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.
The roads out east go on all day long, and would continue into the next day were you were curious, and fit enough. Over each roller is another. Once at the top of any given roller you are denied parole and sentenced to ten more, your good behavior ignored by the cows, horses, and deer that decide such things out here.People used to try to live out east when living meant a lot more than it does now. Nature dehydrated their houses, money, and spirit and left only dust. People still live out east, but in an F350 / Dodge Ram sort of way. Still living, but probably a little less so than their predecessors. As a city dweller I’m in a unique position to judge hearty country folk because I know how to blow out my lawn sprinklers on my own. No sprinkler companies service my lawn thank you very much. I’m a survivor.
Tom and I rode all day long, into exactly the last light of the day. This was an important ride for me and Tom, on a friendship level. I’m quite burnt out on work, life, and everything in it. I wanted to cut our loop short because of fatigue. Tom wanted, needed to do the whole loop. Soon he will take a stint off the bike to battle cancer. Him needing to do the whole loop was enough reason for me to need it too.
We talked and rode bikes all day. Tom cares about people. I care about people. Tom loves his kids. I love my kids. Tom is a giver, and that’s a goal for me. Tom wants the world to be better. I want the world to be better. Tom loves, loves, loves crazy rides. Ditto. The crazier the better. I want people in my life that I can just talk to, all day long. Tom does too. Guards come down.
Tom and I are very similar. We figured that out a little bit more while riding together, out east.
The big mountain, the big city.
I’ve never done research on a place I’m traveling to. I’ve never read the top 10 lists and taken notes or looked into the history or geography or culture. I’ve always followed my gut and shown up jet-lagged and blind and let the bike and whoever I meet along the way lead me through discovering a place. I don’t often regret not making it to the most known places. I’ve found stumbling through a place is how to really get to know it’s charm.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
Rodeo is a company driven along by photographs. Documenting rides with a camera started a few years before we got going and was for me motivated by the fact that I didn’t have enough time to be a stand-alone hobbyist photographer and also a cyclist, so I merged the two by always having some sort of camera in my right rear jersey pocket no matter what sort of ride I was on. It started with just my phone and the Instagram app. Then I added external lenses to the phone, then I got a gopro, then I got tired of the gopro so I experimented with various point and shoot cameras. Eventually I sometimes even lugged around a full size DSLR on a specially made strap or I brought along my small drone to try to take compelling aerial photos. Taking a photograph on a ride is not hugely challenging and it is quite common these days. “If you didn’t take a photo did it even happen?” is a common joke that has an edge of cynicism. Are we taking photos of rides as a desperate cry for attention or to brag? I’ve certainly done that at times, more often in the earlier years of my cycling photo life. But more often than not I’m taking a photo on a ride because I’m so excited about the moment or the place that I’m experiencing and I want to capture that moment for later and pass it along to others. Sharing the thrill of a ride, the landscape, and the company is a wonderful challenge to take on with a camera and most of the time I actually fail at that attempt to share. 97 out of 100 photos I take go directly to the trash on my computer. Of the three that I might keep only one has the chance of being a photo I’m genuinely excited about, a photo that has the potential to communicate through a tiny phone screen or larger computer monitor what it felt like for me to be there. I think anyone who has attempted to take and share a photo has experienced this challenge. At the peak of a sublime moment of a ride or at the crest of a hill we’re overcome with how good a moment it is and we reach for the camera. We take the photo and review it later only to be deeply disappointed that the photo captures almost none of it, none of that magic that we felt when we were THERE. But when you somehow by some miracle capture that moment and it isn’t dismembered as it filters through a lens, a camera sensor, an image processing chip, and a storage card you feel a pretty huge sense of satisfaction. That’s it! That is what it was actually like to be there! That’s a special image and in Rodeo’s case those are the images that in a large part have built this company and community.
Come relive our 2017 ride around the Flat Tops Wilderness through the eyes of Director Justin Balog of Mixed Media Machine
This 3.0 frameset started life the same way all Flaanimals do: With a full dip of anti-rust coating inside and out. Instead of painting this frame after the dip we set it aside for a special project and its day finally came. We added a layer of matte clear coat over the ED to protect the coating then applied the blue graphics with custom cut vinyl decals. We also took the time to match our 2.0 carbon wheels, putting the decals into the debossed graphics that are molded into the surface of the rim. The end result is an incredibly unique look and build, and if the new owner ever gets bored with his colors he can completely redo the graphics with very little effort. How’s that for flexibility?
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.
Black Friday Rodeo Rally
Hosted by: Rodeo Adventure Labs – https://www.rodeo-labs.com/
11/24/17 @ 8:30am
Start/Parking Location: Jake Mountain Parking Lot
Black Friday Rodeo Rally welcomes you to ride 47.3 miles with us amid North Georgia’s Blue Ridge WMA dirt roads, forests, streams and mountains instead of hordes of pushy shoppers, fake mall Santa’s and cheeseballs and summer sausages. The route is a good mix of gravel/pave (70/30) ranging from flat and smooth to remote forest service roads. Oh, and don’t mind the little climbs up Nimblewill and Noontoola they will give you plenty of time to look within….