A strange sensation grips the mind when a long drive begins in the darkness of predawn. The city remains still, holding onto its final few hours of sleep, and the highway remains virtually empty. There is a promise in the loneliness of the opening hours of long highway travel. Exits flutter by in the darkness; distant lights of tractor-trailers and roadside oasis’ are the only possible signs of life beyond the confines of my car. The falling snow has narrowed my concentration to the reflecting lines on the asphalt as I navigate south and west on my way to Fayetteville, Arkansas, for this year’s Cyclocross World Championships.
Photographers can be a stubborn bunch when it comes to their affinities for particular camera brands, formats, processing methods, etc. For me, camera straps are no different; once I find one I like, I stick with it. Admittedly, I have a lot of cameras and, for the most part, favorite straps for each.
I recently swapped out the straps on my most heavily-used analog cameras for two new rope straps from San Fransisco-based Outer Shell. I also started using their stabilizing wide strap for my primary digital camera setup, which I often cross-body carry while riding. Continue reading below for my thoughts on how these straps stack up in comparison to what I was previously using.
The Ibis Ripley AF is an aluminum version of the very popular Ripley (carbon) model, with the exception of a slightly slacker head tube. It seems that the Ripley has been a pretty damn popular model for Ibis, so why not adjust for yearly geometry inflation (moar slacker!) and make it more affordable at the same time? Seems like a winning concoction to me.
For those of you here for a quick review: the Ripley AF is really fun and a great deal. Its few drawbacks are minuscule enough to be overlooked. Go have your second cup of coffee and see what part of society is falling apart today. Then, if you’re still here for the long haul, let’s dip our toes into the ever-fleeting world of this “down-country, enduro-lite, extreme gravel, or whatever the industry’s buzzword is this week” bike.
A lot of readers have asked for a guide to photographing their bikes. Be it for Readers’ Rides or for their Instagram. Here, John walks us through the process he uses, which we can all agree is ‘dialed.’
Over the past 15 years, I’ve documented hundreds of bikes both in situ and in my makeshift studio setup at events like the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, the ENVE Builder Roundup, and the Chris King Open House. While it might seem daunting at first, it really is easy and like everything photo-related, it’s all about the setup. Let’s look at my process in detail below…
As the sun was setting on 2021, my good friends Greg and Nikki – people who constantly seek out adventures – invited me on one more trip before cold winter conditions reared their ugly head. In a year that contained a lot of personal firsts, they asked if I wanted to ride the White Rim Road in Moab. This was my first year of backpacking, so most routes were still unfamiliar to me and almost every trail is as exciting as the next. The only thing I knew about the White Rim was that it’s located in Moab – an area that always yields stunning photos. In a world that feels pre-apocalyptic, sometimes a weekend bike ride, with a focus on the shutter button, helps to reset my appreciation for life. Saying goodbye to the shitshow that was 2021, this ride was a time to reflect on what a struggle the year was for me, individually (and for everyone else), and how bikes and photography contributed to keeping me afloat mentally.
There are about 52 weeks a year and every week, we post 5 full-resolution galleries, meaning there are around 260 Reportage galleries a year for you to enjoy. The intention behind this website has always been about documenting the outliers of cycling and inspiring you, the readership’s next build and bike ride. Over the years, we’ve tapped into a wonderful resource of talented raconteurs and photographers. Hosting their work is both a privilege and an honor we cherish.
With such a massive image database, these Photographic Year In Review posts provide reflection, aspiration, and motivation to continue, to push on, and keep doing what we do best: tell stories and share photos.
Read on below for a short synopsis of this year with a massive gallery of inspirational photos from the past twelve months…
“You can never go home again.” Martin O Blank’s defining line from the film Grosse Pointe Blank has stuck with me since I first heard it in the late ‘90s. It stuck with me because I thought, until recently, that it was bullshit. I moved away from Grand Rapids, MI for work and school in Colorado in 2004 but would go back to visit at least every year. And nothing seemed to change. My friends and the city itself seemed perfectly preserved in time. It always felt like home. But after a big move to Arizona and a pandemic, nearly five years passed without a visit. Then, after that time away, when my family and I road tripped Michigan this past July, I realized that Blank might have actually been onto something. My friends and the city had changed. In exciting ways to be sure, but things were markedly different and the area felt less homey for the first time in my life.
Arya and Ronnie, the two cuties that are at the front of our bike bag sponsor Ron’s Bikes, invited my partner Karla and me to come over to their event, the Nutmeg Nor’Easter. Described as “the non-competitive alt cycling world championship” and running its fifth edition, this would be the first Nor’Easter after a time where reunions were discouraged, but the organizers still took care of delivering an event 100% outdoors and only for vaccinated people, although no vaccination cards were verified. Because you see, this is the type of gathering where you are trusted to care for yourself and those around you, but in a non-coercive way. For Karla and me this would be our first time not only in Connecticut, but also east of the Rocky Mountains; the first impressions, provided by our Uber trip from the airport at 1 am, made us think we were in a good scenario for which stories, and local tales revealed we weren’t wrong.
