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Giving Papaya in the Colombian Andes

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Giving Papaya in the Colombian Andes

After almost 6 years on the road, maybe I let my guard down just a little bit too much. Maybe I’d grown too comfortable mapping out routes in any direction my heart desired and hitting the road without much concern for my safety beyond steering clear of roads with lots of traffic. I’d take notes from locals on places to avoid, wouldn’t ride at night, and I always considered myself careful, but 6 years is a long time, so there’s no doubt that I slipped just a little.

Beyond the Divide: Mountain Biking in Baja Sur

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Beyond the Divide: Mountain Biking in Baja Sur

There’s more to biking in Baja than the Divide

Twenty minutes after sunset and the sky has a glowing ember look. Night is taking over. In the distance — in the hills — you can see the front and rear lights of a bike. At first, it seems like it must be a motorcycle, but there’s no noise. It’s a mountain bike. The rider zooms up and down small climbs and descents, and then flies past us in a cloud of dust we can’t quite see, but can smell. The person on the bike, whoever they are, is having a great time.

I’m driving the entirety of Baja — with my husband and our dog — from Mexicali to Todos Santos. We started in Colorado. All in, the trip south is over 2,000 miles. We camp a lot — in a little van we built out last year. It’s great, but not quite van life. More, a step up from tent life. We’ve got our mountain bikes — an Ibis Mojo and a Revel Ranger — and a lot of peanut butter.

Bikepacking Iceland Part One: Into the Highlands on a Gravel Bike

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Bikepacking Iceland Part One: Into the Highlands on a Gravel Bike

Is bikepacking in Iceland fun on a gravel bike? That’s the one question on my mind as the plane touches down for my 5th visit to the country. With “make do with what you have” as our mantra, my two friends, Daylen, Quinton and I wanted to see if the gravel bikes we already own would be up for the challenge. I found several fat bike trip reports but very few gravel bike trip reports online, so I pour over maps, make some educated guesses, and trust I’ll figure it out as the rubber hits the road.

Ya Casi: Biking Around Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán

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Ya Casi: Biking Around Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán

Jorge’s high-pitched voice turned serious, still a few octaves higher than you’d expect: “You must have a plan. In life, in travel, in everything! Always, have a plan and always stick to the plan.” My brother, Quinn, and I looked at each other… “Wellll ya, we kind of have a plan.” We continued to bump along the dark streets toward the center of Guatemala City, looking at the empty streets go by through the window. I think we were both starting to wonder if maybe our “plan” was a bad one. Each city zone we passed through Jorge told us to be careful, explaining the dangers of Guatemala City, and warning us to be home before dark. “Two gringos locos, people know,” said Jorge, not so subtly alluding to the fact we stuck out like sore thumbs.

When we arrived at our Airbnb Jorge jumped out of the car and rang the bell of the security door. The guard buzzed him in, and we followed. The guard was young. On his desk, there was a revolver that looked as big as his hand. I wondered if he’d ever even shot it. In some ways, I hoped that he hadn’t. It was around 11:00 pm and, after a day of travel, we could feel the day catching up to us. We thanked Jorge for the ride and turned into the elevator. A few beers on the small terraces sounded good to both of us, but listening to Jorge’s persistent advice against going out past dark we decided to skip the nightcaps and go to bed. The next day we woke up to the streets below our rooms busier than the night before and the memory of Jorge’s warnings faded a bit. With no food in the house, we planned to walk to the market for some groceries and then decided we’d start to track down the key to our trip – bikes.

One Last Trip Through Kangal Country on Turkey’s Elmalı Plateau

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One Last Trip Through Kangal Country on Turkey’s Elmalı Plateau

One of my favorite aspects of traveling to a new place is discovering the local music. Inevitably, I’ll be at a restaurant or shop and a song over the radio will catch my ear. In my experience, there’s very little that will bring the enthusiasm out of a local like a tourist showing an interest in their favorite local classics, so asking about the song will often open up a whole conversation and a slew of other recommendations. With that in mind, here’s a short playlist of Turkish classics from the ’70s and ’80s that folks turned me onto along the way:

LACK OF FOCUS AND ORGANIZATION: BFFs, Bikes, and the Alps

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LACK OF FOCUS AND ORGANIZATION: BFFs, Bikes, and the Alps

The following trip report is also available on Amazon Kindle, for ease of bookmarking…

Day 1: Wienerwald or bust!

JEN: Good decisions can be made on a whim. That’s how I found myself on this spontaneous bike trip in Europe. It all started in Vienna, Austria. My friend Bun Daniel, also from Los Angeles, was there, visiting and working with BBUC (short for Brilli Brilliant Unicorn Club), and had offered for me to stay with him. I had plans to go to Spain 3 weeks later but the space in between was yet to be determined. That space in-between turned out to be a great adventure. My bike partner in crime and fellow California Girl, Erin Lamb, flew out from Santa Barbara to meet me. We had one mission – to satisfy our appetites for some asphalt spaghetti draped on the Alps.

