News

Andes Pacifico 2017 with Marco Osborne

17 February, 2017

Words and photos by Marco Osborne:

This year was my first ever AP and I was stoked! I’ve heard so many good things about this event, so it was time to check it out. 5 days of blind racing and adventures through the Andes sounded like a great way to start off the race season.  Without all this big stress of the EWS races, this one was all about the experience. Having fun on the bike, adventuring into new zones, and sharing it with new friends.

Day one- We started off the day driving up too La Parva ski resort where we then took the ski lift up to the first stage. Riding the famous #antigrip was no easy task. My hands were put to the test after 2 months off the bike. Long, Fast and rough stages made for a very difficult first day. 

Day two- The second day we were still high in the Andes mountains, very deep into the back country. After a two hour drive in the pickup trucks, we climbed for another hour into the Santa Matilde region. 

 

This area was home to ranchers and hundreds of wild horses. The day consisted of two long stages where the goal was to go fast and try to avoid the dangerous cactus.

Day Three- This was the longest day of the race, taking place in Chicureo. An area known for its endless Moto trails, that ran all the way to the City of Santiago. The day started with a 17 minuet stage descending over 4,000 feet. This stage was a true test of physical strength, endurance and technical ability.  We then took the pickups on a serious mission, a three hour shuttle up very exposed and rugged dirt roads. Then we finished the day with four fast Moto style stages, ripping all the way down to Santiago. This was our final day in the Andes on our quest for the coast.

 

 

Day Four- Our new camp was based in the small town of La Ligua, a region know for it’s Chilean pastries and hand made sweaters. We were now in the coastal range mountains, so the stages were much shorter. We raced 4 fast and flowy stages that dropped into the Valle Hermoso.

 

Day Five- On the final day of racing we all had one goal, make it to the beach for a big piscola celebration. We raced in two different areas, two stages in Pullally and two in Papdu. The trails were once again very fast and loose, Ending with very fresh cut course that challenged everyone to the final stage. Everyone’s spirits were high as we could see the coastline and our final destination of Cachagua. We made it! It was time to celebrate, jump in the pacific ocean and share a drink with the crew!

The Andes Pacifico event staff did an amazing job. From the amazing meals, beer on tap, Shuttle drivers, Medics, to the camp set ups , this trip was an absolute treat. 

In the last month Chile has been hit with devastating wildfires. The fires have completely wiped out everything in its path, leaving many peolpe without homes and jobs. The fires were so bad, the Organizers at MontenBaik had to change the route of the race. With only two weeks before the event, the MontenBaik team scouted new locations, pulled permits and re organized the last three days of racing. They were very stressed out but made this best of the situation. In the end, the race turned out just perfect, Huge THANKS go out to the entire MontenBaik crew for making this happen! 

 This race is what mountain biking is all about.  Adventuring into the unknown, making new friends and sharing this crazy experience together. Andes Pacifico does it right!! See you next year. 

Jerome Clementz: Season starts with a win!

17 February, 2017

For my 3rd edition of "Andes Pacifico", I was excited to come back to Chile to escape the freezing temperatures from France, ride good tracks and of course be back on racing!

The Montenbaik crew, which organizes it since 2013, and has year by year improved by listening feedbacks from international riders but also from the 90 riders who attend this event. For Jérôme it's a must do! During 5 days, this must-do event start from the high Andes mountains at 3600 meters elevation above Santiago, and reach the coast in the pacific ocean side in "Cachagua".

This multiple days race offers intensive stages with lots of pick up shuttling in the furthest countryside of Santiago to ride some of the best trails! Some days we even reach more than 40 minutes timed stages (for the best), with "anti-grip" terrain where you need to deal slippery ground and cactus trees in some inside corners! This year Chile has been caught by serious wild fire and the organisation has to find a plan B in last minutes to change route! Big up to the organisation crew for this amazing reactivity.

 

Blind races has always fit with Jérôme's style of riding. International riders have travelled worldwide to join the event: Marc Scott (Santa Cruz), Yoann Barelli (Commencal), François Bailly Maitre (Ibis), Cédric Gracia (Santa Cruz).

By reading the best lines, Jérôme manages to be in the first spot at the beginning of the week. Some excellent riders coming from Chile are pushing their limits too, like Milciades Jaque or Pedro Fereira who respectively end up 2nd and 4th at the end of the week. Jérôme delt also a strong François Bailly Maitre, winner of the 2016 edition, who finishes in 3rd position overall. 

Jérôme: "I am super happy with my accomplishment of this week I pushed hard to get into the race directly on the first stages, and it pays off! I tried to ride fast but also cleverly to end up at the bottom with no mechanical. Of course I enjoy the event too by drinking a beer after each day of racing with all the riders! It's a long race and appart of riding you have to deal with mechanic by yourself every night, and I like these vibes!"

