This is awesome. John Cardiel riding from Sacramento CA to Yosemite National Forest over 3 days.
All hail Cardiel!
If you couldn’t tell, I love skateboarding; I also love bicycles. For over two decades I’ve been an obsessive skateboarder and bicycle fanatic. Yeah, it sounds kind of cheesy when you put it that way, but if there’s anything I’ve come to learn in the last 20+ years, it’s that there’s nothing quite like combining two great things and doing them both at the same damn time.
Sometimes great things aren’t really mean’t to go together; red wine and sour candy, Mentos and diet cola, a hot shower in a tropical climate, road bikes and disc brakes (LOL) – you know what I mean? But when you take a bike tour in a place like New Zealand and combine it with some skateboarding, you’ve got yourself a surefire guaranteed fun-as-hell saga ahead you. “Riding The Long White Cloud” is a visualization of countless dreams I’ve woken up from, except that it actually happened.
Check out this documentary by Alex Craig, featuring some of my favorites: Rick McCrank, Silas Baxter Neal, Cairo Foster, John Rattray, Keegan Sauder, Chris Haslam and Kenny Anderson.
So kick it back, grab yourself a choice beverage and start planning a journey of your own.
Damn, would you look at this thing? Talk about a beautiful bicycle that’s as functional as it is eye-catching. This custom built touring bike was just finished for a F5 customer who plans to spend the next few years trekking the globe; and what a fine machine to do so on. The frame is a custom-built Factory Five Columbus XCR stainless steel touring frame and topped with a lovely mix of brushed and clear-coat finish. As you’ll see in the photos below, each and every cable is internally routed, which could be an advantage or drawback…depending on your preferences.
As far as components go, it’s no holds barred; the bling level here is real. You’ve got a Dura Ace 9000 11 speed grouppo, H Plus Son Archetypes to a Supernova up front and Chris King in the rear, ENVE cockpit and saddle, Brooks C17 saddle, and an E3 Pro 2 headlamp & tail light. Oh, and don’t forget The Plug III.
This is easily one of the raddest touring bikes I’ve seen in a while. While the STI shifters and 11-speed drivetrain would make me nervous while touring, they don’t detract from drool factor…this thing is supreme! Check out a few more shots below.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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.