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    I remember it fondly, a non-stop, international flight from America to Tokyo. The beer was only malt, the vegetarian meal was some kind of octopus stroganoff, the inflight movie was in Thai, and my seat was strategically located eight inches behind a big screen — somewhere in between the third and fourth circle of Dante’s hell, aka the food prep quarters, lavatory, and baby cradle wall. It was arguably one of, if not the, worst flight(s) of my life. In retrospect, however, these moments don’t occupy my memory — they really aren’t that memorable. No, when I look back on [...]

    There’s a pretty good chance that a ’90s or Double Ought hardtail is collecting dust somewhere within your circle of friends. Given that, I’m sure that the relic has heard an exchange or two about rejuvenating it into a singlespeed. After all, it’s just sitting there, so it’d be fun to try something new. It’s easy, right? Just strip the redundant parts and go for a ride — done and done! In actuality, there’s a reason that the bike is sitting, and not just because it’s been ridden hard and put away wet. It’s due to the immense changes in the [...]

    You wouldn’t like me when I haven’t been riding. Surely, you’ve personally experienced this, but without the calming rhythm of spinning my legs out, minor inconveniences seem somehow inexcusable. The reason for this is simple: being a bike rider is, or so I’m told, akin to being a pseudo-junkie. You spend too much money, and the pounds melt off your body. The people closest to you start to worry about your health, and you don’t care, because it makes you feel so damn good. When we can’t get what we need, irrational feelings kick in and there’re only two solutions [...]

    Despite spending twenty years atop World Cup Downhill game, Santa Cruz Syndicate’s Steve Peat is showing no signs of slowing down. We catch up with gravity racing’s elder statesman and talk history, team dynamics, and raising the next generation of shredders. GF: It’s become something of a post-season ritual for the rumor mill to report that you’re retiring from downhill. Is this the year you throw in the towel, or can the fans expect to cheer you on for the 2014 World Cup season? SP: They had better be there to cheer me on, it’s so much more fun when [...]

    From the Pro’s Perspective: Michael Barry For ages, cyclists assumed that narrower tires were better. Time trial bikes were fitted with 19mm tires, as we thought that they would slice through the air better than a 23mm. The rider cautiously rode to the start line, avoiding any bumps or road grit, for the fear that the tires might be punctured. We’d pump them rock hard, as we thought that harder tires created less rolling resistance. We also thought that narrower and harder tires were more aerodynamic, rolled faster, and were more responsive. Well, they aren’t. In the last five years, [...]

    With the widespread acceptance of enduro racing, we’ve been hearing some complaints that either marketing departments have fabricated the whole movement, or that it’s somehow not “real.” You know the type, they say things like, “why does it need a name? We’ve been riding this way for years.” Despite such astute observations, these modern day bicycle scholars are missing the point — enduro is a racing discipline. Your weekly trail ride doesn’t count for the same reason that riding laps around your block isn’t a criterium. But even if enduro has been created by marketers to sell more bikes (spoiler [...]

    Whenever I hear rumors of some revolutionary new fabric making its way into a brand’s latest outerwear collection, I can’t help but proceed with a bit of caution. Dissecting the marketing puffery that chaperones much of today’s apparel takes a keen eye and, more importantly, a series of sustained, out-in-the-wild beatings. Well, it just so happened that Castelli released its buzzed-about Elemento 7x(Air) Jacket right when the weather here in Utah began making its annual turn toward the frigid side of things, making it perfect for me to get in some real testing miles. Relying on a blend of proprietary [...]

    Riding along the bike path to the heart of the city, several electric bikes pass me, giving me a slight startle each time as their silence allows for no warning before I see them. I pass others that are moving slowly; their riders are often slouched in the saddles with their feet resting on pedals that get little or no use. An e-rider’s position most often appears as if they’re lounging as opposed to riding. In the last two years, electric scooters and bicycles have become increasingly common on city streets and bike paths. Most of these machines aren’t designed [...]

    The word “powermeter” is notorious for conjuring up mixed emotions. If you use one, you probably feel a phantom pain in your legs right now from a subconscious recollection of interval training and racing at your threshold. If you’re uninitiated, you either feel intimated, confused, overwhelmed, or all of the above. Both control groups have a right to these feelings because, frankly, powermeters are pretty damn confusing for all of us. The application of a powermeter makes enough sense. After all, you only need to watch a couple of races with Team Sky at the front to appreciate their effectiveness. [...]

    Servings: 15 | Time: 25 minutes Per serving› Energy 249 cal, Fat 6 g, Sodium 194 mg, Carbs 45g, Fiber 2g, Protein 4g, Water 65% Find more recipes from the Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables Cookbook

    I’ve been asked the question many times as to which is better, rollers or trainers? However, I find “better” to be a misleading term. Although riders have their preferences, one isn’t any better than the other. They are, in fact, simply different. And depending on what you plan to accomplish during the winter months, or even in-between road rides in the summer, you may find yourself drawn to one or the other. Quite possibly, you’ll eventually end up with both in your quiver. First and foremost, rollers help with balance. And while you’ll most likely start with them positioned in [...]

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the adjective form of “fat” is defined as “(of a person or animal) having a large amount of excess flesh”— not quite a fitting description for a bike. In my experience, referring to something as “fat” has always been less than flattering, regardless of whether the term is directed towards a person or if the “f” is dropped in favor of a “ph” for a positive affirmation. Both are annoying. However, I’ve never been a fan of pigeonholing either, which is what the term “snow bike” truly does. The Borealis Yampa is far more [...]

