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Rider’s Eye: Mountain bike biathlon


2014 Mass Relay

Not what you expect to see from mountain bikers, huh? Photographer Leo Volz III captured the action at the International Intergalactic Global Open Mountain Bike Team Relay Championship of the Multi-Friggin-Verse (yes, that’s the official name) in Marysville, Penn. It was the first race of the Mid-Atlantic Super Series and afterwards there was a special bonus event: mountain bike biathlon. The premise was simple: ride two miles, shoot, ride two miles, shoot, ride two more miles to the finish. See more of Volz’s photos from the event here and send your favorite photographs to riderseye@dirtragmag.com.

 

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‘Fabrique au Quebec’ – Inside Xprezo bikes


Words and Photos by Ryan Thibault

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I smile at the customs agent. She’s scrutinizing my passport—one glance down at my mug shot, one up at me…and again. The photo is dated, and my Afro has long since been quaffed.

“An’ why are you tra-ve-ling to Ca-na-da?” she asks in a French accent as cute as her face.

“To visit Cycles Xprezo,” I reply. 

“Ah, a moun-tain bi-ker,” she says with a knowing smile while handing back my documents and nodding me past.

There are a number of universal loves in Quebec and the bicycle tops the list, alongside Celine Dione and poutine. Spend even a few minutes in the province and the fanaticism for man’s most noble invention is apparent. This ingrained affinity for bicycle technology has given birth to one of Canada’s homegrown bicycle manufacturers, Cycles Xprezo.

Read the full story and see more photos.

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Ride Like A Girl


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By Joh Rathbun. Photos by Jason Van Horn.

Most ladies I know wouldn’t be too happy if you told them they “ride like a girl” — unless you’re one of the ladies from the Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay, that is.

On February 1, I joined up with ladies from the BTCEB for the monthly Ride Like a Girl event. Ride Like a Girl is the first Saturday of the month, and is ladies-only. According to the group’s meetup.com page, “The emphasis of these rides will be [to have] fun and to meet other women who love to ride. We have rides geared towards all level of riders with experienced leaders.” This was my first time riding with them, but not my first time at El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserve, commonly known as Skegg’s. It’s part of a green belt just south of San Francisco comprised of 62,000 acres of land, in 26 open space preserves.

BTCEB was founded in 1987, and is a founding member of IMBA. From its website, “BTCEB has been a leader in encouraging low-impact environmentally friendly riding, volunteer trail work participation, cooperation among different trail user groups, and grass roots advocacy. Of course we also love to ride bikes and have fun!”

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While the sun was out, the temperature was low compared to our recent weather—about 50 degrees. After introductions, Amy Arcus led while Jane Moorehead swept the eight of us. We entered the park on a downward singletrack. The redwood forest welcomed us with the hush of wind through the trees and the smell of wet earth. The singletrack led us past the redwoods and lush bracken ferns, to tight madrone and tanoak groves. After the dryness we experienced in Santa Cruz, the forest felt fecund.

“Strava clocked us at 10.5 miles and 2,400 feet of climbing, I think the elevation gain is a little high but I’ll take it,” Amy said, but it didn’t feel like 2,400 feet of climbing, as the downhill and uphill changed frequently. We rode trails like Sierra Morena, Methuselah, Giant Salamander, Blue Blossom Trail, and rode the Fir Trail back out—which was a nice graded fire road. Ten women, one crash, lots of laughs, and 10 miles later, we exited the park, blissed out.

BTECB stoked us out on snacks after the ride—and there was even beer. Big ups to Inga Beck for arranging the Ride Like a Girl Ride, and to Amy and Jane, who may not have known the names of all the trails, but knew how to have fun. Lastly, here’s a big thank you to Family Cycling Center for the loaner bike—the Santa Cruz Blur LTC was built for Skegg’s! Like my carpool buddy, Donna Riggs said, “It was worth the drive.”

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Joh Rathbun is a freelance writer, and columnist and ride leader for Shine Riders Co. To stay up to date on West Coast events, like her Facebook page, or contact her at johrathbun.wix.com/freelancewriter.

 

 

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Review: Foundry Broadaxe


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Tools, in the most basic sense, empower you. They’re an investment in the future; they will help you accomplish things. Foundry Cycles, as a brand, has really pursued the marketing their carbon fiber bicycles as tools. In the hands of a skilled user, or rider, the tool will be transformed into a beautiful thing. Dirty, but beautiful. My tool was the carbon fiber Broadaxe B2—a 29er hardtail, sporting the middle of the three SRAM drivetrain packages. The price for the three Broadaxe models ranges from $3,000 for the X7-equipped B1 up to $5,600 for the XX-equipped model.

“Stealthy” is how I would describe this bike. Its lines are symmetrical and clean and seem to flow uninterrupted, fore and aft. If you appreciate a matte, primer gray paint job on a classic muscle car, you will like the looks of the Broadaxe. Internal cable routing, tapered head tube, the new SRAM X0 Type 2 rear derailleur, Press-Fit 30 bottom bracket, 15mm thru-axle in the front, and a 12x142mm thru-axle in the rear make this bike a caucus of the latest standards and tech—the Broadaxe is kryptonite to retro-grouches.

