Mid South was the first outing for the Rodeo Labs Pro Gravel team and what a race it was. The course lived up to its reputation and the competition was fierce. Jonathan Baker had amazing ride to 3rd overall on his TD3. Recap by Jake Aisenbrey.Continue reading
This Journal entry was sent to us by Jason Riddle. We’ve invited our community to send in submissions for the Journal in an effort to keep telling stories and showing our collective excitement for cycling even during this Covid epidemic. If you would like to send in a journal entry please do get in touch through our contact form.
This morning I approached the tenth tee feeling slightly guilty. Last night I had told my buddy I was staying close to home today. I wanted to give my wife a day to chill. She had been entertaining our daughter, walking our dogs, going to the grocery stores and farmer’s markets, while I spent most of the weirdest week ever working at the shop. But this morning she said “It’s going to rain the next two days, you need to get out.”
What an awesome partner.
So out I get. To play bikes, not golf. Living on an abandoned golf course makes for a nice way to start a multi surface ride. Cart paths, maintenance roads and deer trails are welcome amenities these days (and the overgrown sand traps provide some nice jump lines).
My Flaanimal and I cover most of the back nine, ducking off the course to exit the neighborhood. Up an overpass and into our small town, we are headed for the gravel roads surrounding Bull Run Mountain.
Things are unusually quiet, even for a Sunday morning. The churches are empty, the cafe is closed, but the town cop is out. We roll by the small bike shop I’ve wrenched at for the last few years. Not yet open, I wonder how busy the boys will be today. I wonder if I was right to stop going in during business hours. I wonder how long we will stay open.
I hit a section of singletrack that eventually leads to gravel and immediately head for my favorite road, ready to get lost in a long rolling descent. It’s perfect, I push, screaming through the washboard so fast my bouncing eyeballs lose focus of the surface. I want to go harder, risk a bit more, but I suddenly remember what’s going on in our world…
So we dial it back and begin to make our way back home to my family and my dogs. Town is still sleepy but there are already people waiting for the shop to open. Again I begin to wonder.
What did it take to go from already busy dad / husband / bike company guy to someone who is prepared to bikepack across Morocco? Here how the last three months looked to me.Continue reading
I’m in the air right now. Denver to Dallas, Dallas to Madrid, Madrid to Marrakesh, Morocco, Africa.
By Logan Jones-Wilkins
Ah, nothing like the chirping of alligators in the morning.
A chorus of those spooky songs called out from all directions as I rode down a desolate gravel road about 30 miles west of Palm Beach, Florida. I was searching for a suitable place to take care of my pre-race pee before the 5AM start of the Sugarcane 200.
By Logan Jones-Wilkins
Staring down a 200-mile bike race is scary. REALLY scary.
Staring down a 200-mile bike race in January is just plain old silly.
For me the Sugarcane 200 will be my maiden odyssey into the wild world of gravel racing. I am excited for the challenge ahead, however, I really don’t have many wise things to say going into it. I know next to nothing about the competition, except that Ted King is one grade-A certified fast dude. I know next to nothing about the course, except it is longer than long and flatter then flat. Lastly, I know next to nothing about nutrition and tactics, except I need a lot of food and even more patience.
By Evan Christenson
I’m just now entering the stage of the bike ride when the hang over moves from the head to the legs. The road has finally returned after dropping off sandy double track and the wind is soft as we climb into the mountains surrounding Anza-Borrego. The early morning light is splitting canyon walls and we pedal on. It’s day two of the trip and we’re already dancing with God.
By Logan Jones-Wilkins
Every once and a while I look back into my memory searching for the seed of it all. I can spend minutes sifting through troves of distant sequences of experience, trying to find the one – the trigger – that set me on the road less traveled that I am on today. Where oh where was my love of the bicycle born?
Rodeo is a company driven along by photographs. Documenting rides with a camera started a few years before we got going and was for me motivated by the fact that I didn’t have enough time to be a stand-alone hobbyist photographer and also a cyclist, so I merged the two by always having some sort of camera in my right rear jersey pocket no matter what sort of ride I was on. It started with just my phone and the Instagram app. Then I added external lenses to the phone, then I got a gopro, then I got tired of the gopro so I experimented with various point and shoot cameras. Eventually I sometimes even lugged around a full size DSLR on a specially made strap or I brought along my small drone to try to take compelling aerial photos. Taking a photograph on a ride is not hugely challenging and it is quite common these days. “If you didn’t take a photo did it even happen?” is a common joke that has an edge of cynicism. Are we taking photos of rides as a desperate cry for attention or to brag? I’ve certainly done that at times, more often in the earlier years of my cycling photo life. But more often than not I’m taking a photo on a ride because I’m so excited about the moment or the place that I’m experiencing and I want to capture that moment for later and pass it along to others. Sharing the thrill of a ride, the landscape, and the company is a wonderful challenge to take on with a camera and most of the time I actually fail at that attempt to share. 97 out of 100 photos I take go directly to the trash on my computer. Of the three that I might keep only one has the chance of being a photo I’m genuinely excited about, a photo that has the potential to communicate through a tiny phone screen or larger computer monitor what it felt like for me to be there. I think anyone who has attempted to take and share a photo has experienced this challenge. At the peak of a sublime moment of a ride or at the crest of a hill we’re overcome with how good a moment it is and we reach for the camera. We take the photo and review it later only to be deeply disappointed that the photo captures almost none of it, none of that magic that we felt when we were THERE. But when you somehow by some miracle capture that moment and it isn’t dismembered as it filters through a lens, a camera sensor, an image processing chip, and a storage card you feel a pretty huge sense of satisfaction. That’s it! That is what it was actually like to be there! That’s a special image and in Rodeo’s case those are the images that in a large part have built this company and community.