In 2019 Jonny Moses biked the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. The GDMBR is a 2700 mile off-road bike tour that follows the continental divide along the spine of the Rockies from Banff Canada to Antelope Wells New Mexico. He rode this route in order to both challenge himself and to challenge the narrative of who does or doesn’t belong in the outdoors. His aim is to encourage kids of color that the outdoors and outdoor recreation IS for them.
Our dude Leo got some love in this new video by cycling’s bad boy Lucas Brunelle. This one is worth the watch. Miss ya, Leo!
We’ve been reading, watching, and listening, as the world’s largest push for civil rights has unfolded in front of us this week and in that time, fundraisers have smashed expectations, surpassing their goals. L39ION, a road racing team, based in Los Angeles, and founded by Justin Williams has raised over $50k to help bring diversity to cycling in LA and beyond. This fundraiser is still going, so let’s do our best to keep pushing it! Donate to their GoFundMe if you have the means and give the team a follow on Instagram!
I’ve been thinking a lot about what we, here at the Radavist, could do in light of the current events unfolding across the United States. Black Americans need our ears right now and our eyes should be coinciding with our minds to understand what it means to be athletes, or even just hobbyists in the cycling industry. One such voice that has resonated a lot over the past few years is Ayesha McGowan @ayesuppose. Her writings are important and we’ve also listed her podcast, which you can support on Patreon.
Read her writings at A Quick Brown Fox.
Thank you for taking this time to reflect on the current events and how we all can be better human beings.
Today we’re pleased to share a wonderful essay by Cinthia Pedraza on bike racing, white privilege, and the Corona Virus. In these trying times, it’s important to adjust our optics, listen, and most importantly, learn from these experiences…
Bike racers have been sitting at home watching the increasingly violent protests happening around the nation thinking “What can I do to help support Black communities?” In my local Austin community, I have seen donations in support of Black Lives Matter on my teammates’ Instagram stories, racers (including myself) protesting in support of an end to police brutality, and a massive outcry for justice that includes cycling voices like Machines for Freedom and Tenspeed Hero. That being said most amateur bike racers are likely to be white upper middle-class liberals who have a work from home setup where they are not at risk of exposure to Covid 19 or the struggle of the Black community caused by Covid 19.
Photo by Bob Croslin
Anyone that has met Leo Rodgers knows his gravity. The guy is a beacon of fun energy! Bicycling recently gave Leo some love and it’s an amazing article everyone should check out!
“It feels at this point both necessary and a bit superfluous to mention that Leo Rodgers is a tall black man with long hair and one leg. There is no pedal or crank-arm on the left side of his All-City bike; his left pant leg is neatly knotted a few inches below the hip. Rodgers, 35, lost his leg 13 years ago, the result of the sort of motorcycle crash in which you are lucky if it merely changes your life.”
I was an architect in my previous life. Before I began documenting cycling culture. One of my favorite architectural theorists is a fella named Rem Koolhaas. In his book, Delirious New York, he claims that “A city is a plane of tarmac with some red hot spots of urban intensity”. While the book is an examination of New York City, many have applied this observation to the sprawling city of Los Angeles.
The latest from Patagonia is not to be missed!
“A film about inclusion, identity, and hand-drawn heroes. If you can’t find a hero, create your own; for mountain biker, skier and artist Brooklyn Bell, that hand-drawn hero was a comic character named Ruby J. Using Ruby as a role model, Brooklyn set out to “live like her, breathe like her, be unapologetically black like her,” finding her own identity in a mix of dirt, snow, art and inclusion.“
The idea for a WTF Bikexplorers Gravel Program sprouted in 2019 as I spun back into the gravel race scene. I saw the same deficit in diversity that bike-touring had (and still has) when five friends and I decided to organize the first WTF Bikexplorers Summit in 2018. Despite gravel racing as a rapidly growing sport within cycling, it is still very grassroots. It is not controlled by the UCI – yet – or any other sanctioning bodies and therefore it has the opportunity to mold and change to be the way we want it to be.
With Hermanas, Machines for Freedom shines a light on two women who have found their strength through cycling and seek to inspire others to do the same.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
The world offers itself to your imagination,
Calls to you like the wild
geese jaguar, harsh and exciting
Over and over announcing your place
In the family of things.
