In the deep sand, the bikes don’t seem to operate in accordance with the normal laws of bicycle physics. Turning right might send you left. Turning left may hold your line. And doing either, at any moment, can send you flying. And while falling off your bike on soft beach sand hardly hurts, you still feel like an idiot as you remount your bike while the kite flyers, frolickers, and shore fishermen lining the beach look on.
Each visit to the Croatan National Forest leaves me a little more enamored with its leggy pines and dirt lanes. The properties bordering the forest with their wooden barns and houses are often centuries-old, their tin roofs rusting from the continuous salty breath of the Atlantic Ocean. The early spring smoke lingers amongst the pine trunks from controlled burns like a ghost. It is haunting as it is soothing in the early morning sun—Dogs bark in response to a rooster crow. The water of the inlets lays black and calm but even in its most still hours, the forest whirs with insects in tinnitus effect. I can’t help but feel that I have entered through some portal into a Faulkner novel.
Wow! What a weekend that was. The Mid South returned this year and so I found myself in Stillwater once again, hanging out at District Bicycles, shooting the event as well as a few bike portraits. Tomorrow, we’ll be posting our über gallery but today I wanted to showcase my buddy Jared and his new Crust Bikes Evasion Lite he built up at his shop in North Carolina, Back Alley Bikes, so read on below for more!
In 2021, parts and bikes are hard to come by and that’s why fundraising and conservation projects like this are all the more relevant these days. A handful of bike companies, Cane Creek Cycling Components, Industry Nine, Thomson Bike Products, Continental Tires, fizik, and Crank Brothers, came together to put on a fundraiser for The Pisgah Conservancy. Read on below for how you can win the 2021 Pisgah Project Bike Raffle…
You know, sometimes a great bike is just a bike, and that’s enough. It could be your favorite bike of all the bikes you own or have owned. It could also just be the only bike you own. Either way, if you love it, then that’s enough for it to be good or even great. Derek loves this bike. For him, it’s a great bike, great enough to bring back from the dead and give it another life.
The first time I landed eyes on a Slingshot, my initial reaction was, “OOF!” It is a complete non-sensical thing to behold…
Matt Moosa from Moosepacks dropped us a line with an introduction to his new line of made in North Carolina bags, including handlebar and seat bags, as well as custom half-frame bags. All bags come in a variety of colors with custom options available. Head on over to Moosepacks to see more.
Today’s Readers’ Rides coincides with John’s review of the Kona Sutra ULTD. This build was done for the owner, Jason, of Back Alley Bikes in Carrboro, North Carolina. This build was documented by Jared Harber, so you know it’s going to be good! Let’s jump right in!
Each year I like to look at our content in its entirety and reflect back on bikes that took you, the readers of this website, by storm. Back in the mid to late 2000’s it was all fixed gears, then came the gravel bikes, the tourers, the MTBs, and the kooky, eccentric builds you’ve come to enjoy checking out in full-res detail. We’ve got some incredibly talented individuals contributing to this site and their hard work is something I cannot express my gratitude for enough. Going back through the 2020 content here at the Radavist, I am amazed at what we were able to accomplish all things considered.
For this year’s Top Beautiful Bicycles of 2020, we have compiled a great list of ten bikes, ranging from rim brakes to fixed gears, basket bikes, and more. This list is based on web traffic, commentary, and social media chatter, and each of these builds really brought something unique to our content. We omitted bike reviews here but included production bikes. Oh and I hope you like baskets!
Let’s jump right in!
PEARL iZUMi‘s Go Connection series features stories from all over and this Dig Episode two takes us to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee in North Carolina:
“Cherokee, North Carolina, is home to the people of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee. The Tribe took advantage of their land’s beauty to generate an eco-tourism economy and improve their people’s health through an active lifestyle. They have created a network of trails to enjoy the beauty of their land while riding, hiking and running. The Fire Mountain Trails is a little over 10 miles of trail purpose-built by Trail Dynamics. With wooden features, berms and jumps, any rider of any ability can get out to get connected to their natural world.
These trails have opened the door to the world of mountain biking many only thought about or didn’t know. For some, riding Fire Mountain keeps them focused on progression and improvement not only on the trail tread but in their daily lives. These trails have been a catalyst for reconnecting to generations of stories and harmony with the land.”
As part of this year’s Small Batch special edition project, Cane Creek announced their “IPA” collection, inspired by the pale ales that the breweries around Asheville, NC makes in house. Cane Creek took their products and coated them in a deep, rich brown anodizing, including their Hellbender bottom brackets, headsets and Helm MKii. Head to Cane Creek to see more and your local dealer to order but you better act fast, these will sell out quickly!
There is no shortage of wheel manufacturers in the United States, which is a good thing, but there are very few carbon wheel manufacturers here so when a new one pops up, we have to share it. Gulo Composites is from Western North Carolina and make their wheels – road, MTB, gravel – in-house. Their GRX-SL is an Allpavé wheel meant for road, gravel, trail, and everything in between. These superlight, 22mm internal width rims were designed with a 2mm spoke hole offset which helps create a very balanced wheel and the spoke hole angles were optimized at each point to work in perfect conjunction with Gulo’s ETI hubs and their unique GIS – Gulo Integrated System – spoke system. Let’s look at this system in detail below.
I guess this is a little embarrassing. I built this bike from a single part: the stem. When Paul released the first version of the Eddie Van Halen Boxcar stem, I just had to have it! To be clear, I am not a Van Halen fan.
Want to ride in the Pisgah National Forest with the team from Industry Nine? Well, mark your calendars for September 13th. Loose Gravel is a weekend of camping, group rides, beer, music and more, all sponsored and thrown by Industry Nine. The weekend is $60, so buy tickets now and check out more details below.
BMX legend turned MTB shredder Ryan Nyquist takes on the Unit in Greenville, North Carolina, riding some made in NC wheels by Industry Nine.
McLean Fonvielle was born in Wilmington, NC, my home town. He went to the School of the Arts in Winston Salem to study art and shortly after, he dropped out since his interest was in bicycle building. In the late 60’s he started an apprenticeship at Holdsworthy in London, under Roy Thame. Later, he moved back to NC where he started Silk Hope, named after a town near Chapel Hill, NC. Many people wanted a Silk Hope but couldn’t afford one, prompting McLean to begin a new company, aptly-named McLean Bicycles. These bikes flourished in the South and between 1978 through the end of his life in 1983, McLean built many beautiful bicycles.
Even though he died at the young age of 29, his bikes are regarded as devoid of ostentation and a true example of American craftsmanship. I had the opportunity to document a pristine example of one of McLean’s bicycles yesterday. Owned by the proprietor of Two-Wheeler Dealer here in Wilmington, NC, this bike is not only period correct, it’s been hanging in the rafters since the mid-80’s!
Check out some photos of Jim’s McLean road bike below!