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!
Do you recall the Baphomet Bicycles we featured a couple of weeks ago? The one that’s a fundraiser bike for Ride Group? Well, Dillen is closing out the fundraiser in a few hours, so if you wanted to enter the raffle, head over to this post to read all about how you can win! But be quick, the raffle closes at 12 Noon MST!
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…
“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.
Remember that beautiful Rivendell we posted last year? That was when we first featured our buddy Nick from Send it Safely and this week, he just stocked his webshop up with new goods including stickers, hats, shirts, and more. Head on over to Send it Safely to check it all out.
Season changes mark a time for renewal, not only for the forest but for ourselves. Just when the long days and heat start to get to you, the temperature drops and a cool breath blows across the dry landscape. Here in Northern New Mexico, the skies change from a blue expanse with puff-ball clouds to gargantuan storms enveloping our peaks; the terminus of the great Rocky Mountains. Each morning our mountains have a cloud toupée and upon their dissipation, reveal a dusting of white snow.
On Saturday morning, bright and early, I dropped Bailey and Erik off at Cumbres Pass, on the Colorado/New Mexico border. These two are riding the length of New Mexico on the Continental Divide Trail, bypassing Wilderness areas along the way. Not many people have ridden the length of this segment of the CDT, as it traverses the most remote stretches of the New Mexico back country. I’m not sure how much these two will be updating their Instagram accounts along the way, but give them a follow if you’re into this kind of thing. Oh, and they’re riding it singlespeed (32x22t). Hopefully, we’ll have a story from them when they’re done.
Tailwinds and cold water, you two!
Check out their bikes in our Reportage Archives below…
We took a look at Baphomet Bicycles earlier this year and in that post, we discussed the ideology surrounding the iconography of this unique framebuilding operation, nestled in the mountain town of Taos, New Mexico. If you haven’t read that piece, you really should check it out first.
Yesterday I caught up with Dillen from Baphomet Bicycles, as he came to town to ride the BFL, an event Sincere Cycles throws each year, offering a classic 55 mile loop with over 10,000′ elevation gain and a “B” loop with 38 miles and 6,400′ elevation. Both take you deep into the Sangre de Cristo mountains at the terminus of the mighty Rocky Mountains. Doing either singlespeed is quite the undertaking!
Dillen finished this build right before the event and drove in from Taos for the day. We pedaled together briefly and then his chain exploded about 10 miles into the ride, sending him back down to town. Later in the day, we caught up to shoot his new 29er hardtail, aptly named the “Left Hand Path”, so let’s check it out in detail below!
Music by Afsky…
We joke that time is a flat circle in cycling all too often. Gravel bikes are just ’90s mountain bikes, etc. Yet, we have to accept that we’re in an era of electronic shifting and yes, suspension forks on gravel bikes. This tech, however, is nothing new especially not for RockShox, who for the 1994 Paris Roubaix unveiled a suspension fork on team Lemond GAN’s bikes. In that same year, Mavic even had some Zap electronic groups on the exact same bikes.
Now, 27 years later, we have my Sklar gravel bike which is familiar to most of you, with a suspension fork and electronic shifting, under the banner of SRAM and RockShox’s new XPLR lineup (explore, not explorer). While I haven’t taken on the Hell of the North, I have spent a lot of time being a weirdo in the woods on this kit and have a really fun review to share with y’all, so read on below.
New Mexico has been a hot spot for cycling for a while now, with Outside Magazine Magazine ranking some of our local trails in its Best Bike Rides in the World article, and various companies, including BTI calling it home. But what about smaller companies? What is driving them to move to the chile state? Head on over to the Alburquerque Journal to read all about the reasons for this migration of makers. Check out our coverage for these makers in the Related footer…
I must say that I’m damn proud to live in New Mexico and I had no idea that such an awesome network of makers are blossoming here. We’ve looked at Moné’s operations down in Silver City, Baphomet Bicycles, checked in with Farewell Bags, looked at the framebag offerings from Buckhorn Bags, and today we’re featuring two local companies, starting with Evergreen Stitchworks and O’Leary Built Bikes, so let’s get to it.
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…