Monday, March 31, 2008

Pro Snow Riding

Of course I was stoked when Tyler Maine from Pinkbike called on his way down to Oregon with plans to stop and ride for a bit. Unfortunately, the bottom fell out of the sky and dumped A LOT of wet, heavy snow unexpectedly. At first I thought it was all over for the day, then I came to my senses when I heard Geoff Gulevich was in on the tour too. I've always wanted to meet this guy, and I figured there was no way I could let him roll through town without sampling the goods. Tyler, Gully, and James Splinter met myself and Kyle Young from Transition Bikes for a little splish-splash down the mountain.

making the most of it

It was quite the hike up. Not a single bit of road was pedalable. The above photo was taken about 1/2 way up, so needless to say it got deeper. I really should have taken more photos, but we were kinda in a hurry due to the usual Canadian time zone difference (can't be in a hurry to cross the border on a Saturday!) and we also had a bowling tournament scheduled for 2 hours later. The hike-a-bike to the trail was hilarious! You'd think that the people in the back would take note of the slide tracks from where the front guys had busted our asses, but no, everyone had to try it for themselves! We all wrecked on the same feature (first steep part of the trail). It was not reassuring whatsoever when Kyle went first and hit his nuts really hard, but again, everyone had to try it for themselves. Man, it was really fun!

Gully taking the high and dry line
The middle part of trail was hairball. Very few jumps were rideable, and the ones that were sent us out of control on landing. Basically, there was lots of slip sliding down the mountain. It was Gully's first ride on his Rocky Mountain bike since signing with them for '08 last month. He says he likes it on the virgin ride, but we probably could've been riding Huffy's with similar results for this ride. Splinter, hailing from the Yukon, had his first snow ride ever today. What a way to start the season!

Tyler testing the waters
All in all a great time. And the bowling tournament, well, maybe you'll see pics of that later. Thanks to the WHIMPS mountain bike crew for putting together a fun social event! No thanks to myself for the hangover afterwards. I'm sure Tyler will have a great story written up on Pinkbike next week when they return from Post Canyon, Blackrock, and Port Angeles. Good luck boys!


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Full Contact Cuisine

Props to Spencer at Prospect Street Cafe. This guy knows fresh.

Cooking it up in some Wilson shorts
Chef Spencer Santinello recently moved to Bellingham from Hawaii and has years of experience creating unique doses of mouthwatering flavor. Using the freshest ingredients such as first of the season pacific Halibut, Spencer and the crew at the 'cafe whip up some amazingly high-end entrees. Oh yeah, and they also offer an eclectic array of the best wines and rare beers to accompany your meal. Did I mention Spencer rips on the trails too? I've never seen him without a smile on his face.


"full contact cuisine"

Is it wrong to lick my plate?
You get what you pay for. Wanna wow your ladyfriend? Check it out!


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Chic Rally: a mid-week ride with the gals

Daylight Savings Time is a wonderful thing. Same time, more light! I joined Lyndsey and Kelsey on a Galbraith ride last week after we all finished the work day and shot a few photos. Spring is here yall!

Lyndsey on SST

Kelsey on Bob's Trail


Spectrum owner moves on to round 2 in mountain bike photo contest

Brad Walton, owner/rider/amateur photographer of Spectrum Techwear, won week 2 of NSMB.com's Money Shot photo contest last week. The Money Shot contest is a 3-stage contest open to all amateur photographers based on mountain bike photos and judged by professionals of the industry. Dan Barham, a Vancouver, BC freelance professional photographer, picked this photo as the winner of week 2:

Kendall "Dangerous Darnell" Isenhour on the Shore

Brad says: "I have been very hopeful towards the Money Shot contest this year, mainly because last year brought about epic contributions in the places I was able to travel to ride, the number of great athletes I have as friends, the awesome scenery surrounding the trails, and the feats of amazing greatness witnessed by the camera. It's a collection of images that I am very excited to be able to look back on. I was a bit surprised that this photo won, as I had seen several people's photos in the contest that struck my eye and others of my own that I perceived as better than this one, but the amplitude of the subject matter in this photo was key. I'll have to say, it was one of the craziest days on the bike that I can remember, and it's cool that this experience now impacts a broad audience. Most of my pictures are just high-end snapshots, taken with minimal setup time with a nice camera. That's kinda how it goes when you're out there mainly just to ride! The best part about any of my pictures is that they are of my best friends."

The week 2 winning photo moves on to round 2 where it goes head to head against 4 other weeks worth of winners. The photo was made with a Nikon D70s camera and Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 lens.


Friday, March 21, 2008

DVD Movie Now Available!!!

FINALLY! The Spectrum Techwear 2007 Movie "Untitled & Boring" is now available!