American Airlines Lifts Bicycle Cargo Fees

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American Airlines Lifts Bicycle Cargo Fees

Good news to cyclists who use American Airlines to travel around the world. The airlines have lifted their fee for traveling with a bicycle. As long as your bike falls within their restrictions: Standard checked bag fees of your destination apply up to 50 lbs / 23 kgs and 126 in / 320 cm (length + width + height) or $150 fee applies from 51 lbs / 23 kgs to 70 lbs / 32 kgs. So as long as your bike box is under 50lbs and under 126 linear inches, you’re good to go. Your bike does however fall within normal baggage fees. For more exceptions, see this page at American Airlines.

Silca Has Some Tips for Traveling with Your Bike

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Silca Has Some Tips for Traveling with Your Bike

Traveling with your bike can be a real pain sometimes, yet with the right tips and pointers, even the most potentially stressful endeavors can be as easy as a tailwind. Silca recently reached out to a handful of cyclists, ranging from pros to adventure-seekers to hand over their coveted travel tips. Head to the Silca Blog to read more!

A Turkey Day Escape at the Oak Flat Fire Lookout in the Sequoias

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A Turkey Day Escape at the Oak Flat Fire Lookout in the Sequoias

In Los Angeles, millions of people vacate the city in a yearly migration, creating compelling imagery, representing the trouble with car culture. While we prefer to move about the city by bicycle, we too can’t help but flee its confines by automobile. Yet, in doing so, our attempts are always to get as far away from modern civilization as possible, or at least that’s what I tell myself everytime we load the Land Cruiser up and head out of town.

Sure, I’d rather embark on a bicycle tour during a holiday but when our friend Aimee invited us to the Oak Flat Fire Lookout in the Sequoia National Forest for a Turkey Day celebratory dinner, we couldn’t resist. So, there we were the day before Thanksgiving, escaping LA for the solitude found in its neighboring National Parks and National Forests. Luckily, we were long gone by the time the freeways turned into light shows…

Being Kankōkyaku 観光客 in Japan

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Being Kankōkyaku 観光客 in Japan

Japan is one of my favorite places to travel in the world but it took a few trips there for me to have that realization. Partially because on previous trips, most of my time was spent in Tokyo, leaving much to be desired in terms of riding experience. The main reason was, however, is how embedded the Japanese culture is in their respect for nature. For a country that believes Mt. Fuji is a god, or at least god-like in the modern ethos, I hadn’t seen any of that first hand. Last year’s trip to Nagoya to see our friends at Circles really solidified my love for Japan, but it wasn’t until Cari came out to Japan for a week-long city tour that I saw the true nature of this amazing, yet small and intimate country.

Thank You, London

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Thank You, London

Thank you, London for giving me much needed perspective, some time off from cycling and an opportunity to express my love for dense, urban fabric through photography. While I didn’t get to do anything cycling-related, it did make me want to get back to document many of the shops, makers and builders in the UK.

Now, a serious question: any interest in seeing a gallery from my travels?

Arigatou Gozaimasu, Japan!

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Arigatou Gozaimasu, Japan!

After three weeks on the road in Japan, I’m finally heading back to Los Angeles and just in time for summer. I wanted to thank everyone that made this trip so memorable and to the Circles family for making it possible. I’ll miss this place and its people, but will be back for sure!

Expect regularly-scheduled posts to commence this week, thanks for your patience… ;-)

When in Kyoto!

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When in Kyoto!

I’m still exploring Japan and re-visiting some favorite places, including Kyoto. We’ve been having a blast riding rental bikes around, visiting temples and places of note, including the Bamboo forest. I’ve been photographing a lot of touristy spots over at my personal Instagram @JohnProlly if you’d like to come along for the ride… Otherwise maybe all these photos will make it into a gallery once I’m back Stateside. Japan, you continue to blow my mind!

Jet Lagged in Barcelona with ENVE

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Jet Lagged in Barcelona with ENVE

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!

On the Road to NAHBS

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On the Road to NAHBS


Today’s drive up to Sacramento from LA took made for some great off-roading.

It’s that time of year again. Over the next few days I’ll be attending the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Sacramento. That means a lot of custom bikes will be gracing the pages of the site, beginning tonight, so stay tuned…

Heading West

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Heading West

Today I’m driving a moving truck to Los Angeles. I was going to have a bunch of content ready for you guys while I drive out west, but I ran out of time. See ya Tuesday and I hope everyone had a rad weekend!

xo