Photo: Dave Trumpore

 

 

Brian Lopes Adds Rims and Tires to His Sponsorship With WTB

17 February, 2017

Eight years ago, we were honored to announce a new saddle partnership with legendary mountain bike racer Brian Lopes. Today we're stoked to announce Lopes will be adding WTB rims and tires to his quiver of bikes. 

Bragging rights...something Lopes has spent the last few decades gathering an endless supply of. Four world championship and nine national championship titles to his name and has won 25 world cups in a range of disciplines including four-cross, dual slalom, downhill and BMX. Somehow not amazed yet? Lopes has also been inducted into both the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame as well as the BMX Hall of Fame.

“After so many years of being sponsored by WTB for saddles, I’m excited to grow my relationship with them by adding tires and rims to my program.  The variety and quality of choices they offer for every condition is going to making riding and racing way more fun this year.” - Brian Lopes

A bit more from the man, the myth, the legend himself...

Sponsors:  Ellsworth, Pearl Izumi, X-Fusion, Factor, Renthal, ODI, KS, HT, G-Form, Lazer, Oakley, GoPro, KMC, Wheycoco, Chris King, Bike Co., and of course WTB.

How long you have been with WTB?  This is my ninth year.

Age: 44

Discipline:  I do them all.

Hometown:  Laguna Beach, CA.

Favorite place to ride:  Anywhere in B.C., Canada.

Fun fact:  The more air you are catching, the more fun you are having.

How does WTB contribute to your success?  You spend a lot of time sitting on your seat and having a place to plant my butt that comforts me for all those hours. I’d call that a success.

How you started out competing?  My dad took me to the BMX track in 1975 for my first race and that’s where it all began.

First experience with a bike:  Well I’m sure I rode around the streets before that first trip to the BMX track, but when I was 4 years young the biking started.

Who do you look up to?  I look up to a lot of people.  I try to surround myself with good people and most of them all have some qualities that I admire.  

Other activities(off the bike):  Moto.

Beverage of choice:  Lemonade. 

Place you have always wanted to ride:  Bolivia… my wife is from there and the mountains are huge.  There have been many riders who have done shoots there and it looks like a cool place to adventure.

Instagram handle:  brianlopes

Facebook page link:  brian lopes

Twitter handle:  brianlopes

Website link:  www.brianlopes.com

Why Plus-Size Tires Need TCS Tough

07 February, 2017

The introduction of plus-size mountain bike tires opened up a completely different riding experience for many riders. Riders who were new to the sport found additional confidence in the increased traction and forgiveness of a high-volume tire. Bikepackers finally had a tire that worked for a wide variety of terrain while also providing a smoother ride for long days in the saddle. Many aggressive riders laughed at the idea of plus-size tires, only to find that their descent times were often faster with these monster tires beneath them.

However, weight was a major concern when plus-size tires were first introduced. They needed to provide the benefits of high volume tires without adding too much rotational weight to the equation. Each of our WTB Trailblazer 2.8 (the first 27.5+ tire ever produced), Bridger 3.0 and Trail Boss 3.0 tires were introduced solely in a TCS Light version, which utilizes our Lightweight Casing. They're an excellent tire choice for a majority of riders, but we realized that certain riding categories and styles needed something a bit more. Bikepackers were looking for something with a bit more heft to provide added durability and reliability for exploration in truly remote regions. Aggressive riders ("senders" in proper WTB nomenclature) wanted to run lower pressures without the worry of rolling a tire under heavy cornering or, you guessed it, excessive sendage. 

We took note! Our Ranger 2.8/3.0 tires are our first plus-size tire model in which every size is offered in a TCS Tough version. From the trail-approved 26+ Ranger 2.8 to the bikepacker-demanded  29+ Ranger 3.0, there's a TCS Tough version of our newest plus-size tire for every riding style and need. TCS Tough casings have allowed us to run the low pressures that made plus-size tires appealing in the first place. They've made the platform noticeably less squirmy and have removed any worry of rolling onto the sidewall in tight corners. They've already provided us the peace of mind we needed on extended bikepacking trips as well.

It varies by tire, but TCS Tough versions of each Ranger 2.8/3.0 add about 220 grams over their TCS Light counterparts. There's no getting around that. However, the benefits of the tougher casing are exponentially more noticeable than the difference in weight. 

Ranger 2.8/3.0 is only the beginning and you'll continue to see our plus-size tires offered with the proven TCS Tough casing.

