Dirt Rag Magazine

SSWC2014 is about to go America all over everybody’s ass


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The biggest party in the mountain bike universe is descending upon Anchorage, Alaska, this weekend, as the annual Singlespeed World Championship rolls into town. We’ve partnered with photographer Devon Balet to capture the action, the mischief and the mayhem for everyone who can’t be there, and everyone who was there but can’t remember.

Keep a keen eye on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages as we try our best to keep our coverage safe for a “family magazine”.

Read more about the event here.

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Scott Enduro Cup highlights Smith Optics Ride Sun Valley Bike Fest


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The second stop of the Scott Enduro Cup presented by GoPro captivated the attention of the biking community as the flagship race of the Smith Optics Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival June 27-29. The two day competition is one of the longest enduro races in North America covering 24 miles and 9,000 descending vertical feet across Sun Valley Resort’s Bald Mountain in the heart of the Sawtooth National Forest. It’s also an official stop on North American Enduro Tour. After five timed stages, the fastest combined times on the leader boards for men and women were claimed by Aaron Bradford (1:00:49) and Margaret Gregory (1:08:59).

“It was a really fun weekend and definitely one of the more well put on events. The timing was really good,” said Gregory. “It was a tough yet balanced race with a lot of pedaling and technical sections.”

Read more about the race and festival here.

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Ride Sun Valley Bike Fest is underway


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The fourth annual Smith Optics Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival has returned to the stunning scenery and world-class singletrack of Sun Valley, Idaho, through July 5. Smith Optics joins this year as the title sponsor of the festival which is a rowdy and homegrown celebration geared for anyone who enjoys life on two wheels.

Expect to find a wide array of entertainment and activities including the second stop of the Scott Enduro Cup presented by GoPro, a downtown bike expo, guided rides for all abilities and a number of raucous community races.

Learn more about the event here.

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Riding with the Breeze


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It’s hard to imagine a more unassuming guy than Joe Breeze. Unlike his contemporaries Gary Fisher or Tom Ritchey, who are easy to spot in a crowd, Breeze could be the guy standing in line in front of you at the grocery store, or your friendly neighbor who always greets you with a wave and a smile. Of course, if you live in Fairfax, California, there’s a good chance he is both of these things.

Read more and see photos from our day with Joe Breeze.

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Photo Gallery: Bilenky Junkyard ‘Cross


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A long-standing Pennsylvania tradition, Bilenky Cycle Works has hosted a… unique cyclocross race each winter through a salvage yard. There are no UCI officials measuring tire widths, the barriers are not to spec, and #handupsarenotacrime.

This Saturday the annual event was pushed to new levels with the influx of humanity (and inhumanity) in town for the Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships. The Junkyard Cross was tapped as a qualifying event for the Big Show, with heats of riders dualing for a finale and a chance to race in the Sunday’s main event. If you favored style over speed, you could still enter Sunday’s Everyone’s A Winner race, complete with universal #1 number plates.

There were a few scary moments, and likely some flat tires, but overall the event was one of the most amazing spectacles I’ve ever seen. Until Sunday that is…

Stay tuned for more!

Click here to see the gallery!

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First Look: Six $2,500 trail bikes spend a week in the Shenandoah Valley


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Jeremiah Bishop showing us the locals know how to have fun.

The leaves have changed and are falling fast, the mornings are met with frost, and the sunscreen is packed away. The days are growing shorter and the riding season is becoming shorter still. But before winter begins to blow its icy breath upon the landscape, we have a lot more riding to do.

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Chris Scott is the driving force behind Shenandoah Mountain Touring and the Stokesville Lodge.

With a lot of product testing still to be done, we packed up the ol’ Dirt Rag van and headed south to Stokesville, Va., to meet up with Chris Scott and the gang from Shenandoah Mountain Touring. Bunked up at the Stokesville Lodge, we brought a gaggle of trail bikes to ride this week that will likely be bike shops’ bread and butter come spring, all ringing up the register at about $2,500.

See the bikes and more after the jump. Read the full story

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Portland welcomes HELLTRACK bicycle carnage


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It’s a little late for Halloween, but HELLTRACK is coming to Portland’s Lumberyard indoor bike park November 23.

The first ever race will wind through the park and out in the parking lot with jumps, obstacles, wooden features, and even a costume contest. Any kind of bikes are welcome, though there are special classes for DJ and BMX bikes. Read the full story

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Video: Dirt Rag visits Peru for the Inca Avalanche


Back in June, two Dirt Rag staffers headed south—REALLY far south—to Peru for the Inca Avalanche, a crazy, mass-start, high-altitude, oxygen-deprived marathon nearly 6,000 feet down the mountain.

Matt and Stephen had an amazing adventure, and some mishaps, and you can read all about them in the current issue of the mag, but take a look here at some of the sights and sounds of what went on way down south, way up high in the mountains.

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Gallery: Heckler’s Rock at Canadian Open DH – Crankworx

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Words and photos by Adam Newman.