As am packing for Fail 6, am looking at my notebook, it has an old map of Portugal’s front cover.
I traced my lines on that map, all the routes I made, I feel satisfied to see they go through most of the country already.
I have been in Portugal for about two years now. There is a lot to see and yet it is a tiny country, about the size of Indiana.
My map doesn’t show the extreme South of Portugal, so my pencil has to stop before the end of the next ride.
I don’t like that, am not a firm believer in signs but am a firm believer in signs.
For a minute there, I was tempted to change the route. Maybe I should just change the map…
F-Stop, makers of some of the best camera bags on the planet, have this new Welded Navin Pouch, perfect for fixing it to your bike, rack, or even pack. These camera holsters protect your gear from the elements and can hold a DSLR/mirrorless camera with a 70-200mm lens.
Height: 13 in / 33 cm
Depth: 9 in / 13 cm
In stock now at F-Stop.
For our photography print this month, we’ve selected a landscape photo from our Yellow Dirt Reportage with Dzil Ta’ah Adventures in Kayenta, Arizona. 100% of the profits from the sale of this print will be sent to Nadine and Jon to use in their bikepacking adventures program with Diné youth.
This print is offered in a limited run of 10.
Each 20″x 16″ 1/10 edition print is signed and dated. They’re printed on Fuji paper in a digital darkroom emulsion process. These prints were made in Santa Fe, New Mexico by Visions Photo Lab.
Price is $250 + shipping via USPS Priority in the United States only!
In stock now at the Radavist Web Shop. These are sold out! Thank you!
My partner Karla and I find ourselves in México City after what feels like going in and out of a pipe from Mario’s world. The truth is we took a plane, but after so much time of having this trip in mind, it takes a while to assimilate that it’s actually happening. We spend an afternoon putting our bikes together and some bolts later they’re ready to take us around this city; we feel quite intimidated by its size and the never-not-honking cars but the bike paths that have emerged over the recent years make riding much more manageable. Coming from a place that’s pretty much at sea level, the 2200 meters of elevation squeeze our lungs on the slightest uphill and when we arrive at the address on our map our hearts are beating fast. There’s no sign outside the place but a rack full of bikes indicates we’ve made it to Básica Studio, home of frame builder Eli Acosta.
Karla and I headed to Tijuana when we heard that the local government was giving the covid vaccine to anyone who wanted it. We used a Fabio’s chest as luggage bags because although we didn’t bring our bikes, we had the idea of borrowing some to move around the city and try to fit in an overnighter, so we also brought our sleeping bags and bike touring tool kit. With the Baja Divide being so close the thought of jumping on it crossed our minds but we decided to settle for something that required fewer logistics and that could be started and finished from the place we were staying in.
I have been internet friends with Irlanda for so long that I don’t even remember how we started communicating. What I do remember is that she told me she had the dream of making bicycle bags and accessories but at the moment, sewing fancy dresses are what paid her bills. Settled in the México-USA border city of Tijuana, she has been dressing brides and quinceañeras for over twenty years and it was around fourteen years ago that she started riding a bike to get around. As she took part in organizing group rides, she sewed hip bags and gave them away as an incentive to attract more people to ride, and that’s how sewing bike bags became a hobby. Along those two decades, she started growing tired of the high fashion world while at the same time she made more bicycle accessories, but still, the money flowed mainly from the people who came to her from either side of the border to get their dresses made.
One of the most requested products we’ve yet to offer are art prints. The Radavist has some of the most visually compelling images on the ‘net and after years of requests, we’re starting to offer some of these stunning landscape images in a limited run of 10.
The first batch is from the Eastern Sierra. Each 16″x20″ 1/10 edition print is signed and dated. They’re printed on Fuji paper in a digital darkroom emulsion process. These prints were made in Santa Fe, New Mexico by Visions Photo Lab.
Price is $250 + shipping via USPS Priority in the United States only!
In stock now at the Radavist Web Shop. These prints are now sold out. Thanks for the support! We’ll be doing another run of prints next month.
The Makers in Motion Camera Strap is a cycling camera strap designed to make taking photos on and off your bike quick, seamless, and secure. With magnetic hardware and slick seat belt webbing, this strap is so easy to use that bringing a camera with you will be a no-brainer. See the full details at the Kickstarter Campaign.
I first met Elliot a few years back while I was leading a bikepacking trip with El Grupo, a Tucson based youth cycling organization. Since then I had seen Elliot tinkering with all manner of frankenbikes, which are a regular, at the Grupo clubhouse. Discarded and mismatched components of yesteryear handed down from the large cycling community here. Their low-pro pursuit fixed gear with a 24″ bmx fork caught my eye awhile ago and I knew Elliot had that special eye for janky but fun clashing of parts.