International bikepacking duo Tristen Bogaard and Belén Castelló have a special talent for looking at destinations through the lens of bikepackers. On their exploration of the Balearic Islands they sniffed out hidden gems and immersed themselves in the local culture, history, and landscape of the islands to ‘bikepackify’ them for future explorers.
Fail 8 is the latest installment in Ryan Le Garrec’s multimedia “Fail” series. Check out the related articles below for more of Ryan’s work.
Day 47 – Santo Isidoro, Portugal
My son told me the other day:
“Dad, the trees don’t use their roots only to drink, they also use them to communicate.”
When I saw these two trees, on the way back from Spain somewhere in Alentejo, I thought: “These two must have some kinda romance going on.”
Spain’s Galician coast is extensive, beautiful, wild, abundant and it is feared for its mightiness since ancient times. The Atlantic Ocean beats the Galician cliffs and rocks with a fascinating strength. Fishermen and their families are in close contact with this Ocean’s powerful force. The potent waves often attempt to drag nightmares into these shores, but the coastline is dotted with lights of hope. One lighthouse after another sends signals to sailors and fishermen alike, these are the large torches that illuminate the way back to terra firma.
Spain is known for its people and their energy. Dinners at 10:00 p.m. are not unheard of, if not mandatory, in order to fuel the even later “madrugada”—a word used to describe that amorphous and intoxicating time spent in the streets after midnight and before the sunrise with hundreds of other souls savoring every last scrap of their waking hours. When I visited Spain twenty years ago I was a sponge for this lifestyle and spent six months in Madrid soaking up the culture, the clubs, and the calimocho. But this trip would open my eyes to an entirely different Spain, one more suited to my forty-year-old self.
For me, riding a bike has always meant three things; experience, adventure, and escape. From childhood, it’s given me the opportunity to experience new, it’s given me the freedom to explore, to embark on adventures near and far, and it’s also given me a much-needed escape from my battles with mental health. Cycling has also introduced me to a community of amazing people and this for me is perhaps the greatest benefit of riding because they never fail to enrich the three reasons I love the bike.
It was the speed at which it happened that shocked me the most. One minute Tomas and I were laughing hysterically as I tumbled into the snow for the umpteenth time, the next I was genuinely scared my buddy was about to collapse into some awful hypothermic coma. It was terrifying.
As I drive home to Barcelona from a photoshoot in the South of Spain, I dream about the next three days. They will be calm and tranquil while I worked from home. Then, my phone buzzes with a message from Mike, a friend and owner of a bed and breakfast in the Pyrenees Mountains in France. He needs help with a last-minute photoshoot further north in the Basque Country. By last minute, he means tomorrow. No time for a rest. I live for photoshoots. It’s my job. My passion. The lure of home will have to wait, as the car stays packed and continues northward toward France.
A few hours later I am in the French Basque Country, in the town of Saint Jean de la Luz. Mike has brought me to his friend, Julien’s house. It is like the rest of the neighborhood, an etxea, in typical Basque construction with white walls crossed by solid timber beams, covered with a clay terracotta roofs. And there in this iconic French village sits the subject for the day. It’s a fresh, stainless steel 2-11 Cycles. So fresh that it’s barely been out on the road yet.
More than a year later, I’m still captivated by the memory, the scene, the moment.
It was a hot autumn day, one of the last of the year before the seasonal chill poured from the Bay of Biscay into the Spanish Basque Country. A young man stepped into the middle of the road. He wore a flapping outfit of white with a red handkerchief and belt. It was the kind of attire that flails down the narrow streets of Basque cities during the annual running of the bulls in Northern Spain.
Our friends at Campandgoslow have just launched a new olive, wool jersey pre-order at their website. These jerseys are inspired by classic wool kits from cycling’s iconic past and will keep you warm in the coming winter months. The window to order will close on September 5th at noon PST, or when CGS reaches its cap of 85 pieces, whichever comes first so if you’re interested in these, don’t miss out.