Here are the specs (including weights) for each of our TCS Tough Ranger 2.8/3.0 tires:

Wheel Size Level Weight Compound Casing Bead
26" x 2.8 TCS Tough/Fast Rolling 985g Dual DNA Enduro TCS

26" x 3.0

TCS Tough/Fast Rolling 1025g Dual DNA Enduro TCS
27.5" x 2.8 TCS Tough/Fast Rolling 1044g Dual DNA Enduro TCS
27.5" x 3.0 TCS Tough/Fast Rolling 1080g Dual DNA Enduro TCS
29" x 3.0 TCS Tough/Fast Rolling 1140g Dual DNA Enduro TCS

Rad People Who Ride: Jordan Carr & Lani Bruntz

02 February, 2017

Vanbassador...that's essentially taking the incredible role of being an ambassador for a passionate company and combining it with a van to ensure the adventure never stops rolling. When van life isn't enough, become a vanbassador. That's exactly what Jordan Carr and Lani Bruntz have done and it's made the rest of us incredibly jealous. We considered creating a Rad Couples Who Send It post, but realized it would certainly create too much envy.

The duo recently spent two years traveling the country spreading the good word of mountain biking as the IMBA Trail Care Crew and although the IMBA Subaru has now been traded in for the Kitsbow Sprinter, their mission is still the same. Sharing good times, great rides and inspirational practices with the biking community they've come to love. For example...while the rest of us were bunkered down to get through the recent snowpocalype, they were checking out the -12 degree temps in Crested Butte, Colorado for the Fat Bike World Championships.

Be sure to give their Instagram a follow at @kitsbow.venture if you have even an inkling of interest in high fives, van life, outrageous adventures, inspirational couple goals or seeing the US through a life of bikes. 

Names:

Jordan Carr

Lani Bruntz

Home Shop and City:

Jordan: Double Shot Cyclery, Gunnison, CO

Lani: Since I've been on the road for the past three years, Absolute Bikes in Salida has been my go-to shop. I can't make it that often, but I make sure to go through and stop in whenever I'm back in Colorado. They're great!

Notable passions, feats of accomplishment, interests, goals, phobias and unusual experiences:

Jordan: Finished the Colorado Trail Race, Vapor Trail 125, 12 Hour downhill race, Breck Epic. I like suffering but love to have fun.

Lani: I must say, my biggest feat to date was living out of a Subaru for two years with my partner, Jordan Carr. We traveled the US working for IMBA as the Trail Care Crew, delivering presentations on trail development and leading trail building schools in nearly every state. Everything we needed for those two years fit on the bike racks or inside the car and we were able to ride trails all over the country and meet amazing and inspiring people nearly every day. This experience transformed into a lifestyle for us, and now we get to travel the West, working for Kitsbow, leading the charge on the ground as the "Van Team" (and, yes, that means we get to travel out of a van now!).

Favorite WTB product:

Jordan: Vigilante tires.

Lani: The Vigilante!

Favorite Ride:

Jordan: Oh there are so many. I'd have to say the Monarch Crest or Canyon Creek. High country rides with amazing descents are my absolute favorite. But really the ride I'm on at the moment is my favorite.

Lani: Canyon Creek off of Monarch Pass in Colorado. You can't beat the alpine views and ripping descent.

Background, how’d you get into riding, what kept you going with it?

Jordan: Was exposed to the community. Chequamegon Fat Tire Fest in Wisconsin was the first big event I attended, which turned me on to riding. I then ended up working at a bike shop at 14 and the rest is history.

Lani: My dad! Well, it actually started with an ad in the Denver Post for Ride the Rockies, a 6-day supported bike tour around Colorado. It caught my eye on the way home from a camping trip to Fruita with my family. I had borrowed my mom's friend's bike for the weekend, and despite two bad crashes due to not knowing how to use clipless pedals, the idea of a 400-mile bike ride around Colorado sounded great. My dad suggested we try a century, and we did. By the next summer, I was 13, and we signed up for Ride the Rockies. Every summer through college we carved out that week and toured all over the state of Colorado. It wasn't until after college that I started mountain biking. After a rough start, where I admittedly decided I despised riding off road (that is a story for another time), something clicked (another story for another time), and I've been hooked ever since. The constant challenges of the sport, whether technically, physically or mentally, keep me going. I just love the challenge, the adrenaline, the endorphins, and most of all, the exploration and freedom I get on a bike.

Tube or tubeless, why?

Jordan: Tubeless for sure. Sealant makes everything better.

Lani: Tubeless for sure. I'm know for slamming into things.

3 most important things to bring with you on a ride?

Jordan: Candy, Cold Brew, safety kit.

Lani: Snacks, water and layers. I need snacks to look forward to, and without adequate food, hydration and warmth, I don't get the same enjoyment out of my rides.

Craziest thing you’ve seen or witnessed on a ride?

Jordan: Amazing storms both above me and in the distance. One of my favorite parts of riding in the mountains.

