The Rodeo Journal

Photos, words, adventures


Apr
15

2018 Rockstar VA: The Stuff Legends Are Made Of

Preface

I’ve been on a long-distance off-road adventure kick the last few yeas (exhibit A, exhibit B,exhibit C, etc).  When I heard about the Rockstar VA bikepacking race, I decided not only did I have to ride it, I was all-in it to win it.  The course seemed to be right up my alley: long backcountry trails, rocks, ridge, suffering, hardship, or other words everything that makes an epic event.  At first I thought “hey it’s just a really long ride” but the more I dove into it I found it’s actually a whole different sport.  It’s actually a combination of land navigation, lightweight camping, nutrition planning, time management, hiking, and with some bike riding in there as well.

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Apr
06

An Evening with Rodeo @ Rouleur Brewing in Cali. April 14th

Reposted from gravelstoke.com

Join us at Rouleur Brewing Company on April 14th at 6:30 p.m. for an evening of beer, bikes and stories of adventure with Stephen Fitzgerald on the eve of this year’s BWR. Stephen, Denver resident and founder of Rodeo Adventure Labs, will join us for a conversation and Q&A session to discuss everything from Stephen’s career in racing to how he built a bike brand dedicated to the sport of adventure and gravel cycling. We’ll also have a few Rodeo Labs’ bikes on display. Hope you will join us!

Seating is limited, please RSVP via the link provided.


Feb
08

Rodeo Ride Hub

Denver is a hub for Rodeo. Naturally as a lab we have evolved over the years, but what has remained constant is our desire for new roads, new mountains, and new friends. Many times we find ourselves on group rides with other local teams, so we decided to aggregate some of the most iconic rides in and around Denver. Our goal by creating a centralized place to find information on organized group rides that happen every week is to connect more riders and make new friends. Our team does extend out from Denver, as we become aware of planned Rodeo rallys nationally and internationally we will add these events to the calendar.

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Jan
10

First build: Flaanimal 4.0 Chocolate Creamsicle Di2

When Jason in Philadelphia asked him to simply build him a well rounded Flaanimal and left the details up to us we knew immediately where we’d end up. We’re huge fans of Shimano Di2 1x setups even though Shimano themselves don’t really promote it in any way. R785 Di2 shifters driving an XT Di2 rear derailleur are flawless. Every shift just clicks on demand. The new Flaanimal 4.0 internal routing kept the build looking super clean as well.

The Praxis Zayante hollow forged crankset and forged 1x chainring functions perfectly with Shimano drivetrains and is one of the stiffest cranks on the market. Our Rodeo 2.0 carbon wheels combined with Schwalbe G-One 35mm tubeless tires keep the rotational weight very low and make the bike feel snappy and quick in all conditions. Ritchey WCS controls are the workhorse of all of our builds providing extremely dependable performance and low weight.

Special shout out to SloHi Bike Co. in Denver who do almost all of our complete builds. Their attention to detail is always incredible. Noticed how they heat shrinked the rear brake and Di2 lines together before they enter the down tube to keep the build clean and to keep the Di2 wire extra protected. It’s all about the details!

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Dec
30

Risk / Reward: Black Bear Pass

The summit post of Imogene Pass.

I stared up the rusty colored scree field and strained to make out the solitary post just barely peaking above the ridge line that topped it. That was the prize. That was the summit of Imogene pass, the second summit of the day, the crux of the ride. The post was not far as the crow flies, maybe only a couple hundred feet away. It felt much further, infinitely far all things considered. Our progress was painstakingly slow. The fatigue and altitude had quietly stolen away all of our spit and venom all day long leaving us with dry mouths and heavy legs. The 4×4 road surface was generously strewn with wet, coarse rock. We shuffled on our feet.

The summit post of Imogene Pass.

I swiveled left nervously, my eyes following the ridge line west until they found their target about a mile away. A dark wall of clouds was quickly approaching us. Only ten minutes earlier they had seemed twice as far away. The clouds didn’t move if you stared at them but if you turned away they darted closer at an astonishing pace. Now they were nearly on top of us, thumb and index finger shaped like an O, ready to flick us off the mountain.

The summit post of Imogene Pass.

A quick mental calculus painted an obvious picture: We weren’t going to make it. We were only a half mile from the summit, a distance that we could cover in a few minutes on a normal ride, but at 12,600 feet with steep gradients ahead of us it would take us more than fifteen minutes to cover the ground.

“What do you think?” I asked Peder, hoping he would contradict what I knew to be true.

“It’s going to hit us.” he said. So much for that. “But I really don’t want to high tail it back down to Telluride.”

A strong gust of wind hit us, a light rain along with it. If we turned around now we would fail to complete our planned loop but if we went for the summit we’d get t-boned by the storm; completely exposed on a ridgeline at 13,114 feet.

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Co CX Champs
Dec
12

Mixed emotions: A State Championship win

Race photos by Kit Hunders

As the end of 2017 arrived, the Colorado State Cyclocross Championships arrived with it.

Cyclocross has changed for me over the years. A half decade ago I was so jazzed about the bike racing discipline that I couldn’t even sleep the night before a race. I would genuinely dream about it. I wanted go fast, I wanted to see if I could win. I had a pretty singular mindset.

Gravel racing is great and all, but in terms of drop bar bikes Cyclocross delivers the quickest, most intense punch in the thrills department.

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Flaanimal 3.0 custom blue
Dec
01

Flaanimal 3.0 custom build gallery

This 3.0 frameset started life the same way all Flaanimals do: With a full dip of anti-rust coating inside and out. Instead of painting this frame after the dip we set it aside for a special project and its day finally came. We added a layer of matte clear coat over the ED to protect the coating then applied the blue graphics with custom cut vinyl decals. We also took the time to match our 2.0 carbon wheels, putting the decals into the debossed graphics that are molded into the surface of the rim. The end result is an incredibly unique look and build, and if the new owner ever gets bored with his colors he can completely redo the graphics with very little effort. How’s that for flexibility?

Rodeo Flaanimal 3.0 custom blue gravel adventure bike

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Nov
28

Mount Evans in November

Words by @kaizergilroy, Photos by @denvercx & @kaizergilroy

I was pulled out of my morning reverie by a text from Peder – “Evans today. Interested?”

After a week of Thanksgiving gluttony, some singletrack shred, soaking in hot springs and live music, my palette was satiated, but I felt guilty at my weekly mileage total of 15.5. With no group ride intel for Sunday, I figured maybe I’d do some solo adventure. I would find more singletrack and laugh while descending something that would greatly benefit from a dropper post.

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Nov
23

Better than shopping – The Black Friday Rally – GA edition

Black Friday Rodeo Rally

Hosted by: Rodeo Adventure Labs – http://www.rodeo-labs.com/

11/24/17 @ 8:30am

Start/Parking Location: Jake Mountain Parking Lot

Ride:

Black Friday Rodeo Rally welcomes you to ride 47.3 miles with us amid North Georgia’s Blue Ridge WMA dirt roads, forests, streams and mountains instead of hordes of pushy shoppers, fake mall Santa’s and cheeseballs and summer sausages. The route is a good mix of gravel/pave (70/30) ranging from flat and smooth to remote forest service roads. Oh, and don’t mind the little climbs up Nimblewill and Noontoola they will give you plenty of time to look within….

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