Dirt Rag Magazine

Preview: ‘A Quest For Altitude’


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Our next issue is on its way, and our cover story is the search for adventure. Gerhard Czerner and Martin Bissig went searching for it in the mountains of Morocco—not known as a mountain bike destination, the “Chamonix of the High Atlas” towers more than 13,000 feet above north Africa. Watch as they reach the top of the world and enjoy a challenging and perilous descent.

morocco3 See the video here.

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Desert Dreaming with the Rockshox RS-1


Details are still scarce about the new RockShox RS-1 inverted fork, but today SRAM released this teaser video with Kate Courtney and Russell Finsterwald. They’re the future of XC mountain biking—in more ways than one. Courtney and Finsterwald are classic overachievers: She’s a NICA alumnus gone World Cup hopeful (and is a Stanford undergrad in her spare time), and he’s a former U23 National and Pan Am champ ready to compete in 2014 at the pinnacle of our sport. Stripped of team logos, and outside the boundaries of course-marking tape, however, both are simply mountain bikers with a passionate penchant for new trails and eye-opening adventures.

See more photos here.

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New e-book answers ladies’ sensitive questions about cycling


saddle-soreAuthor and journalist Molly Hurford rides a lot—and knows countless women who ride a lot—and inevitably all that riding can lead to a little… discomfort. It’s a subject that she found nearly all the women she knows, from beginners to pros, were reluctant to discuss at the their local bike shop or with their male peers.

So she sought out to answer those questions for female cyclists, by talking to experts in the industry, doctors, product designers and riders. The result is “Saddle, Sore”, an e-book guide for women and their bike. No matter how much you ride, it shouldn’t be uncomfortable, and Hurford’s book can help you avoid some uncomfortable conversations.

Hurford will also be following up with online articles with new topics as they arise, as well as answering readers questions and some video interviews.

You can purchase and download a copy of “Saddle, Sore” in PDF or EPUB format (compatible with most tablets) now.

 

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Hermosa Tours offers 10-day Colorado Trail adventure


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I made an attempt at a Colorado Trail tour last summer, only to be thwarted by rain (and I’m glad I was, seeing how it turned out to be the week of the disastrous Boulder floods).

This summer I know what’s at the top of my to-do list: Hermosa Tours‘ new 10-day self-guided adventure along the CT. What does “self-guided” mean? You’re out there on your own, with you and your friends, but Hermosa will take care of logistics, as well as carrying all your gear (food, water, firewood, whatever you bring) from one campsite to another. Forget bikepacking, that means you can full-on shred the 200 miles of trail with more than 75 percent singletrack.

In all it’s nine riding days, 10 nights, and one layover day from Salida to Durango, for just $950. Hermosa will even set up some canopies and a deluxe kitchen setup for you each night, so you can focus on chowing down. The ride starts and ends in Durango, and includes a ride to the start in Salida.

So bank some vacation time this summer. I know I will be.

 

 

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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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NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic adds new 3-day option


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The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic presented by Dirt Rag is now offering a three-day stage race alternative called TS3 during the Epic targeted towards racers who can’t be away for an entire week. TS3 racers get the same benefits as the 7-day Epic competitors (since they will be riding the same courses) including fully stocked aid stations, mechanical supplies at each checkpoint, a daily quick bike check by Freeze Thaw Cycles from State College, back up mechanical assistance from SRAM and BMC’s neutral support bikes available at each checkpoint.

TS3 also includes special prizes from event partners tossed in at random through the weekend. Overall TS3 GC and enduro awards include $10,000 in prizes. TS3 will start on Sunday, May 25 and finish Tuesday, May 27 (the first three days of the 7-day race.)

TS3 racers will mass start separately on Sunday and instead of racing the classic ITT they will do two cross-country style laps on the time trial course. The next two days will be the Coopers Gap epic stage followed by the Galbraith Enduro on Tuesday to decide final TS3 GC.

We sat down with Trans-Sylvania Epic promoter Mike Kuhn as asked him a few questions about the new event. Read our interview 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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