Lani: Hmmm. I'll probably think of something crazier, but the most memorable thing that comes to mind is wolf prints. I was riding with a close friend in Idaho, on trails that we've sadly lost to forest fires four summers ago, and sure enough, we spotted a handful of what we later identified as foot prints of a wolf! They looked fresh and it was awesome!

Most important lesson to teach the groms?

Jordan: Have fun and be nice. Give them the tools to enjoy each and every day and be grateful for every opportunity they have. Especially on the trail.

Lani: Of course we need to show them the fun and freedom that comes with the sport, but it is also incredibly important to expose them to the importance of action and advocacy. Being a steward of the sport, trail and land is of utmost important during this day and age.

Left my wallet in… (fill it in):

Jordan: Hard not to say El Segundo. But I have left my wallet in a lot of random places. Most recently it was stashed in one of my secret spots under my floor mat and I went months before finding it.

Lani: The van.

Anything you’d like to plug, courtesy of WTB’s blog?

Jordan: Check out Kitsbow. Get out and ride your bike.

Lani: Keep your eyes out for the Kitsbow van this summer. We will be traveling to events all over the west, racing when we can and hosting and attending group rides. Be sure to stop by for a beer and get out for a ride with us! Find us at @kitsbow.venture on Instagram. It going to be a great season and we love riding with new and old friends alike!

 

The Final Lap: A Change of Plan in Melago

23 January, 2017

Most adventures start out in a casual manner; in our case just two guys hanging out and chewing the fat, thinking about bikes and where best to ride them. That day a plan was born to go on a ride; a long ride, under the code name “Search, Ride, Sleep”. The dialogue went something like this between the two of us;

“The nights are already pretty cold, what about a place where we can still sleep under the sky with nothing but our sleeping bags?”

“Yeah no problem. What about the Provence?”

All said and done, the next step was to find an appropriate location; a place with good trails or at least suitable terrain, since we did not want to follow the tracks of thousands of other bikers riding the same old trails. We wanted the thrill of discovery. Lengthy internet searches finally rewarded us with our chosen destination: Gap. The next step was the task of compiling all our gear, plundering our basements for backpacks, sleeping bags, mattresses, and a stove. Then the bike-check: checking every bolt, brake pads and cables, and every bearing. For good measure, the bikes each received new WTB tires and a Reverse Components' bar and stem package. Better safe than sorry. Then the car was loaded and we were on tour.

However, plans change. By now, as it was very late in the season, it had gotten so cold and rainy that we had to divert from our initial plan and thus, had to improvise. In the time frame we had allocated, the alpine Reschensee had the best weather forecast. The only problem was, we had exactly one day to find new riding locations and book our accommodation. Both proved harder than anticipated as the tourist season had already ended, so most hotels had already shut their doors. Finding appropriate trails to ride was also difficult since we wanted some adventure and not the typical tourist stuff. In the end we found the Pension Tirol where a very friendly, Christian Schöpf greeted us after a four-hour drive. Even though we arrived late at night, Christian shared some of his local knowledge with us, sharing with us his personal favorites offering stunning views.

The early bird catches the worm, so in that spirit we got up at 5am to start our expedition in the area of Melago. It was cold and dark as we unpacked the car and set up our bikes. We mounted our lights and off we went up a narrow hiking trail, heading for the Weisskugelhuette, a cabin at a height of 2,541m. There are two trails leading there and due to our lack of planning we ended up taking the tough one, and tough it was. The first 5 kilometers took us four hours of alternating periods covered in sweat and frost, but it was worth it. Our early start rewarded us with a magnificent view of the sun rising over the mountain range. That morning we were alone up there, just us and nature and it was glorious. In front of the cabin at the top we prepared our breakfast; Irish stew and couscous with chicken, and as a final reward, a cup of freshly-brewed coffee served with the epic view of the surrounding glacier.

The sun crept over the horizon, slowly bathing us in its warm rays. The frozen pond next to us was a stark contrast. Satisfied and warm, we eased into the downhill portion of the ride, starting out on a nice wide trail which gradually turned into some sweet singletrack. Accompanied by the spectacular view of the valley below us the trail got tight and twisty, sprinkled with just the right amount of roots to be technical but fun. The occasional hairpin turn kept us on our toes.

But what would a bike ride be without the time to savour the little things? We had already made considerable progress down the mountain so we decided to take a coffee break right next to a stream. Holding a warm beverage and with the last breath of autumn in our faces, we could hardly believe that winter should soon settle down over this lush landscape. As we arrived back to our accommodation we were done for the day, longing only for rest and sleep.

The next day dawned and following an early breakfast we departed, just as it started snowing. It was our final lap. Happy about making such good use of the last day of autumn the previous day, we made our way home. Even before crossing the border back into Germany, we were immersed in planning our next trip, this time with at least one night under the stars. Living the great adventure of life.

