I was looking at everyone’s legs. The group of 13 included professional and semi professional racers, life-long athletes focused specifically on their relationship to the bicycle. There aren’t six packs; there’s, like, eight to ten pacs. Some even have muscular faces! How is that even possible to accomplish? Seeing my own soft animal body as lesser than their impressive builds. The grass kept getting greener and greener on the other side of my eyeballs and I felt myself getting smaller and smaller. Where in my body is this discomfort living? I had three days and the grand views around beautiful Big Sur to find the site of where this discomfort lived in my body. Aside from physical discomfort from physical exertion, I came up empty. Instead, I found an interstice where feelings of awe grew and that became my saving grace.
Yesterday we posted Colin Strickland’s winning Allied Able and today, we’re giving Amity Rockwell, the female winner of the DK200’s bike some love. For a complete story and parts breakdown, head over to the Allied Cycle Works blog!
A String of Conversations along the Dirty Kanza XL
In the last week of May, Lael Wilcox rode 650 miles from PEARL iZUMi headquarters in Louisville, Colorado to Emporia, Kansas with Dylan Morton. She rested for 2 days before starting the DKXL, a 339 mile self-supported gravel race through the Kansas Flint Hills. This is the second year of the race.
Part of Lael’s preparation for this year’s Tour Divide was to ride from Boulder, CO to Emporia, KS where she raced the Dirty Kanza XL, which is featured in today’s gallery! Leave it to Lael to ride 700 miles before racing 350 miles! She’s going to be prepared and ready for the TDR this year!
Introduction: We pinged Erin Lamb to write about her experience at this year’s Lost & Found with John’s experience told through the gallery captions. We’re trying new models for event Reportage, so please let us know what you think in the comments! Enjoy!
I lost my wallet a couple of weeks ago, and I’m not searching to find Jesus. I’m pretty sure the wallet fell out of my purse in a parking lot when I pulled some shit out to throw into the back seat. And, the Jesus thing, just not interested. If you’re looking for a feel-good story about stumbling upon the light, then maybe this isn’t for you. This is more of a coming-of-age gravel riding tale dispatched straight from a middle of the pack 65-miler on the Sierra Buttes’ Lost & Found.
Jen Whalen‘s series “the Issue Is” continues with Bikes as Healers, featuring Heather Russell and the Sacred Cycle, an organization dedicated to helping victims of sexual trauma. Read more over at Medium!
Join Anita and Caro Gehrig as they ride the trails of Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua, New Zealand, in prep for the 2019 Enduro World Series.
Quincy, California sits at the northern end of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It’s in the heart of California’s Gold Country where in the mid-1800s, miners from all over the world came for their chance at striking it rich. It’s in part thanks to the Gold Rush that within spitting distance of town, you have access to hundreds of miles of mountainous dirt roads.
While the town itself is small, with not much more than a movie theater and a few places to shop, each year around September the population swells with the crazy two-wheeled set for Grinduro weekend. Juliana’s new drop bar bike, the Quincy, is 100-percent made to rule on this terrain. Before Sea Otter, I was invited down to hang out with the Juliana/Santa Cruz team and test out the Quincy. With a 40+ mile ride in the mountains around Big Basin Redwoods State Park, we rode hard on everything from tarmac connectors and loose chalky gravel to branches, mud, and gopher-hole-checkered grassy downhills.
Words and Photos by Spencer Harding
It’s easy to get lost in the dreamy imagery of bike tours to exotic far-off lands. I’m always making myself feel like everything has to look like a crazy-ass skid backlight by a Kodachrome sunset at the end of the world…but let’s be real in a world of unreal imagery.
Pepper and Sam came down to Tucson to start their trip on the Sky Island Odyssey. Pepper was in from Australia after being away from the states for many years on her way up to a new job in Seattle. Sam, running from the winter on Prince Edward Island and needed no excuse to come down and get sunburnt. Monique and I had been talking at the shop about going camping for a few weeks without any plan coming to fruition. We decided to take Pepper and Sam on a little shakedown ride into the mountains near Tucson before sending them down south on their odyssey. Colin, fresh off getting an OK from the doctor to do some light pedaling after he tore his Achilles, joined us until the route turned uphill!