I didn't make the video, so I can unbiasedly say, it's really dang good! $14 online or at your local Spectrum Techwear retailer.

own a piece of history


Thursday, March 20, 2008

$7,000,000 deal to protect Wilson's Creek, NC

I remember it like it was yesterday. The first real mountain ride I did was on Yancee's Ridge in Wilson's Creek with my buddies Shannon StClair and Mike Swanson, aboard our overly-quick handling jackhammer hardtails with 3" forks. We shuttled, except for this crazy guy Terry Sane that suggested he could beat us to the top pedalling. Shannon broke his finger on a gnarly section of trail that 10 years later, we gap over on our big squishy bikes that we pedalled to the top. The only detail from the ride that I can't remember was the date; I'm pretty sure the year was 1994. Not like it matters, because time does not exist in this place. I was instantly addicted. If it weren't for these little recreational havens like Wilson's Creek, companies like Spectrum Techwear would not exist.

Depending on where you live, riding areas are either abundant with options or limited to one. Or perhaps you have to drive an hour to get to the one spot with abundant options, which is what we had to do back when I lived in North Carolina. Wilson's Creek, NC is where myself and my friends from the east grew up riding. As the "freeride" movement began around Y2K, we began to explore deeper into the mountain forests and see what kind of riding was available. The area is a retreat for those who want to "get away from it all".

myself enjoying a mid-ride cool down

I used to get-away-from-it-all several times per week in Wilson's Creek. The sense of adventure from mountain exploration by bicycle is a real release from, well, anything that could be on your mind. And we weren't the only ones. Mountain cyclists, equestrians, hikers, kayakers, fly-fishers, tubers (not potatoes, but rather hillbillies in tubes - I once saw one hit a huge waterfall drop with a beer cooler tied to his leg) all enjoy the communion with nature this special place offers. In 4 years worth of navigating the backcountry of this area, I still found new trails quite often. And seeing other recreationalists when you get "back in there" is quite uncommon. Just being there makes you feel like the only person on Earth.

Lyndsey developing some skillz back in 2003

Designated as one of four Wild & Scenic Rivers in North Carolina in the year 2000, Wilson's Creek is surrounded by some protected Wilderness Area land and some privately owned land. Last year, a development company wanted to install 225 homes along a 4-mile corridor of the river, through a nearly 700-acre tract of undeveloped forest land. Although the family owning the land has every right to sell it to whomever they want, the impact of such development would surely lead to a significant loss of the area's recreational appeal.

Mike Swanson of Clark's Bicycles in Hickory, NC keeps me up to date on current events of the area. A bit of a steward himself, Mike has seen changes in the area in the past 20 years that have directly impacted the local bike industry. I was stoked this morning when Mike sent me an email stating that the land is scheduled to be purchased for protection. This is the article from the Charlotte Observer newspaper, regarding the recent change in development proposals for Wilson's Creek: http://www.charlotte.com/171/story/541644.html

Looks like we made it through unscathed this round. Thank goodness for forward thinking officials who realize the opportunity abounding in such a natural rarity of this day and time.

cooling down amongst 100 degree temps

We coined the term "CrossRideFreeDowning" to describe the riding in Wilson's. As corny as it sounds, it was the gnarest of gnar. 30 mile rides, 8+ hours, aboard 7" pigs, 50 lbs with 27 gears to choose from. Uphill, downhill, sidehill, overhill, logrides, steeps, etc. You don't have to ride a big bike thanks to the rapidly-progressing technology these days. Even still, it's a unique place where you can rapidly progress your fitness, technical ability, and close friendships.
Sometime around 2003 we began the Weekend at Wilson's rides. Ride, camp, ride.
It was a love/hate relationship where you either came back the next month or never again.

For years I have wanted to live "out west". I would look at road maps of the US and think about how many roads there are on the east coast compared to how few in the west. The vast openness has always been quite appealing. Now that I live here, I realize that people on this side of the country cannot even begin to imagine what a "wilderness" would be like amidst the veins of Interstate that tangle the east. The "black hole" known as Wilson's Creek serves as refuge from the everyday hustle and bustle. It's the only place I've ever been totally lost yet known exactly where I am at the same time. It's a wonderful feeling, and I'm glad that it will be there for more people to find themselves.

For more info, visit the original HickHucksters.com


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spectrum Spring Sale begins now!

Spectrum Techwear is excited to announce our first ever sale.!

We're a bit overstocked, and the 2008 Spring Sale offers an unparallelled value on all shorts and several jersey styles just in time for the riding season. These items will sell out, and some already have. Expect an average of 30% off! Our dealers are offering prices even lower than online, so if you have a Spectrum retailer in your area try them first for even deeper discounts! To see if you have a dealer in your area, http://spectrumtechwear.com/dealers.html

Orders over $150 receive free shipping!


Spectrum DVD hits the web!

Our movie is now available for viewing online on Pinkbike.com! View here

In a few short days, the DVD will be released and available on the site for $14, which gets you twice as much footage, in HD video! Available now at Drop N Zone and Fanatik Bike here in Bellingham, WA.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Fun times in Canadia

March 9, 2008

Josh, Seth, Dennis, Taylor, and I drove north an hour to hit Ledgeview and Vedder in BC. The day started out pretty wet and slippery, but the further down the mountain we got it started hooking up pretty good. Once we got to Da Plow, the flow was on!

