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Full Circle on the Grand Loop: Part I – Trail Visions Ahead of Their Time

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Full Circle on the Grand Loop: Part I – Trail Visions Ahead of Their Time

“It took 18 miles of new trail to get around that 800 feet,” Paul Koski explained to me, shaking his head incredulously. “18 miles for 800 feet! I couldn’t believe it. It took years to make that happen, but I really think it was actually a huge improvement for the Paradox Trail.”

I stood leaning against a table saw in Koski’s woodworking shop in a massive quonset hut in the tiny town of Nucla, Colorado. He was sharing stories spanning several decades of history related to the Grand Loop and the Paradox Trail. Folks like Koski rarely receive the recognition they deserve for years upon years of dedication to mountain bike advocacy. The afternoon before, I had finished riding for 53 hours straight to set a new record on the Grand Loop, and although my mind was still a bit foggy from the effort, I was excited to finally have the chance to meet Koski. Whether he realized it or not, his efforts and those of others like him in the area had literally changed the trajectory of my own life years before.

Stridsland: 94 bcd Narrow Wide Chainrings

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Stridsland: 94 bcd Narrow Wide Chainrings

Matias Stridsland is really into old 26″ bikes, so much so that he’s developing a line of products to keep these bikes and their period correct parts on the roads and trails.

Dropping today are these chainrings for 94 bcd 5-bolt cranks, in 36, 38, and 40 tooth count and five colors. There’s also a Ti top cap, chainring bolt sets, self-extracting crank bolts, and “Ride Slow, Die Whenever” stickers in today’s drop.

Follow along on Stridsland’s Instagram if you love old bikes like this, and keep an eye out for the zitted-up Barnacle fork and aptly-named Anchor bar later this year.

Colin’s Rat Rod Kona Exsplosif

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Colin’s Rat Rod Kona Exsplosif

The story of this bike starts before it entered my life.  It starts with a place, a center of creativity and bike culture. It starts with Citizens warehouse. In 2007 my sister Cailin joined a newly formed youth cycling club called El Grupo through her high school. The club centered around a DIY ethic and she built herself a bike at a then 18-year-old bike collective called BICAS. BICAS lived in the basement of a haggard old warehouse called The Citizens Transfer Warehouse affectionately known as Citizens.  Cailin quickly fell in love with cycling and being my best friend she built me a single-speed road bike and encouraged me to come to see what El Grupo and BICAS were all about.

Not a Yeti: Gravel Jesus’ Surly Midnight Special Pro Fro Tribute Bike

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Not a Yeti: Gravel Jesus’ Surly Midnight Special Pro Fro Tribute Bike

The mid of March is usually a time where you think about the upcoming season and what kind of adventures you are going to tackle during springtime. Suddenly, the world is closing down, throwing everyone into the status of the unknown. Leaving us with restless and raving minds. Diving into the world of bikes has always been a great way of escaping reality for me. Let it be physically or virtually – if you don´t have the chance for some saddle time.

I was blessed to have the chance of getting my first taste of ultra-cycling at the Atlas Mountain Race last February. The harsh brutality of the Morrocan rock fields brought up the first ideas for this project. Rocks and smaller stones hitting my frame and rims for hours let me think about how I would repaint my bike after the race.

Bailey’s Rocky Mountain Hammer Basket Bike

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Bailey’s Rocky Mountain Hammer Basket Bike

The almighty basket bike. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Doesn’t need flashy components. Just build it out for practical uses… like wallrides!

Earlier this year, Bailey got the idea to convert this older Rocky Mountain Hammer frame into a basket bike. His intent with the bike was to have a no-nonsense, do-it-all beater that he could lock up anywhere and not worry about it. Yet, because it’s Bailey, there was a twist to this bike’s use…

Panasonic Mountain Cat Project

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Panasonic Mountain Cat Project

Sometimes the best bikes for camping are the ones you’ve got or ones that are gifted to you. Although this bike is the latter, many people right now are clamoring to source a bike, partially brought on by the pandemic, a rekindled love for cycling, and scarcity of bikes. There may be a rad bike in your future and you don’t even know it yet.  It might just be the one if your basement, parents garage or a craigslist ad. An 80s MTB seems to make the perfect donor bike to get out, explore more, and connect with nature.

Readers’ Rides: RJ Rabe’s Sequoia Basket Bike Build

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Readers’ Rides: RJ Rabe’s Sequoia Basket Bike Build

For this week’s Readers’ Rides, our friend RJ Rabe shares his vintage Sequoia townie build in a high res gallery…

I don’t know much about this particular Sequoia before it came into my life. Beyond that, it lived in the rafters of my friend Austin Horse’s New York apartment before I brought it back to California some years ago. You can see the sticker from the shop that originally sold it on the seat tube, with the protective film somewhat intact.