How do you compare and contrast an effort, especially when one is by foot and the other by bike? That wasn’t the driving question when Stephen and I sat down with Sam Martin, but we couldn’t help ourselves and asked anyway. Sam is fresh off of the Tour Divide. From the outside looking in, he was unfazed by the preparation and inevitable supply chain delays. So drastic, that Sam rode the Tour Divide on a demo Trail Donkey while awaiting his Flaanimal pre-order. He took it all in stride. Good, bad, who knows? While on the trip, he would post to photo updates and amazed us with stunning, moody, and in my mind, images that represent a love letter to bikepacking. I saw the Tour Divide in a way I haven’t seen before. However, Sam’s path did not start here. During the summer of 2018, Sam thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. It became clear to Stephen and I that much of Sam’s “being unfazed” was due to his experience (gear and mindset) to prepare for an undertaking of this size. In some senses, while the medium was different, a lot could be translated.Continue reading
If you have been following the Rodeo Labs stories on Instagram you’ll likely have caught onto a theme. Every week stories get posted of smiling faces on Flaanimal’s. Better yet with captions noting you, yes you, can demo the Flaanimal 5.0 directly from Paper Trail Bike Cafe. While Stephen has met both Paul and Mark, I had some catching up to do. Therefore it was only natural to get on a call and hear the ideas they have been concocting throughout pandemic quarantine. They had plenty of time to ideate and now in full swing is the Gravel Travel arm of Paper Trail.Continue reading
The last time we heard from the miniseries, Stephen and I introduced the crew heading to the Atlas Mountain Race. With roughly three months until the race kicks off we knew we needed an update. So we caught up with Ashley and David to hear how they are feeling. The conversation that followed is a good reminder that the road to Morocco (or any event) is not linear. Everyone has faced challenges in their preparation. Including, loading the wrong map, losing navigation and a lighting system, a hub disintegrating on the Kokopelli Trail, unplanned night rides with only headlamps, pulling the plug on a big ride, and reflecting on rides long past. In sum, this episode is a good reminder that being human means ups and downs are to be expected. Despite it all, it gives space to reflect and have resets, physical or mental, as well as new goal setting (like finding ways to enjoy riding at night) the crew is honing in on AMR!Continue reading
Photo credit Eddie Clark.
As bike enthusiasts or even, dare I say, bike nerds, we obsess over bikes, gear, weight, suspension (or lack thereof), geometry, and tires. We can’t help but keep track of what are the the latest trends and tech. So when bikepacking.com releases their the famous list of participants bikes and photos tackling an event, we can’t help but ogle at the myriad of choices. We are giddy with excitement for what is to come; often untold hardship and profound moments for the participants. On the other side dot watchers are all over checking in at various points throughout the day only imaging the vast terrain that yields slow, but steady progress.Continue reading
Much like a release of any thrilling docuseries on Netflix, the opening episode sets the stage– a cast of characters introduced, various pathways illuminated, but not yet explored. Similarities to the Netflix model diverge immediately. Unfortunately this miniseries will not be binge-able until much, much later… We are building the ship while sailing it, we don’t know if there is a satisfying conclusion to this story, the only way to find out is to press on!Continue reading
The hosts of the Leadville 100 podcasts were super kind to invite Stephen Fitzgerald onto their show to discuss a question they’ve been hearing more and more from their audience: Can a gravel bike be raced successfully at the Leadville 100 mountain bike race? And even if it CAN be raced, SHOULD it?Continue reading
Across multiple industries, COVID-19 created an initial dip in demand as factories shut down, people quarantined. Global supply chains halted. Now supply while restarted cannot meet the demand. In the bicycle industry, COVID-19 is creating lasting changes and certainly repercussions to business operations. In the meantime, Stephen and I did not see a lot of discussion around what is happening. Some news articles discuss the limited supply of bicycles. As a result, we knew this would be the perfect topic for the podcast.
On the same day that the capital was stormed while the House and Senate were certifying the 2020 election, Stephen and I were scheduled to link back up with Connor Ryan and hear about the Break The (BI)cycle ride. We were stunned. Wondering if we should we carry on with the podcast or reschedule? It is easy to freeze or doom scroll news and social media, but ultimately we want to put something positive into the world. So we sat down with Connor and and we are glad we did!
On the ninth episode of the podcast, Nik and Stephen catch up with Denver local legend Tom Miller. Tom used to be quite the football quarterback. Tom puts out a max of 32,000 watts in short bursts. Tom has a Hemi. Tom is larger than life. Tom is a regular at Denver group rides and he has been rocking Rodeo colors since 1.0.
If Tom isn’t at a group ride, he is often found doing 200+ mile days with RMCC. So naturally we discuss what are the motivations behind these epic days and how did he even get started with cycling. 2020 threw a lot at Tom, including a pulmonary embolism scare. Tom has penned some words (found below), in the podcast we discuss how important it is to build friendships. Friends can motivate you, but they can also give perspective when you are too close to something. In this case, knowing when to reach out for help.Continue reading
On the eighth episode of the podcast, Nik and Stephen virtually catch up with Ashley Carelock and Dr. Seth Wood. They both recently competed in the 2020 Arkansas High Country Race and both set Fastest Known Time(s) (FKT). Your hosts dig into the experience the only way they know how, excitedly asking questions about what happened, like gear choices, or in Seth’s case a single gear!Continue reading