Dennis sending the 35'er for the first time!

Seth booting the 50'er

Myself finally working up to the waterfall gap.
It turned out to be a pretty monumental day, since 3 riders each hit their biggest gap jump yet! All above photos by Taylor Keaton
It wasn't over yet though. Josh, Seth, and I continued over to Vedder for a couple shuttle runs. Seth's fork lost it's rebound and his ride turned to crap real quick, so Josh and I rode the backside trails together for a lap.

Josh dropping in at Vedder
Click on a thumbnail and use your arrow keys to scroll through
Later! --Brad


Friday, March 07, 2008

Metzger down

I received some awful news yesterday. While riding some steep-gnar yesterday afternoon with the Transition Crew, Mike Metzger (Transition/Spectrum) hit a big tree and basically de-shouldered himself, putting an early end to the 2008 riding season. Mike is awaiting surgery for his clavicle and scapula (collarbone and shoulder blade). As you can see by the x-ray, it was a substantial impact. Being a man of his stature, we're hoping the tree pulls through as well.

As usual, Mike is in good spirits. It's very difficult to come to the realization that one of your bros is seriously injured from riding. We take for granted our health on a daily basis and assume that the next ride will be just as good or better than the last. Despite numerous injuries that go along with being an athlete on the level of riding Mike is at, this is his first broken bone. You didn't have to go all out Mikey! Doctors say this type of trauma is most often seen in cadavers.

Mike brings a unique style to the table, and eats his plate for dessert. He's as well-rounded a rider as they come, and somehow is always able to find a new line wherever we go. His energy and enthusiasm for riding is contagious. Always stoked to lend advice and offer tips to newbies, Mike is a great representation of all the good our sport has to offer!

Here's Mike at the end of a 35 mile ride in Utah. Pedal power is no problem for this guy! Even a rainstorm in the desert won't stop him from taking full advantage of the terrain.

Waiting around in a parking lot to ride has never been so entertaining!

And for the record, this isn't the motocross Mike Metzger. If you have a hard time differentiating, it should be pretty obvious by this point so get it together! Mike throws tricks smooth and with authority.

Accidents happen, everyone crashes. Best of luck Mikey! We're all pulling for ya!


First Canada Ride '08

March 2, 2008

I moved here to ride, and setup Spectrum Techwear here because the action is, well, here. With the soaring prices of gas, my motivation level has increasingly declined (if that's actually possible) for driving somewhere to ride. Eventually, it had to happen. Today we made the first trip to Canada of '08.

Ol' Brule over at Pinkbike recommended Vedder due to great conditions the previous weekend, so I was stoked to try it out.

Seth Esterby launching the step down into the road on lap 1
The trails were greasy at the beginning of the day.

Trevin rolling in

Aaron Warder dropping in on Dilemma, one of the better trails anywhere.

Myself, shot by Aaron on Dilemma

Seth breaking in some new construction on Dilemma. Holy Crap is that nice craftsmanship. Even smells fresh!

If there's one thing that really gets me stoked besides riding new lines myself, it's watching other people ride new lines. Malinda really stepped it up despite the greasy conditions. Way to giv'er!

Aaron mid-balancing act
Overall, a great first Canada ride for 2008!


Leap Day, 2008

Having friends in the bike industry is great. No matter what your problems are, you're never afraid to bring work home with you and go for a spontaneous ride. I wasn't so stoked since it was raining, but Taylor showed up ready to ride, so into the Chuckanut Mtns we go!

Do you know a good mechanic? How good is he? Does he carry a multitude of tools in the floorboard of his car? Taylor Keaton is that good. It's gonna be a good ride.

Have you ever seen this sign while aboard your two-wheeled stallion? Well then you know the world of pain that is about to ensue. It's never exciting, but somehow still gets my blood pumping.

Taylor climbing up through the clouds. This is one of my favorite pics that I've taken. The sun breaking through the clouds made the climb interesting enough to take some of the pain away.

Above the clouds

Getting into some tech gnar on the flipside

What, bikes only? Suweeet!

Fragrance Lake

Taylor on some more tech gnar high above the rim of Fragrance Lake. Pretty sketchy off-camber entrance with lots of slide marks where people have gone off the side.

Nasty view from the Two Dollar trail. Sometimes you just gotta get outside and pedal.
Once you're out there, it's usually way better than you ever expected.

As always, the Dude abides. Happy Leap Day!


Metzger Skatepark action

February 28, 2008

Did a photo shoot with our sponsored rider Mike Metzger at the skatepark today. This guys kills it!

Definitely a fun shoot. I enjoy watching riders that are as versatile and smooth as Mikey.


Galby group action!

February 24, 2008

More Galby action for the beautiful weekend. Trails are starting to dry out a bit.

Trevin "enjoying" a snack

Lyndsey dropping in on Evolution

Trevin on El Scorpione

Malinda showing some newfound skillz!

Lyndsey on her nemesis logride