Season changes mark a time for renewal, not only for the forest but for ourselves. Just when the long days and heat start to get to you, the temperature drops and a cool breath blows across the dry landscape. Here in Northern New Mexico, the skies change from a blue expanse with puff-ball clouds to gargantuan storms enveloping our peaks; the terminus of the great Rocky Mountains. Each morning our mountains have a cloud toupée and upon their dissipation, reveal a dusting of white snow.
Music by Afsky…
We joke that time is a flat circle in cycling all too often. Gravel bikes are just ’90s mountain bikes, etc. Yet, we have to accept that we’re in an era of electronic shifting and yes, suspension forks on gravel bikes. This tech, however, is nothing new especially not for RockShox, who for the 1994 Paris Roubaix unveiled a suspension fork on team Lemond GAN’s bikes. In that same year, Mavic even had some Zap electronic groups on the exact same bikes.
Now, 27 years later, we have my Sklar gravel bike which is familiar to most of you, with a suspension fork and electronic shifting, under the banner of SRAM and RockShox’s new XPLR lineup (explore, not explorer). While I haven’t taken on the Hell of the North, I have spent a lot of time being a weirdo in the woods on this kit and have a really fun review to share with y’all, so read on below.
Cycling-related art prints are always fun and to help support the cycling community here in Santa Fe, we reached out to our friend Jeff Hantman to see if he’d be willing to let us sell some of his “Bike Part Alphabet” art prints in our webshop. These prints are for the vintage aficionados, dirt freaks, parts bin pickers, and co-op combers, with lots of cycling ephemera represented by each of the letters of the alphabet.
Here’s what Jeff has to say about these prints:
I started drawing the artwork for “Bike Part Alphabet” in March of 2020. The idea for the print was to represent each letter of the alphabet with a bike part.
I started riding mountain bikes in the early ’90s and wanted to include as many parts from those early days. My approach was to avoid using brands; however, there were a few letters that were challenging so I got creative with my own rule.
This is an open edition, 3 color silkscreen, printed on 19”x 25” 100# acid-free French Paper with Green Galaxy water-based inks.
These prints are in stock now at the Radavist webshop for $100 plus shipping to the United States only please!
I grew up working at a Specialized shop, and learned how to mountain bike by watching Ned Overend’s Performance Mountain Biking technique VHS. While I always appreciated the refreshing ideas of small makers, I thought it advantageous for larger brands to be able to invest more in their materials and construction. This was a time when top-end bikes were made of metal, and made domestically.
Metal Matrix (M2) composite is a prime example of this. The big S sourced a 6061 alloy infused with an aluminum oxide ceramic particulate by Alcan. Say that again, backwards now. Alcan called it Duralcan, and I am proud to display their logo on my top tube—that cool typeface!
Playing host to road trippers this year is a stark contrast to our efforts to stay local and ride with small, familiar groups last year. New Mexico took Covid-19 seriously and as new citizens to this state, both Cari and I took these precautions seriously. Now with the vaccination efforts building across the country (get vaccinated!) we’re happy to open our doors to friends as they travel across the American West. Just last week alone, I hosted two stellar rides with some familiar faces, so check them out below…
I must say that I’m damn proud to live in New Mexico and I had no idea that such an awesome network of makers are blossoming here. We’ve looked at Moné’s operations down in Silver City, Baphomet Bicycles, checked in with Farewell Bags, looked at the framebag offerings from Buckhorn Bags, and today we’re featuring two local companies, starting with Evergreen Stitchworks and O’Leary Built Bikes, so let’s get to it.
As an introvert, the idea of hanging out with a group of strangers for the night doesn’t rank too high. But when those strangers are into bikepacking and (possibly) cameras, I’m down. So Eric, Brandon, and I headed to Santa Fe to meet up with the cadre of cyclists that would be participating in the summer solstice Swift Campout.
Road bikes. We don’t really talk about them so much over here at the Radavist – anymore. There was a time however where we’d post galleries from road adventures and still to this day, one of my favorite rides I did in California was on all pavement. Still, there have been a few defining reasons for the wane of the road bike’s popularity and it wasn’t until I accepted the offer to review the lightweight Aethos road bike that I began to mull over these reasons. A 16lb road bike is both terrifying (am I going to break this thing?!) and a joy (WOW! this is incredible) to ride but what does the state of road cycling look for me, personally, and how did this review shape my perspective of drop bars after a long hiatus from enjoying the pleasures of road riding? Read on to find out.
Bicycle tourists are some of my favorite subjects to document. Especially ones that ride by their own rules. When a fella named Beau Walters dropped me a line on Instagram on Sunday, asking if I was free to meet up in Santa Fe as it was on his touring route from Boulder to Mexico City, I naturally obliged. Little did I know what I was getting myself into!
Kick-Off your summer riding season with the Santa Fe Rattlers! Explore the trails at Glorieta Camps, meet the coaches and start your mountain biking summer. The Santa Fe Rattlers are Santa Fe’s Junior mountain biking team. We are a part of the New Mexico Interscholastic Cycling League which develops interscholastic mountain biking programs for student-athletes in New Mexico.
