I shoot so many photos, cover so many events and rides that oftentimes, I lose track of my journeys. When Mission Workshop / Acre offered to take me to Eurobike and then a mountain bike expedition in the Alps, how could I say no? It was such an amazing time and personally, the photos I took on that trip are some of my favorite.
Acre’s in the process of telling stories on their new Journal. One of which being my trip to the Alps, entitled Decompression. Head over to the Acre Journal to read more and check out some nicely laid out images.
I have to admit, it was a little weird traveling with my Santa Cruz Tallboy LTC instead of a cross bike this last trip to Los Angeles. Riding mountain takes it out of you. There isn’t the same kind of physical recovery or relaxation that you get on a road bike. No zoning out. You’ve gotta be there 100% of the time, or there are consequences and I knew we’d be hitting it hard every day.
Apprehension aside, the first ride we took on was Upper Chilao in the Angeles Forest, off the 2. I’d been up in this neck of the woods before on my road and cross bikes, but never on a mountain bike. I knew what to expect for the most part: upper altitude desert / arid riding. There would be no mud, but rather rocks, sandy switchbacks and fast, technical descents.
On the ride was Brandon, Sean from Team Dream, Kyle, Ty from GSC and Lyle from Mission Workshop. That’s three cross country bikes, a fatbike and two Tallboy LTCs. We were prepared, already hitting the flask and ready to roll, but first, a small climb up to the Rosenita Saddle…
I’m back in Austin, before heading to NC to see my family next week for the Holidays and while I’m perfectly content being home, I miss these tracks and trails. This weekend, get out if you can. Although for most of the US, I doubt it’ll be this sunny!
Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of sampling the MTB industry’s best 29r’s on the market. All of which, I might add, are exceptional machines and with the right parts and group, can easily be tailored to your riding style and home terrain. While my Indy Fab rigid has proven to be more than fun on my local trails here in Austin, it’s still a rigid bike, limiting not only the lines you can take, but the speed at which you can take them. The latter being one thing I’ve found out the hard way: the faster you thrash, the harder you crash.
One might argue that riding a new bike on unfamiliar trails is a true test of the bike’s performance and the rider’s ability. While I’ll surely agree with that, seeing as how my experiences with many 29r’s have been on new trails, I will say that ripping your local trails on a new bike is the true test. Especially a more than capable ride like Santa Cruz’s Tallboy LTC. Add a Sram XX1 group and ENVE‘s tubeless-ready wheels and you’ve got more than enough reason to thrash fast.
At this point, I’ve spent enough time on a Tallboy to back my bold claims and even with this bike’s accumulated accolades since its inception, I don’t think anyone will disagree with me.
Check out more of my Trail Tested review of the Santa Cruz Tallboy LTC below!
Santa Cruz‘s videos are always on point, if you like a video with a bit of a story. It’s Friday, so surely you’ve got enough time on your hands to watch their newest edit, featuring the Heckler and some insane trail footage.
Enter day 05 of nothing but Alpine mountain biking with Mission Workshop. My body is still sore, almost a week later and all I can think about is how much fun we all had. The morning was cold, damp and silent, save for the cow bells that somehow echoed through the valley all night, barely being muted by the drunken Swiss wine-tasting party that erupted outside my open hotel window.
Lyle and I awoke at 7am and ate breakfast with Stefan (owner of Stilrad Zurich) and Alberto. 7:30am we rolled out into the misty mountains. From the onset, today was supposed to be quite easy, with a few technical sections and one nasty, nasty climb. At this point, the extra rain clothes and merino base layers I brought became a burden. Every ounce of extra weight in my backpack seemed to pull me back down each climb. Not to mention the 5Dmkii and 24-70mm lens… But hey, that’s my job right?
We made it out just fine, save for a few spills, a few flats and loose legs. All I could think of was drinking a sparkling water and a Radler… 30 miles and 4,000′ of climbing at altitude, on a MTB is no joke.
Check out more narrated photos in the Gallery!
Side note: I want to thank everyone who made this trip possible. Stefan, Alberto, Mission Workshop, Santa Cruz Bicycles and anyone else who helped us out along the way. THANK YOU!
After two days of #Alpvibes, I’m back in Zurich for the evening before flying back to Austin tomorrow. These past few days have been incredible. Some of the trails were super steep and technical, while others just danced like ribbons in the wind along the ranges. No one was seriously hurt but we all ate shit and yeah, nothing like climbs that averaged 25%…
In the world of high-end, performance mountain bikes, Santa Cruz wears a crown. Maybe not as a ruler of all, but most certainly the world of the 29′r. When the Tallboy was first released, it was widely praised as the first 29′r that actually exceeded expectations.
I’m not a jealous person, but I must say, Lyle’s Tallboy LTC is one balleur bicycle. With a component list like Chris King, SRAM XX1, Rock Shox 150mm Pike and even that stubby Thomson MTB stem, this bike has seen it all. Well, as far as the Trans-Provence, Swiss Alps, Chamonix and riding in Åre, Sweden for the whole summer shooting the Acre line is concerned. The dude and this bike are living the dream.
After quite a few emails, requesting detail shots of this bike, I took a few minutes to shoot some photos prior to our ride in Glarus… Check out more in the Gallery!
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Prolly is not Probably started in 2006 in Brooklyn, New York. For over 6 years it has thrived as John Watson, the sole author, documents multiple facets of cycling. With the boom of urban cycling, Prolly is Not Probably has grown to be the number one blog for the culture surrounding it. In recent years, a large push for original content has spawned a steady flow of photosets, profiles and portraits.
Known for his A Day in 10 Photos, Merckx Mondays, Recent Roll, Shop Visits, and Beautiful Bicycles features, John continues to document bicycles of all kinds and his daily life through photos. Over the years, Prolly is Not Probably has been cited in the New York Times, COG Magazine, Urban Velo and other notable publications. In March of 2011, John moved to Austin, Texas where he continues to cover a cross section of cultural influences.