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.
I was pulled out of my morning reverie by a text from Peder – “Evans today. Interested?”
After a week of Thanksgiving gluttony, some singletrack shred, soaking in hot springs and live music, my palette was satiated, but I felt guilty at my weekly mileage total of 15.5. With no group ride intel for Sunday, I figured maybe I’d do some solo adventure. I would find more singletrack and laugh while descending something that would greatly benefit from a dropper post.
We promised we’d do this on January 31st, so it is time to spill the beans on the production spec Flaanimal 3.0 adaptable frameset.
Let’s start with an overview and recap. The Flaanimal adventure bike project has always been a bit of a younger sibling project to the Traildonkey. Insomuch as we never intended to release a carbon adventure bike, and then we did, we also never intended to release a steel adventure bike, but now we are.
Words by Nik Van der W00ts, Photos by Brett Stakelin (@das_guy)
Cyclocross is a niche within a niche, but there is something I love about this high energy, gritty sport. I got started grinding my gears on the grass, sand, mud and barriers on the east coast. Some would cite this as the unofficial heart and home of American cyclocross. The days spent racing and volunteering in Gloucester and Providence were cold, muddy and certainly epic affairs. Those memories have stuck with me and often are the first that come to mind when I think of cyclocross.
After a hiatus from cyclocross (prompted by grad-school and a 2,000 mile relocation to Colorado) I re-tested the waters. I was in for a shock. The climate and terrain were unfamiliar compared with my first dirt-covered memories. Gone were the days of racing in parks with pristine grass that turned to rutted muddy lines. In Colorado if a race is on grass, it is spiky unfriendly blades. All the moisture is evaporated, leaving dusty loose conditions. Many a time I have come home from racing and felt like a miner, hacking up dust for the next few days. Some of the rugged courses tested my nerves on cantilever brakes and left my hands sore from trying to modulate my speed.
It has been three months since we rallied at Stoney Pass. Despite being one of those all time days not much has been written about it. Documenting our adventures is at the core of what we do around here, but documenting takes time. Time is always against us as cyclists. Time is in short supply. We all have real lives. We all have work, friends, families, significant others, other passions, and the like.
Photos by Brett Rindt, Patrick Charles, Peder Horner, Nick Gilroy, and Stephen Fitzgerald
Fall is in the air in Colorado. The leaves are putting on their yearly show as they turn from green to gold to fiery red before drifting away on gusts of wind. If you live in this state you wait for this time of year with anticipation. Maybe you feel the morning air getting more crisp by the day. Maybe you’ve noticed that the tomatoes in your garden have stopped turning from green to red. Whatever the case, you know that the window to catch nature’s leaf peeping display is small, only a few weeks at most. The Rodeo crew decided to organize a last minute rally to coincide with the season. Many of us had seen an obscure gravel road heading due east into unknown hills off of Highway 285, and it was decided that we would create a route exploring this wild section of Colorado that had hitherto not been explored by any of us. It didn’t hurt that said road plunged straight into rich bouquets of red and yellow aspen, and beneath those bouquets waited trails and roads carpeted in gold and ripe for exploring.
In three short days, on Saturday August 9th, a number of Rodeoers will embark on a uniquely strange adventure. We will, as an informal group of team mates and friends from around the Front Range, attempt an assault on Mount Evans aboard 3 speed city bikes.The ride has been dubbed the Mount Evans Chill Climb. The route will entail the final twelve to fourteen miles from Echo Lake Lodge to the summit of the mountain at 14,265′ (4,348 m). It is the highest paved road in America. It won’t be a race, it won’t be a time trial, it’ll just be a fun way to test ourselves and have a good time with friends. No official support will be provided, no roads will be closed. We’re just going on a ride together. Riders should keep in mind that the road is fully open to traffic and obey all traffic laws.
Gorge Roubaix is an irresistible weekend of gravel racing set in the picture perfect hills above The Dalles, Oregon. Entire volumes could be written about the simple beauty of the place, but I’m tired, so just picture perfect emerald green rolling hills threaded with perfect ribbons of tarmac and gravel then dotted with abandoned school houses and farms and you will get the idea.