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!
Since moving to Austin, Ian from Icarus has been making custom steel frames for my friends. Many of which have requested an all-arounder of sorts from him. Ross already has a pretty deep stable of frames. A Richard Sachs cross, a Speedvagen road and now this Icarus light tourer.
I say light tourer because Ross is a bit of a camping weight weenie. Usually a bivy sack will do the trick on top of his titanium Tubus rack. For the front end, Ross chose a Wound Up fork for its fender mounts and tire clearance. He didn’t want ‘cross clearances’, just room for a 28c and fenders. Right now, he’s got it set up for a few weekend outings and just the other day, he put over 300 miles on it.
Other highlights are the split-paintjob chevrons, precisely finished by Bryan Myers at Fresh Frame and full Campagnolo gruppo. Personally, this is one of my favorite Icarus frames, mostly because it’s so tailored to Ross’ idiosyncratic tastes. Check out more below!
At this point, we’ve all come to accept the fact that the Brovet is cursed! Yonder Journal was in Austin for Brovet #04 this past weekend and after all the warm weather we had the past few weeks, mother nature turned on us yet again.
The temperature dropped over 40 degrees in 7 hours and as we set out into the mid-30 degree, rainy, windy weather, all we could do was laugh. Ok, so no one cried, but we were all pretty broken.
Even though we didn’t finish the route I planned, we all completed the altered course. Check out a few Instagram photos from the ride below! Of course, there will be more from Yonder Journal and myself in the future…
Yep. It’s going to be fun. Real fun. So fun, that you’ll probably spend more time off your bike, than on, depending on your skill level…
Jeff from All-City has wanted to visit Austin since first going to NAHBS, so we conceived a crack-pot idea of throwing a race and flying Tracko out as the ringer.
Prizes are going to be good, but limited. $5 buy in. Race starts at 7pm, with registration opening at 6:30pm. 18+ ONLY. Meet at the Roy G Guerrero park gazebo in East Austin. Ride whatever you’ve got! Come race, or just hang out and heckle. It’s going to be in a public park, so alcohol isn’t technically allowed. Be creative… Afterparty TBA.
It’s going to be a dark course, like, no stadium lights, so bring a good riding lamp. There will be some technical singletrack, run ups, sand pits and a few surprises.
I know it’s kinda short notice, but if you’re able to come out, do so. We’ll be riding cross and MTBs all week.
Last night brought the third and most fun edition of the Beat the Clock Cycling and Cycleast Urbocross race series. Why was it fun? It was a long course, on singletrack, doubletrack, hobo trails and taped sections through woodchips. Also, it had the gnarliest runup I’ve ever seen. This area of town is one of my favorite training grounds and last night, a couple dozen racers found out why. See for yourself in the Gallery!
This past weekend brought the first cross race of the season to Texas: the Bicycle Sport Shop Six Shooter. Since my first cross race at the end of last year’s season, I’ve been looking forward to this event all summer. I spend so much time on my cross bike during the off-season, that it’s only natural for me to push myself and it, to the test. After getting a good night’s sleep, I cleaned up the bike and headed out to the course to see what Austin had prepared for us.
Turns out, the BSS Six Shooter broke records this year. It was the biggest turn out to a cross race in Texas history. Now, I know that may not seem like a big deal to the Northwest or Northeastern United States but it was a huge turnout. My class had 80 racers register! It was a bit intimidating, but I just broke free like a demon and ended up winning. I guess ripping through the woods really is a great form of “training”. Since I was blasted the rest of the Saturday, I decided I’d shoot photos on Sunday and cheer on my friends.
There were thrills, hella funny spills (sorry Josh, I had to) and good times were had. Check out more in the Gallery!
I’m not a racer, nor do I train. Cycling to me is mutually exclusive to racing and here in Austin, it’s something I try to encourage: just because you ride bikes doesn’t mean they have to be taken super seriously. Maybe that’s what my initial attraction to cyclocross was?
Sure, you can take ‘cross seriously, train, get down to race weight and kill it. But that gets old pretty fast. Riding bikes to me is an escape from my job and while I may always appear to be working while I’m riding, I need a way to shut off the world and just have fun.
I’ve been wanting to throw a fun and weird race in Austin for some time. All of the group rides I put on take people who are great cross racers and put them in uncomfortably “weird” situations. For me, being able to ride on a whim and trust your instincts is what makes a great racer…
Luckily, Jeff from All-City feels the same way.
Mid-November, we’ll be throwing a “Keep Cross Weird” race here in Austin. There will be an All-City frame up for grabs in the men’s and women’s categories, as well as a post-race sprint for cash. That entire week, we’ll be riding, getting weird and enjoying bikes off-road.
Basically, prepare to have some fun!
Austin, Texas is my home. I know that sounds strange because I’m rarely there, but it’s true. My good friends in my cycling club are throwing a race called “UrboCross” tomorrow. You should come. I’ll be there, with my camera. Roll through, race, have fun and don’t puke on the cacti.
See more details here! Oh and see the course’s checkpoints here.
I really admire people who see a problem and address it with creativity and style. That’s the first thing I thought when I saw the URBANIST cycling chamois panties a few weeks ago. While wearing a sweaty chamois isn’t ideal for the female (or male) anatomy – bacteria growth, saddle sores, etc, I think they’re onto something… Back this Austin, Texas-based (holler) Kickstarter here.
July has been a busy month for me. When I wasn’t on the road, I was out and about here in Austin with my Mamiya 7ii shooting portraits and other randomness. This set is heavily focused on the 4th of July party at Yellow Jacket Social Club but also includes a few bike portraits. I hope you enjoy!
Tools of the trade:
Kodak Portra 400