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.
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:
Here’s an unexpected piece from the NY Times on the rising popularity of gravel grinders like the Dirty Kanza 200. Worth the watch for sure!
Photos by Craig Lindner
Because of a huge scheduling snafu on my part, I couldn’t make it to the Almanzo 100 or the Royal 162 this year. People are saying that it was a brutal ride and Craig’s photos are striking proof. Over 100 miles and around 7,000′ on gravel is no joke and the Royal 162 looked like a brute as well.
I hate to say it but “next year”… til then, check out all of Craig’s photos at his Flickr.
Ok, brace yourselves here. This bike is absolutely stunning. It’s no secret that Jordan Hufnagel made some Beautiful Bicycles in his days as a frame builder and I feel like in the last few months of his torch time, the bikes he built were so full of class and character. Ty’s cross, his own porteur and Jesse’s “Fire Road Racer”.
When you are from LA, you’re very familiar with the various fire roads and singletrack off-shoots. After spending time on his road bike, carefully descending down these rutted and rocky descents, Jesse decided it was time for a more fitting vehicle… See more in Gallery!
It’s the sort of tale that is the segue into a horror movie. A few mates take to the ‘Strayan wood to celebrate one of them turning forty years young. They don’t have a support car, one (ok two) of them has a camera and all hell breaks loose. Right? Well, not hardly. No hell broke loose, no hillbillies made us squeal like pigs and no thirty foot crock ate our tour guide.
In fact, we all made it out unscathed, including my film…
Tools of the trade:
Fuji Neopan 400