In years past, we’ve often found ourselves meandering through the deserts of the Western United States. The Colorado, Mojave, Sonoran, and Great Basin all have provided ample inspiration to my tired body and mind. While many of these ecoregions feel familiar, by far the Chihuahuan is the most mysterious to me. It’s the one region we haven’t spent much time in and with our relocation to Santa Fe, I was looking forward to spending days meandering through the various public lands in southern New Mexico.
What a year it’s been. As you might imagine, we need some time off to rest, recover, and spend time with our families. We’re going to take the rest of the week off but will be back on Monday with our year-in-review posts, some of our favorite moments, and the top Beautiful Bicycles of the year.
The first week of the new year, we’re going to have a very special restock of our made in the USA Radavist hats as well as some other goodies.
Enjoy the Holidaze and let’s look forward to a brighter future.
Northern New Mexico is home to a lot of cyclists, so it should come as no surprise that many of these cyclists are also makers. From framebuilders, manufacturers of MTB bars, and yes, bag makers. Down in Albuquerque, a new company just launched. Buckhorn Bags makes custom frame bags, hip bags, and more, using lightweight materials. There isn’t much on them online, so check out their Instagram account for all the tidbits and if you’d like one of their hip bags, Sincere Cycles has some in stock.
Let’s just say I didn’t expect any less than greatness from Moots when it came to the Womble, the latest creation from their shop in Steamboat Springs. From previous experiences, I knew how well Moots’ titanium bikes rode and was looking forward to trying out their take on a modern 29er.
A few years back, I put the Baxter 29er through the wringer on the Steamboat to Fort Collins Ramble Ride, and during my project with SRAM in the Inyo Mountains, I pedaled it high up in the Mojave Desert and through Death Valley, across miles of washboard roads.
If I learned anything from those experiences it’s that titanium is the greatest frame material, especially when it’s wielded by the Masters of Metal. I’ve had the Womble 29er for a few months now, throughout the dusty ‘n’ dry end of summer, well into the snow-filled fall, and am finally ready to make my thoughts official, so read on below.
Prior to Sunday’s announcement here on the Radavist about Crust Bikes taking a breather to reorganize, I set up a date to shoot Kris’ Evasion Lite. Kris had just picked his build up from Sincere Cycles where Bailey spent time selecting the right components for his budget, while not skimping on functionality…
This is the twelfth layout of the Radavist 2020 Calendar, entitled “Basket Bike Wallride” shot with a Sony A9ii and a 70-200 f2.8 GM lens in Santa Fe, NM.
“Wow. We made it. A full year of bullshit. It’s been a year of introspection, local recreation, and it literally has us bouncing off the walls. Thanks for your support, your attention, your discourse, and for spreading the stoke!”
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right-click and save link as – The Radavist 2020 – December. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
The mobile background this month is a photo that blew up on our Instagram. Click here to download December’s Mobile Wallpaper.
The almighty basket bike. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Doesn’t need flashy components. Just build it out for practical uses… like wallrides!
Earlier this year, Bailey got the idea to convert this older Rocky Mountain Hammer frame into a basket bike. His intent with the bike was to have a no-nonsense, do-it-all beater that he could lock up anywhere and not worry about it. Yet, because it’s Bailey, there was a twist to this bike’s use…
This is the eleventh layout of the Radavist 2020 Calendar, entitled “Ombré” shot with a Canon 5D and a 70-200 f2.8 lens in Bernalillo, NM.
“With cooler temperatures blanketing the deserts of the Southwestern United States, we find ourselves soaking in the sights, sounds, and smells of these precious landscapes.”
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right-click and save link as – The Radavist 2020 – November. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
The mobile background this month is a vertical crop of this shop Click here to download November’s Mobile Wallpaper.
Northern New Mexico’s section of the Continental Divide Trail is quite the experience and with its popularity, more and more cyclists are coming to New Mexico to ride 70 miles of singletrack over a 90-mile route. One of my friends, Kyle from Outer Shell, recently came through town with his Falconer hardtail to take on the CDT, so I shuttled him to Cumbres Pass and bid adieu. After his trip, I linked back up with him and shot his wild Falconer hardtail, “loaded” for his time on the trail…
There seems to exist a set of truisms in mountain biking: your next bike will always be better than your last, my local trails are harder than your local trails, and the fastest local rider isn’t on Strava and humbly rides a singlespeed. Then there’s the local legend, a misfit rider, the slightly anachronistic character that emerges on the trail mid-group-ride on a hardcore hardtail who rides loose and fast and with reckless disregard.