-(modified) Mary Oliver “Wild Geese”
The weather matched the event in challenging the assumptions of what a desert landscape or a gravel race should be for most of the riders of the Ruta Del Jefe this year which was hosted at the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch in Elgin, AZ. The imagination of a desert as a dry and sunny landscape dotted with saguaros, prickly pears, and cholla was expanded for those who held that thinking. Home to the Madrean Sky Islands ecoregion that includes the Santa Ritas, Whetstone, and many other mountain ranges, this area is a treasure trove for those who eat gravel for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sky Islands refers to the unique interplay between the low lying desert grasslands and the dramatic wooded mountains that become islands in the sky for their residents. Natt Dodge introduced this concept as “mountain island in a desert sea” back in 1948 which was then cemented by Weldon Heald’s book Sky Island in 1967. In the lowlands, this area is home to many unique varieties of grasses who abundantly glow their sunshine and straw colors to her visitors.
For the latest webisode, Bikes with Cheech and Nam take it to southern Arizona for the Ruta Del Jefe! Check out our coverage from the event later this week!
“When I cross the line, people seem stunned”.
“The sun is beating down from a relentlessly blue sky on an 80-degree late-May afternoon in Emporia, Kansas. Alexandera Houchin is joking with her friends and supporters at the starting line of the Dirty Kanza XL, despite the fact that she’s just ridden her bike a few hundred miles through rain and mud from Iowa, napping under a highway overpass to get here on time. The laughter masks her misgivings about this race. It’s not because the DKXL is a notoriously difficult 542km ride through the steep and sharp Flint Hills of Kansas. It’s the race’s name, “Dirty Kanza,” that gets her. Kanza is a nickname for the Kaw Nation, the “People of the South Wind,” who lived in this region long before white settlers arrived. To preface that with “Dirty” shows a disconnect of the history of place that is ironic to Houchin, whose mother is Ojibwe.”
Check out more at Bicycling Magazine!
Credit: 906 Adventure Team. Cable, age 9, carving out his legacy.
(It’s a good day; it’s a bad day)
Shakespeare insisted that a name held nothing significant; in fact, a name is but an arbitrary designator. A rose, “by any other name would smell as sweet.” If the rose weren’t called a rose, we would still swoon over the sweet smell. Poor Juliet, the owner of a smitten young heart, failed to see everything that exists in a name. In my case, at thirty years old, I still carry my maiden name. Instead, I like to say it’s the name I’ve made for myself; I don’t see that changing any time soon. I grew up in the trailer park across the street from the General Motors Factory in Janesville, Wisconsin, and attended Jackson Elementary school. It was there I celebrated Andrew Jackson as a glorious president; Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830. What’s in that name? A legacy of brutality*, I say.
*Yes, this is a reference to the 1985 album by the Misfits. Hybrid moments is one of my favorite songs of all time.
Cheech and Nam, two ladies with tons of personality, experience, and opinions about bikes, just posted a new Youtube series they’re working on. Watch on as they discuss everything from BMX to bikepacking and beyond. I can’t wait for the next one!
Where do we even begin with this post? 2019 was a year that defies all previous efforts here at the Radavist. Never have the pages of this site been graced with more exceptional photography and words! While we’re known for our full-res galleries, we really made a push to include exceptional writing this year. While this isn’t a top ten list, we’ve highlighted some of the exceptional work below. Stories that really stood out from our normal, year-to-year Reportage. Or if you’re a nostalgist, simply flip through the mega-gallery. Keep in mind, this one will take a bit to load!
I speak for everyone here at the Radavist when I say I can’t wait for 2020! Your feedback last week really helped all of us hone our vision and where we should direct our pens and our lens glass.
Karla and I had planned to explore a route that has been in my books for a while now which would connect Naco at the México-USA border to the city of Hermosillo via mostly dirt roads, as part of a project I tend to call “Ruta Trans-Sonora”, a way to cross the Mexican state of Sonora from north to south offering a continuation from the GDMBR, the AZT, and the most recent Wild West Route. This could, eventually, connect with the also recently released Trans-Mexico Route, which so far assumes you’d do the Baja Divide first. Although I don’t know why anyone would miss the opportunity of doing the Baja Divide, the idea is to put another option in the menu, and well, it’s my home state after all.
“See that rock formation over there, and the other skinnier one in the distance?” Jon Yazzie says, “they represent the story and fate of Big Snake and Owl Maiden. Big Snake came from what is called Sugar Loaf near Mexican Hat, Utah slithering its way down, and eventually ending up coiled around Agathla Peak or (what Kit Carson called) “El Capitan.” The Owl promised to look over Big Snake until he came back to life again. Owl is frozen in sandstone looking right at big snake on Agathla Peak.” Having passed through Kayenta countless times, driving from the southwest US to Moab, or further into Colorado, these prominent volcanic plugs and sandstone towers rising iconically out of a sea of sandy fields and sandstone mesas have always caught my eye. As we rested there just a few miles into the ride, legs slung overloaded bikes attempting to absorb everything Jon was telling us about the surrounding landscape, I knew this was going to be a special weekend.