Dirt Rag Magazine

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


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.

Custom Oakley glasses at your fingertips

Oakley’s newest retail store, located in the King of Prussia Mall is the first in the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia area. Besides carrying an assortment of products—apparel, luggage, watches and backpacks, it’s eyewear selection (as you’d expect) is amazing.

It features Oakley’s new in-store optical center, one of only 20 in the country, enabling customers to fill eyewear prescriptions directly at the store and choose their own standard or custom frame coloring and style. In King of Prussia, an Oakley licensed optician uses a motion capture device Oakley helped develop. It’s placed on the selected frame while the customer is wearing it and, in just a few seconds, the program reads and records the customer’s measurements to match to the prescription. This allows those with more advanced prescriptions to wear any of Oakley’s high-wrap sports shields. Turnaround time averages one week and the final product can be picked up at the store or sent to a home address.

Oakley 2

Custom colored Oakley Flax glassess assembled right at the store.

Another cool feature (one I took advantage of) is the ability to walk into the store and choose any combination of frame style, color, ear sock color, lens tint and even brand logo color on some models from a computer program. The store has every combination in stock so you can create and walk away with your custom design that day. Oakley also has a full collection of its own custom designs on hand in the store as well.

Besides choosing my colors I went with, on the opticians recommendation, the Grass lens, which is actually designed for golf. It works amazingly well deep in the woods, vividly pulling out colors and shadows of the trail better than any other tint I’ve tried. Look for a more in depth prescription lens test in a future issue of Dirt Rag.

Oskar Blues Brewery to open beer and bike ranch in North Carolina


Oskar Blues Brewery hails from Colorado but has made western North Carolina its second home, first building a brewery there in 2012, and now it will open a 145-acre farm as a beer and bike vacation destination.

Located about eight miles from the Brevard-based Oskar Blues brewery, the former Shoal Falls Farm soon will be a haven for mountain bikers, a place to grow hops, pasture land for spent grain-fed cows, and a music and event space, all against the beautiful backdrop of Dupont State Forest.

Read the full story

Mt. Tam Dirt Fondo adds second event

One of our favorite rides every year is the Mt. Tam Dirt Fondo that samples some of the sweet singletrack where mountain biking was born on Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County, California.

The original, 46-mile ride will still take place September 7, but this year the Marin County Bicycle Coalition has added a Summer Solstice Ride on June 29. You’ll get to ride with some of the legends of the sport, enjoy a tasty barbecue afterwards and get a free T-shirt. Proceeds from the Dirt Fondo supports MCBCs Off-Road Program, which works to expand trail opportunities for mountain biking while promoting good trail etiquette and environmental stewardship.

Sign up for the Summer Solstice Ride here.

Sign up for the Dirt Fondo here.

Read about our good time at least year’s event here.


Rider’s Eye: Riding with Ty


Photographer Bryan Kirkwood sent us this great video he made with his dog Ty in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. 

Have a photo (or video!) you’d like to share with readers? Send it to [email protected].

Video: ‘Danny MacAskill – Epecuén’


Courtesy of Red Bull

Following on from 2013’s mind-blowing ‘MacAskill’s Imaginate’, Epecuén is the latest film from Danny MacAskill.

Directed by long time collaborator Dave Sowerby, will see Danny take his riding back to the roots of trials riding, exploring the forgotten town of Epecuén in Argentina, a location that has been submerged for the majority of the past 25 years.


Pablo Novac, Epecuén’s only resident throughout the troubled times, gives a brief history of the location culminating with his thoughts that he ‘…can no longer see what use this place has for us now,’ MacAskill however has other ideas.

Danny MacAskill is renowned for pushing the levels of both his riding and filming with previous releases ‘Way Back Home’ and ‘Imaginate’ accumulating over 50 million views between them; Epecuén is set to raise the bar once again.


Watch the film here.

Kick off summer with Steamboat Bike Week


In “Bike Town USA”, it’s time to switch out ski racks for bike racks, tune up the two-wheeled ride and head for the hills.

The Champagne Powder has melted, revealing pristine trails, winding pavement and scenic gravel roads. A summer playground for cyclists of all kinds has emerged, and a celebration is in order to welcome beginning of bike season.

The cycling season officially kicks off in Steamboat June 9 to 15 with the second annual Steamboat Bike Week. Whether you’re a freeride fanatic or a skinny tire aficionado, Bike Week has something for everyone, and evening entertainment and events will bring the entire cycling community together to reflect on the day over a cold beer.

Get the details here.

Installation: Wolf Tooth Components 1×10 setup


Single chainring drivetrains have taken the mountain bike world by storm over the past few years. For many riders in many types of terrain, it just works. There are fewer gizmos on the handlebar, fewer moving pieces to maintain, and thanks to new products like Wolf Tooth Components‘, nearly all of the range of gearing—nearly that of a double chainring setup. They also work wonderfully to clear the rear tire on fat bikes and are necessary on some new suspension bikes that don’t even bother with a front derailleur mount.

I’ve been running my hardtail as a 1×10 for a few months now and have been quite happy with it, but there were certainly times I could have used an extra cog at the low end, and really never felt like I was spinning out on the top end. I wanted to gear down but normally a typical 32 chainring and 36 cog is as low as you can go. Now, Wolf Tooth is one of a handful of brands now producing 40 and 42 tooth adaptor cogs and SRAM-compatible direct mount chainrings with the narrow/wide pattern. They were kind enough to send over a set and I installed them this week.

Take a closer look.

Yes, it’s real

I’ll admit, when I first saw the magazine ad for the Specialized Enduro 29 featuring Matt Hunter getting completely horizontal, I too wondered if there was some trickery involved. “No way he rode that out,” I thought. Well I sure was wrong. Check out Hunter’s mastery on the trail and photographer Sterling Lorence’s mastery behind the lens:

Preview: ‘A Quest For Altitude’


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.

Rebecca Rusch versus Jay Petervary’s Backyard Fat Pursuit


By Rebecca Rusch

Photos courtesy of Salsa Cycles

Why does riding and pushing a heavily laden fat bike up and over the Continental Divide in February through the dead of night appeal to anyone at all? I’m not sure I have the answer, but I went searching for it when I lined up for Jay Petervary’s inaugural Backyard Fat Pursuit in Island Park, Idaho.

I got more than I bargained for. I went all in and came away with a pulmonary edema and a DNF.

Read the full story

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.

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.


25th Anniversary: 25 years of dirt to dish


dr-anniversary-logo copyThis year is a major milestone for Dirt Rag. We’re celebrating 25 years of printing the magazine. The ‘Rag has gone from being hand-stapled in Maurice and Elaine Tierney’s basement for East Coast consumption in 1989 to where we are today in 2014: enjoying rapid circulation growth and distribution across the globe.

As part of the celebration our next issue will feature special content that’s sure to become a collector’s item. One feature story, written by Gary Boulanger, is an inside look at the history of Dirt Rag with an inside view of how it all began and how we got to where we are. As part of that, I’d like to share a few extra stories over the next few weeks that came out of Gary’s research. Hopefully you’ll enjoy them as much as I do and will look forward to reading this special feature when it arrives on newsstands April 1 or in your mailbox even sooner if you’re a subscriber (hint, hint).

Read about some of Dirt Rag’s not-so-illustrious moments here.

Hermosa Tours offers 10-day Colorado Trail adventure


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.



Ride Like A Girl


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!”


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.”


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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