I’d like to think the kind of riding my friends and I enjoy would be considered “dumb”. From the freestyle on track bikes, all the way to the trail riding on cross bikes (even road bikes), sometimes, it’s just more fun to use the lesser-capable tool for the job. When Sean from Team Dream asked if Ty, Eric, Kyle and I wanted to ride Backbone trail during my last trip in LA, I said hell yes. Then I asked “which bike should I bring to LA?” The answer was what I had hoped for: cyclocross.
My bike has been through the ringer and it’s still one of my favorites to ride. Climbing some serious mountains, both on sealed and gravel, blasting trails in Texas, Vermont, California, Australia, Minnesota or where ever my travels take me. It’s been the most diverse beast in my stable. This ride however, this ride outdid just about everything else.
The day would be big. 60 miles and 7,500′ of climbing. 85% on dirt. Most of it on legitimate / illegitimate singletrack. There were very few chill spots. This was a MTB ride on 33c tires and drop bars. Even as part of our group passed a guy on a full sus MTB riding a downhill section, the dude had the audacity to label our cross bikes as “cheater bikes”. Ok Mr. fullface helmet and pads.
For as many fire road climbs, there were 1-track descents. Nothing was too technical or difficult to ride down, but some parts were too steep to climb with a 34/28. To top it off, I broke my fucking pedal in half at mile 20, Eric was just getting over a serious injury from a car hitting him and we were grossly unprepared for the lack of water.
High points: finding water that had been stashed in the bushes for months (the labels were bleached out, condensation formed at the top – i.e. it had been forgotten), the damn Coke machine at the Malibu Creek State Park (make sure you have plenty of $1 bills – I had 10), the subsequent swimming hole and wearing a hip bag, stuffed with a mushy breakfast burrito from Pedalers Fork.
THE HERO OF THE DAY WAS CARLA, SEAN’S GIRLFRIEND FOR DROPPING US OFF AND PICKING US UP!
We started at the Yerba Lot trailhead (one, 10 mile section is closed to bikes, so we had to re-route around that) and ended at the Santa Monica pier inside the photo booth.
I know I post a lot of ride photosets, but this one is not one to be missed! Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery!
Tools of the trade:
Yashica T4 / Kodak Portra 400
These days, it’s tough to decide on your stopping method. With some systems failing, skewer genocide on the horizon, and awkward setup required, the hydro disc cross and road bike market is at critical mass (no pun intended). I do however find this photo of the Dura Ace hydro caliper on the latest Firefly easy on the eyes.
Man, I miss the shit out of NYC this time of year. Everyone is anxious about Monster Track! Scoop up one of these shirts at Affinity. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Monster Track events, parties and prize money. Sounds good to me!
This is perhaps one of the most beautiful cycling videos I’ve seen all year and it doesn’t hurt to have such great people in it! Juliet Elliott and Dave Noakes and got to ride in Talamona, a small town in the heart of the Italian Alps, where Met is based.
When the Foot Down first made this graphic, every skater turned track bike rider couldn’t help but crack a huge grin. Fast forward from 2010 to modern times and a lot has changed. Do you still own a track bike? Can you skid? Does your girlfriend even care anymore? Whatever your answer is, swoop up one of these prints, because nostalgia dies hard. Like the Aerospoke fad…
Pick up a print at The Foot Down!
Erik Noren. There can be only one. This man makes me laugh more than anyone else at NAHBS. Every year, the man behind Peacock Groove outdoes himself and wows the crowd with his tribute bikes. Some are Voltron-themed, others pay homage to the Evil Dead, while others are just so damn rad! Peacock Groove is unlike any other frame company I know of…
While I expected to see Erik in the throes of production for NAHBS, I didn’t expect to see his long-time side project “The Plus System” underway. While I won’t go into too much detail on what the Plus System is, I will say it’s a line of in-house designed and manufactured headsets, available with a Peacock Groove frame. There’s more to come on that – at NAHBS, for now, let’s look at some photos from Erik’s well kempt work space.
John Slawta’s work is easily some of the most recognizable in the world. While many have attempted to emulate his paint jobs over the years, even a subtle coat like this one is still strikingly unique. Landsharks are known for one thing: their paint, which is a shame. It’s only a disservice in the sense that Slawta’s fillets are undeniably clean.
Whereas some builders need to cover their work with flashy paint (called the pig with lipstick phenom), Slawta could walk away with a single color just fine. Yet, his bikes are all wild. Even when it comes to just two or three shades of blue (don’t mind the gypsum road residue splatted on the seat tube).
Spencer bought this frame off eBay and began to scrounge up parts. While it appears to be a balleur build, it was still done on a budget. The wheels were gifted to him by his dad (the bike would have still looked great with a box section rim), who also rides, the bars and stem were from his local shop’s spare parts bin. The SRAM Red though, that was purchased new.
Taking a vintage steel frame and dressing it up in a modern component group is by no means anything new, but there’s something special about seeing one done so tastefully…
See more in the Gallery!
Photos by Jesse Carmody
This is too good!
“NEWS BREAK- Provocative Photos of Instagram Superhunk Surface!
Los Angeles is a city. A tough city. A city that pulls in young vibrantly ambitious male models, willing to do (literally) anything to make a buck and get their name out. These men are are consistently treated like pieces of hot meat, all the while trading their sexuality in hopes of one day making it “Tracko Big”. “Its sick and its cruel but that’s just the way it goes in this dirty bitch town”, says former sex god & male model turned internet bicycle legand Sheldon Brown. Mr. Hollywood Ultra Romance is no exception to this rule and these new photos are the most recent in a long line of sultry images that have recently popped up.”
Oh… and these Chubby Bobcat T Shirts are for sale too
Check out the other new Team Dream Bicycling Team products while you’re at it:
Seriously, Sean is killing it!