Tonight, I Am Full

By Logan Jones-Wilkins

Written June 1st, 2020, edited and published June 6th.

The following piece is a written reflection of the Rodeo Adventure Labs sponsored athlete and contributor Logan Jones-Wilkins. These sentiments and perspectives are that of the author and should not be viewed as the opinion of Rodeo Adventure Labs, although we support our athlete’s choice to use his position to voice his opinions.

Tonight, I am full.

Full of life from the purity of nature; full of friendship from time spent with an old friend; and full of fitness from the miles spent careening around the mountains of Arkansas. Yet, now as I sit in my living room at 1 AM Monday, June 1st struggling to find an elusive sleep, I am also filled with sadness. Sadness for my black and brown compatriots who still live in fear of those who are charged with protecting them; sadness for the men and women who have lost their lives too soon and their families who have not been given the justice they deserve; and sadness for all the loss racism has caused in this country that I have always called home.

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Putting on the Brakes

In my last post I went straight to trying to get you to come back to my place. I didn’t even buy you a drink, much less take you out to dinner. So let’s squeeze the levers, slow it down. Grab a coffee with me and let’s learn a little about each other.

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Owner’s Bikes, Owners Stories: Zach Adams

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Editor’s note: Zach sent us this post in an email and I enjoyed his story so much that I asked him if we could share it. He kindly agreed. What I like about this the most is that it is about someone discovering cycling from the outside. It isn’t about someone trying to add the new It-Bike to their collection, it’s about starting from zero and discovering it all fresh for himself. If you’ve got a Rodeo owner story that you would like to share please shoot us a note. We love hearing from our owners.

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Our Guide to: 1x vs 2x

I’m going to remain adamant about my belief that it is the bicycle’s core concept and not it’s small technicalities that make it great. But me, writing this just after celebrating dropping my single speed set-up in lieu of gears, also can concede that a bike with less limitations invites more fun. Any tool, and a bicycle especially, works best when you think less and less about it until the tool becomes an extension of yourself.

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Rotor 1×13 long term review

I’m gonna be honest, I keep bikes. 

I’m not a bike breaker. I don’t bunny hop curbs with the flair of a younger, wavy-haired data scientist. I’m not one to cross chain with the stubborn resilience of a corn-fed Doctor, hiding his midwestern roots behind the precision of german engineered toys. I pick my bikes for their simplicity OR for a future proof(ish) design that will allow me to smile for miles. Here’s my stable of bikes to prove it: 

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Silverton Project – Teaser

In the early 1900s miners and donkeys roamed the high peaks of the San Juan Mountains of Colorado in search of gold and fortune. In 2019 we took our Traildonkeys (and a Flaanimal) up those same hills in search of a fortune of a different kind: That consisting of great views and friendship.

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Learning to Create

My post season break after cross not only started before Thanksgiving (States was on November 23rd) but lasted a bit longer than it had in recent memory, about 2 months.  That meant I had no direction, commitment, whatever in December and most of January.  Having a new position at work helped that, and I went back to the homeland (Iowa) at the end of December – riding there at that time, well I wasn’t interested.  I started the season off on February 3rd, I had checkpoints along the way, a far off goal, and then another cyclocross season to ramp up for.

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Our guide to: 700c vs 650b

In a world as growingly divisive as our own it’s easy to mistake any binary decision as exactly that. If you’re offered two boxes to choose from surely one must bring promise and fortune and the other misery and solemnity. So you’re here on this beautiful website and you’re thinking of buying a bike and you get that all familiar decision between two evils. Surely one box must bring enlightenment and joy. The other an awful ride and buyers remorse. 

But we’re here to reassure you that regardless of what wheel size you select, enlightenment and joy are still mere pedal strokes away. ±50c is not the barrier between you and the wind, wheelies, an escape, or that dang KOM you’re 6 seconds off and only, JUST only(!) would that other wheel size get you that trophy to prove the worth of all those hours lying about your weight on Zwift. We’re here to reassure you this – both wheel sizes are great. They both have their benefits and drawbacks. But you want the best, right? Then carry on.

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Storm Racer

It is storm season in the Delta.

