I made a comment on Twitter this morning about “cross practice”. To me, bike control is inherently more important than learning mounting and dismounting techniques. If you’re new to cross, riding in the woods will teach you everything you need to know, from cornering, dismounting, run ups and bunnyhopping. Clinics are great and I fully support them but you’ll learn more eating shit on a trail than riding in a grass field.
You can learn other techniques as you go, but bike control is going to win you a race, not saving a fraction of a second on your dismount (especially if you’re a new rider / racer). Get out in the woods and get rad. Ride, have fun and eventually, you will be damn good at it and make it look easy! As exhibited here by Matt Hall on the new Breadwinner Cycles Hole Shot cyclocross bike.
Granted Matt Hall has been racing cross in Portland for over a decade… Check out more lovely detail shots of this rad bike at Breadwinner and apologies for my Monday morning rantings.
Look, I love the ‘wood and I love dirt. I’d rather spend six hours in the woods than three on sealed road. Why? It’s more fun. Especially when you find yourself on a 29+ MTB like a Surly Krampus (don’t worry, there’s a review coming). On one of my last days in Minneapolis, Jeff, Kyle and I rode the “River Bottoms” with Baroo, Jeff’s dog.
We took it at a chill pace, messed around on obstacles and stopped for the photo opps… Then, Kyle sprained his ankle and Baroo got overheated (90 degrees in Minneapolis is HOT).
I have to admit, in the 25 miles we rode, I had so much fun riding in the ‘wood with my mates. See for yourself in the narrated Gallery!
While local developer group, Two Trees Management begins to plan construction on the lot across from the now defunct Domino Sugar factory on Kent avenue in Williamsburg, Ride Brooklyn snatched it up for a year-long lease. After working on the site for weeks, the Ride Brooklyn staff, along with volunteers have finally opened the gates to the first ever Brooklyn Bike Park.
This football field sized pump track offers various lines to rip on, depending on the rider’s skill level. When I was in New York a few weeks back, I stopped by to check it out and shoot some photos of this dirt oasis.
Check out more narrated photos in the Gallery!
Some scenes evoke a certain resonance within our subconscious… ok, whatever, go out and find some dirt this weekend to rip around on.
Tools of the trade:
Yashica T4 / Pro400H
Over the years, some of these guys have become good friends of mine and I’ve enjoyed watching their lives change in the time that the Rapha Continental has been around. Since its inception, the Continental not only influenced the lives of the members, but undoubtably cycling as a whole.
Watching this video from the 2013 Pacific Northwest Rapha Continental ride, all I can think about is doing something similar with a group of close friends. The PNW really is gorgeous.
See more incredible photos at the Rapha Flickr and read Jeremy Dunn’s thoughts on the ride at Rapha.
Ever have one of those rides where a crazed redneck kicks you off “his mountain” and you end up somewhat lost, having to re-route yourself? Yeah. This was one of those rides. Not that I’m complaining. If Santa Cruz is dirt heaven, then surely the roads are worth a mention.
During the ATOC this year, a few of us got together and rode from Santa Cruz to San Jose. Leading the way was Garrett Chow on his FEA Venge. He promised a big climb, some poaching, a little dirt and heat, heat, heat. All of which were delivered. Then our route was truncated short by the above-mentioned, real king of the mountain…
60 miles and 4,000′ later and we were in San Jose, just in time to watch the last TT and drink a few beers. It’s a bummer we missed the stage, but so it goes. Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery!
Tools of the trade:
TCB gets into the dirt for a quick ride in some of San Francisco’s trails.
My childhood winters and summers were spent on the Canadian border in Vermont. To this day, a majority of my dad’s side of the family lives in the Green Mountains and their foothills (Vermont actually translates to green mountain in French).
After a 17 hour drive yesterday, my mom, Lauren and I arrived at my aunt’s house. She lives on the top a hill that as we were driving up it last night, all I could think about was bombing down it and consequently riding back up on my Geekhouse Mudville.
This morning, like an excited kid on Christmas, I kitted up and headed down to the main road before turning around and climbing back up. My plan was to do it four times, but neighboring hunting dogs kept me from more than two intervals.
These country roads are amazing. Most of which are closed during the winter months and are straight out of an “epic” ride video. Even though I’ve only got two days up here in the mountains, I’m planning on sneaking a ride in tomorrow morning before heading to Burlington on Friday for the JDRF ride with my mom and brother.
Remarkably, I’ve got wifi in the middle of nowhere, so I’ll do my best to update the site as events warrant.
As a side-note: I’m really digging the RX100!
Sometimes, good coffee is more than enough motivation to do a quick ride through Golden Gate Park in SF. If you don’t have time for the San Bruno loop, there’s a quicker way. The first time I made it out to Trouble Coffee was with Chas, back in May when I was in town for the ATOC. This time, the sandwich board spoke its words of wisdom with one simple phrase: Live to Shred. We rolled back through the park, bumped into Marc and swung by the De Young museum, one of my all-time favorite HdM projects.
I can’t say I shredded much riding home, filled with toast and coffee but it did make for some excellent photos of the #lightbro through GGP… See more in the gallery!
Get out and ride. Soak in the sun. Seek the sound and most of all, have fun while you’re doing it. Forget about the numbers and just ride.
Tools of the trade: