Photo by Jordan Clark Haggard
I love these roads and this photograph that Jordan shot for Rapha during the LA Gentlemen’s race. See a few more selects here!
Photos by Fredrik Posse
It’s not everyday that PiNP does a Reader’s Rides post. In fact, it’s been months! When I received this email from Fredrik however, I had to share. The world of the fat tire road bike has expanded rapidly with the growing popularity of ‘gravel grinder’ rides. While I’ll say that cross bikes are the best all-rounders, some people want to tune their ride with a slightly different characteristics.
That’s what Fredrik achieved with his his new ride. Check out more below!
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.
Photo by Brian Vernor
Living in the Great Plains of the US means you spend a lot of time riding gravel roads and it just so happens, people take that very seriously these days. Today was the Gravel Road World Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska and Brian Vernor has some great photos up on his Flickr from last year’s event. I’d love to make it out and “compete” one year.
Check out Brian Vernor’s full Flickr set here.
EDIT: Congrats to Austin Horse for winning the Gravel Worlds!
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.
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!
If you enjoy riding up and down ranges in the ‘wood, or tearing down fire roads, then Santa Cruz is heaven. There’s even great road riding but this trip, we stuck to the trails. USCSC has a ton of trails on its campus, all of which cross, zig zag, ascend and descend around neighboring systems. When I initially headed down from SF with Brian Vernor, my cross bike was in the car, which would have been a fine vehicle for the day but I made a few phone calls and ended up demo’ing an Ibis Ripley instead. Let’s just say the day was probably a lot more enjoyable (hopefully I’ll be able to review that bike extensively in the future).
Garrett from Strawfoot, Vernor and I did a series of loops, ranging from relatively technical, loose and sandy descents to wide-open, no fucks given blast-fests down through Wilder. None of us had a Garmin on our bikes, so I have no idea how long we were out there, or how far we traveled, but my legs told me around 30 ish miles and in trails, that’s a long afternoon, especially when Santa Cruz was spiking into the 90′s and no, that’s not a reference to the vernacular style of the town.
Santa Cruz was heaven for those few hours and people often ask why I don’t shoot photos of the more technical, beautiful singletrack when I ride MTB. It’s because we’re going too fast and no one wants to stop! Except when someone wrecks…
My extended family grows every time I visit San Francisco. They’re always there to party, ride and pause for photos (usually I actually have to chase them for photos). The day I got into SF during my last stay, I met up with a group of fit fellas for a little road and a lotta dirt, right over the Golden Gate Bridge. Hawk Hill is the staple ride for many cyclists in SF. There are trails, singletrack and roads literally snaking all the way up to the top. Most of us were on cross bikes and a few were on road bikes. We all had fun, regardless! Check out more photos in the Gallery.
Tools of the trade: