If you had told me years ago that Rodeo would be sponsoring a gravel racing team in the future I would have laughed in your face. For a long time I was very anti sponsorship. I didn’t believe in “paying people to ride our bikes”. I also didn’t like the attitudes that I had seen in sponsored athletes in previous experiences I had had with some high level racing teams. I had seen a very offputting sense of entitlement on display in those teams and it bummed me out. More than once I’ve heard sponsored athletes telling me or a fan: “I don’t really like this product, I just get paid to ride it”. It made it seem like some racers had attitudes of entitlement, and few attitudes are a bigger turnoff for me.Continue reading
While we were in Silverton this August we had an incredible brand partner on the trip with us in the form of the CBD recovery brand IKOR Labs. Ikor brought along Nicolas Tapia who shot and edited these partner / profile pieces on a number of riders who were along on the trip. We’re excited to share them here, and keep an eye out for our full short film on the trip to be released in 2020!
Travis is not a guy who moves impulsively on things. When we met him in 2018 at Belgian Waffle Ride he just like us had traveled there from Colorado. He recognized the Rodeo kits that we were wearing and struck up a conversation. He had been watching online and knew all about what we were up to. We rode the bulk of BWR with him that year and made plans to reconnect in 2019 for some riding in Durango. In the mean time Travis kept watching what we were up to and set his eyes on eventually adopting a Traildonkey. He didn’t do it quickly though. Every month or two he would ask about a detail or compare some notes on how he would build it. Eventually he ordered up the frame and made a special request. He wanted us to create an homage of our 2015 Elektrobunny kit on the frame. Elektrobunny is a kit we only made and released once, so you really had to be paying attention to even know that it existed and more so to remember it.
Zeno and Mike came out to Colorado to do the Rollin’s ride and they sent in this ride report. It was a ton of fun for us to read so we are reposting it here. If you’re passing through Colorado and have some spare time to ride or say hi do give us a shout!
Earlier this summer a couple of us made the ride from Denver to Winter Park via Rollins pass. The 90 mile ride crossed the Continental Divide at Rollins Pass, elevation 11,676ft. The ride was incredibly difficult but the views as we crested the alpine terrain of The Rockies left us exhilarated and left us wanting to share the experience with others. This is when the Ride On Rollins was born. On Sept 8th, 2019 we rode to Rollins Pass again, but this time with approximately 40 other people starting from either Denver, Boulder, or Rollinsville. Of the starters about 12-15 people made the summit. Some loved the ride. Some hated the brutally rocky conditions. The rain threatened and so many of us were nearly hit full force by afternoon thunderstorms.
As difficult and challenging as the ride was it was awesome to share the route and inspire so many people to try it either for the first time or one more time. To us adventure is about embarking on rides with uncertain outcomes. Such rides test our mettle and reward us with sublime experiences that we carry with us from that moment forward. These rides are the embodiment of calling ourselves an Adventure Lab, a way to stay true to what we are all about.
This post we leave behind as a visual record.
I remember seeing this ride pop up on Nick’s Strava in 2018. Phantom Canyon? Where is that? Out of nowhere he took off on a bike ride with some friends and came back with a huge load of beautiful images and a ride title to the effect of “So beautiful my eyes hurt”. I got that sort of bike envy that we all get when friends go off and do awesome things without us.
Having come back recently from Dirty Kanza I was struck by the sheer energy and growth that the gravel riding genre currently has. There were a number of new gravel bikes announced at the race itself, each eager to have or gain credibility in the genre. Watching it all made me think about our bike and the more I thought about it all the more I was amazed at how we’ve been swept along by this gravel wave. Reflection also reminded me that our bikes didn’t start with gravel, they started with Trail. Ours is a story that intersects with gravel but also but also deviates from it whenever a trail can be found leading away from a dirt road.
Traildonkey was born in 2014 in Denver, Colorado. At the time we were spending a fair bit of time riding on paved roads but had begun to detour onto the local trails in and around the foothills of near our city.
Green Mountain, Mount Falcon, Lair Of The Bear, Colorado Trail, and Table Mountain. These were our original Lab. These were all singletrack playgrounds that factored more and more into our regular rides. Why? Because variety breathed fresh life into what would otherwise have been routine. At first we took our road bikes off road because these were road ride detours. Then we took cyclocross bikes because we needed bigger tires and better gearing out in the dirt.
Eventually we decided that we wanted to have a go at developing a bike around the exact style of riding we were doing: A little bit of road, a little bit of singletrack, and anything else that looked fun. We wanted quick on the road and agile on the trail.
We developed Traildonkey around Colorado riding and Colorado trails first. We made it for ourselves and only later decided to start a bike company so that we could offer the bike to others who had since started eying their local dirt and needed a worthy steed.
Since then gravel has caught on in a big way and we’re excited about all of the people and diversity that it has brought into the mixed terrain genre. Traildonkey loves gravel riding and racing but here in Colorado we still continue to ride them on our local roads and hometown trails exactly the same way we did when we started in 2014.
Every bike has an origin story. This is ours.
It is about 4pm on Friday (Date). Nick and I have just completed a seldom or never ridden dirt and gravel ride over three remote Colorado mountain passes approaching or exceeding 12,000 feet above sea level. We’re smashed. Smashed, if you are unfamiliar with the term, is a word that the kids these days use in place of “exhausted”. I think it’s a great descriptor.
You can buy a bike off the shelf, with a brand-complete gruppo and cockpit. Or you can get the bike you want that does what you want it to. That’s the bike we like building and before we suggest mixing and matching parts you can be sure we’ve tried it on our own bikes and ridden it for thousands of miles.