Our friend Hannah was busy shooting video on the Machines for Freedom Expedition in Utah and it’s live on their website now, along with their photo essay from the trip, written by Mason Griffin. Head on over to the Machines for Freedom blog to check it out.
Lael and friends are featured in the latest spot from Wahoo Fitness, using the new ELEMNT ROAM.
This is the fifth layout of the Radavist 2019 Calendar, entitled “White Cliffs” shot with a Canon 1DX and a 70-200mm lens in Escalante, Utah.
“This Navajo Sandstone formation cascades throughout scenic Highway 12 just outside of Escalante, Utah. A small town named after Sivestre Velez de Escalante, who was on the Domingues-Escalante expedition to Utah in 1776. This is part of the Grand Staircase Escalante, which include various layers of sedimentary crusts forming massive steps. The steps include the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks and all the wonderful lands between. This entire region is under threat of being auctioned off for mineral extraction and privatized coal, oil, and gas removal. Read all about it at the Save the Grand Staircase Escalante website.”
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2019 Calendar – May. 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 Lower San Rafael Road outside of Green River, Utah. Click here to download May’s Mobile Wallpaper.
Sorry this has sold out!
Our friends at the WTF Bikexplorers just announced that tickets are now available for the Second Annual WTF Bikexplorers Summit. The Summit looks to bring people who identify as women, trans, or femme together for a weekend of bikepacking, seminars, workshops, and camaraderie. Check out the full press release below!
Unapologetic. Relentless. Persistent. A Machines for Freedom Expedition in Utah
Words by Aimee Gilchrist, photos by John Watson
The Utah desert, or desert in general, does not often offer comfortable accommodations to outsiders. High winds, isolated vegetation, sun-soaked and shadeless valleys, rapid nocturnal cooling and infrequent precipitation. The desert can feel like a bitter and unforgiving stranger. Lucky for us, Utah was well-behaved. Late March riding and a window between April showers painted the varying landscape with fragrant sage and spring blooms. Barren mesas were glowing with red and gold dust. And instead of the reliable, wind-blown silence often found on these remote roads, our Machines for Freedom team shared conversation and laughter that could be heard echoing in the canyons for miles.
A few months earlier, Jenn Kriske from Machines for Freedom gathered a group of ladies to ride an aggressive route mapped by John Watson. Our MFF riding team consisted of seven badass, hilarious, strong athletes from Santa Barbara and LA to Portland by way of Bozeman and Durango: Jessica Baum (Santa Barbara), Gritchelle Fallesgon (Portland), Mason Griffin (Bozeman), Stephanie Ortega (LA), Ginger Boyd (LA), Sarah Swallow (Durango) and I (LA). Heavy winter snow and rain this Spring impeded the original route and last minute adjustments were made exchanging knee-deep mud for pavement. Our goal was to ride 350 miles from Tropic, Utah to Green River, Utah in 4 days. We were well suited for this undertaking.
We posted a link to Outside’s article on this project already, but it’s now live on Youtube. With today’s Machines for Freedom post, I thought this was a suited tie-in!
Progression happens when people push the current paradigm causing a shift, or a schism in the model. This applies to bicycles as well. From the era of the klunker and the cruiser influencing mountain bikes to people riding 23mm road tires on gravel roads. Hell, I think it’s safe to say that our generation has seen various permutations unfold from people who push their bikes just a little more than others. To the verge, even.
Time Trial on the Arizona Trail 300: The Trail is Always Available
I started thinking about riding the Arizona Trail again while Rue and I were hiking it in November. We took a $5 FlixBus from Tucson to Flagstaff, walked one mile down Historic Route 66 and got on the trail. It took us a month to walk to the Mexican border. Walking was my mental recovery from a summer of racing. The Arizona Trail is a 789 mile hiking trail across the state. With a bike, it’s a hybrid– mostly riding, but a considerable amount of pushing too. It’s hard. It took me 270 miles of walking to start dreaming about getting back on the bike. I remember the moment– we were hiking the Gila River section and my mind started tracing the curves of the trail with bicycle wheels. And it hit me, what if I rode the Arizona Trail with a bigger, more capable bike?