In 2020 I dreamt up a route that both thrilled me and terrified me. A Super Sized ride, if you will. Over the years my definition of such a ride has constantly morphed from “I wonder what it would be like to ride my bike for two hours” to their current iteration: Ambitious single day routes built around idealistic objectives. Most often the objectives are peaks, or mountain passes, or geographical features that make me feel infinitely small when I finally arrive at them. Tiny tiny person, huge huge landscape; that’s my ideal, my singularity. That contrast charges me up and fills me with the sense that I am indeed living life, not watching it pass by from the sidelines. I have a small collection of these rides among my memories. They are among my most precious adventure memories: Black Bear + Imogene, Antero, Breck Super Loop, Three Passes, Denver to Kansas, Solo 200, White Rim Solo. There might be others. There are definitely others. Each of these rides gave me equal measures fear and ultimately elation upon completion. Many took more than one attempt to finish. If I were to point at why I ride bikes in an effort to explain it to people, I would point at these experiences.Continue reading
Cyclists don’t belong in the mountains once the snow starts flying. Indeed, conditions down in Denver itself were so bad on Saturday that any idea of a final ride of the year, high or low, was Ill advised. But after a week of holiday time off the bike I was anxious for an impulsive visit to the well of inspiration that is The Rockies.Continue reading
Rodeo Labs has been supporting the development of a new bikepacking event in Armenia for two years now, and the race is set to have its first edition on June 25, 2023. In this episode of the Rodeo Podcast, Stephen talks with Tom, Tatev, and Jay P about the work done thus far, the “why” of the event, and what the goals are for it. Armenia is a beautiful, challenging, and welcoming country for bikepackers and bike tourers alike, and Rodeo is proud to help support the effort to introduce this place to more riders.Continue reading
Photos by Samuel Fitzgerald, Sheldon Thompson, and Stephen Fitzgerald
It was near midnight June 06, 2021. Emporia, Kansas. I lay in bed restless before the Unbound 200 gravel race. Nerves were high, as is common before events like this, and sleep comes slowly, perhaps even not at all for some. Sometimes you push through insomnia like this and your body finds its way to let go and rest. Other times you push the home button on your phone, because you heard it vibrate. Not the double buzz of a text message, but the single buzz of some other random notification. In recent years I’ve actually learned to put my phone in airplane mode at night, because a single notification can easily ruin a perfectly good night’s sleep. This one did:Continue reading
Andrew Maher first invited Stephen onto his New Normal podcast in 2021 and it was a great opportunity to talk about a wide range of topics, philosophies, and what we do here on Rodeo. Now, almost a year later, Andrew invited Stephen on for a second time to get an update on how things are going at Rodeo, and also to to deliver some firsthand feedback on a bike that we delivered to his friend Dave.Continue reading
It is 11:34pm and my body is tight with anxiety. This is not an unusual state of being to find myself in – the sensation is nearly constant for me. But right now, approaching midnight, the sting of it is more acute. I’m laying in bed, I’ve just set my phone on the floor next to me, and I need to be awake again in five hours. Tomorrow I’m riding into the Rocky Mountains alone.Continue reading
Why did I say yes in the first place?
In January my buddy and I rode Gravelman Paris – a 350 km gravel race around Paris with start and finish close to l’Arc de Triomphe. They call it a race but that’s not really what it is. Riders can start from Thursday 5.30 am and have until Sunday 11 am to finish. A little 200 km is gravel, the other 150 km is asphalt. One rider actually approached it as a race, and finished within 25 hours, including 4 ‘inactive’ hours. He rode an average of 16.8 km/hr.Continue reading
Evan and Bo have wrapped up their final dispatch from their two month ride across, around, through, and into Armenia. It’s been so inspiring to follow along on this journey with them through words and photos. It seems that Rodeo and Armenia have been woven together through our experiences there, and we can’t wait to see where inspiration takes us next. In the meantime, enjoy this final post.Continue reading
Tom and I are not alike.
He’s into obscure Welsh rock. I’m into hip hop, I think. He went to law school. I was done after high school. He leans to the left, I lean to the right of whatever left means. I don’t think he’s religious at all. If I didn’t have faith I think I’d be dead. Tom likes a very tall riding position with an absurd stem because ergonomics. I like a low, sleek position, because vanity. Tom was a pipe smoker once upon a time. I’ve literally never smoked anything, ever, not even the tires on my car.Continue reading
Most of the bikes we build here at Rodeo Labs are customized to one extent or another. Some minimally, perhaps with different component sizes or a decal color we don’t typically use. Other are maximally customized, like for instance this build we just completed for Jason.Continue reading