It’s been a while since I had been to a ‘cross race. Maybe even a few years. And it had been just as long since I stood in a considerable, torrential downpour for hours on end. The Surf City Cyclocross All Hallow’s Eve event was my reintroduction to the world of cyclocross racing and my introduction to monsoon season in California.
Huge props to the Santa Cruz Factory Team for racing fast and keeping things positive in spite of the conditions.
Early in September I hit the road from Salt Lake City, Utah bound for Alberta, Canada. My mission was a simple one: a solo road trip to explore the mountains, rivers, and trails surrounding the Banff, Jasper, and Kootenay National Parks.
With a small truck and a light load of camping and bike gear, I had the freedom to stay or go as I wanted and to explore at my own pace. The US and Canadian highways took me through truly epic mountain passes, through glacial parkways, and into some of the most intensely gorgeous forests I’ve ever seen.
It wasn’t long before I had tucked away hundreds of photos and racked up more than 2,500 miles between Utah, British Columbia, Alberta, Montana, and eventually, Idaho.
Below are a few images from my trip. For the really curious, I created a more extensive gallery on Exposure—enjoy.
Shredding the Wasatch Crest mountain biking trail with Adam Riser and Re Wikstrom. The Crest Trail runs along the ridge between Big Cottonwood Canyon and Park City, Utah.
In the summer months this is one of the most popular rides in the area and recently free shuttles started running from the Mill D trail to the top of Guardsman’s pass. For visiting riders this is a classic and a must-do. The trail is a mix of flowing, well-ridden singletrack, moderate-length but punchy climbs, forest riding in and out of aspens, and fast-and-dusty descending back into Big Cottonwood.
Alternate exit options take you to either Park City or Millcreek.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the Crusher in the Tushar, it’s a long road/gravel bike race with a “fair” amount of climbing (read: TONS).
It’s definitely one of those things to add to your roadie bucket list if you enjoy pain, high temperatures, and a party in the mountains. The race is held every year outside of Beaver, Utah.
The mountain biking in Fruita, Colorado is a little slice of heaven baked by the sun and carved from the desert. Singletrack trails crisscross the desert around the now-famous 18 road and even more trails skip along the spiny backs of nearby ridges that protrude from the mountains. Unless there’s a storm clouding the sky, sunsets light up the horizon nightly and stars blaze from one side of your vision to the other.
On this particular day I chose to do some trail running just south of The Canyons resort and discovered that the snow hadn’t entirely melted yet. This makes for the best kind of dirt, though: tacky and fast.
Years ago the camping around Stanley, Idaho included a small, secluded site atop one of the ridges just above town. It took a heavy foot on the gas pedal, four-wheel drive, and a little bit of faith to climb the rutted and dusty road up to this site and it was worth the trouble. This is just a portion of the 360-degree view of the star-filled sky over this small Idaho town flanked by the Sawtooths.
Visit Stanley for the rafting, mountain biking (send me a message for some beta), and hot springs. You’ll never want to leave.
|| The heat has returned to Utah. The dirt is dry and mountain biking season is back in full foce. In honor of the heat, I decided it was time to post these POV mountain biking photos. This is a continuation of the series I started a couple years ago during the winter. All of the bike photos were shot on the trail in Corner Canyon in Draper, Utah. I rode the same bike for every shot, a Civilian Bicycles Young Turk, and used the same camera rig described in my winter post.
With the explosion of HD resolution helmet cameras, this point of view is nothing new. No matter, as cliche as it sounds, this project was about trying a new technique and having fun. I accomplished both missions and came away with a series of photos that I find interesting. Years from now, when I’m old and gray, these photos will remind me how fun it was to ride my bike. My hope is that they’ll do the same for someone else too. ||
A season of riding my Civilian Young Turk hooked me on the idea of 29ers. With parts from my Santa Cruz Heckler and the Young Turk, I was able to build this Diamondback Mason. I was attracted to this particular frame because of the slack head angle (66.5 deg), 12×142 rear axle, and dimensions that closely matched the fit of my Heckler. Thanks to Mr. Brian Bernard for the wrench time, the teachable moments in the shop, and a general beardiness.
Look for a mid-term review once I’m able to ride the Mason a little more. Bike Magazine posted a review here.
For the stats nerds: this is a medium frame with 750mm bars, 70mm stem, a 140mm fork with 20mm thru axle, a 1×10 drivetrain, and one seriously long rear brake line.
Re Wikstrom and Shaun Raskin take in the view over Brian Head, Utah. Mountain bikes got us there and mountain bikes got us back… but not before the storm hit. Muddy rides are worth enjoying.
The Location in Brian Head
This overlook is a classic stop on this particular ride. Some days it’s overcast, some days it’s sunny, and some days you get a powerful mix of weather. Re and Shaun provide the perfect amount of scale for this photo.
Independent photographer and writer. Proud Mainer.