LEAVE IT ON THE ROAD MIXTAPE - SIDE B

Remarkably, nearly every mile of riding down the coast from Portland to SF has a memory tied to it; right down to which debate was currently brewing and who was ultimately "right." That includes recalling most of our original motivations and layering on new ones.

Posted on November 21, 2016 .

PNW Cyclocross 2016 - Photo Review

"Though I travel down a dark path, I know victory awaits and glory will be someone's if not mine; or my teammate's... or my other teammate's. My heart leads me. Courage propels me. I will make my ancestors feel true PRIDE! Hark! Epiphany! I've passed the pizza hand-up but must travel course-direction to vanquish it!"

Posted on November 17, 2016 .

Leave it on the Road Mixtape - Side A

This is the second year Mettle has been able to participate in the Leave it on the Road ride. Before you dive deeper into this post you should get to their site, read their story, maybe even purchase something. Drop $5 for cancer. It's not just about riding the bike, after all.

This year, we doubled the distance, added a few riders, and broke up the ride into two parts. Here's the first part in words and images... mostly images:

Posted on September 30, 2016 and filed under LIOTR2016.

Leave it on the Road Mixtape - The in-between Moments

It doesn't matter what project I'm working on or how much focus I have, inevitably, my attention turns to what's happening during the in-between bits. Capturing the present moments that are quickly forgotten when the assignment calls for serious, epic, or otherwise professional work. We may be riding bikes as friends but the cause requires some priority be given to the message. That message doesn't really involve an Instagram feed clog from a bunch of yahoos. So I saved all the moments and put them in one spot because that's one of my favorite things in this world.

Posted on September 18, 2016 and filed under Goof Ball Shit.

VYNL x LIOTR | An American Bike Joining the Fight Against Cancer

"Honest race bikes. Made in the USA"

You're damn right. When I first connected with Sophie Ballo of VYNL bikes, we were both trying to make something out of nothing with all the grit we could muster and some help from our friends. It wasn't long before VYNL became something and started blasting out these stellar aluminum frame sets with as much honesty as their ethos declares. 

As this year's Leave it on the Road ride began to take shape, I was honored to receive an invitation to ride one of these monsters and ultimately auction it off with all proceeds going to the chosen charity: The Colon Cancer Alliance. We set to it and over the course of our dialogue, we put together a custom painted road racing machine that anyone should honestly appreciate.

The warmth of Vinyl and a throwback attitude to what simply works was echoed in the paint scheme. A classic Burnt Orange with a hint of that vintage muscle charm gets some gold detail in pinstripes and details from LIOTR and Mettle to commemorate the ride and the cause.

Outfitted with Ride HiFi Mixtape Bombers and SRAM Red 22, this is a dream road machine in the midst of the all-road pack that's more available than ever these days (not that there's anything wrong with that).

If you ride roads, you should seriously consider building up one of these with some custom paint. The DNA of this bike is complicated and storied but that only appears after you try to understand how fucking no-nonsense it really is. To execute on anything that enables the user to ignore the details is a true accomplishment. Get on their site and show some love for a small brand giving a big piece to a huge cause. 

Posted on August 28, 2016 .

Montinore Road Race

Mettle's first true road race of the season was a circuit out at Montinore Vineyards this last Sunday. The circuit is a 6 mile loop with a .7 mile climb and hilltop finish; just long enough to string the fields out on a summer day. The descent is fast and makes catching back onto the main group difficult at times.

Posted on May 2, 2016 .

The Mettle Speed Strap is finally here...

We've been waiting a long time too... After much testing and sourcing, we're finally offering a small run of our Speed Strap for the "on the bike" photographers. Here's a quick rundown of the strap and the best ways to use it after riding over 1000 miles with the first prototype.

Posted on April 18, 2016 .

Mettle @ Ronde Van Vlaanderen

We took some time to see parts unknown to us this spring. Planning against the 2016 UCI calendar made the Tour of Flanders a no brainer. We didn't bring bikes but we did bring a camera. Here's proof:

58 minutes via train from Brussels.  

58 minutes via train from Brussels.  

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Waiting for the peloton to come up the Koppenberg.  

Waiting for the peloton to come up the Koppenberg.  

 


At the women's start in Oudenaarde.  

At the women's start in Oudenaarde.  

The most attention was being paid to the ladies of Canyon/SRAM. Either because of Canyon or because of Rapha (we're betting on the latter). Having ridden this exact bike, I can't imagine any relief was had across the cobbles. It may be carbon but this bike is stiff as hell across mixed surfaces. 

The most attention was being paid to the ladies of Canyon/SRAM. Either because of Canyon or because of Rapha (we're betting on the latter). Having ridden this exact bike, I can't imagine any relief was had across the cobbles. It may be carbon but this bike is stiff as hell across mixed surfaces. 

eTap in the house. 

eTap in the house. 

Coolest human not racing. He had a classy Colnago Master with a CX set up (as far as I could tell) and was cruising and steering so hard.  

Coolest human not racing. He had a classy Colnago Master with a CX set up (as far as I could tell) and was cruising and steering so hard.  

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So Pro.  

So Pro.  

Bike path to another site from where to watch.  

Bike path to another site from where to watch.  

Pre-bacon. So cute.  

Pre-bacon. So cute.  

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At the base of the Koppenberg.  

At the base of the Koppenberg.  

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And this was to be the last impact The Gorilla had on the race, coming through first.  

And this was to be the last impact The Gorilla had on the race, coming through first.  

Ian Stannard testing the max watts a Stages Power Meter can take.  

Ian Stannard testing the max watts a Stages Power Meter can take.  

"I'm not here. This isn't happening..." 

"I'm not here. This isn't happening..." 

Pro support. Just lounging in the grass with the fans at the summit of The Koppenberg with some of the most coveted tyres in the world.  

Pro support. Just lounging in the grass with the fans at the summit of The Koppenberg with some of the most coveted tyres in the world.  

Tyler Farrar. Most underrated hard man of the pro peloton.

Tyler Farrar. Most underrated hard man of the pro peloton.

Tyler. He's finished more races out of spite from crashes than just about anyone this season. Lots of holes in his kit and plenty of skin left on the Tarmac.  

Spartacus cares not for anyone's words (or help). This was not a deciding sector for his game plan.  

Spartacus cares not for anyone's words (or help). This was not a deciding sector for his game plan.  

No words being surprised by the champ. We only had a little knowledge of the make up of what was happening on the road.  

No words being surprised by the champ. We only had a little knowledge of the make up of what was happening on the road.  

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Elastic being snapped.  

Elastic being snapped.  

That moment when a climb turns into a descent into darkness.  

Rodeo Labs.  

Rodeo Labs.  

Knew these guys had plans to watch the race but didn't plan on meeting up. After the race these guys came mobbin through town and those kits cannot be mistaken.  

Plan ahead. Rent a bike. Hire a guide. We walked through random pastures on the way back. Free shuttles from the Flanders Classics org were not as prevalent as advertised.  

Plan ahead. Rent a bike. Hire a guide. We walked through random pastures on the way back. Free shuttles from the Flanders Classics org were not as prevalent as advertised.  

I'll never come back here without a bike. Promise.  Also, carry purses when it's your fantasy to watch a bike race, not hers. Mad bonus points, gentlemen...

Posted on April 5, 2016 .