Growing up, I had an obsession with all things cold-blooded. Perhaps it sprung from a childhood love for dinosaurs? Who knows. I had lots of reptile pets over the years, many of which are native species to the American West. Growing up on the East Coast, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to see a Whiptail, Fence Lizard, Chuckwalla, Horned Lizard, or a Gila Monster in the wild. Our Eastern Blue Tailed Skinks, Broad Headed Skinks, and Anoles were the extend of our four-legged, local herpetofauna…
Staying local during the pandemic has been a new thing for me. I’m usually on the road for most of the year, sleeping in our truck, documenting races, rides, people, shops, and communities. I can’t emphasize how strange it has been to just stay put. While it has been a bit of a change of pace, it’s really pushed me to take on as many of the local rides that I can and this week, I took on maybe one of the most infamous trails in our area; Deception Peak and Raven’s Ridge.
We’re big into hardtails here at the Radavist. While my personal bikes are all steel, riding carbon bikes can be a real treat, especially when the company has put so much thought into the design.
Yeti has a long history of designing capable and attractive bikes. The original ARC was a collaboration with Easton and the intent was to make a truly lightweight machine in that era. The OG ARC’s aluminum frameset weighed a mere 3.2lbs, which was a groundbreaking accomplishment for 1991 and those bikes are still iconic, even today.
You could say Yeti had a lot riding on this new ARC design and there were a few decisions that set this new model on a different trajectory from its predecessor. After riding this bike for a month here in Santa Fe, I’ve finally wrapped my head around how to review it, pointing out its accomplishments and my own personal critiques of this entirely new model, so read on for more…
This is the ninth layout of the Radavist 2020 Calendar, entitled “Autumnal Descent” shot with a Leica M10 and 50mm f1.4 Summilux lens in the Santa Fe National Forest.
“There’s no denying it. The days are getting shorter, the weather is changing. The Autumn equinox is right around the corner”
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right-click and save link as – The Radavist 2020 – September. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
We visit a lot of makers here at the Radavist. From frames to components to bags. 2020 has put a lot of that on momentary pause, yet I’ve enjoyed meeting cyclists serendipitously since moving to Santa Fe, many of which are small business owners. One of those is Jacob from Bread Shop. He and his wife Mayme, along with his brother Zac run a small bakery that’s big on taste. We’ve been buying loaves once a week from Bread Shop and this week I met up with Jacob to shoot his Surly Cross-Check.
Living at 7,000′ has its ups and downs, particularly for someone still acclimating from life at sea level for the past 5 years. One of the positives though is easy access to alpine riding. Well, easy is subjective for sure but if you only have a few hours to kill and want a quick loop that’s equal parts hard as it is beautiful and most importantly, fun, then have I got one local Santa Fe ride for you…
What do you call a stainless Italian disc road bike, built with Cinelli and Campagnolo, right here in Santa Fe? Spaghetti Western? Sure, why not?
Mellow Velo, purveyors of modern bikes, with a long history of building up classic Italian road racing machines, recently completed this build for a customer back on the East Coast. Adam, the owner of the bike, refinishes mouthpieces for saxophones, so as you can imagine, he has a particular penchant for procuring pristine pedal machines like this one. Luckily for him, David from Mellow Velo has a soft spot for modern Italian-made frames.
I know it’s gauche to bring up radiation in New Mexico but I couldn’t resist. Just look at the color of Michael’s Rex Cycles hardtail 29er that Sincere Cycles here in Santa Fe just finished up the build on…
This build was made possible by Sincere Cycles. Bailey took Slade‘s idea and made it a reality. From a rolling chassis of frame, fork, and wheels, came this complete bike which has got to be one of the most clever builds I’ve documented this year. Slade’s an energetic soul who jumped right into the world of bikepacking with this Chumba Ursa…
Moving to a new town in the middle of a pandemic has been quite the taxing experience both emotionally and logistically. With relocation comes re-establishing connections and expansion of one’s social network, which is near impossible with stay at home orders. Part of the joy of moving to a new city is to get a lay of the land, meet new people, and find those little idiosyncratic niches small towns are known for. Recently I set out a ping to social media, hoping to track down a fabricator to help build a bike rack swingout for our truck. A friend of a friend connected me with Greg, one of the co-fabricators at a small metal shop on Third Street here in Santa Fe. His shop mate Cooper found out I was into bikes and had to share with me his shed found Univega…
Bikes or Death, the podcast about, you guessed it, bikes has interviewed our pal Bailey Newbrey, the owner of Sincere Cycles and the 2018 second-place finisher of the Tour Divide. Bailey talks about riding singlespeed and the TDR, so give it a listen at Bikes or Death.
