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Snow and Sunsets in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains: Things to be Thankful For

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Snow and Sunsets in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains: Things to be Thankful For

What a year it’s been. To be honest, as the editor/owner/curator of this website, I was very nervous about how we would survive the pandemic and subsequent lockdown. So much of my work that goes into this site is about traveling to other communities, documenting shops, group rides, races, and yeah, people’s bikes. All that was put on hold and we had to resort to more bike galleries and reviews than I’m used to.

My passion comes from the aforementioned activities and while I love bikes, I love what they create and enable even more. All year, I’ve been personally battling a pendulum of moods but one thing that has been the great equalizer is a jaunt into our mountains, the Sangre de Cristo Range, the southernmost tip of the Rocky Mountains. Living on the last stop on the Colorado Plateau has its perks I suppose and a simple hour or two-long pedal in the foothills often gives me perspective that is much-needed in this year of uncertainty. It’s something I have to remind myself daily. Yesterday was a perfect example.

A Digital Preview – Of Crank & Chain: Cyclocross

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A Digital Preview – Of Crank & Chain: Cyclocross

Of Crank & Chain: Cyclocross is a 240 page photographic and written expression of domestic cyclocross in 2019. Both black and white and color images captured locally in the Pacific Northwest as well as at UCI events around the nation, the book is not organized by the events themselves, but rather by parts of a race day from the events spanning the season, blended together and presented as one continuous event. None of the images contain captions of the who and the where, because, in a way, a season is a singular event and also features images of amateurs and professionals and doesn’t draw a distinction between them. In the U.S., we are all just ‘cross racers suffering on the same track. In that respect, American cyclocross paints amateurs and pros with essentially the same brush. More than anything the book is about what it is to race cyclocross and what goes into it, as opposed to a year in review.

We Are Not Whole Until We Are All Whole

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We Are Not Whole Until We Are All Whole

We have all been on rides that, at some point, require us to dig deep. But we still find a way to get that last bit of energy out of our bodies. We fight, we endure. And on the other side of these rides, we emerge stronger. We need to make the same commitment to anti-racism that we do to become stronger on the bike.

Inside Line Equipment Updates their Classic Photo Bag Mini

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Inside Line Equipment Updates their Classic Photo Bag Mini

Inside Line Equipment, or ILE for short, makes one of my personal favorite camera bags, and just today they announced it has been updated! The Photo Bag Mini is designed to haul your full-frame camera with a 24-70mm lens, along with a few extra pockets for filters, SD cards, and other accessories. Seriously, this camera bag has traveled the world with me, and is my go-to favorite for city bike photo rides and hikes alike. New for this model is an upgraded COBRA buckle option as well to really up the resilience factor.

The ILE Photo Bag Mini comes in a variety of colors and is in stock now. I just bought one and can’t wait to see these updates in person!

An In-Depth Review of the Redesigned Swift Zeitgeist Saddle/Handlebar Pack

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An In-Depth Review of the Redesigned Swift Zeitgeist Saddle/Handlebar Pack

Years ago, after finishing the slowest-known-time attempt on the Oregon Outback during its 2nd annual ride, I wound up in Seattle.  Just to clarify for those familiar with our rolling squad of rodeo clowns from that year, we didn’t shit in that dudes yard, we were drunk in the woods 40 miles behind because we couldn’t even make it to most peoples 1st night camp on our 2nd day.

Yeah Buddy! The Dugout Boys on the Tour Divide

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Yeah Buddy! The Dugout Boys on the Tour Divide

Since no one is out riding the Tour Divide this year and I’m locked away in a lake house in Wisconsin, why don’t we take a trip down memory lane? Like, I found a backup of these images on my iPod kinda trip down memory lane, back to 2014 baby. This was my first proper “bikepacking” or off-road touring trip. I borrowed my dad’s 90s hybrid and put a Surly fork and some racks on it and hightailed it to Missoula after finishing my first few weeks working as a tour guide in Oregon. I met Kurt and Sam as they were working their way down the Tour Divide as the inaugural Blackburn Rangers, which I had applied for too, but didn’t get, so why not just crash their party anyway?

Two Years and a Few Falls on the Ron’s Bikes Dirt Tourer

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Two Years and a Few Falls on the Ron’s Bikes Dirt Tourer

I had been holding back on these notes for about a year now because I felt that calling it a “review” sounded like too much. The audience here is used to deep comprehension reviews and it’s very intimidating to put it in the same category when my experience with bicycles is reduced to the five I’ve owned in my adult life, this one included. So instead this is more of a short story about a bicycle, with hints of technical information where it feels required.