The week-long celebration that is Crankworx climaxes each year with the Canadian Open Downhill, a three-minute blast down some of the most technical riding on the mountain.

The highlight, of course, is Heckler’s Rock, where beer-soaked fans were pre-gaming as early as 10:30 a.m. for the 3 p.m. finals.

An ominous sign when walking down to the Rock.

We all know what fuels this party.

Even hooligans have rules, and this one was strictly enforced.

Well… I guess so, yeah.

Oh, yeah, there’s racing too.

Coming…

Going…

The chairlift passes directly over Heckler’s Rock, and some passengers put on quite a show.

This guy doesn’t even have shoes on!

Canadian junior national champion Mark Wallace enjoying the home crowd.

Attempts to keep the track clean almost lead to disaster.

The guy in the jorts needs to put down the phone and pay attention.

Mitch Delfs shows he’s got the moves off the bike as well as on.

 

Nudity was the theme of the day.

You’ll find a few more obstacles on the Canadian Open track than you would at a normal DH track.

Loic Bruni wasn’t distracted by the on-course scenery.

Canadian hero Steve Smith rallied after an early crash to claim his second straight Canadian Open win.

And there was much rejoicing.

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Mountain Bike Oregon – A 3-day dream vacation


By Stephen Haynes

Twice a year, in the tiny town of Oakridge, Oregon, Randy Dreiling and Oregon Adventures host Mountain Bike Oregon with the help of trail maintenance and advocacy groups the Disciples of Dirt and Greater Oakridge Area Trail Stewards, as well as many local businesses and volunteers.

Now in its ninth year, Mountain Bike Oregon is a well-oiled, all-inclusive festival that brings together hundreds of riders from nearly two dozen states (and beyond) to sample what many consider Oregon’s premiere mountain bike trails, with shuttle service and guides included in the price of admission.

For $430, you get a spot to pitch your tent, breakfast, pack-your-own style lunch, dinner (with vegetarian options), free beer and wine from local breweries and vineyards, nightly spectacles such as bike toss and mini bike races, an expo area with bike demos, yoga classes, ladies-only rides and clinics, and enough stunning scenery to keep your mouth agape when it’s not smiling from the onslaught of awesome singletrack.

I rolled into Greenwaters Park on the shores of the Willamette River just before noon on Friday, quickly established camp and headed straight for the guide tent to suss out something to ride on.

Helpfully assisted towards a departing shuttle, I found myself in a van, in a strange town, with nine people I’d never met before, driving to a trail I’d never heard of. I was becoming slightly nervous at the prospect of potentially being in over my head. It bears mentioning that this was the first time I’d ever been shuttled anywhere before. All of my experiences in the short time I’ve been mountain biking have included riding uphill before I get to ride down. In this case, my fears were unfounded as the smooth singletrack and stunning scenery were all that awaited me. My biggest problem was cramping up from having not warmed up at all…

The other component I wasn’t wholly prepared for was camaraderie. Turns out, sitting on a school bus for 45 minutes and then enjoying hours of amazing singletrack with 20 other folks is a great way to get to know people. Who’da guessed?

The guides do an amazing job as well, both as guides and ambassadors for the area. Their knowledge of the trails and friendly demeanor makes it feel less like being “guided” and more like a buddy showing you around. The guides’ system of client control allows faster riders to move ahead and lets slower riders not feel like they’re getting dropped.

Of the trails I rode, ATC (Alpine, Tire Mountain, Clover Patch) stands out as the highlight of the trip. The scenic terrain includes stunning vistas of the Cascades, open glens with fantastic wildflowers and stands of old growth forest that had me pretending I was on a speeder flying through Endor (one insanely fun section of Alpine Trail is even called “Jedi”). It’s not all downhill on this one though—you’ll have to work for some of the fun. With 2,300 feet of climbing, your legs will know you’ve been riding all day. The plus side to that number is that there is 5,500 feet of descending… Keep smiling.

In addition to the standard list of guided trails, there are several additional “add-on” rides and activities available. For $30 you can do the Moon Point ride, a 16-mile screamer with more than 4,000 feet of elevation loss, proceeds from which benefits Greater Oakridge Area Trail Stewards. For $50 you can do the Entire Middle Fork, a 32-mile technical challenge. Or for $25 you can do a rafting trip down the Willamette River. Sign up for these when you register to make sure you get a spot.

While the atmosphere is friendly, the beer pours freely and the trails are seemingly without limit, MBO is not for beginners. A certain level of skill and confidence is definitely required for the trails that the festival promotes. They do offer a lower rate for non-riders to come and enjoy the event as well as reduced rates for children. There is enough riverfront and hiking trails to keep most kids happy, should you be turning it over in your head.

For what was once a logging industry hub and now turned outdoor enthusiast Mecca, I’d say the town of Oakridge and the folks at Outdoor Adventures have the right ingredients to make Mountain Bike Oregon a long-lasting and unforgettable event. MBO is offered twice a year with sessions in July and August. They cap attendance and space fills quickly, so book early.

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