For our trip we would like to thank Vaude, Reverse Components, Primus, Sea To Summit, Trek n Eat, WTB, Canon Germany, Bluegrass, MET and Conway Bikes.

 

Text / Photo: Alexej Fedorov Translator: Lukas Paul Edit: Alex Burchell

 

Rad People Who Ride: Cameron Sanders

19 January, 2017

The photo above tells it all. Cameron Sanders (@adventure_by_bike) is a man of rad adventure. Not a watered down version of adventure that provides expectations or limitations. The rad kind adventure that is fueled by desire to experience life in an unconventional way that makes the memory more unique and authentic. He's always out there...constantly making a reality of the places he wants to see via bike. Not allowing anything to put a damper on his goals, he'll set out with a pack raft if that's what it takes to get where he wants to be. We sent him a set of Nano 2.1 and Ranger 2.8/3.0 tires to help support his bikepacking expeditions and next thing we knew we were receiving an endless stream of photos showing how he's used them to reach places we've only dreamed of experiencing. We'll let him take the stage from here and tell you what he's all about.

Name:

Cameron Sanders

Home Shop and City:

I'm a drifter by nature and never seem to settle into any one place long enough to call it home. I'd say I'm most at home in the saddle, with the bike loaded down and the world unfurling before me.

My garage is my home shop, although, recently I've been patroning Crows Feet Commons in Bend, OR for good company and to test out the newest dropper posts.

Notable passions, feats of accomplishment, interests, goals, phobias and unusual experiences:

I'd put getting asked to blog for WTB right up there with notable accomplishments and strange feats I never imagined doing!

Folks know me these days mostly for my bikepacking pursuits in out there places, like the Alaskan Backcountry or along the frozen Shoreline of Lake Superior… however, my Gateway Sport was caving.

I've worked 13 years with state and federal land management agencies like the National Park Service and US Forest Service. My career began as a cave guide and surveyor for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Had it not been for the life lessons learned while surveying caves, I would likely never had pursued a life as a steward of our public lands.

Favorite WTB product:

Most any WTB tire with TCS Tough Enduro Casing gets a big thumbs up in my book.

Right now I'm loving the 3.0 Rangers for Backcountry Bikepacking and 2.1 Nanos for gravel grinding and fire road touring. If I were planning a trip around the globe via remote back roads (perhaps I am), I would reach for one of these tires.

Favorite Ride:

It's hard not to immediately think of Moab's Whole Enchilada or Captain Ahab trails when imagining the best and most epic trails out there.

I must say, however, the trails of the Alaskan Kenai Peninsula hold the most special of places in my pantheon of favorite locations to ride. Johnson Pass Trail, Resurrection Trail, Crescent Lake and Lost Lake Trails molded me as a backcountry cyclist. All these routes individually offer great all day all mountain adventures. Where these routes really shine, is when combined into long distance bikepacking expeditions. The Chugach National Forest even offers multiple rustic cabin rentals along the routes - perfectly spaced for touring. Back when I lived in Anchorage, I would take a hut-to-hut fatbike holiday trip with friends each December.

Background, how’d you get into riding, what kept you going with it?

Most folks are surprised when they find out I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was in college. Cycling entered my life by surprise.

I didn’t grow up riding a bike. As a young man never possessed dreams of touring the globe via saddle. As a misbegotten youth I lived out of a beat up Dodge Caravan and spent the majority of my time wandering the woods with a bright red Petzl Ecinrock helmet and a tattered secondhand NRS Farmer John wetsuit in search of caves.

Growing up I dreamed of leaving the Midwest in search of high crags, waterfalls, glaciers, and adventure. When I got the chance, I left on the first flight I could afford to Alaska with no home and nothing to my name but the lime green Osprey backpack on back stuffed to the brink with an oversized military sleeping bag and far too much cotton.

Most of who I am was forged in Alaska. During my first few years in the state I spent months out of sight of towns exploring wild places. The mountains there instilled in me a wilderness ethic and a sense of responsibility for our public places. Eventually I settled into work with the National Park Service and US Forest Service as befitted my lifestyle and ideals.

I learned to ride a bike that first summer in Alaska. My first bike, a $300.00 Diamondback, which felt like the most expensive bike in the world to me at the time, had one purpose: to take me into the mountains.

For many years my backpacking trips began on bike and my bikepacking trips consisted of cycling with a 65L pack for a day to a week and ditching the bike in the woods when a summit appeared which needed bagging.

As that first year in Alaska drug on and I remained vehicle-less, my bike took on fat downhill tread studded with roofing tacks and layers of interior ducktape during the harsh Alaskan Winter.

