Hardtails. Antiquated examples of mountain bike technology to some but to others, they’re liberated and simplified machines. Each year, I plan on riding a full suspension in Downieville, yet I always end up bringing my hardtail for one reason or another so this year, I took a look at just some of the bikes that were rolling around this Gold Rush town.
[WARNING – please read with enunciations of the Queen’s English spoken with a harsh American accent leached with dry monotone and finished with a slight southern drawl.]
[NOTE – All persons are mixed and mashed conglomerations of friends masked by pseudonyms as to respect their identities.]
[FICTION –It actually may be close enough to nonfiction. Every tale is drenched with truth, maybe not all the truths belong to me, I might not even be the eyes telling this tale.]
With another eight to nine-hour drive ahead of me, this time solo because the polluting toots of my automobile fill me with joy—just kidding, hell, felt like an asshole—I had to figure out a way to fuck with my perception of time in order to maintain some level of sanity. Although being a fellow cyclist, y’all get that the bar is set real low when it comes to sanity. So, to risk sounding like a surface-wannabe-cultured-erudite, I tried hooking myself onto classical music with this grandiose nisus of increasing my attention span. Hear me out: not only would being able to melt into a forty-five-minute score enable me to complete long intervals with ease but enduring an entire classical score would help me get through the long drives to get to the long and arduous races those said and absolutely supposed intervals would prepare one for. Leave it all on the trail and go baroque.
That’s right. It can be done and it’s a lot of fun. We’re heading to the Downieville Classic this weekend and while I’ll be out on the course shooting photos of the race, I’d love to feature a gallery of all the hardtails that are being ridden at the Classic. Each year, it’s the bike I bring with me and I am always amazed at how many people are there racing on their steel hardtails as well. So, if you’re at the Classic, make sure you flag me down with your bike because this should be a great gallery!
May 22nd Phounkhoun outskirts 01435 am
The jungle can be the darkest place on Earth,
at night with just a moonbeam through thick clouds,
vaguely dislocating from the smoke of the melting tarmac,
the broken road,
it doesnʼt break this man,
the sounds came up a little more,
screams and songs from the sleepless jungle,
the law of Laos…
Words and photos by Dan Chabanov
Before I get into this I just wanted to point out that I am not a journalist. Everything I’m writing here is just my observations from hanging out at the track this summer. I didn’t have conversations with anyone “on the record” hence why I don’t name or quote any riders. I was just having casual conversations with folks about life, racing, and the Olympics. I wasn’t conducting interviews. So take this for what it is, just my glimpse behind the curtain of world-class athletes racing, doing their thing, and trying to make the Olympic dream happen.
And now here they are! The most daredevil group of daffy frame builders to ever whirl their wheels in the WACKY RACES. Competing for the title of Grinduro’s wackiest frame builder. The bikes are approaching the starting line.
First, is the TBA GXC driven by Tom Sturdy. Next is paratrooper Will Barcode on the TBA Splat Grav. Flying through the air is the Rad Roamer piloted by Ted James. Maneuvering for position is Andy Carr on the Spoon Customs Fat Tracker and right on his tail is Pi Manson on his Caledonian Carrier.
Sneaking along last is the unmistakable Petor of Dear Susan Bicycles riding his award-winning ‘Mike Rotch’…
“Grav, Grav. And double Grav!”
EF Education First Pro Cycling takes on the GBduro in their second installment of EF Gone Alternative Racing.
The Old Growth Classic is coming back to Big Basin Redwoods State Park once again on September 14, 2019! Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) is proud to partner with Ibis Cycles to present the second annual Old Growth Classic. This event is a full weekend experience featuring a 55-mile mixed terrain race, two nights of camping, live music, delicious catered meals, and more summer camp fun. A significant portion of the proceeds will go directly to State Parks.
This year there are two event packages available: Full Weekend Package and Race Day Only Package. The total participation has also increased to 500 racers. Registration opens on Wednesday, July 10, at 7:00pm Pacific, so mark your calendars because this event will sell out quick. Click here to register!
Learn more about Old Growth Classic here: http://oldgrowthclassic.
Register here: https://timeyourrace.
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.
Rue and Spencer are working on part four of the 2019 Tour Divide coverage, sit tight, it’s coming down the hole early this afternoon.
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.
A few weeks back, the third and final Resistance Racing Tracklocross Race Series started off from Swell Bicycles Shop and out to Golden Gate Park. Looking back at the first race in Albany (discarded concrete block, choppy singletrack, and an 80 ft climb), we didn’t know what would be in store for us. The final race consisted of smooth single track, short descends, off-camber turns and my personal favorite, a log pile ramp. These bay area shredders were nuts!
Watching the Tour Divide race unfold on Track Leaders is great, but it’s always nice to add additional layers of information. What DotWatcher does is just that. They include Instagram posts to the web portal and for the first time, David Chirnside is offering his wisdom and previous experience with the Tour Divide and is commentating the race day by day. His commentary on the event, the rider’s kit, and his personal experience bring a very personal, in-depth perspective on the race coverage. Head on over to Dot Watcher to check it out.
Words by Coach Ronaldo Romance Jr. and photos by Team Brooks
(Gallery Photos are 95% disposable film cams that I handed out to the team. Felt like it captured the inner “race” pretty authentically; and the medium was pretty fun in a “trip to the water park” “safe grad night” sorta way)
Booming Billowing Blooping Blurping Gravel.
Even with DK getting as much coverage as the TDF, I trust the pace of the news these days has left your mind blank of such cognizance once again. That’s good, as my memory of competing in the event 2 years ago has also been selectively erased, perhaps that’s why I reluctantly agreed to participate in this particular edition.
This weekend, June 19th – 23rd, is the Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder. It’s a point-to-point stage race along the Oregon Trail. For five days and 400 miles, racers and riders will venture into the Cascade Range, get covered in dust, sweat, and then arrive at camp each night, where they can recover and prepare for the next day. If you’re going, we’d love to hear from you, especially if you plan on riding the course and taking photos along the way. Drop a line in the comments and email us.
Y’all tired of Kanza stories yet? Nope? Well good! ENVE was there and they pulled together a great recap video!
A String of Conversations along the Dirty Kanza XL
In the last week of May, Lael Wilcox rode 650 miles from PEARL iZUMi headquarters in Louisville, Colorado to Emporia, Kansas with Dylan Morton. She rested for 2 days before starting the DKXL, a 339 mile self-supported gravel race through the Kansas Flint Hills. This is the second year of the race.