Where did you ride? With whom? Did you get caught in some snow? We’d like to open up the comment section to any photos you took of your long weekend rides and we’ll pick some winners to send some care packages to. You’ve got all week to do so! We’ll look at the number of “up votes” each post gets to decide on some winners.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Camera straps. They’re the photography accessory very little people pay attention to. Let’s be honest, for standard use, pretty much anything will do, but add in on-the-bike wear or usage and suddenly there’s a lot more to them. Outer Shell has developed a pretty awesome design, with quick-cinch adjustment and a sternum stabilizer. Their newest update includes a tripod-mount anchor to increase stability and improved compatibility with all types of camera strap mounts. These straps are made in SF by Outer Shell and are in stock now in a variety of colors with a retail of $58.
Swing on over to Outer Shell to see more!
After watching today’s Leave it on the Road post, it reminded me of a piece I read last year, on Science Daily. Coincidentally, I just posted something similar on my personal Instagram account that really resonated with my followers.
If I don’t do something physical, something that causes my heart to race, my legs to ache, then it’s so easy to slump into depressive thoughts. I wonder what the world would be like if more people exercised daily and spent time in the outdoors. It’s the great equalizer…
Telling people to “get outside” is one thing, but emphasizing the importance of exercising and experiencing connectivity to the natural world is one of my main goals with the Radavist. Sure, we post a lot of gear and bike galleries, but the overarching modus operandi revolves around using that gear to further enjoy yourself while recreating in areas that allow for introspective growth.
This was such a fun assignment! I met Pat Cummins earlier this year. He’s a UFC fighter with a heart of gold and a personality of an artist, moreso than a battle-hardened, Rock ’em Sock ’em Robot. He loves riding bikes, listening to music, and talking about his plans in life, post-fighting. Pat’s the kind of guy who would rather give you a hug than beat on you in a ring for an hour. So why does he fight in the UFC?
Well, he was a wrestler in college and was looking for a way to make some extra money. Years later, he’s still in the mix, but with a new perspective on life. Oh and he rides a rigid Niner…
Head to Outside Magazine to read this whole piece!
Long before July’s sweltering heat, we were enjoying the pleasant month of March. I had been sitting on my porch sipping coffee when my friend Todd texted me, “I’m going to email you about the thing, so look out.” We’ve collaborated on many wild ideas, and Todd’s been a good friend for over a decade. I usually perk up when he reaches out about “things” because he’s a great adventure planner, so I kept a close eye on the inbox. Lucky for me, it was an email saying that all the plans were coming together for an idea we had been tossing around for quite a while; a multi-day bike camping trip to uncover the inspiration for the Coal x Swift collaboration project with artist and illustrator, Chris McNally in the Marin Headlands of California.
This year’s Tour Divide Race was one for the books, with all the controversy surrounding documentation, but as well with many record hopeful attempts being foiled. It was an amazing and exciting feat to behold on many levels. At the end of all of it, I posed three questions to our team in hopes of giving an idea of what such a project entails. If you have any other questions please ask them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them. -Spencer
Our buddy and California Golde videographer Sandy Carson has released a photo book funding campaign on Indie Go Go. The book is entitled “I’ve Always Been a Cowboy In My Heart” and it dives into the humor and absurdities of the great American road trip landscape. Check it out on Indie Go Go if you dig this video!
When Alpacka Raft approached me about shooting a trip to New York, my mind started running with places upstate I had heard so much about in the past. But, that was quickly tempered as I inquired further to find out that they intended to raft the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Tour Divide Race: Part 5
Words by Spencer Harding
We wake up with dew covering our tents and sleeping bags just on the south side of La Manga Pass in northern New Mexico. We send Lael on her way as we start our seven-hour journey to jump ahead and try to catch Chris Seistrup at the head of the pack. As we roll through the outskirts of Albuquerque it seems impossibly hot after almost two weeks high in the mountains. As we approach Silver City a massive monsoon is building up over the Gila National Forest, no chance the leaders are staying dry out there. Over a late dinner, we watch Chris’ spot tracker go stagnant and decided to wait until he rolls into town in the morning.
I’m not much of a writer, I prefer to stay behind the camera and let the photos do the talking. But what if photos aren’t enough? I like facts and I can provide those. Facts that led up to Lael’s scratching from this year’s Tour Divide. I recently posted on Lael’s Instagram that she scratched from the race this year after running into shoe sucking mud and waiting it out with other top racers. While waiting, she saw her women’s record pass by and her pink LW record dot would be almost a day ahead by the time conditions were suitable for riding. Acknowledging this, she brought me breakfast and spent the day with me and others while waiting for the mud to dry. Visiting me, her girlfriend, disqualifies her from the race. She knows this. We both do. I want to share a little more backstory. To put it out there while it’s still fresh.
Last year, Rue propositioned me about helping her document the Tour Divide race in which Lael Wilcox intended to best her previous record, I jumped at the opportunity. Later, Jay Ritchey would be added to the team to help Rue with the film they intended to produce about the race. I was tasked with focusing on photographing her attempt and the race itself. Rue has been flipping between photo and video very deftly and has some incredible images to add to this gallery. Here is the third installment of our ongoing coverage of the 2019 Tour Divide Race.
If you have ever ridden with Lael you know that she would ride a rusted beach cruiser until both tires were flat and the wheels imploded and would still be smiling bigger than anyone about it, but if Specialized is sponsoring you with bikes for races, you might as well indulge in some cool shit.