Being both completely broke and inquisitive in nature, a series of unfortunate bike thefts left me thinking I could simply ‘build up a bike for less’… I couldn’t have been more wrong, however, my experiences thereafter have left me with an understanding and appreciation for not only the ride, but the art of bicycle fabrication. I annoyed every bikeshop in town with inquiries as to why I couldn’t mix this with that and why this had to be that way. I cared little for fitting to the bicycle industry’s status quo and more about the inner mechanics which lead to the art of motion.

My dreams of making it as a hot shot mountaineer died with a winter expedition gone seriously wrong which left me wondering if I would ever walk again. The low impact nature of cycling assisted in my recovery and what once had been the means to access the wild, became the adventure itself.

Overtime my bikes took on new shapes to fit the objectives of my adventures: strong and light steel, fat tires, frame bags custom stitched in living rooms, dynamo hubs, and better components.

I am not some hotshot racer. In the rare instance I enter a race you won’t see me on the podium. I’m not an ultraendurance rider, although I try to lump my vacation together each year to accommodate some big ride I’ve spent months dreaming of. Like so many, I spend most of my time working to provide myself and my loved ones with food on the table (and bikes in the garage).

At the end of the day, cycling is a means to the end I’ve always desired: an escape to adventure.

Tube or Tubeless, why?

Tubeless because it’s single handedly the best improvement to cycling since disk brakes. Going tubeless is cheap and easy. Carrying a spare vial of sealant is easier than carrying a spare tube (Although I do carry a spare tube as well on long remote journeys. For really out there trips, I carry a latex mold powder blend with me to make DIY sealant on the go - just add water) . Nearly all tires and rims come tubeless ready these days. You have no excuses - go tubeless and never go back.

3 most important things to bring with you on a ride?

Your Trail Ethic:

  • Be kind to the environment
  • Be kind to other people
  • Be kind to the trail
  • Respect Public Land Rules and Regulations
  • Smile

A Sense of Wonder and Adventure.

A frame bag - Ditch the pack (or lighten it) and put everything else you need for a safe and fun journey in your frame triangle (this is a much better and more stable position to store things than on your back, seatpost, or handlebars).


Craziest thing you’ve seen or witnessed on a ride?

I’ve seen lots of big game while out riding from Moose, to Grizzlies, to Bison. I even once got shot at while riding in very rural eastern Oregon.

I must say, however, the craziest thing I’ve ever witnessed on a ride is a toss up between a franken-truck backing down a waterfall via a wench a full day out into the Alaskan backcountry off of anything remotely resembling a road (the drivers were equally surprised to see a ‘crazy’ cyclist), and getting stalked by a mountain lion on a winter cycling trip this past November.

Most important lesson to teach the groms?

I’m going to be perfectly honest here and admit to Google searching “Define Grom” prior to answering this question...

It’s simply not enough to love to ride and do what you love. You’ve got to share your passion with others and you need to be civically engaged with your community, your trail networks and your local land managers. Join a local trail club. If one doesn’t exist, make one. Help maintain trails. If you don’t have local trails, approach the city manager, chamber of commerce, state parks and/or federal agency land managers. Don’t get frustrated if things move slowly at first. Don’t settle for “no” or “we’re too busy”. Don’t pirate illegal trails.

With hard work and the right approach, mountainbiking can benefit an entire community - far more than just benefiting the cyclists. Use cycling to make your neighborhood into a better, more resilient community. Use cycling to generate fellowship among neighbors.

Pay close attention to how your public lands are being managed. If changes are taking place which could compromise those lands, write to congress and let them know you disapprove and that their actions are negatively affecting your community and its wellbeing.

Be a steward and an ambassador of cycling.

Left my wallet in… (fill it in):

… in my coat or pants pocket and then it fell out during my ride/commute… I find it along the side of the road magically 3 weeks later after I have gotten a new wallet complete with all the important cards there within...

Anything you’d like to plug, courtesy of WTB’s blog?

@Adventure_By_Bike Instagram - Follow my adventures on Instagram. Insights to aid in escapism.

National Park Foundation - The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks. Funds contributed to the Foundation are invested directly into the national parks of the United States.

National Forest Foundation - Created by Congress as the official non-profit partner of the USDA Forest Service.

Adventure Cycling Association - The Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) seeks to empower folks to travel by bicycle. Many of the great touring routes in the USA have been created by the (ACA)

International Mountain Bike Association - The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is a non-profit educational association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve trail opportunities for mountain bikers worldwide. Support IMBA.

BTR Fabrications - Looking for the dream bicycle to load up with all your WTB goodies? BTR Fabrications believes in no-nonsense and no compromise framebuilding. All BTR frames are handbuilt in the UK from the highest quality steel. #SteelisReal my friends.

ATM Handmade Goods - Need to find Item #3 from my “most important things to take on a ride list?”  There's lots of companies out there making framebags, but Andrew the Maker can outfit your rig with bags specific to your ride and needs. He's a stand up fellow; drop him a line.