This is the seventh layout of the Radavist 2020 Calendar, entitled “Sangre de Cristo” shot with a Sony A7riii and a 24-105 lens in Santa Fe, NM.
“July is the time for alpine riding here in the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Our trails are awaiting the monsoon rains but are still plenty beautiful. Photographer Kyle Klain took this photo of John on his Starling Murmur on a recent ride and wow, what a view!”
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right-click and save link as – The Radavist 2020 – July. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
The mobile background this month is one of John’s photos from the same ride of a beautiful alpenglow aspen grove. Click here to download July’s Mobile Wallpaper.
Longtime readers might recognize this bike. I first documented it in 2015. Unfortunately, when our server crashed, we lost the images from 2015-2016, so when I had the opportunity to re-document it, I had to jump on the opportunity. The frame was built by Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames. It was designed to clear a 45mm 700c tire, and yes, those are quick-release axles! This bike was ahead of its time in terms of “gravel bikes” and it’s still alive and well, now rolling under my bud Gideon Tsang who bought it a little while back. Gideon is a good friend of mine, going on 10 years. He’s a spiritual person, a counselor, and as much of a sage individual as anyone I know. Check out this piece he wrote for the Radavist about riding bikes and embracing the silence only found on self-isolating rides…
Out of all the bikes I personally reviewed or even rode last year, the Cannondale Topstone carbon was not my favorite. Yet, I really loved the 2018 aluminum Topstone! Go figure. As I stated in the initial review, it felt too gimmicky for all the engineering that went into it. I felt like it was lacking something extra to truly make it stand out from Cannondale‘s history of making kooky, yet practical suspension bikes. A whole year has passed but my wish would finally come true. Was it worth the wait or the extra engineering? Read on below to find out.
It’s been a crazy year and while staying home has led to some very productive days, we’ve been pretty burnt out so this weekend we’re taking off time from the computer. We’d not only like to acknowledge people in the military who have lost their lives but also to thank the first responders during this pandemic, many of who have also lost their lives. Be safe out there, everyone! We’ll see ya back tomorrow with some great content!
It’s no secret that the bicycle can be a vessel for linking together with other interests and hobbies. Be it pack rafting or in this case, fishing. The bicycle can get you deep into the backcountry in a relatively short amount of time, compared to hiking, and access areas autos or motos can’t go. With this mobility comes a few problems that require solving first, however. Mainly, how do you carry a fishing pole with you on a bike? Much less a fly rod? Sure, there are a lot of fly rods that pack down to a manageable size, but none are as compact as the mini, yet mighty Tenkara rods.
The myriad of trails feels endless here in Santa Fe. With the town butting up against the National Forest with its multiple trail networks all interwoven, and a very popular downhill trail, tying a lot of them together, the possibilities for quick overnighters or bigger backcountry loops feels limitless. It wasn’t until this week that I tapped into its overnighter bicycle camping potential.
Santa Fe is a very singlespeed friendly town, especially the in-town XC trails, with their swoopy turns, punchy, short climbs, and flowy descents. Kyle Klain is a photographer, a cyclist, a lover of the American West, and quite the character. We spent some time chatting about Four Corners and our favorite places to bounce around on dirt roads in 4x4s and on bicycles. While he has a very all-mountain capable full suspension, this Sklar hardtail just looks like a dream…