I want it all. I want the ability to ride miles of pavement at road speed, and then climb an 18% forest road while carrying all of the necessary supplies for an overnight trip. And I want to do all of this on the same bike.
Get rad! 90’s rigid mountain bikes tend to make the best party bikes. They typically have massive tire clearance, they can be built with basically any components you want, and they’re pretty much indestructible. Plus, they’re cheap, easy to find, and usually come in some fun color schemes. 26 isn’t dead.
The 1000 Acre Wood is a large swath of privately owned timberland perched atop the eastern edge of Crescent Valley, just north of Gig Harbor. It contains a surprisingly large network of gravel forest roads, wide dirt trails, single track, and tight hiking trails
As the beautiful colors of fall give way to the dark and cold days of winter, it’s difficult to stay motivated and want to go outside; The daylight hours are short, the temperatures drop, and the weather can become a larger obstacle than any hill you may encounter. Winter riding requires a mental shift, asContinue reading “The Dark and Slow of Winter”
Riding on gravel can take a serious toll on your body. You have to work harder to pedal through it, and your bike is probably heavier than a dedicated go-fast road bike. Even on flat-ish rail trails, you can’t really stop pedaling because you will almost immediately come to a stop.
There just aren’t that many nice vintage bikes left out there. Thousands of them were turned into single speeds and fixies between 2005 and 2010. Braze-ons were ground off, frames were spray-painted, and many were crashed and destroyed. Finding a nice one nowadays is rare, and the odds of finding one that’s barely been ridden is even more rare.
When I was a kid, you could ride on pavement to the outskirts of town and then go ride up into the forest, hit a few trails, and bomb a fire road back into town… and you could do all of this on the same bike… and that’s all that gravel bikes are. Riding gravel isn’t new, and technically, neither are gravel bikes.
Capitol State Forest is an absolute wonderland of gravel. The nearly one hundred thousand acres of land is managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and contains almost six hundred miles of gravel roads. It is a destination for hikers, horseback riders, campers, and dirt bike enthusiasts. It is also home to some amazing single track for mountain bikers.
“Look fast, ride slow.” me. circa 2017 Cycling is a journey, both literally and figuratively. The more we ride, the more we learn about ourselves, our bikes, and what works for our needs. As the miles rack up, we learn how our bodies and minds react to highs, lows, inclement weather, failure, and exhaustion. WhileContinue reading “The Love of the Ride. or: Cycling is for Everyone”
Back in May of 2015, a friend invited me to a self-supported gravel ride in the hills around Elbe and Eatonville put on by a local frame builder. The ride was in its second year, and looked like it would be a fun chance to explore some places that I had never been on a bike. I figured that forty-ish miles with 4k of vertical would be hard, but well within my limits.
I was wrong of course..