These days, chances are you’ve got a local bag maker in your state. In my area here in New Mexico, there are a few, and just down the hill from Santa Fe in Albuquerque is Buckhorn Bags, a small company run by Sam Lutz. Sam makes custom framebags, both full and half, as well as a plethora of other accessory bags. I’ve got two bikes that have been begging for framebags, so when Sam announced he was going to start offering them, I sent him some money, a few photos, and waited for a few weeks. Well, I’ve been using these bags for a while now and would like to share the process and product with you so check out more below…
Road bikes. We don’t really talk about them so much over here at the Radavist – anymore. There was a time however where we’d post galleries from road adventures and still to this day, one of my favorite rides I did in California was on all pavement. Still, there have been a few defining reasons for the wane of the road bike’s popularity and it wasn’t until I accepted the offer to review the lightweight Aethos road bike that I began to mull over these reasons. A 16lb road bike is both terrifying (am I going to break this thing?!) and a joy (WOW! this is incredible) to ride but what does the state of road cycling look for me, personally, and how did this review shape my perspective of drop bars after a long hiatus from enjoying the pleasures of road riding? Read on to find out.
A while back, we featured the photography of Shaun Marcus and the writing of Jon Yazzie in our Reportage section, documenting the Dzil ta’ah Adventures Navajo Youth Bike-Packrafting Adventure Series. That story took place in Nazlini, AZ, and it served as an introduction to the readers of the Radavist about the Silver Stallion Bicycle and Coffee Works. All last year, the Navajo Nation fought the Covid-19 pandemic, as it spread across the expansive reservation which covers over 27,000 miles of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. This year, with the vaccination efforts pushing forward, I felt like it was finally safe to travel three hours south to Gallup, New Mexico upon invitation to get a first-hand experience of what the Silver Stallion has been up to…
A welcome letter to the bike businesses putting down roots in the Land of Enchantment
Maybe you’re a frame builder fed up with congested lines of traffic to the area’s best singletrack. Maybe you own a cut-and-sew bike bag operation and are looking for access to phenomenal long-distance gravel routes through some of the country’s most vivid landscapes.
Whatever work and aspirations brought you to New Mexico, we’re glad you’re here. Welcome!
Here in New Mexico, you’re joining a growing cohort of companies that make up the backbone of the state’s fast-growing outdoor recreation economy. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham – through the incredible public-health, social justice, and climate change policy she has advanced since she took office in 2019 – has prioritized outdoor recreation efforts. The Governor views the outdoor industry sector as a key way for the state to diversify its economy away from reliance on fossil fuel extraction.
That’s why the Governor is investing in outdoor recreation businesses. The New Mexico Economic Development Department, led by Secretary Alicia J. Keyes, has many, many tools to support new and growing businesses, from infrastructure and job training grants to low-interest loans and help to navigate federal stimulus programs.
There are so many programs, in fact, that I won’t delve deep into all the acronyms or specifics here, other than to stress that there is financing (again, grants, loans, and more) available for a business like yours. I will also point you in the direction of two helpful resources to get you started: The Economic Development Department and the New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division’s websites.
Finally, I’ll leave it at this: If you own an outdoor recreation business and you want to move it to New Mexico, please reach out. We have financing and other resources to support you and your vision.
Most importantly, please reach out. You can contact me with any questions at Alexandra.email@example.com. We’re here to help welcome you to the Land of Enchantment.
Axie Navas is the director of New Mexico’s first Outdoor Recreation Division, which is committed to sustainably growing the outdoor recreation economy in the state.
Our friend Collette is an artist living in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She designed this logo called “Food Chain’s a Bitch” for Matt from the Monumental Loop. Matt used it in his custom Rogue Panda framebag and after much demand, Rogue Panda has offered this as a custom design option for their framebags! See more at Rogue Panda under “more” options for the fabric choices.
