Foreign – Luke’s Traka Adventure

2 AM, on Sunday Morning and I’m in a Boeing at over 35,000 ft in the air. Sorry, over 11,000m in the air. When competing outside of these United States, we will use the metric system, like the rest of the civilized world. But I refuse to be some proselytizing Metric Snob just because I have been to Europe once. As soon as I cross that border, that Wahoo returns to miles and I’ll be referring to my beverages in “fluid ounces” and calling French fries by their true name, freedom fries.

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Dispatch from Edyn: Into the Drift

Editors Note: Edyn is one of Rodeo’s supported riders, and really excels in endurance and ultra endurance situations. His latest outing was another frigid, challenging fatbike race in his home state of Idaho.

After spending a cold night cramped in a van with one bike, two people, and a dog it was time to get up. Frost covered the windows and I could hear the wind outside. We had arrived in the dark so I had no idea what the area looked like but after stepping outside onto the cold crunchy snow I could see the beauty of where we were.

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A Season of Lessons, Pt II

Summarizing a 10-month season of racing is complicated, but in an effort to take you all along with me through 2023, I’m going to try. Events like Mid South in mid-March now seem so distant compared to the more recent sweltering heat of Foco Fondo in July.  Now it’s December, and I’m deep into prepping miles for the 2024 season. My brain wanders while on the trainer: What is it that defines a season as a success or a failure? Is it really either-or, or is it neither-nor?

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A Season of Lessons Pt 1

For the last 10 months, I have been racing professionally in CA, AZ, OK, CO, NE, KS, and AR. My TrailDonkey tells the story of long, dusty miles and many lessons learned. This is the first year I have raced full-time and it has been an enlightening experience. More than a tool for fitness, a bicycle is a teacher. The lessons are usually tough and sometimes take more than one confrontation with challenges. I entered the season wanting to dive deeper into the sport than ever. Over the season, I’ve grown as an athlete physically, mentally, and professionally. I’d like to share some of the things I’ve learned so far in 2023. I can’t wait to see what new lessons the next season will teach me.

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Edyn’s Adventures: Rebecca’s Private Idaho

Editor’s note: We’re thrilled to welcome Edyn Teitge, a young (14 years) endurance racer and gravel rider hailing from Colorado. Edyn is rolling on a purpose built Rodeo Labs TD4 for the remainder of the 2023 and the 2024 season, and we’re excited to see where he takes it, including a planned ride in the 2024 Tour Divide.

Photos courtesy @adventurescoutmedia @stellar_media. Now on to the story!

Rebecca’s Private Idaho or RPI is a multi-day gravel bike event in Southern Idaho. I decided to race the Queens Stage Race (QSR), which goes 186 miles through three timed stages and one rest day/social ride. The first day is one of the most beautiful and technical stages as it winds up the Harriman, a non-motorized double-track trail at the foot of the Boulder Mountains.

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UCI Gravel Worlds: Getting to the start is the hardest part

How I tried making it to the World Championships gravel racing.

So, my buddy Jan, who used to be a world champ on the track, asked me back in May to join a gravel race in Drenthe, The Netherlands. He said, “Hey, it’s a chance to qualify for the World Championships gravel.” He had already qualified a few months earlier at another event in Limburg. To be honest, I had no idea what I was getting into, but I thought, “Why not?” So, I coughed up 60 bucks and waited for more info. It came a bit later. The Gravel One Fifty is a 150-kilometer race, and let me tell you, it wasn’t a walk in the park. I scouted the course two weeks before the race and quickly realized that 45mm tires would’ve been a good idea.

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Gravel Worlds, and what Singlespeed has taught me

2023 has been a great year of bike racing at Rodeo Labs. We’ve scooped up quite a few podiums and victories between Donkeys and Flaanimals, and beyond race results it’s been great watching owners and community members line up and ride for reasons other than trying to win. As for myself, for a number of reasons this has been the year of ditching geared drivetrains and instead racing singlespeed. I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process.

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Robididn’t: Open Range Tornados

I experienced a wide range of emotions after standing on the podium at Unbound. Climbing up there and fulfilling a long journey of hard work and sacrifice filled me with elation. However, it also left me with a lingering question of “what’s next?” The following four days were mostly filled with snacking and sleeping as I basked in achieving my biggest goal of the year, only touching the bike to clean it.

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Podcast: The Race Director Round Up — Part One

Welcome to the Rodeo Labs Race Director Round Up! Over the next few weeks, as the gravel race “season” gets underway, we have decided to take on a mini-series focusing on gravel racing through the collective eyes of gravel race directors from across the country. Race directors are both the tastemakers and the police of the nucleus concept of “the spirit of gravel.” While race directors have a fantastic platform to voice their perspective for their own races, that voice is often limited to those narrow confines.  The goal here is to use our podcast, as a small journalistically minded outlet with no skin in the game, to give them a collective platform to share their interpretations of the state of the sport. 

In part one, Logan introduces the series through a field dispatch from the Gravel Worlds gravel race in Nebraska last summer and the dialogue that followed. The first conversation was with Andy Jones-Wilkins, who is not only Logan’s father, but also an accomplished ultra-runner and pundit. Using the conversation with Andy as a framework, Logan sat down with Jason Strohbehn, the race director of Gravel Worlds and the co-host of the Gravel Family Podcast, to learn more about the race and start at the question that is guiding the whole series: what is the state of gravel bike racing? 

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