The Trail That Was

The more I go to events in the gravel world, the more I realize how serpentine the paths are to the start lines. Nowhere is that more the case than the Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder. Or at least, nowhere is it more apparent, since you have five days of mingling to share your life with former and future strangers.

On the Trail, there were olympians, world champions, graphic designers, architecture students, chefs, and wind energy executives. There were tech bros, soccer moms, emergency room doctors, and inflatable hot tub owners. There were snowboarders, triathletes, moto drivers, photographers and vloggers. All waking up in tents every morning – or in the middle of the night to drops of wayward sprinklers – to drag their tired, half cleaned bodies across one of the most spectacular ranges in the country. It is glorious, it’s weird, it is Oregon. 

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Spring Surfing: The Mid South and Croatan Buck-Fifty

By Logan Jones-Wilkins 

The last couple weeks I have been surfing. You know, the proper radical stuff. You know, getting stoked.

You just drop in, smack the lip… Waapah! Just drop down… Swoopah! And then after that, you just drop in, ride the barrel, and get pitted, so pitted.” – Surfer Guy, 2012

That’s it — that has been me. Minus the ocean, and the water, and the surfboard, and the crazy Californian energy. Nonetheless, there have been waves, I have been riding, and I have been getting pitted. So pitted

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Rodeo Adventure Diaries: Strade Bianche

Logan Jones-Wilkins

Over my spring break I had $1,000 dollars of flight credit to use, built up from four postponed trips. After so many false starts, it was time to go again – and go I have. First up, Siena for the Strade Bianche. For the trip, I put away my Instagram and my updates and I turned to my journal. Over dinners and downtime, I wrote down my sensations. These are the moments that captured the trip for me, and I hope you enjoy the “crudo” distillation of my week in Tuscany!

March 3, 2022 — Firenze Centrale, Florence, Tuscany

People seem to flow here. In scarfs, overcoats, down puffers, and other regal regalia built for temperatures colder than now, the Italian masses move with effortless intention. In twos, and threes, and four, and sometimes ones but nearly never fives, people would come, and people would go in a swirl of the sing-song language of the land.

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2021 Wrapped: Logan’s Rodeo Playlist

Spotify’s marketing team, take a bow.

Once again, you’ve done it, you mastered viral marketing. Now, December is marked by the bombardment of Spotify branded music tastes. As much as I try to be the grinch, I like it. I like it a lot.

Alas, my contrarian flare persists, and I have journals to write. So instead of a simple Instagram story share and per a budding tradition, here is my 2021 playlist. Five of my favorite songs from 2021 paired with my top five rides. I highly encourage you to listen as you go! Each passage was written while the tunes played on loop. My apologize to my roommates.   Enjoy!

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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and the Spaces Between Them

By Logan Jones-Wilkins 

I try to avoid cliches. 

After copy editing last year with a classically gnarled old-school journalist, I have been on the prowl to slash and burn the cliches I have in my writing. I think I am improving. Nevertheless, sometimes those cliches are cliches for a reason and I’d be a fool to let a good trope pass me by. So, as I have emerged from my forced concussion sponsored reset, I am going to have a little fun with some lazy formatting because it’s what I want to do. Sue me. 

In my ruminating on my summer in Ecuador, the old Clint Eastwood cliche keeps seeping in. It was good. It was bad. It was ugly. And I just couldn’t help but share this worn triumvirate in the third installment of Ecuador shorts. 

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Ecuador: “A Landscape Without a Country”

The following is an except from my upcoming article on the larger political and economic story from Ecuador. Although it may not be a cycling specific piece, it is the perspective of the region and the context of the cycling. Enjoy and look out for the full story soon.

Situated one ridge over from the outskirts of Quito, Ecuador, deep in the towering shadow of the mountainside staircase of an unnamed mine, sits San Antonio de Pichincha. In an arid landscape, defined by human domination of the landscape, the town is hardly reminiscent of the bustling metropolis to the south. 

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A Bus through Guayas

Over the month of August, I spent my time backpacking through the country of Ecuador on a research grant from the University of Richmond. While the subject of the research was not a cycling story, the scenes from the road were on their own, little nuggets of intrigue. Here is the first!

The absurdity of Guayaquil, Ecuador is hard to understate. In the dense neighborhood and enclaves, the worlds of many fuse into a convoluted web of urbanization. As I wheeled to a halt at the sudden terminus of a bike path on the outskirts of the city, that chaos was inescapably and suddenly present. 

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Unbound to be Broken: My 200 miles of flint, hills and harmony

My dad, a lifelong educator, has a favorite saying whenever he takes a group of his students camping:

“There are two types of people in life, like in s’mores making, there are ‘Browners’ and there are ‘Burners.’  Burners play with the fire, while Browner’s have trust in their time.”

While that saying is predominantly about soft, goopy, pseudo plastic desserts, the debate applies perfectly to an event like Unbound. In a world full of Burners, it can pay to be a Browner.

But enough about marshmallows! Here is the story of my Unbound:

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Unbound preview: My Verdant Path of Neglect

I wrote this journal before starting Unbound on Saturday. I was going to post this on Friday, however, my hotel’s internet was toast, so here it is as a little preview of the big report. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this little insight into how the sausage was made!

A couple weeks ago I realized I made a huge mistake. As an unabashed fan of controlled chaos and the benevolence of mess, I cannot say mistake are uncommon. Mistakes are really more a consistent reminder of the progress I continue to make.

Or so I say to myself.

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