We’ve got a project we’re really excited to launch with Collette, so say tuned for future updates as events warrant…
Circling back to our Shop Visit at Baphomet Bicycles from earlier this year, we’re finally featuring Jenn’s hardtail. Jenn runs Wild Coast Photo and specializes in photographing elopements all over the world. With singletrack out their front door, a good, versatile hardtail is perfect for the trails around Taos, New Mexico, where Baphomet is based. Let’s look at this beaut below in detail…
Since first announcing the brand last year here at the Radavist, Buckhorn Bags has been cranking away at custom and production orders and just yesterday Sam launched their new website with slots for custom bags and other production gear loaded up. The Conejo Hip Pack will be stocked May 14th, yet is open for pre-order, but the Rattler Stem Bag is in stock and shipping now. Custom full and half frame bags have a 6-8 week lead time and we’ll be reviewing this ordering process next week.
There is no shortage of custom bag makers but if you’re a local, check out your newest New Mexico bag maker at Buckhorn Bags.
I’ve been riding DOOM Bars since the brand first launched last year on my Retrotec singlespeed. Bailey has been sending them on his basket bike and late last year, I added them to my Sklar tourer as well. Today we featured Kyle’s Sklar touring bike, which features the new “Bikepacker’s Delight”, a bar with 19-degree backsweep, a 5” wide stem clamp area (for bags and such), 38mm rise (1.5”), and come shipped at 875mm wide (34.4”), which can be cut to 780mm with a 185mm grip area.
While the black powdercoated Bikepacker’s Delight are sold out, DOOM still has nickel-plated bars in stock (pictured above). These bars are perfect for singlespeeds, trail bikes, tourers, klunkers, and the like. We’re stoked to continue to support New Mexico-based makers and are more than excited to continue to support DOOM in their endeavores.
Check out DOOM Bars‘ new website and browse their current bar options!
In a few short years Trinidad, Colorado has gone from a relatively unknown adventure travel destination on the I-25 border with New Mexico to one of most talked about by Front Range gravel cycling enthusiasts. When the Colorado Tourism Office supported Explore Las Animas gravel cycling tourism campaign was launched in 2019 by Backshop Bicycle Travel Supply, an experiential agency, the goal was to make southeastern Colorado a worthy bike destination in tandem with the growing gravel trend. Now, as the Santa Fe Trail celebrates its 200th anniversary, a host of multimedia cycling tourism related content and ride events in 2021 are poised to carry that objective further down the path as Trinidad reclaims its old west mountain trail town heritage by welcoming gravel cyclists to a distinct travel experience on the Colorado-New Mexico border.
Boosting expected summer cycling visitation this year is the new Trinidad-Las Animas County Gravel Adventure Field Guide developed by the City of Trinidad to assist visitors wanting to sample the over 1,600 miles of county roads accessible from downtown. The guidebook is produced in partnership with Backshop Bikes, Beneski Design, and People For Bikes. Its 64 pages highlight the region’s distinct culture and history, and includes 11 curated Ride Spot routes that are downloadable. The guide intentionally fosters an online and offline user experience. This handy jersey pocket sized book not only helps navigate the remote southeastern Colorado terrain, but also helps make a more enjoyable trip by directing visitors to local restaurants, shops, galleries, and museums. Accompanying the guidebook’s release is a Beneski short film shot by Justin Balog detailing its contents in a fun and quirky way.
The Valles Caldera is nestled in the Jemez Mountains and is a veritable riding paradise with a vast network of dirt roads, plenty of water, abundant fishing, and even hot springs. Part of what makes the Valles Caldera so great for cycling is the extremely limited vehicular access and it would be nice to have designated camping. These points and more can be made on the NPS website as they’re currently seeking public comment. Head on over and let them know what you’d like to see!
When one thinks of Esker Cycles, the Hayduke 27.5+ hardtail (reviewed here by Locke Hassett) quickly comes to mind – and in many ways, the Hayduke served as the launchpad for the design of Esker’s latest model, the Japhy.
While the Japhy looks like considerably “less bike” than the 140mm Hayduke with its 120mm fork and 29″ wheels, don’t count it out yet: the Japhy is scrappy and is willing to claw its way through just about anything!
