All posts in Touring

  • A Long Afternoon With My Soma Saga 26″ Touring Bike

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    Being back in the states has been such a treat…it almost felt like I’d moved back for a minute. Tomorrow I’m heading back to Shanghai for who knows how long; it’s so weird that China now feels like home to me.

    Anyway, while stateside, I got to do a bunch of stuff that I can’t easily do over in Shanghai. One of those things is explore long gravel and dirt roads on my touring bike. My Soma Saga has been my trusty and reliable ride for everything from touring to weekend getaways to simply getting lost for an afternoon.

    It’s definitely one of my favorite bikes I’ve owned. It’s certainly not pretty, nor is it hung with super fancy parts. I built this bike up on a whim a few years back after realizing I had a bunch of spare bits, making for a good excuse to exercise the old n+1 theory.

    Check out some more shots below and see for yourself just how weird of a build this is.

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  • Factory Five: Rolling Across Xinjiang


    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:

    Day One: From Wulumuqi To The Mountains
    Day Two: From The Mountains The The Desert
    Day Three: Around The Ancient Site of Turpan
    Day Four: Over The Flaming Mountains

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  • Meet The 2014 Blackburn Rangers

    Man, this video from Blackburn has me thinking about moving back to the states and riding the Pacific Coast Highway or the Great Divide. Don’t get me wrong, Shanghai is awesome, but as I type this I’m experiencing a lingering cough that has been bothering me all morning and all of last night. The cough isn’t because I’m sick, it’s because I’m inhaling too much pollution. My coworkers in the office tell me not to worry and that it’s normal, but to me there’s nothing “normal” about it; especially moving to Shanghai from Vermont.

    Anyway, this post is about the latest Blackburn Ranger lineup for their “Out There” program which embodies the culture of adventure and give cyclists an opportunity to embark on crazy journeys along the Pacific Coast and the Great Divide. Check out the lineup of this year’s Rangers below and be sure to give this video a watch!


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  • The Trophy Club: “Summer Champ” Bike Touring Short

    This is what I’m talking about! Even though my bike touring experience is limited, it’s something that’s always drawn me in with the unpredictability of such a journey. Watch here as The Trophy Club completes a 1,300 mile bike tour full of climbing mountains, meeting new people, camping, swimming in rivers and getting lost along the way; all for fun.

    Give this short by The Sleepers a watch! It sure gets me hyped for summer.


  • Be a Blackburn Ranger

    Man, if I wasn’t about to make the move of a lifetime to Shanghai, I’d be all over this. Are you looking to live the dream? How’s testing out prototype products from Blackburn while embarking on epic journeys sound? Have you ever wanted to ride the Great Divide or Pacific Coast trails? Well then continue reading below and learn how you can be one of the next 4 Blackburn Rangers. This is one of those amazing opportunities you simply don’t want to pass up. All the details are below – be sure to read more about being a Blackburn Ranger here.


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  • Gnarmads Bike Across America

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    Help these guys out! The Gnarmads are a duo of skateboarders from New York City who are riding across the US from NYC to SF, with the goal of raising money for local charities. See more on the Gnarmads GoFundMe page and be sure to donate if you can!

  • Ahearne Cycles Stainless Steel Touring Bike

    ahearne touring bikeahearne touring bike

    John and Adam may have already beat me to it, but this Stainless Steel Touring bike by Ahearne Cycles is absolutely fantastic. I’ve always admired Joseph’s work and especially his attention to detail; this bike is a perfect example of how little things can really set a bicycle apart (i.e. that spork!). Check out a grip of photos over on the Ahearne Cycles Flickr and be sure to have a look at the other bikes I’ve featured from Ahearne!


  • Weekend at Otis Mountain Get Down

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    All through August I’d been getting the itch to do some bike camping but was booked solid every weekend. Like many of you I’m sure, I had ambitious plans for the Saga and camping this summer but only got out for a handful of trips. With the camp-able weather in Vermont dwindling faster than Garfield can find pizza, I knew I had to get out there soon. Luckily, a few crazy friends of mine decided halfway through the summer that they wanted to throw a music festival in the Adirondacks: The Otis Mountain Get Down.

    The Get Down took place this past weekend, September 13-15 in Elizabethtown, NY – about 40 miles from Burlington. Now I’m not much of a festival type, in fact, I’ve never been to a music festival before. I had never heard of any of the bands on the bill either, except a couple friends who were DJing. But how can you turn down a weekend long camp out, especially when all your best friends are going?  I wasn’t about to miss this.

    I took Friday off in anticipation of  some absolute last minute packing (which actually wasn’t the case, this time) and to give myself ample time to get across the lake before sundown. While I did indeed pack the night before, I still had a number of errands to run that morning, so I didn’t leave Burlington ’til around 2 PM.

    Getting to the Essex-Charlotte ferry was cake. Once I hit New York though, sheesh, the hills started to take their toll on me. I still made it to Otis mountain by 5:30 or so, and that’s with a few stops along the way. I even rode the last few miles with a bunch of beer and 2 gallons of water that I somehow managed to strap to my overloaded bike.

    The festival itself was great! I enjoyed the majority of the music and I got to hang with so many friends I seldom get to see. Plus, I was outdoors for a whole 48 hours which doesn’t happen enough these days. I also got to ride back with my good buddy Matt, another friend I hadn’t seen in ages.

    Make sure to check out the narrated photos from the trip below!


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