The Santa Fe Rattler’s are a composite team which means we welcome ALL 12 to 18-year-old kids (no matter which school you attend) in the Santa Fe area!
We are about riding safely, learning new bike skills, and most importantly, having fun. See you soon!
When: May 22, 2021, 10 am – 2 pm
Where: Glorieta Camps, Glorieta, NM
Who: 12-18 year old kids in Santa Fe.
RSVP: email to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 20!
First, we’d like to thank y’all for all the support over the years. We’re getting a lot of messages asking when we’re restocking short sleeve shirts, bottles, and other items. Well, two weeks ago we re-upped some of our classic bottles, Desert hats, Dynaplugs, and more but we didn’t make an announcement. Next week, we’re dropping three shirts, new decals, bottles, and more as part of our Spring.Summer drop. With delays in manufacturing, we’ll be trickling out more over the course of the summer but the big restock is coming next week, so stay tuned.
Last year, I rode bikes all over New Mexico with this guy, @baileygenenewbrey. To limit my contact with people I pretty much rode with the same small group all year and Bailey was in that group.
We often discussed how staying local has been a big change. With Covid shutting down all events, I had no reason to travel. To be safe, and as a new resident of New Mexico, I just kept it to a 100-mile radius of our home and began scouring the map for places to see/fish/ride.
One of the biggest takeaways for me is how a few close friends can make something as severe as an utterly shit pandemic more manageable. We both helped each other through some rough spots, spent nights under the stars, stoked each other out on rides, shot great photos, and most importantly, became really close friends.
It’s moments like this (still within the pandemic) that really make me value close friendship. Who helped you through 2020 and continues to in 2021?
Episode 69? On 4.20? Three days before my 40th birthday? Why not? lol
A few weeks ago, Patrick from Bikes or Death swung through Santa Fe after hanging with Matt from the Monumental Loop in Las Cruces. We sat down in our new office here in town and chatted about the beginnings of the Radavist, photography, land acknowledgment, and other topics relevant to many of your interests. Patrick is a great guy and spending my Sunday afternoon with him was a real treat. As someone who tries to stay behind the scenes here as much as possible on the site, it’s a great insight into what makes me tick. Check out my ramblings in Episode 69 at Bikes or Death.
If you have questions or comments after the interview, drop them in the comments and I’ll answer them today.
Side note: we’re getting our second shots today! Woooohoooo!
When one thinks of Esker Cycles, the Hayduke 27.5+ hardtail (reviewed here by Locke Hassett) quickly comes to mind – and in many ways, the Hayduke served as the launchpad for the design of Esker’s latest model, the Japhy.
While the Japhy looks like considerably “less bike” than the 140mm Hayduke with its 120mm fork and 29″ wheels, don’t count it out yet: the Japhy is scrappy and is willing to claw its way through just about anything!
Over the past few months I’ve been riding the Japhy all over our local trails here in Santa Fe and while at first I was hesitant about taking it out on some of the more technical terrain, I found it to be an exceptional climber and a surprisingly fun descender.
So, let’s get into it!
George Hayduke. The fictional anti-hero created by the protector of the Western ‘wilderness’, Ed Abbey. While much of Abbey’s political pennings haven’t aged well, he still brought awareness to the American West unsurpassed by any other author of that time. Abbey’s fictional masterpiece, the Monkey Wrench Gang, is a must-read for any lover of the Four Corners and Canyon Country. In it, a ragtag group of desert rats embarks on a journey to dismantle the corporate machines threatening the cherished ecosystems found on the Colorado Plateau. The term “monkeywrenching” and even “eco-terrorist” stemmed from this book as its characters threw a literal wrench in the spokes of the all-consuming corporate machine.
Esker Cycles’ predecessor brand, Advocate Cycles, used the “Earth First” fist on their headtubes and their flagship bike was the Hayduke. When the brand became Esker, they kept the Hayduke model and its signature monkey wrench decals.
Locke reviewed a Hayduke a few years ago. You can read that review in our archives but when he swung through Santa Fe on a recent jaunt, I linked up with him and shot his own personal singlespeed 29er build. Read on for more…
That feller up at Bearclaw Bicycle Co is doing some really amazing things. The whole catalog is composed of some paradigm-shifting designs and a crowd favorite is the Beaux Jaxon. If you dig drop bars and chonk tires, that’s the frame for you. Throw in a titanium segmented fork and you’ve got a dream machine. Kevin Hinton is a tattoo artist here in Santa Fe. He also runs his Adventure Bikepacking Instagram account as a side project, which hosts overnighters, and tours in the area.
Originally from Los Angeles, Kevin cut his chops touring all over California, specifically in the desert, taking on the Stagecoach 400 multiple times. This particular loop goes from high pine country down through Anza Borrego and into San Diego before climbing back up to the pines. The Anza section is particularly sandy, so when Kevin built up this dream bike, he had some specific requirements and took that list to Sincere Cycles for the build…
Our friends at the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society pulled together a beginner’s video to mountain bike riding featuring Kim Klain, a contributor to the Radavist in more ways than one and shred super star. Looking good, guys!