Over the past few months I’ve been riding the Japhy all over our local trails here in Santa Fe and while at first I was hesitant about taking it out on some of the more technical terrain, I found it to be an exceptional climber and a surprisingly fun descender.
So, let’s get into it!
Photo by Nathan Burnside
If you don’t follow Monumental Loop on Instagram, then you might have missed the details for this fall’s Dangerbird race/ride. We’ll be there in attendance to ride/tour the Full Bird. Check out all the details from Matt below and don’t miss the Bikes or Death Podcast interview with him too!
As someone who documents all sorts of framebuilder creations, it’s always this sort of bike that gets me every time. There’s something really wonderful about a builder’s personal bike, especially when it’s a byproduct of their own journey as a constructeur. Flashback to last month and the Baphomet Bicycles Shop Visit. I spent the day watching Dillen work, discussing his story – which if you’re just now joining us I suggest you read – and eventually, I began documenting some of the bikes had had in his shop. We saw the “Shreddy Rando” bike, which was a crowd favorite with its pristine presentation, chrome bits, and as we say “dialed” build. Now it’s time for the really good stuff. Bikes with beausage and a story will always tug at my heartstrings and this one is no different.
This is Melina’s first bikepacking trip. She’s been on a couple of road tours and knows how to turn a set of cranks. That said, off-road has never been her thing. In fact she can’t remember the last time she threw her leg over a mountain bike. She’s headed off to graduate school soon, and I want her to be hooked on bikepacking before she leaves. So this needs to be awesome. Naturally, I’ve turned to southern New Mexico and the venerable Monumental Loop.
George Hayduke. The fictional anti-hero created by the protector of the Western ‘wilderness’, Ed Abbey. While much of Abbey’s political pennings haven’t aged well, he still brought awareness to the American West unsurpassed by any other author of that time. Abbey’s fictional masterpiece, the Monkey Wrench Gang, is a must-read for any lover of the Four Corners and Canyon Country. In it, a ragtag group of desert rats embarks on a journey to dismantle the corporate machines threatening the cherished ecosystems found on the Colorado Plateau. The term “monkeywrenching” and even “eco-terrorist” stemmed from this book as its characters threw a literal wrench in the spokes of the all-consuming corporate machine.
Esker Cycles’ predecessor brand, Advocate Cycles, used the “Earth First” fist on their headtubes and their flagship bike was the Hayduke. When the brand became Esker, they kept the Hayduke model and its signature monkey wrench decals.
Locke reviewed a Hayduke a few years ago. You can read that review in our archives but when he swung through Santa Fe on a recent jaunt, I linked up with him and shot his own personal singlespeed 29er build. Read on for more…
My intent was to space out the three complete builds I photographed during my Shop Visit at Baphomet Bicycles, yet I received a number of requests to expedite this gallery to this morning. That’s a good sign, right? People are very interested in this bike and it’s easy to see why. Dillen from Baphomet originally called this bike his “Right-Hand Path”, with his personal hardtail being the “Left-Hand Path,” yet his Instagram followers summed it up perfectly with the catchy name “Shreddy Rando.”
So let’s look at this bike in detail, including a synopsis from Dillen.
Hear me out here, set your preconceptions aside for a bit. Before jumping into today’s Shop Visit, I have to clear the air and give an introduction to the iconography and ideologies which represent this particular framebuilder’s brand…
“Aeolian Erosion” is the third layout of the Radavist 2021 Calendar. It was shot with a Sony A9ii and a Sony 24-70 f2.8 GM lens in the San Juan Basin, NM.
“In the Four Corners, within the northwestern corner of New Mexico lies the San Juan Basin, which is home to various badlands. These formations were created through water deposition by various forms of water. Seas, rivers, and swamps deposited vegetation, organic matter, and minerals over the course of 550 million years. Through the combination of uplift and aeolian erosion (wind), these unique landscapes were slowly shaped over the last 2 million years.”
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right-click and save link as – The Radavist 2021 – March. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
The mobile background this month is from this same formation. Click here to download March’s Mobile Wallpaper.