    With 24 hours to go until the start of the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Hoogerheide, Jonathan Page was kind enough to set aside some time to give us a course preview, and to tell us about his preparations for the big day. Let’s hope for another podium! Go Page! I headed up to Hoogerheide today! My wife, three kids, and myself were are all in the mobile home. After a brief stop in the scenic city of Gent to let the family off at my two oldest kids’ Chinese school, I was on my way.
 I was admittedly a [...]

    Michael Barry: Art

    Bicycles are not only vehicles and sports equipment, they’re sometimes viewed as pieces of art. Many frame builders make bicycles so elegant that they can be hung on dining room walls. Like a painting, poetry, or music, their bicycles tell a unique story that will only grow richer with time or with each kilometer ridden. In contrast, most artists struggle to draw or paint a bicycle on a canvas or a piece of paper. But there are a few artists who have managed to properly convey the bicycle’s beauty and appeal in their work. Over 40 years ago, Daniel Rebour [...]

    10 years ago, society would have viewed the extent of today’s social media as nothing short of pervasive—we wouldn’t have been wrong, either. This form of media invites others into our lives, while simultaneously allowing us control over exactly what parts of our lives that we want to be perceived as our identity. Here’s a picture of a pizza. I love pizza. Here’s a picture of a bike. I love to ride bikes. Any notion of pervasiveness requires a willingness from the user to partake, to control this perception. And for this reason, certain, how to put it, digital behaviors [...]

    If we were to think of one company that consistently keeps us on our toes, Santa Cruz would have to be at or near the top of the list. For this reason, we wanted to grab a couple minutes of founder Rob Roskopp’s time to discuss the past, present, and future of Santa Cruz Bicycles, and well, mountain biking in general.  GF: 2014 will be the 20th anniversary of the Tazmon, a bike that helped to usher in a new era of mountain biking. In that time, the sport has changed significantly. What do you miss about mountain biking in [...]

    In the bowels of winter, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s easy to lose inspiration, eat that extra donut, and spend your days in the office astral projecting towards the warmer days of summer. Well, all of this is true until you meet Mike Cotty. He’s not a RAAM racer, and he’s not someone who believes in the impossible. In fact, he doesn’t even goes as far as to believe in possibilities, as every ride is always on the table. I was lucky enough to grab some time with Mike while he was in Annecy, France, and he [...]

    Riding is an addiction, and a hard one to shake at that. I cross train in cold weather, but at some point, I know that the trainer will beckon. The call came early this year, as I tore my MCL and was taken out of all activities, save alpine touring and skiing. Luckily, I was handed a BKOOL Wireless ANT+ Trainer and was told to “ride my heart out.” Being honest, I’m a trainer snob. After years of training on smooth, machined rollers with a simple MP3 player, I’m not easily impressed by gadgets and media that tout making indoor [...]

    It’s January 22, two days until I head to Nommay, France for the last World Cup of the 2013-2014 season. On this trip, I’ll bring the whole family, as it always makes for a nicer time, especially since I just got home last week after being away for 2.5 weeks. While I train, the kids and my wife will go biking or rollerblading on the extensive network of bike paths in the area, and on Sunday, they’ll be there to cheer me on at the race. I’m looking forward to it. I like the course, and it’s always good to [...]

    Michael Barry: Grass Track

    Traffic in large cities has made teaching children to ride bicycles difficult. Allowing them to venture around the block on a bicycle alone, as past generations did, is worrisome for parents. Even for experienced cyclists, riding in traffic can be daunting. Drivers speed through neighborhoods, rushing to get to work, to get their kids to soccer practice, to pick them up from school, or to go for coffee while chatting on phones or texting. Now that modern traffic no longer allows kids to ride up and down many streets, where can we safely teach them to ride, race, and have [...]

    - Arriving in Los Angeles, I expected to see more Francos. Do you know Franco? It’s southern California’s answer to Canyon. Franco likely lacks in Canyon’s engineering prowess and most definitely lacks its WorldTour presence. But it nevertheless shares the cornerstone principle of Canyon’s success. Both companies sell their bikes consumer-direct. By cutting out the wholesaler, the bike shop and their markups, retail pricing for, say, a Dura Ace bike should be a quantum leap lower. Pricing is a true advantage for Canyon. A cursory inspection online, however, shows that Franco isn’t playing from the same book after all. For [...]

    A couple of weeks ago, our friends at Manual For Speed had their boots on the ground in Boulder to cover the Cyclocross National Championships. Here’s a few of our favorite shots: Tim Johnson prepares for the holeshot, while a young John Travolta lurks in the background. Powers took the holeshot and stayed at the front for, pretty much, the rest of the day. Accordingly, the battle for second place started about 45 seconds into the race. Trebon powered in pursuit of Powers, and Johnson spent the day chasing Trebon. Jamey Driscoll’s diesel engine was working overtime for the day. [...]

    Take a minute and think of the many miles, trails, and other adventures that you and your trusty steed had together last year. Now go ahead and focus on the service that bike of yours continues to deliver while the two of you are out there braving the wet and salty conditions that define winter riding. There’s really no better time to remind yourself of these successful rides, as winter conditions, in particular, tend to take a component-eating toll on those two-wheeled friends of ours. So do yourself a favor and devote some quality time to your bikes this winter [...]

    Michael Barry: Health

    The global reach of professional cycling extends further with each passing season. The World Tour peloton begins the racing season in Australia in January and finishes in China in late October. In between, they are not only racing in central Europe and North America, but in the Middle East and northern Africa. The internationalization has livened the sport by reaching new markets, providing an influx of sponsorship, public interest, money, and competition. But the rapid expansion into parts of the world that were previously unknown to cycling may also be coming at some expense to the riders’ health. Bike racing [...]