World’s Worst Climb™

Shrine Mountain Road, Georgetown, CO

I’d heard of The World’s Worst Climb™ in passing comment and conversation.

There were rumors of a dirt switchbacking climb snaking up the near vertical mountain slopes that wall in the historic town of Georgetown, CO. Rumors they were though. Nobody I knew had ever done it. I think the first photo evidence of its existence may have come from Matt Deviney on Instagram. Or maybe it was a photo linked on Strava? I can’t remember.

Saxon Mountain Road, Georgetown, CO. The World's Worst Climb™

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Highline Midnight Rally

Beer, watermelon, cool air, way-past-midnight tacos, are the natural ingredients to fuel the night ride. When the light fades and the dark blankets the trail, some go to bed. Others heed the rally cries to pedal. We all came looking for something – what I’m not sure – but I reveled in mystery riding at night. Rarely do I feel lost while riding a bike. When your vision is dulled, your other senses heighten, and your sense of place is muddied. Throw in good company, old + new, and you have a night rally.

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Is Flaanimal a good mountain bike?

Flaanimal in action on the mountain bike trails of Ken Caryl

We’ve been shouting about it pretty hard lately, but just in case you missed it, we launched the Flaanimal 3.0.

Straight away we started reading and listening to peoples’ reactions and impressions about what we’ve created. Some people were all-in from the start, with the first order coming in no less that five minutes after we launched. Thank you!

Other people were more skeptical. What is so great about our bike? Why should anyone pay attention? Could anyone trust our claims that a single frameset can be suitable for road biking, gravel riding, cyclocross, city riding, or trail riding?

Skepticism is fair. No harm no foul. But as I read through the comments one comment struck me.

“Yeah you can build a mountain bike with it, but is it a GOOD mountain bike?”

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Where I’m From

When people ask “Where are you from” it is always interesting to observe how the responses unfold. If a person has lived in the same place their entire life then the answer is of course quite simple but that seems to be the case less and less these days. Now we live in a transient world. People relocate constantly for any number of reasons. Where we are from is open to interpretation anymore.

As for me, I was born in North Hollywood, California… but I only lived there for a matter of months before my parents moved to my father’s childhood home in Ohio. We stayed there for a few years before, I’m not sure exactly how, my parents took a trip to the Northwest corner of the USA. I’m pretty sure the story goes something like “we saw the Columbia River Gorge and knew we had found our new home”. So, promptly thereafter we relocated in Vancouver, Washington which, if you look at a map is neither in Washington DC or Vancouver BC. It’s right across the river from Portland, Oregon but dare I say it is culturally much further than a few miles from Portland. Vancouver is a bit of a sleepy eddy next to Portland’s raging torrent. Things move slower there, it isn’t as “cool” in almost any measurable way, but I think the people who live there have a certain pride in their identity, of being a small town next to a big city. I spent most of my formative years in Vancover, but our family also detoured to Argentina for a couple of years in the middle of that. Argentina opened my eyes to the fact that the outside world is not the USA. The USA is very different from the rest of the world, a bubble of sorts.

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A rather lovely custom Traildonkey 2.0 build

Fact: Every Traildonkey that we build can be specced exactly to the rider’s preferences. Many people are happy to go with our standard builds which are well thought out, but sometimes someone comes along and wants to put together something extra special.

This build is one such Donkey and we’re excited to send it out to it’s new home!

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Mid Season Cyclocross Musings

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.

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