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.
Is this an article written by Cjell, about a bike built by Cjell? Yes, indeed. Not too many other people around here to tell ya about it, so it’s me you’ll have to listen to.
My operation has a couple of facets to it. One being stock frames that I have the privilege of working with a shop in Taiwan. They’re faster and much better equipped to put together frames more efficiently, and their neighborhood is full of toolmakers, tube benders, casters, etc. The fact that they put up with me trying to keep up in the shop is a testament to their patience and capacity.
DISCLAIMER: Travel is limited to New Mexico at this time and there is a mask requirement. This trip was planned before the recent changes and we adjusted to ensure safe distances and to limit any small community contact. Be safe.
Starting at the border of Colorado and following along the Continental Divide Trail, some friends helped hatch a plan to traverse the central highlands of New Mexico by bike over 3 days, covering 100 miles of unbelievably-beautiful country.
This is the eighth layout of the Radavist 2020 Calendar, entitled “Monsoon Skies” shot with a Canon 5Dmkiv and a 70-200mm lens in the Carson National Forest.
“Monsoon skies ascend upon the Taos Valley, painting a picture of what the Pueblo de Taos once gazed upon hundreds of years ago in these sacred mountains.”
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right-click and save link as – The Radavist 2020 – August. 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-oriented version of this photo. Click here to download Augusts’s Mobile Wallpaper.
Colt takes us to the Valles Caldera, a magical place outside of Los Alamos, NM for some bike fishing and camping vibes. Give Colt a follow on Instagram, he does some great work!
The bicycle industry has many layers within the realm of the maker. There are framebuilders, wheel, and component manufacturers, and yes, bar makers. When I moved to New Mexico, I was eager to get to know some of the local metal alchemists. Then the pandemic really hit, so I began to scroll around Instagram, looking for signs of steel and brass. That’s when I found Doom Bars, a small, solo operation based in Albuquerque.
When I saw the bars they were listing for sale on their account, I sprung on a pair of nickel-plated bars, which I just installed on my Retrotec. Let’s take a closer look…
Longtime readers might recognize this bike. I first documented it in 2015. Unfortunately, when our server crashed, we lost the images from 2015-2016, so when I had the opportunity to re-document it, I had to jump on the opportunity. The frame was built by Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames. It was designed to clear a 45mm 700c tire, and yes, those are quick-release axles! This bike was ahead of its time in terms of “gravel bikes” and it’s still alive and well, now rolling under my bud Gideon Tsang who bought it a little while back. Gideon is a good friend of mine, going on 10 years. He’s a spiritual person, a counselor, and as much of a sage individual as anyone I know. Check out this piece he wrote for the Radavist about riding bikes and embracing the silence only found on self-isolating rides…
The current worldwide situation has forced Kyle and I, along with everyone else, to rethink our spring activities. With mountain bike races cancelled and out-of-state trips a no-go, we were suddenly left with a lot of empty weekends and an excuse to explore more of New Mexico. We finally had the time and motivation to give this bikepacking thing a try, something that had been at the back of our minds for quite some time. Despite both of us having spent thousands of miles backpacking the Sierra Nevada, Cascade Mountains, and the canyons of Southeast Utah, we still were new to the world of bikepacking.
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.