ABOUT THE COVER
In January 2018, Bicycling Magazine began preparing for a feature story to be released that spring. The concept, Ride Free, paired photographers and riders living in the same area and the brief was to just go out and ride the local roads to see what we came back with. I was lucky to get a call from Colin McSherry, AD of the magazine and Instagram acquaintance. It sounded like there were some good vibes emanating from a simple, cycling focused Instagram channel that could be leveraged into something fun and less “serious.”
Mettle has been very small and under the radar for it’s short existence but my singular focus for the brand has not been to immediately get recognition, but to simply keep putting out the good vibes and hope someone will notice…
…In this case, it turned out to be someone with a bigger platform than I ever thought.
-Randall Fransen, Owner
Photogs in PDX
There’s a very steady flow of amazing talent in Portland. It’s a sports and advertising hotbed; an underrated market, actually. Bike Mag paired me with an amazing photographer (with many pub covers to his name), Nils Ericson.
Over 2 separate days, Nils and I shot just outside of Portland, hoping to show as much of the good riding in the area as possible while masking the deep winter of mid January. One of the requests was to shoot the Mettle kit; the colors were going to have some pop and the clean design could compliment instead of over power the shot. Our first day was spent on the climb up to Vista House in the Columbia Gorge. Headed west on the Historic Highway, there’s a few classic switchbacks; more easily accessible than the iconic Rowena turns near The Dalles (about 50 miles further east from Portland).
The shot that ended up making the cover was captured on a second day, closer to Portland. We tracked up 53rd, an alternate route that offshoots from Cornelius pass on it’s way up to Skyline.
Once delivered, Bike Mag’s Creative Director, Jesse Southerland, ended up holding onto the shoot for another potential feature. Something that wasn’t imminent. We figured we gave it our best shot and if these photos weren’t going to be used, we’d have some super quality IG posts (upon release, of course).
Turns out, the crew in Pennsylvania loved the shots so much, they held them for what would be a reboot of the magazine - some fresh approaches to stories and content, a new social strategy, and a larger format with “better paper." The theme throughout was a series of rides that we’ve all done (or will do eventually). The ride that you’ve done way too hungover… or the ride that you got dropped on immediately… and…The ride that changes everything…
Bicycling Magazine’s main feature was covering the cause of Leave It On The Road.
Leave It On The Road
WE DON’T WANT TO FIGHT CANCER, WE WANT TO END IT.
In August of this year, six riders set out to traverse 1,200 miles in 12 days from Boulder, CO to Boise, ID to help fund cutting edge cancer cell and gene therapy research. Each day they will take on the challenging altitude of the Rocky Mountains, and the rugged terrain of Wyoming and Idaho. Along the way, they will navigate through the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone National Park, Craters of the Moon National Park. A ride to remember, with a noble goal – help raise $100,000 to fund cancer cell gene therapy.
The bike is a custom Stoemper “Dirty” Täylor. Steel framed “all-road” with an Enve GRD fork and cockpit. Stoemper has been one of the premier frame builders in the Pacific Northwest and recently moved their operations to Minneapolis.
We receive so many inquiries about our team kit. As a young brand, Mettle has not moved forward with kit sales to the public but has focused on the design for Road and Cyclocross racing. This means we do not have full kit available for sale, however, this coming season we will be releasing a training jersey to the public that compliments the team kit for road season 2019. It promises to be a neck breaker!