Porcelain Rocket - Meet Scott Felter, owner of Porcelain Rocket. Scott makes some of the best bikepacking saddlebag systems in the world… and yes, he’s even got a dedicated setup for dropper posts.

Hammer Nutrition - Another good thing to have before, during and post ride is solid nutrition. I admit to living off of hammer gel most of the year. Don’t bonk and don’t let your body wear down.

TRP Brakes - I’m giving TRP a plug because their dual piston mechanical brakes (Spykes) are simply unparalleled when it comes to  straightforward, strong, reliable, field serviceable brakes. They may not be has strong as many of the hydraulics out there, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages for those bikepacking in the remote backcountry.

Alpacka Packrafts - Another item you should try bringing along on your next bike trip is an Alpacka Packraft. These little stout inflatable rafts are small and light enough you can take them bikepacking, yet durable enough to take on whitewater rapids and river rock gardens. Additionally the rafts float with enough clearance to allow exploration of places other watercrafts simply cannot go. Biking out and floating back makes for an amazing adventure… in fact, I’d say #bikepackrafting changes the game entirely.

Aquabound Paddles - If you’re going #bikepackrafting, you’re going to need some paddles. Aquabound can hook you up with lightweight, 4-piece paddles perfect for backpacking or bikepacking.

Dirt Components - You may have noticed WTB does not currently offer full-fat tires or rims… Until they do, Dirt Components manufactures the highest quality carbon fatbike rims for your ride. Great folks making great products here in the USA.

Help Rad Rider and Bikepacker Leialoha Sousa-Sommo Fight Cancer and Ride Again - My partner in all things was recently diagnosed at 27 years old with advanced stages of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. Check out her Go Fund Me page and help her kick cancer and ride again.

Rad People Who Ride: Louisa Sussman

02 January, 2017


I met Louisa on my first day of work at WTB. In proper first-day fashion for a company in the bike industry, the hours of introductions and login credentials was topped off with a trail ride to fully seal the deal. We were joined by riders of the Nevada City Miners high school mountain bike team, with Louisa riding at the front of the pack. It was immediately apparent that Louisa carries an incessant love for being out on her bike, whether heading up or down the mountain. She's the type of rider who everybody looks forward to sharing the trail with.  

Her thunderous skills of shredding lurk beneath a humble, easygoing personality that makes friends first and rides bikes second. Though the two typically go hand in hand. She can be found putting laps in at Downieville for most weekends of the summer, while weekends away from the legendary area are still typically spent with bike in tow. Keep an eye out for here at the Downieville Classic!

With a constant demand for solid wheel builds comes a need for somebody whose role is dedicated to every aspect of the complete wheel. The wheel person...who understands the importance of a reliable build and is committed to making sure it is achieved. The person who pulls a wheel out of the truing stand with confidence that their build will hold up to anything, and everything, the rim was designed for. Louisa is the perfect person for the job and provides piece of mind that every wheel sent out is good to go. She's been rambling around the WTB Nevada City office for years and has always been one of the first to offer help at WTB events, but we're thrilled to have her officially join our team. 

Name: 
Louisa Sussman

Home Shop and City: 
Nevada City, CA

Notable passions, feats of accomplishment, interests, goals, phobias and unusual experiences: I recently helped create and won the first Expert Junior Women category for Downieville All-Mountain World Championships, bought my first car, and started work as a wheelbuilder and dog petter for WTB. I lived abroad for a few years and in addition to developing a fear of reptiles, I also became fluent in Spanish. I’d like to learn how to manual, fix everything on my bike and lots of things on a car, find the balance between being really good at promoting myself in order to achieve goals and still be down to earth and not annoying, race internationally, and maybe pick up a bike sponsor in the near future.


Favorite WTB product:

Favorite Ride:
Any sort of shuttle, Grouse Ridge, or Nevada City's Greatest Hits.

Background, how’d you get into riding, what kept you going with it?
My brother got hooked after taking an after school bicycle repair class in 6th grade, and little sister monkey see, little sister monkey do! There seems to be no shortage of ridiculously rad people riding and racing bikes, and in addition to going on numerous road trips and meeting them, I get to spend a lot of time on mountains.


Tube or Tubeless, why?
Tubeless, it means no worries for the rest of your days!

3 most important things to bring with you on a ride?
One of those photo capturing device things that can also call an ambulance if needed, a sense of adventure, and some water.

Craziest thing you’ve seen or witnessed on a ride?
Dead things, bears, and four front flats in one Downieville run.


Most important lesson to teach the groms?
You can do whatever you want as long as you keep your head down and put in the work.

Left my wallet in… (fill it in):
The car. Wanna buy me this shuttle? I'll buy lunch.

