. I was suspicious.

We Found Our Hearts in Montana – Morgan Taylor

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We Found Our Hearts in Montana – Morgan Taylor

Words and photos by Morgan Taylor.

Montana, oh Montana. In Montana we battled the desire for stillness with the impetus to keep moving. We sat and watched animals, we spent time in new places that excited us very much, we batted away mosquitoes and fled from them. We pedaled day by day, sometimes through remote terrain, not seeing anyone else for hours or possibly days at a time. We found our way.