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The Kids Are Alright: Eric’s Tour of the North Loop on the Dangerbird

Reportage

The Kids Are Alright: Eric’s Tour of the North Loop on the Dangerbird

My roommate, Austin, and I are discussing Ryan Van Duzer’s YouTube channel over coffee when there’s a knock at the front door. It’s my dad and my sister Paulina—they just made it back from dropping off her Subaru in Hatch, NM. I’ve been trying to get Austin into bike touring but he’s racing enduro today, leaving the rest of us Burnsides to rush out of here and join in on the Dangerbird. For the uninitiated, the Dangerbird is a desert celebration that takes place on the Monumental Loop, a 245-mile figure-eight track that tags all the desert peaks surrounding Las Cruces, New Mexico. The event draws in bikers and ultrarunners from all over, with the figure eight starting and ending in the city’s downtown square.

New Mexico Chillest Known Time (CKT) Attempt: A Bike Tour from Santa Fe to Las Cruces on 35mm

Reportage

New Mexico Chillest Known Time (CKT) Attempt: A Bike Tour from Santa Fe to Las Cruces on 35mm

I have written, deleted, and rewritten this article several times now. There was the version that leaned in hard to trying to be funny, the version that tried too hard to be philosophical and deep, the version that was a cut and dry day by day account of the trip, and finally this one – some words written less about the trip itself and more about why I am so thankful we approached it the way that we did. 

This past fall, my very good friend Kevin and I shipped ourselves and our bikes halfway across the country to New Mexico for what was essentially a repeat of the same trip we’d done 3.5 years prior. Back in spring 2018, with our Tony, we went on a very similar New Mexican grand adventure. We had ridden a serpentine route from Las Cruces in the south – through Truth or Consequences, Magdelena, Mt. Withington, Magdalena, Moriarty, and all of the salty stream crossings, scrublands, savannas, forests, mountains, and mesas in between, to Santa Fe in the north. Now, Kevin and I were repeating the journey – only this time going from north to south in the fall instead of south to north in the spring. With Covid-19 vaccines in arms, three local DC area airports, and the world at our fingertips it did seem like a lot of trouble to repeat our last big trip with only minor variations on a theme.

The Radavist’s Top 10 Articles of 2021

Reportage

The Radavist’s Top 10 Articles of 2021

This year’s retrospective includes a look at our highest traffic pieces. These articles really blew up, bringing in a lot of comments, backlinks, social media posts, and traffic. While it should come as no surprise, most are bike reviews but a few of these galleries are seminal bits of Reportage. In this list are nine Reportage articles and one Radar, so let’s jump right in!

People for Bikes and Ride Spot Present: Ride for Gratitude – Silver Stallion Century

Radar

People for Bikes and Ride Spot Present: Ride for Gratitude – Silver Stallion Century

Our friends at Silver Stallion have a fundraiser going on right now with People for Bikes and Ride Spot:

“In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, we pledged to donate $10 for each of the first 500 riders who completed a Ride for Gratitude Challenge to Silver Stallion Bicycle and Coffee Works. Thanks to your outstanding participation, we hit our goal in the first week! With half of November still to go, our friends at SRAM generously offered to match our $5,000 donation if we can get 200 riders to ride 100 miles by the end of the month! That’s 100 miles total, not all at once. Silver Stallion is a small nonprofit bicycle recyclery based in Gallup, NM, serving Dinétah (the Navajo Nation) and the surrounding communities with a mission to empower and develop youth and young adult vocational skills in the bicycle repair and specialty coffee industries.”

Find out how you can help out at People for Bikes!

New Mexico’s True High Country Gems: South Boundary Trail and Heaven on Earth

Reportage

New Mexico’s True High Country Gems: South Boundary Trail and Heaven on Earth

There’s a window of opportunity in the high country, albeit a small one, wherein the aspen leaves transform from their jade green scales to a deep gold opalescence, and with each wind gust, the overhead canopy flickers like an evening gown. When this window opens, we flock to the Taos Valley to ride two of New Mexico’s true gems: the South Boundary Trail and Heaven on Earth…

Cjell’s Moné Hardtail with a 130mm Lefty Fork

Reportage

Cjell’s Moné Hardtail with a 130mm Lefty Fork

These days, it’s hard to set your bike brand apart from others within a specific niche but if there’s one thing Cjell has achieved with his brand, Moné Bikes, it’s just that. Moné frames are instantly recognizable with their large, bountiful brass beds of fillet brazing, unique tubing bends, intricate and ingenious singlespeed-friendly dropout designs, and yeah, rat rod aesthetics. Cjell and I have met before, albeit briefly, but at last weekend’s Dangerbird event, we got to spend a lot of time on the bike with each other, which helped me gain an even deeper appreciation for the brand, the bikes, and the man who designs and even builds some of them.