We expect to be shipping these to you in late October. Keep in mind that production time will depend on our total order quantity, and shipping times are a little unpredictable these days. We’ll do everything we can to get your jersey to you as soon as possible.
Pre-order one at Campandgoslow.
-Retail: $190 + Shipping
-Made in Spain by Cima Coppi
-100% mid-weight 285 gsm merino wool
-Raglan sleeve pattern
-Custom embroidery on chest
-Since we’re riding solo this time, no Crust embroidery on the back pocket and no Crust hi-vis color option. We might make some changes to the rear pocket color layout.
-Hand or machine wash cold with mild detergent and dry flat
Hydraulic shifting? 13 speeds? What in tarnation?
That’s what was going through my head when I first saw Rotor’s 13-speed drivetrain kit at Sea Otter last year. The 1×13 kit is a follow up to Rotor’s Uno 2x groupset from four years ago. Like the Uno, the 1×13 uses hydraulically-actuated shifting for a groundbreaking industry first. As you might imagine, this tech is pricey, and probably not for everyone, myself included, but over the past few months, I’ve enjoyed riding it on this beautiful titanium chassis by none other than Merlin Bikes. Check out a full review of Rotor’s 1×13 and the Merlin Sandstone Gravel bike below.
If you’ve followed the reporting for the last three years on this Cyclocross Pilgrimage to the Motherland, you will have read plenty of tales of struggling, suffering, and the general beat downs of European race life. I’m not here to make excuses or polish turds. I’m here to tell it to you like it is. To keep it real. Thus I’ve written more than 30 articles bringing you along for my weekly whoopings in all their self-deprecating glory because that’s the truth. That’s the reality. That’s the story.
And now, dearest readers, I finally have a happy tale to tell. Though it feels an odd one to write, and I cringe at potentially walking the fine line of self-aggrandizing douche. But I try to consider the context. This is the first time in over 30 deadlines that I’ve managed a meaningful achievement. This too is just part of the ride. The reality. The story. And it’s the kind I might not get to write again for another three years, or for that matter, ever again…
Loren Lorenzo and Marc Gasch from XPDTN3 explore the Tabernas Desert and the Cabo de Gata Natural Park in Almeria, south of Spain in their newest video. Check out more information on this route at XPDTN3.
This video features killer light and a winding dirt road in Spain.
From the mountains to the desert to the sea, this group partakes on a tour of Basque Country and Navarre.
This is the sixth layout of the Radavist 2017 Calendar, entitled “It’s Always Sunny in Spain” Shot with a Canon 1DX and a 24-70mm in Sierra de Guadarrama, Spain
“Why would I bring rain gear? We’re in Spain!” Exclaimed one of the riders on the Blackburn Ranger camp. Technically, yes, we are in Spain but we’re also at 7,000′ in elevation I exclaimed. The rain, wind and cold temperatures didn’t keep this party train down!
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2017 Calendar – June. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
The mobile background this month is from the Sierra Nevada. Click here to download June’s Mobile Wallpaper.
I’ll be in Madrid for a week with the Blackburn Rangers, exploring the mountains and bikepacking through the countryside. Stay tuned for stories and photos…
25 minutes for a cycling video? Sure! What else do you have going on during your Monday morning?
Yes! Europe and not just Europe, Barcelona, an incredibly photogenic backdrop to explore by bike. This week I’m visiting the shop of Legor Cicli with ENVE and Crema Cycles. We’ll be doing local rides on dirt and sealed roads, testing out the new Crema Cycles Duo all-road bike. The overlying theme of this trip is framebuilders, bikes and dirt. Lots of dirt!
Yesterday began at the airport, first thing in the morning and ended on the bike. Not a bad way to intro a trip like this and attempt to rid myself of hellish jetlag. Stay tuned for more, but for now check out the Gallery!