I’ve always wanted to visit Seoul; at least living in Asia for about 16 months now. Back in the states, I’d see the SEOUL GOT SOUL videos and get hyped, thinking it’d be cool to check out the city one day…not really expecting to actually get the chance to. Well, about two weeks ago I decided to join my buddy Alex as he was planning a trip to Seoul to renew his Chinese visa (in China, if you don’t have a work visa, you’re required to leave the country every 90 days).
While the crux of the trip was getting Alex out of China for a few days, I’d say our secondary focal points included skating, bombing hills, drinking coffee and getting lost. I’m happy to say we did all of those.
I’m a little late on posting this, but a couple weeks ago the homies at Factory Five embarked on an incredible tour of the Xinjiang Province in the northwest of China. Xinjiang is one of the world’s largest country subdivisions, spanning over 1.6 million square kilometers and borders Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Tibet.
While I’ve never personally had the chance to explore this part of China, I couldn’t help but to live vicariously through the eyes of this crew, eagerly awaiting each update from their journey. The photos from this trip are absolutely breathtaking and reminded me of how much I miss bike touring. If the financials and work schedule allow for it, I’ll be planning a similar trip this fall. If only I had my touring bike (Soma Saga) with me here in Shanghai…
Anyway, over the course of their tour they encountered quite the array of conditions; starting off in some snowy mountains and muddy roads, leading them into dry sandy deserts and finally coming up on some dry, rocky plains.
I pulled some of my favorite photos from their journey and posted them below, but for the whole story you’re gonna have to check out the Factory Five Blog:
A few weeks ago was the the CYCLE party at Factory Five, organized by the good homie Elliott Zelinskas of Studio 191. If you’ve been keeping up with my few-and-far-between posts as of late, you’re familiar with the monthly photo and art shows that have been happening.
The party was awesome as always; good people, good drinks and lots of good bikes.
The next photo theme is “People” – submit your photo by Sunday May 10th to be featured. If you’re in Shanghai, be sure to keep up with the monthly photos by following the Studio 191 webpage.
Continue on below to see some more photos from that EZ shot from the show!
About a week ago, an old classmate of mine from way-back (high school) reached out to me about his new business he and his buddy have going in Montreal: Randonneur Mobile Mechanics. Think of them as AAA, but for bicycles.
Started by a couple ex-mechanics and messengers, Randonneur Mobile Mechanics is prepared to get you back up and rolling should you have an emergency while out on the road. So if you’re in Montreal, ride a bike and need some help, be sure to give these guys a ring!
I’m not a huge downhill buff, but this right here is awesome.
The M1 by Intense Cycles was one of the first DH bikes to break the 5” rear travel mark back in the 90s, a feat unheard of until until 1994. The first M-1 used a McPerson strut and air shock design, which made it possible for the extra travel. To put it in perspective, there weren’t even forks with over 3” of travel. As you’ve probably guessed by now, the M series by Intense was breaking some serious ground. I won’t go into much more detail though, ‘cause the guys over at PinkBike have this story on lock.
I know, I’m SUPER late on this one…but there’s no way I could go without posting such a rad collaboration. You all know about Dustin Klein and Cadence, but you might not be so familiar with Central Skate Co (maybe I’m wrong). Anyway, Central Skate Shop was started by Chico Brenes, a professional skateboarder from Nicaragua, and is the first skate shop to open up in Nicaragua. I know myself and many other cyclists and skateboarders dream of one day owning their own shops, so big ups to Chico on doing so!
I know I’ve been slacking a bit on keeping the pages here fresh, but please believe I’ve been keeping busy. Despite not being able to dip out for a long road ride or hit the local trails on my hardtail like I used to back in VT, I still manage to ride and skate almost daily. Riding a bike in Shanghai is akin to mountain biking, except you gotta pretend the scooters and pedestrians are trees…moving ones at that. It’s definitely fun, but I can’t begin to explain how much I miss dirt, real trees and hills. Also, it’d be nice to take a deep breath and not feel like I’m shedding years off my life.
Aside from pretending I’m mountain biking, I’ve been skating a ton; that’s one thing this city is incredible for. The architecture here is begging you to skate it. I’ve also been shooting photos a bunch and displaying them at the homie Elliott’s monthly Studio 191 shows all across Shanghai. Here’s one of my latest shots, zoning in on one of the city’s countless dingy massage parlors. I couldn’t even find the entrance, but this sign definitely got my attention.