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Crust Bikes for Thereabouts: Limited Edition Bombora ‘Dark Canyon’ Frames

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Crust Bikes for Thereabouts: Limited Edition Bombora ‘Dark Canyon’ Frames

The story of this bike begins as most good stories do, with a group of kids, a backyard, and the bikes we got for X-mas. We would spend every afternoon after school modifying our bikes removing the brakes, and switching the wheels, twisting the forks, and reversing the handle bars all to suit our childish logic. Then we’d race them around the yard, until dark. To us, that was cycling. It wasn’t about going faster or longer, it was about making it our own.

That childish curiosity is how we’ve looked at the bike ever since. As a form of expression, discovery and freedom, it’s that idea that has taken us from the Frankenstein bikes in our backyard across the roads of the entire World. Our bikes are the tool that has allowed us to do what we love in the most beautiful places in the world with the most interesting people.

Finding Common Ground

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Finding Common Ground

I’m not at all accustomed to talking about my love for backcountry mountain biking within the confines of a stale hotel ballroom. In a past lifetime as a geologist, I gave plenty of ballroom presentations about glacial erosion, cosmogenic radionuclides, and Arctic climate change – it’s easy to get academics to connect to your words in such a bland setting. But how do a couple of mountain bikers get an audience of equestrians to connect with a shared passion for the backcountry from within the confines of a suburban cube?

A Swell Time in the San Rafael Swell

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A Swell Time in the San Rafael Swell

Through the arid silence, you could hear the past rumble and scream.

The clangs and grunts and dust penetrated time, a ghost of the hurried chaos of carnotite extraction, the very earth from which we amassed the mineral components of uranium to drop the bombs on Japan. Makeshift stone huts, left behind by the miners, could be mistaken for thousand-year-old relics from the relentless winds, sun, and sandblasting of central Utah.

Wayward Duck Decoys and a Few Dingdongs: Bikerafting the San Juan River

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Wayward Duck Decoys and a Few Dingdongs: Bikerafting the San Juan River

Last Fall when planning my trip to Colorado for a beta-trip with Lizzy Scully and Steve “Doom” Fassbinder of Four Corners Guides bikepacking in the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park, they invited me to double down for the week and do a bike rafting trip near Kayenta, AZ on the Navajo Nation. If you are like me and have literally spent hours pouring over maps and cryptic hints trying to decipher some of Doom’s trips then the obvious answer to being invited on a bikerafting trip with Dr. Doom himself was a no-fucking-brainer. I just had to prep myself to not be too star-struck. 

SSCXWC 2019 St. George: Ain’t No Party Like a SSCXWC Party Because a SSCXWC Party Don’t Stop

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SSCXWC 2019 St. George: Ain’t No Party Like a SSCXWC Party Because a SSCXWC Party Don’t Stop

November 23rd, 2019 brought the absurd to Santa Clara, Utah with the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships. Less about racing, and more about chaos on a bicycle, the SSCXWC travels to a different destination every year to showcase a variety of terrain and whatever shenanigans the host city decides to throw at racers.

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SSCXWC in Utah Video!

ENVE has pulled together quite the SSCXWCUT recap video!

“Oh, the Single Speeder. Heroic, Athletic, Stout, Bibilous, and Brave. Each year SSCXWC brings together the greatest well-rounded riders in the world to test their mettle through Feats of Strength and the most demanding cyclocross courses known to man. The red rock deserts of Southern Utah played host to this mythical event for 2019, introducing St. George to a cyclist it has only ever heard of in storybook legends.”

Hats off, team!

