The weekend. It doesn’t mean much to some folks, while others set their clocks by it. This little short is a reminder to me that getting out is necessary. Even in the big city- an overnight trip can rejuvenate and reconnect you with the things that are important. So this weekend, or next Tuesday, get out there. Explore. Pedal. Sleep under the stars. And don’t forget to breathe.
Swobo has a windowless van and a plan. They are hitting the road onboard the van, Halen to spread the good word of Swobo- while sharing pizza and beer with those lucky enough to cross paths with them on this trip around these United States. They have a tentative schedule, connecting with shops from Colorado to South Carolina. (Unfortunately they are skipping Alaska this time around.)
- Wednesday, Jan 15 – Lincoln, NE – Monkey Wrench Cycles
- Thursday, Jan 16, – Chicago, IL – Bike Lane
- Saturday, Jan 18 – Columbus, OH – Paradise Garage
- Monday, Jan 20 – Washington, DC – Bicycle Space
- Tuesday, Jan 21 – Greensboro, NC – Revolution Cycles
- Wednesday, Jan 22 – Columbia, SC – Cock and Bull
- Saturday, Jan 25 – Kansas City, MO - River Market Cyclery
Also keep an eye out on the website- because they have a few new bikes coming out. One being: The Mutineer. A single speed specific mountain bike(ish) offering that looks like loads of fun. An alloy frame with a 27.5″ wheelset (with Kenda Honeybadger tires,) it’s belt drive compatible, has a (80mm) suspension corrected rigid fork, disc brakes, a bunch of Swobo parts, and it comes in at a cool $999. That’s like Evil and a half. Only available in matte black, because you don’t really need anything else. I cop’d a photo from BikeRumor, who will be following the tour with internet postings and the like.
So if they’re coming through your town- pinch Murph’s cheek, get to know the bikes, and drink all the beers- as I would do.
Fat bikes don’t always mean slow bikes. In Marquette, Michigan and places with more ridership than we see in small town Alaska, people are getting together to make trails. Not only slow and steady trails, these folks have the need for some speed. Marquette is making great strides to promote winter trails, and they’re making a movie about it. Here’s what they’ve got- 15 miles of winter singletrack? Yes please:
Not bad if you ask me.
Check out Clear & Cold Cinema on FB
As well as all the trailers and edits on Vimeo
And then, who wants to go to Marquette with me? http://www.travelmarquettemichigan.com/
The Single Speed World Championships will take place in Anchorage, Alaska in 2014. July 18-20. Coming back to the USA after it’s been overseas since 2010. It’s travels have taken it most recently to Italy and South Africa, Ireland and New Zealand before that.
As “officially” as any shitshow can begin- the first SSWC took place in California in 1999. I have never taken the opportunity to compete or attend one before, but this year I may just have a chance. Or not. Unfortunately for me it takes place smack dab in my four-month fishing season and I’ll likely be found in the middle of Prince William Sound, sulking with jellyfish dripping on me from the net above.
For others though- that have jobs that they can take some time off of, I’d highly suggest getting your ass to the 49th state for this one. Anchorage is not well known for urban cycling- in fact I’ve found it one of the sketchiest places to ride (predominately in winter.) Drivers are quite aggressive towards cyclists, even more so than the moose you may cross on the paths. However, Anchorage is also home to a wonderful grid of trails, with Kincaid Park being the city’s crown jewel. They have CX races in town at the parks, MTB races at Kincaid. It’s pretty bad ass. And it’s in the Last Frontier. No, not space- that’s the Final Frontier. Drink bears and get mauled by beers!
Grab your single speed: mountain bike, sweet fixie, cross bike, tall bike, unicycle (if you’re from Portland,) or whatever other contraption you want to ride and buy a ticket.
Anyway, get your shit together and your head in the game. When registration opens, it’ll fill up fast. There’s a webpage and a Facebook and more info to come- so look alive!
For info go to:
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
‘Hunting for Monsters’ will be premiering in Homer, AK November 16, at the HOWL Outdoor Film Festival. All are welcome.
After a few days of exploring Anchorage by bike during the day, and the inside of Anchorage bars by night, we were ready to leave the city. A 300 mile road trip, an improvised campsite and a high-powered catamaran ride later we were standing in front of Ryan on his Raleigh Port Townsend at the ferry dock in Cordova, AK. “Welcome to Cordova!” exclaimed Ryan, unstrapping some beers from his porteur rack and offering them up. “We’re the first house on the left”. Breath taking views in every direction, mountains rising up out of the sound, nothing but green trees, blue waters and a postage stamp sized town. This is the Alaska I was looking for.
For the next six days and five nights we explored Cordova by bike, by foot and by bottle. We road out “the road” and the other road (yeah, there is two of them) as well as some scenic trails. One of the highlights was riding Saddlebag Glacier trail. It winds through the woods along a creek that has cut out a valley, the terrain changing several times before spitting us out on the shore of Saddlebag Lake.
It was an early flight into Anchorage, so by 10:30am we had already managed to walk through the woods and across town. We did stop for coffee (in a city that has more espresso stands per capita than anywhere else in the US), but by now we were seated at a questionable but genuine bar beers-in-hand. In the brief moments between being bombarded (or befriended) by the obviously very regular morning crowd, my host Garret informed me there would be a bicycle available for me to use.
I came to Alaska to visit my good friend Garret Spargo as well as spend some time with Ryan, the man behind GMG himself. Bringing a bike was something I had wanted to do, but it ended up being too expensive to consider. Garret is involved with Off The Chain, a bicycle collective in Anchorage. They granted me access to the shop and I was able to put in some work, and build a bike for myself to use while in town.
As those of you know who follow me on Instagram, I recently had the chance to spend some time in Alaska. Originally I didn’t think I would have a bike on the trip, but the two wheeled gods of the great north smiled upon me and I found myself hitting the ground rolling. I’ll be posting up more photos and details of the trip soon, but for now here is Ryan demonstrating the traditional Alaskan Glacier Greeting. As well as a drunk polar bear on a bike. Cheers!
If you’ve been reading here long, you no doubt understand our respect and appreciation for what Lucas does. He’s an amazing film maker- and in this short he works with Benny Zenga, another super talented director and producer. Check it out. The final leg of the Tour d’Afrique on Cinelli Bootleg Hobo bikes. Great work guys!