Read more in our long-term review.

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Jay Petervary wins Arrowhead 135


Photos by David Gabrys/45NRTH

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The frozen feats of strength known as the Arrowhead 135 started Monday morning and 45NRTH sponsored rider Jay Petervary took the win in his first attempt, finishing the 135 miles in 20 hours and 11 minutes.

Though it was his first crack at the race, Petervary is no stranger to these types of races. He has won the Iditarod Trail Invitational (350 AND 1,100-mile versions), the Tour Divide and now the Arrowhead.

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Armed with nearly a full fleet of 45NRTH gear, he likely stayed pretty toasty warm, even as temperatures hit -30 degrees overnight.

Check out the amazing photo gallery from David Gabrys of 45NRTH of the action here.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said that Petervary set a record in the Arrowhead. The record is actually held by Todd McFadden at 14 hours 20 minutes.

 

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Video: The making of ‘Get High’ in Slovakia


Think those videos you see of amazing mountain adventures just come easy? Think again. Some aspiring filmmakers from Slovakia got in touch with their story of their adventure in the West Tatras mountains and how their new film “Get High” came to be.

By Zuzana Triebusnikova

One and a half year ago I did not know almost anything about mountain biking. Now I can say that I know more about it and have seen more videos than a regular rider. Peter Lengyel has infected me with his passion and showed me that it is possible to do what you like.

He had this video in mind for a long time. Thus, when he was ready to make it I wanted to take part. Even though it is a short movie, it took a lot of work, effort and planning. It is almost no budget movie. No budget, because we had only family support (borrowed cars and some equipment) and a borrowed bike for 2 weeks which Peter have not ridden before. However, without the priceless help of our friends, the video would be impossible. The biggest thanks goes to Juraj Lovás and Michal (Sakso) Stiksa who filmed the entire video.

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So we had two weeks to film it. As you will see from the pictures, the weather was not always pleasing us. Rain, snow, fog, drizzle, wind, sun, we had all kinds of weather…

Keep reading…

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Fat Bike Summit brings trail users together


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Photos by Griff Wigley

The Midwest Fat Bike Access & Grooming Workshop was held on January 9 and 10 in Cable, Wisconsin. This gathering brought together over 70 advocates from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin devoted to improving off-road cycling and fat biking in winter. The event was sponsored by Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) and hosted by Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC), International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), and the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA).

Read more about the event here.

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Trailer: From Where We Stand


There’s little doubt the mountain bike industry is heavily focused on the West Coast, but what about the rest of us back east? There is no shortage of amazing trails and beautiful scenery, so why don’t we see it represented in elite-level mountain bike filmmaking? FatTireFests is here with a response: a new series highlighting the best of the “other” coast.

Read more about From Where We Stand here.

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Breck Epic – Checking into the Single Speed Frat House


By Montana Miller,

On the last day of Breck Epic, the fastest single speeder gets to shave his pubes. The slowest single speeder gets glue those pubes to his face.

I’ll be racing all week, and posting updates and results here. I really hope I don’t lose. I already have a beard.

A couple weeks ago, I headed out of Pennsylvania. I’ve been on the road traveling around Colorado, riding everyday and trying to adjust to the altitude.

The Monarch Crest in Pocha Springs, Colo.

Breckenridge, where each of the Epic’s six stages start and end, is at 9,500 feet. Coming from sea level, a hard game of checkers is enough to make most people see stars. And the stages head up from town, topping out at over 12,000 feet.

At this point I feel pretty well adjusted to the altitude. Instead of making me dizzy, the thin air just burns my throat when I breathe.

Half of the single speed field is staying in the same house. We got into town on Wednesday night.
Since everybody else just got to altitude, my friend Gnarmire decided we needed to hike a 14er to get acclimated. After repeatedly saying that I didn’t want to go, I was peer-pressured into going.

We walked up a mountain for three hours. It sucked. Over 13,000 feet, every step felt like a huge effort. I wanted to be on my bike so badly. At least the view from the top was neat.

Quandary Peak in Breckenridge, Colo.

Walking downhill for an hour was worse than going up, but we did run into some goats. I’ve seen internet videos of mountain goats lapping up pee for its salt content, so I decided to see if they would be attracted to my urine.

When I unzipped my pants, the goat family looked offended. One dropped his horns and got ready to charge. So I scampered away without peeing in one of their mouths. Maybe someday.

After the hike, we got back to the house where 14 of us will be spending the week and did some furniture rearranging. The guy who paid the security deposit has a steady job, so we’re not afraid to break things.

Then there was some cowboy hat hot-tubbing, chicken grilling in the rain, and writing code.

 

Not a very wild first evening, but at least there’s some booze in the lettuce crisper.

Packet pick-up is today, then the race starts on Sunday morning. There’s 240 miles of racing ahead of us. The house will be weird, and the race will be epic. I can’t wait. Check back every afternoon for updates.

The race is the self-designated Single Speed Stage Race World Championships. It’s a legitimate world championship because there’s one Canadian registered.

For pictures of the trails we’ll be riding all week, head to the Breck Epic Facebook page: facebook.com/breckepic.

 

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