Bikepacking Navajoland with Dzil Ta’ah Adventures

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Bikepacking Navajoland with Dzil Ta’ah Adventures

“See that rock formation over there, and the other skinnier one in the distance?” Jon Yazzie says, “they represent the story and fate of Big Snake and Owl Maiden.  Big Snake came from what is called Sugar Loaf near Mexican Hat, Utah slithering its way down, and eventually ending up coiled around Agathla Peak or (what Kit Carson called) “El Capitan.” The Owl promised to look over Big Snake until he came back to life again.  Owl is frozen in sandstone looking right at big snake on Agathla Peak.” Having passed through Kayenta countless times, driving from the southwest US to Moab, or further into Colorado, these prominent volcanic plugs and sandstone towers rising iconically out of a sea of sandy fields and sandstone mesas have always caught my eye. As we rested there just a few miles into the ride, legs slung overloaded bikes attempting to absorb everything Jon was telling us about the surrounding landscape, I knew this was going to be a special weekend.

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Best of Rampage

RedBull has pulled together a best-of highlight video from this year’s Rampage and it’s worth the watch!

Celebrate the SSCXWC19UT with this Salt Air Lizard King Cross Frameset

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Celebrate the SSCXWC19UT with this Salt Air Lizard King Cross Frameset

To celebrate the forthcoming SSCXWC19UT, Salt Lake City builder Salt Air is offering up a made in Utah ‘cross frameset. The Men’s and Women’s winners will each receive one of these ‘Lizard King Cross’ frames with ENVE fork in their size. Salt Air is also offering the frameset to interested parties at $2,175 (as pictured with the painted-to-match ENVE fork and Thomson collar). Check out more photos and details at the Salt Air Website!

The Radavist 2019 Calendar: October

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The Radavist 2019 Calendar: October

This is the tenth layout of the Radavist 2019 Calendar, entitled “Sandstone Sunset” shot with a Canon 5D and a 24-70mm lens in Bryce, Utah.

“Bryce Canyon and the northern region of the Colorado Plateau has been home to the Paiute since 1200 A.D. and before them, the Fremont and Anasazi (a weighted name with indigenous propaganda roots) since 200 A.D. Not much information is out there regarding the creation of Thunder Mountain. Sure the National Forest service made the trail, but did this area have previous navigation lines? What we do know is that indigenous peoples have long called this part of the Colorado Plateau home and it has great spiritual energy for the First Nations even today:

“Before there were humans, the Legend People, To-when-an-ung-wa, lived in that place. There were many of them. They were of many kinds – birds, animals, lizards, and such things, but they looked like people. They were not people. They had the power to make themselves look that way. For some reason the Legend People in that place were bad; they did something that was not good, perhaps a fight, perhaps some stole something….the tale is not clear at this point. Because they were bad, Coyote turned them all into rocks. You can see them in that place now all turned into rocks; some standing in rows, some sitting down, some holding onto others. You can see their faces, with paint on them just as they were before they became rocks. The name of that place is Angka-ku-wass-a-wits (red painted faces). This is the story the people tell.” – NPS

For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2019 Calendar – October. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)

The mobile background this month is also from Bryce. Click here to download October’s Mobile Wallpaper.

Mark from Prova Cycles’ Ripido Prototype MTB, aka the ParTi Hardtail

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Mark from Prova Cycles’ Ripido Prototype MTB, aka the ParTi Hardtail

During the ENVE Open House framebuilder exhibit, one builder traveled further than the others: Mark from Prova Cycles in Melbourne, Australia. I’d never seen a Prova in person. Instead, I’ve had to check out his work via the lens of FYXO and the Prova Instagram. Mark learned at the Bicycle Academy in the UK and has been really putting in work on his brand. Let me tell you. It shows.

Riding Utah’s Thunder Mountain: a Trail with Residual Harmony on Santa Cruz Reserve 37 29er Wheels

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Riding Utah’s Thunder Mountain: a Trail with Residual Harmony on Santa Cruz Reserve 37 29er Wheels

If a trail is made by humans, versus game or erosion, does it carry along with it historical remnants of the trail builder’s psyche? Humans use tools to create trails and these tools are guided by feats of strength, both physical and mental. What happens when strength is combined with emotion? Are those emotional remnants carried along the path, forever altering the harmony of its intentional meanderment? Trails are all about control. Direction. Intention. Is there a marking of metaphysical energy within them?