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.
Since we posted Two Wheel Drive yesterday, we thought it’d be nice to feature one of the shop employee’s personal bikes. Bryan is a mechanic and his Mash track bike is too slick, laced with Albuquerque’s own DOOM bars and some other nice details. Check out our friend Nick’s photos below with words by Bryan himself…
Pandemic life means a lot of the normal, day-to-day coverage we cherished has gotten put on hold. One of which are Shop Visits. While I’ve been sticking local to Santa Fe over the past twelve months, my friend Nick was able to submit a Shop Visit to his local digs, Two Wheel Drive down in Albuquerque. Read on for Nick’s photos and words by Zach, Two Wheel Drive’s manager…
Send it Safely? What’s that? Nick lives in Albuquerque, where he’s got a good group of riding buddies that enjoy taking to the local trails on their singlespeeds. When he first moved to town, he was jarred by the lack of trail etiquette, mostly by cyclists. Mountain bikers would plow downhill, hardly even yielding for hikers or other riders. For those unaware, uphill traffic always has the right of way. That’s when Nick thought of the phrase “send it safely” and started making stickers.
It was through these stickers that I first got to know Nick. Well, as well as you can know someone on the internet. Admittedly, I haven’t been to ABQ once since moving here, as we’re trying to play it safe during the pandemic, so Nick and I had never met before the afternoon I shot his Rivendell Sam Hillborne…
In 2020, the New Mexico’s Outdoor Equity Fund invested $10,000 in Silver Stallion‘s Mobile Bike Center, a van-based bike shop that’s been driving around the Navajo Nation for the past six months repairing hundreds of kids’ bikes.
In this video, the co-founders of Silver Stallion – former pro cyclist Scott Nydam and Diné photographer Shaun Price – take us behind the wheel of the shop and the group’s mission to address systemic inequities on Navajo Nation.
Presented by the Outdoor Recreation Division of the New Mexico Economic Development Department. Video shot by Shaun Price.
A bike can be a liberating tool for a youngster. I got the first bike that I could travel distances on when I was 14. Granted it was a beach cruiser but hey, we lived at the beach. I’d carry my skateboard and even a surfboard to spots after school and on the weekends. It was a vessel of adolescent liberation.
For Jonah, a local of Santa Fe, and an employee at Mellow Velo, the bicycle has helped develop his independence as well as a vehicle to meander around his homeland. His family is one of the deeply embedded heritage households and have been in the area for hundreds of years. Just north of Santa Fe is the town of Chimayo where his family has been weaving for generations under the brand Ortega.
The profound scale of geologic formations is a driving force in what brings people to the Western United States. It’s why Utah’s landscapes played a crucial role in the visual catalog of mountain biking in the 90s. Moab, Sedona, and other desert cities have become destinations for two-wheeled adrenaline junkies due to their proximity of technical riding and vast landscapes. Iconic Navajo Sandstone ripples through these towns and within it lie a myriad of mountain bike trails.
Typically, I’ll spend my winter riding in these landscapes but due to the pandemic, we’ve put our desert ramblings on hold until it’s safe to travel. Periodically, I pause and wonder had Covid-19 not gripped the world as it did, I might not have spent so much time looking local in 2020 and from the way things are projected, well into 2021.
I think I speak for my riding buddies – who are die-hard Canyon Country visitors – that we’ve got it pretty good in New Mexico. While the backdrops aren’t filled with arches and endless sandstone formations, there’s plenty to keep your senses sated. If you know where to look.
One such zone that I’ve come to love is the White Ridge Mountain Bike Trails, just southwest of San Ysidro and 70 miles from Santa Fe…
“San Ysidro Anticline” is the second layout of the Radavist 2021 Calendar. It was shot with a Sony A9ii and a Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 di iii rxd lens at White Mesa, NM.
“What is it about uniquely geologic landscapes that really draw us in? Perhaps it’s the sense of geologic scale that seems to put to rest our minds in troubled times.”
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right-click and save link as – The Radavist 2021 – February. 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 view, sans riders. Click here to download February’s Mobile Wallpaper.
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…