Every spring here in the fertile flatlands of northeast Arkansas, with the planting of the cotton comes the yearly dance with satellite storms. For any cycling enthusiast, these storms provide a dynamic setting for any adventure. One minute, blue skies line the horizon and the wind is at your back. The next moment, you make a right-hand turn and get slammed by a 20 mile per hour cross wind with a blueish grey shelf of clouds barring down on you like an airborne grim reaper.

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Last Monday, I experienced this challenge myself out on a recovery ride with my little brother. As we wheeled out of the driveway in our 900-person town of Wilson, Arkansas, blue skies were overhead and the omnipresent wind which has ruined many days was nowhere to be found. Only after we left the town of Wilson and entered the endless expanse of pan flat cotton fields of  the Delta, could we see the dark clouds on the horizon. Tully – my little brother who tends to actually think through things – questioned our choice to head towards the storm, but I refused; I wouldn’t be scared away by some angry clouds. The skies above us were bright and my good energy would not be stopped.

Tully and I bumbled along the rutted county road that lead north of Wilson to the town of Marie, cracking jokes and enjoying the fresh air. Yet, up ahead what had been a distant dark cloud had slowly morphed into a panoramic display of stormy fury. Lightning cut through the blackening background as thunder rolled off of the clouds that were beginning to bare down on us. As we turned away from the storm, a little trickle of fear started to wiggle its way up my spine. Over my left shoulder sat our house under the distant cluster of trees and water towers while over my right shoulder sat a cloud that only seemed to grow. As the sky began to turn green and our impending doom became clear, we made a quick left onto a rutted gravel road and pointed our wheels home. We were off to the races.

Whether it is the lack of competition in my life lately, or the lack of anything at all, the impetus of the fear of the storm was the only spark I needed to get the proverbial competitive juices flowing. For the last two-ish months I had been without competition for the first time I can remember. From rec soccer, to cross country skiing, to the last half decade on the bike, my life has been dictated by how far I was from my next start line. At first the void of races was a relief, a change of pace I wasn’t familiar with. Then, as the days became weeks and the weeks months, I began to feel stuck..Stuck in a house I have never lived in, stuck a thousand miles away from where I want to be, stuck with more schoolwork than I knew what to do with, and stuck without the tether that had anchored me for years. I even tried to write a post for this journal multiple times only to be foiled explaining the very “sticky” situation I just described.

Everything was just…off.

Yet, as I took off down that gravel road with my brother in tow, that stuck feeling evaporated into a euphoric smile on my face as forgotten adrenaline pumped through my legs. In the face of the roaring wind that gathered behind us and spits of water that hit my arms, I was giddy with excitement and joy, bouncing wildly down a dirt road covered with baseball sized stones. In the distance was a lonely tractor shed which served as the only possible shelter for miles. With the house still four miles away in an ever-darkening distance, the metal roof and its many ton John Deere cotton farming machinery would have to do as our race with the storm moved to its critical phase.

As I was sitting under that tin roof huddled behind a ten-foot-tall tire, I could help but thinking how fun that little race had been. I had to be present, focused, and powerful instead of living a life where time was at a standstill, yet also seemed to be slipping away constantly. In the week since that ride, I have felt much better on and off the bike. Although races still may be many months away, my little race with the storm gave me that feeling of carnal exhilaration that I’ve been missing. Going forward, I am going to be chasing that feeling. Maybe not the same fear of a possibly life-threatening storm barring down on me, but feelings, nonetheless. 

Flaanimal 5.0 // Production update

Let me start with my intro:

Hi Y’all. How’s everybody doing? That’s an absurd question of course. The world is crazy right now. But that is also a question we also get a lot from all of you:

“Hey guys! How’s it going at Rodeo? You hanging in there?”

I definitely appreciate people asking and checking in. For the record Rodeo is doing well. We’re here, or more accurately we’re not here, we’re mostly working remotely whenever possible but we are “here” in the abstract sense of the word. And yes, we are actually doing well. Not so much in the breaking sales records and taking over the bike industry sense of the phrase. Rather We’re doing well because we seem to be weathering the circumstances better than most, and it seems that the community of owners and customers that we’ve built in the last six years is in fact still ordering bikes and generally supporting what we do. For that, and on behalf of all of us at Rodeo, I say a very heartfelt Thank You! We are so grateful to still even now be able to do what we love to do for a living and we couldn’t do it without your trust and support.

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