Wagon Wheels

A photograph of the Civilian Bikes logo printed on the frame of a Young Turk 29er mountain bike frame

Civilian Bikes company logo showing a man saluting, printed on the frame of a Young Turk 29er mountain bike

A photograph of the graphics on the frame of a Young Turk 29er mountain bike from Civilian Bikes

A complete Young Turk 29er mountain bike from Civilian Bikes photographed against a brick wall

|| Tiny wheels turning bigger wheels turning still bigger wheels. Six inches of suspension saves your butt far more often than you know. Sometimes it’s nice to drill the pedals and feel the trail immediately through the handlebars. On smooth singletrack it’s amazing how fast this bike picks up speed. Two rides on a prototype and I was hooked, there was no turning back. Although limited in my hardtail experience, I feel like you can sense the difference between a bike made by a mouse-jockey and one crafted by a designer who rides. CAD might spit out an acceptable knockoff, but shaping a bike that feels like it was poured in under your feet and sculpted from the surface of the ground into the palms of your hands, that’s art. I’ll take it.

I shot these photos of my Young Turk 29er mountain bike after picking it up new from Civilian Bikes on Backcountry.com. After a long summer of riding, I know it’ll never look this clean again.

In case you’re curious about the 29er vs. 26 debate, here’s an interesting article from Bike Radar.||

Paved

|| An injured shoulder doesn’t leave much mountain bike time on the agenda. Today I took to the road and followed the bike paths around Salt Lake City. Quickly I realized that dodging traffic might be more hazardous than trying my hand at a downhill trail. These days the Spring sun shines later and later, it warms the pavement and the air until dark. Mill Creek Canyon was my destination, and after about 30 minutes of weaving through neighborhoods I was able to find the road I needed. Single-speed bikes aren’t usually the best for sustained climbing, but I have to say it offers a unique strength training regime. Over the next few weeks I look forward more time on the pavement. ||

As Real as it Gets

|| Life, it’s a serious game. Bills to pay, ladders to climb, decisions to make, and just when you get it figured out, often it answers back with a swift kick to the teeth. Stay too serious and you could find yourself living in a van…down by the river. Just make the wheels smaller, the color a little more pink than red, and the tires? White, obviously. It’s a shame that mountain bike tires aren’t sold in a stock white option. Wouldn’t it make the world a more laid-back place if you were handed a football helmet and a set of bleached rubber when you bought a 26-inch wonder-machine? Keeping it real, that’s the game. ||

Scenes from the Road Pt. 4

|| Moab is a place of drama, but not for the people in my experience… only the landscape. The trip from Salt Lake to Moab is pretty straightforward: hop on the highway, take less than a dozen turns, and cross your fingers that the campsite you’re aiming for isn’t already occupied. Campsites go quick, this is more common than not. Provided you have the storage, the fresh water spring outside town has all the water you need. Turkey snacks and a radar detector never hurt either. ||

Scenes from the Road Pt. 3

|| Just outside Moab lies a ramshackle town that I’ve forgotten the name of. Broken down busses, RVs, a house or two without a roof, and one house with a landscape painted on its side. All this in the heat of the desert and everything regulated by a single stop sign. We stopped at the sign, looked around and the only thing in spitting distance was a post office. Someone delivers the mail, obviously, but who opens it in this town? ||