When Kona announced the Honzo ESD earlier this year it came as a great surprise. The original Honzo has remained relatively unchanged since 2012 and this new version looked like a poolhall brawler by comparison. Dominated by modern geometry, BMX inspired frame lines, and a build kit suitable for Bender himself, it was clear this was going to be no ordinary Honzo…
With New Mexico’s pandemic protocol still on lockdown and new restrictions rolling in each week, we’ve been looking to our backyard of Northern New Mexico for quick-n-easy jaunts to break the monotony of riding the same ol’ trails in our home town of Santa Fe. Our most recent outing brought a small group of us up to the Hopewell Lake region of the Continental Divide Trail for a short but sweet singletrack ride and fire road climb through tunnels of golden changing leaves. Read on for some notes on beautiful autumn riding…
1.25 million years ago, a volcanic event occurred just 40 miles northwest of what is now called Santa Fe, New Mexico. A large reservoir of magma was emptied as lava erupted from the earth’s crust, causing a massive depression. Upon this collapse, a 13-mile wide caldera in the middle of the Jemez Mountains was formed.
This area is the Valles Caldera National Preserve and is America’s newest National Preserve. The best part about the Valles Caldera is currently, due to the pandemic, it’s open to cycling and closed to automobiles and if bike fishing is your thing, it’s also free to fish, pending a New Mexico Fishing License and a free VCNP fishing permit.
We’ve got a great loop for you to check out that crosses this expansive caldera and brings you right up to some prime cut bank fishing. Check it out in this gallery from our ride in September.
As someone who tends to spend seven months out of the year on the road, away from home, 2020 has been a welcomed change, albeit with some major adjustments. Stay at home orders in New Mexico are some of the strictest in the United States and this forced me to look to my new home state for rides and trips. Suddenly, I found myself living at the threshold of beautiful high-country riding with endless possibilities for bicycle touring and mountain biking. To put it mildly, my relocation to Santa Fe has opened up a whole world of opportunity.
It took me a while to adjust to living at 7,000′ and a big part of that adjustment has been facilitated by riding with my fast and fit friend, Bailey Newbrey. Bailey’s accolades need no introduction here and it should be no surprise to any of you that he is an incredible rider. He’s so fast that I jokingly refer to him as the “mountain trout on two wheels.”
The poet Basil Bunting, while poring over an antiquated German-Italian dictionary, found the German verb dichten (to write poetry) translated as condensare (to condense/shorten). This became one of the guiding principles of Modernist poetry; which would state; “Great literature is simply language charged with meaning
It’s Labor Day in the States and today, we’re taking advantage of this national day of remembrance to hang with friends, disconnect from the online world, and get in some bike riding. I hope you’re able to do the same and we’ll see ya tomorrow, bright and early!
Growing up, I had an obsession with all things cold-blooded. Perhaps it sprung from a childhood love for dinosaurs? Who knows. I had lots of reptile pets over the years, many of which are native species to the American West. Growing up on the East Coast, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to see a Whiptail, Fence Lizard, Chuckwalla, Horned Lizard, or a Gila Monster in the wild. Our Eastern Blue Tailed Skinks, Broad Headed Skinks, and Anoles were the extend of our four-legged, local herpetofauna…
Staying local during the pandemic has been a new thing for me. I’m usually on the road for most of the year, sleeping in our truck, documenting races, rides, people, shops, and communities. I can’t emphasize how strange it has been to just stay put. While it has been a bit of a change of pace, it’s really pushed me to take on as many of the local rides that I can and this week, I took on maybe one of the most infamous trails in our area; Deception Peak and Raven’s Ridge.
There is a case for wilderness in the American West, which is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “an uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region.” The problem is, this classification was written by colonizers and erasers of indigenous history. Humans have long inhabited these areas, before the Spanish or the Pilgrims infiltrated these lands, long before it was called New Mexico.
This topic is a heated one. Organizations like the Sierra Club lead the way in this classification, establishing rules about who can or can’t visit these lands: for instance, cyclists. I’m not here to talk about whether or not bikes should be allowed in areas classified as wilderness, so let’s step back a bit and discuss what that word, wilderness, means in the context of the original inhabitants of the Americas.