Anything you’d like to plug, courtesy of WTB’s blog?
My instagram (@louisasussman), these wonderful organizations (http://www.norcalmtb.org/) (http://www.sierratrails.org/), and this cute cat (https://www.instagram.com/p/BNS8RmLAGCf/).

Pro.Files: Yuri Hauswald

11 November, 2016

Pro.Files w. Yuri Final from WTB on Vimeo.

 

" I'm just a big kid who wants to keep riding his bike for another 20 years. Thanks WTB for the video love. Couldn't do what I do without the generous support of many different sponsors over the years, some of whom like Marin Bikes Kaenon GU Energy Labs GiroSportDesign WTB that've been with me for close to a decade. "  And we really like you too buddy! Cheers to another 20 years of shredding! 

Rad People Who Ride: Brian Ohlen

07 November, 2016

A true man of the mountains. He lives among them, works among them, plays among them, rarely leaves them, complains when he does. Need further proof? His years of fighting forest fires has even crowned him the Saw God among certain circles. Here at WTB, we call him Ranger Danger. How else do you refer to a man who believes a proper bike ride requires boots, wrenches on bikes while thrashing to The Sword, has logged more miles on his pink 1989 Gary Fisher Celebrity than any other bike in his quiver, and firmly believes guns provide more protection than helmets? 

Brian is humble. Soft-spoken. Understates everything. Has a way of describing experiences as far more mundane than they really were. Any time he recounts one of his weekend rambles, it comes with an unvoiced guarantee of additional realness he didn't hint towards. The ramble likely ended with him finding a way to pedal a whole antelope out of the woods. He's keen on details. Recognizes and respects the need for them, which has made him such an incredible mentor to countless up-and-coming wrenchers in his many years as a bike shop manager. Especially during his time at the Boise State University Cycling Learning Center, where I met him. Sincere. Truly sincere. Wildly passion about the aspects of life which captivate him, while lacking concern for those which don't intrigue him. That's how it should be.  

I once spent an entire shop shift neglecting and avoiding an ever-increasing stack of service tags as I instead spent hours incessantly nagging him to order a 29+ Surly Krampus the moment they first became available on QBP. By the end of the day, I found him sitting at his desk with an expression of complete satisfaction, credit card flung on the keyboard. "It is done."

Brian once nominated me for employee of the year. Somehow, his nomination actually convinced people to hand it over. Years later, I get to apprise folks of how rad he is. To inform fellow riders that there's a guy in Wyoming who's heading out on trails with a rifle leading the way. 

Name:

Brian Ohlen

Home Shop and City:

Absaroka Bikes. Cody, Wyoming

Notable passions, feats of accomplishment, interests, goals, phobias and unusual experiences:

Passions: I love combining my passions in a way that gets me to places other people don't go. Multi-sport adventures like bike fishing or kayak hunting add a new element to things I already love, and give me leg up over other hunters or anglers. Of course I love all things bikes, but mostly skids, wheelies, and sweet jumps. Fly fishing for trout and anadromous fish! Accomplishments: Living an overwhelmingly awesome life: amazing wife and family. Jobs I enjoy. Living in ridiculously cool places. Goals: I'm supposed to have these aren't I. I'd love to do a bike-fish trip in Iceland for Atlantic Salmon...does that count? Phobias: As a kid it freaked me out to watch someone threaten to pop a balloon. Now I relive this fear on a daily basis every time I seat tubeless tires.

Favorite WTB product:

Really digging the versatility of the Horizon Road Plus tires right now. Also, my WTB 'Merica trucker hat.

Favorite Ride:

1). Chasing a slightly better rider down anything technical or flowy. 2). After-dark pedal down the nondescript two-track that parallels a favorite steelhead river, cracked tallboy in hand, at the start of an extended bike-fish trip.

Background, how’d you get into riding, what kept you going with it?

My first mountain bike rides were in the baby seat of my mom's vintage Mongoose. Since then, bikes have always been a part of my life. My first job was in a bike shop and I'm still wrenching today. I love looking on a map, planning a ride, and then doing it; so I guess it's an exploration thing. 

Tube or Tubeless, why?

Tubeless because prickly pear cactus, goat heads, and 13 P.S.I.

3 most important things to bring with you on a ride?

Fishing rod (not pole!), camera, map.

Craziest thing you’ve seen or witnessed on a ride?

Grizzly bears.

 

Most important lesson to teach the groms?

Outside is fun, and the importance of our public lands.

Left my wallet in… (fill it in):

Never happened. I've got a mind like a steel trap...kind of. 

Anything you’d like to plug, courtesy of WTB’s blog?

This winter, as part of the Blackburn Ranger program, I'm pedaling from Canada to Mexico along the Pacific Coast. I'll be hauling fly fishing gear and braving the elements in the name of catching a steelhead in WA, OR, and CA. Follow along at www.spokenfly.com

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