Wind, Chile, Chonk, and the Monumental Loop: the 2021 Dangerbird in Las Cruces

Reportage

Wind, Chile, Chonk, and the Monumental Loop: the 2021 Dangerbird in Las Cruces

Washboard roads, rocky doubletrack, creosote, cacti, centipedes, tarantulas, and vistas for miles. The Monumental Loop provides it all in a healthy mix, featuring the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, BLM, and state lands surrounding the town of Las Cruces, New Mexico. With the mighty Organ Mountains looming in the background, it’s hard to imagine a better touring or bikepacking route in Southern New Mexico. When you add in the delicious food on the route, you’ve got yourself a winning combination. To help celebrate this monumental achievement (tee hee), Matt Mason, co-founder of the Loop, throws a grand depart each year dubbed the Dangerbird which took a brief hiatus last year due to the Pandemic. With Covid protocols in place and our numbers remaining slightly elevated in New Mexico, Matt made sure the entire weekend’s events took place outdoors, so I felt safe to head down to experience this gem of the Chihuahuan Desert…

Congrats to Matt Mason for Winning the Baphomet Bicycles and Ride Group Raffle Bike!

Radar

Congrats to Matt Mason for Winning the Baphomet Bicycles and Ride Group Raffle Bike!

Last week, Dillen from Baphomet Bicycles compiled a list of everyone that bought a Ride Group bracelet and used a randomizer application to select one lucky person to be the new owner of that snazzy SSMTB. Well, Matt bought a single ticket and ended up winning the bike! Dillen was already coming to Matt’s house to stay for the NM Bikepacking Summit, so he hand-delivered the bike. After a quick ride, Matt decided he’d take the bike on the Dangerbird. That’s serendipity at its finest.

Thanks to Baphomet Bicycles and Ride Group for pulling this together. They raised over $9,000 for Ride Group! I’d like to thank everyone from The Radavist’s community who donated, including the makers who donated products for this bike: Paul Component, White Industries, Teravail, Revel, Buckhorn Bags, Farewell, and Doom Bars.

Expect some photos of this bike loaded down and dusty in our Dangerbird coverage tomorrow.

Scenes from the 2021 New Mexico Bikepacking Summit and the Dangerbird Grand Depart Rider and Bike Portaits

Reportage

Scenes from the 2021 New Mexico Bikepacking Summit and the Dangerbird Grand Depart Rider and Bike Portaits

New Mexico has a lot of really amazing bicycle touring routes, from the mountainous aspen forests to the southern deserts. One such route is the Monumental Loop, which is based out of the Southern New Mexico city of Las Cruces, co-founded by Matt Mason. The Monumental Loop is a passion project for Matt but this year, he wanted to do something special to celebrate the cycling community in New Mexico. Part of that includes the first-ever New Mexico Bikepacking Summit. The weekend’s events included a Makers’ Mart at Outdoor Adventures, a local bike shop, and a grand depart for the Dangerbird, Matt’s nickname for the Monumental Loop. As you can imagine, after photographing the weekend’s events and touring the northern loop, I’m super zonked, so let’s get to it!

May You Have Cool Temps, Tacos, and Tailwinds, Andy and Kevin!

Radar

May You Have Cool Temps, Tacos, and Tailwinds, Andy and Kevin!

This summer has been a torrent of visitors rolling through Santa Fe either on road trips or bike tours and this week, we had a full house with two guests spending the night before rolling south. Andy and Kevin are from the DC area and returned to New Mexico to travel south to Las Cruces over the next nine days. On their way out of town, I took some quick photos of their setups, fully loaded with water, their gear, and some extra pizza from our dinner the night before. I know how much people love to see bikes all rigged out, so check out some quick “Fully Loaded” detail photos below, along with a portrait shot with our other special guest this week…

The Radavist 2021 Calendar: October

Radar

The Radavist 2021 Calendar: October

“Golden Façade” is the tenth layout of the Radavist 2021 Calendar. It was shot with a Sony A9ii and the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 di iii rxd lens outside of Taos, New Mexico.

“The New Mexico high country is a truly beautiful riding experience and the South Boundary Trail might be one of our favorite trails in the South West.”

For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right-click and save link as – The Radavist 2021 – October. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)

The mobile background this month is also from the same tour. Click here to download October’s Mobile Wallpaper.