Bringing a Packraft to a Canoe Fight; Dumb Ideas in the Boundary Waters

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Bringing a Packraft to a Canoe Fight; Dumb Ideas in the Boundary Waters

For anyone as uninitiated as myself in Minnesotan lore and legend, the Boundary Waters is a immaculate sprawling maze of lakes in Northern Minnesota that share a border with Canada.  I can’t remember who, but someone a few beers deep around a campfire eulogized about the boundary waters for quite some time, since then its hung in the back of my mind to check it out if the chance ever arose.

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Stay At Home Mountain Bike Photography

It’s the quarantine and perhaps it’s a by-product of all your new-found free time, or perhaps it’s a lifelong goal you’ve always wanted to pursue. For whatever reason, you want to become a MTB photographer…

The Radavist 2020 Calendar: January

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The Radavist 2020 Calendar: January

This is the first layout of the Radavist 2020 Calendar, entitled “Mountainous” shot with a Canon 5D and a 70-200 lens in Darwin, California.

“Layers upon layers. The magical glow that encompasses these vast lands is undeniably beautiful.”

For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right-click and save link as – The Radavist 2020 – January. 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 format of this image. Click here to download January’s Mobile Wallpaper.

Inside the Ultradynamico Pop Up at Blue Lug Kamiuma

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Inside the Ultradynamico Pop Up at Blue Lug Kamiuma

After a helluva a time getting through all the Tsunami craziness at Grinduro Japan this past fall me and the Salsa crew finally got back to Tokyo.  The rest of the posse had to take off around 4 am the next day, leaving me with about half a day in Tokyo to myself! Bené and Patrick had invited me to swing by Blue Lug for a pop up they were having to showcase there oh so éspecial new Ultradynamico Tyres. Having seen the amazing custom builds coming out of the shop for years I was excited to see what the shop was about.

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Shimoda Action X Camera Bags

We’re camera bag nuts over here so when an interesting model comes out, we feel a certain obligation to share it. Shimoda’s Axtion X bags are designed for active lives, with well-thought-out details, great colors, and ergonomics to boot. Check out their Kickstarter but if you like what you see, hurry and back it, since it only has a few more days left.

Grinduro Japan: Soaked n’ Stoked

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Grinduro Japan: Soaked n’ Stoked

With Grinduro spreading its wings across three continents this year, landing on the western side of Japan at Madarao Kogen with Salsa Cycles this fall. A resort mostly known for its deep powder and tree skiing welcomed some early season visitors as over 300 cyclists descended upon the ski town. The resort’s main chalet served as the staging ground for the expo and meals for the event. With the threat of Typhoon Hagibis on the horizon, the largest Typhoon to hit this region of Japan since 1958, people were nervous about the viability of the event. The storm was forecasted to reach the resort and produce very heavy rains and strong winds midday Saturday, right during lunch between the two planned rides for the day. With safety and ride-ability in mind, the organizers decided to swap the afternoon ride to the morning and add a segment. This was the more dirt/singletrack focused portion of the day which I don’t think anyone was bummed about. At 19 miles the route still has over 3000 ft of elevation gain.

Oregon Trail Bikes, A Little Shop in Southeast Idaho

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Oregon Trail Bikes, A Little Shop in Southeast Idaho

Going to a bike shop has never been a drop off-and-pick up deal for me. I do not own a car, so ever since I started riding, going for a repair meant I’d ride/walk my bike and hang about in the shop while the mechanic took care of whatever needed attention. This developed into a habit: lurk around at bike shops every time I went to one, which was received in different ways depending on the place I’d go to, since I’d want to see and learn from what was being done while at the same time try not to annoy the person working, a balance hard to achieve.

If Only They Could All Be Arabel: Living and Riding in Central Asia

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If Only They Could All Be Arabel: Living and Riding in Central Asia

We arrived in the Kyrgyz city of Karakol in what has become a familiar state after a stretch in the wilderness… tired, hungry, desperate for a shower, and in need of clean clothes. It’s true that civilization never feels better than when you’ve been away from it for a handful of days, and for us, the timing was perfect to reset and not think about the bike or riding for at least a moment.

Plenty of Space to Hang Towels on Ben’s Gilmour Tandem

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Plenty of Space to Hang Towels on Ben’s Gilmour Tandem

Ben has been regaling me with stories of putting this tandem together for quite some time, each time he was looking for one last little bit to make it all fit together.  Before we met up for coffee outside the other week, he pinged me to ask if he should bring the tandem to which I responded: “Of course, coffee and cool bikes, duh.”