Gifting To Cyclists: 5 Experts Weigh In

by Zander Nosler November 18, 2015

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The first rain of the season here in Northern California arrives and evokes feelings of giddy excitement for the committed mountain biker, for whom there is no such thing as an “off-season”. Days become colder and shorter, so we layer accordingly and pack lights for muddy adventures on that ever-elusive hero dirt.

What is it that motivates us to leave the warmth and comfort of our couches, to go cut lines through muddy puddles and suffer in the woods while everyone else gets cozy?

We all have our reasons. For some, it’s a masochistic urge to push our limits. Perhaps we just need to get some time alone, pedal off some stress, or just clear away all of the demands of life for a while and breathe in the moment. For many, it may be a way to stay in shape in preparation for the big Spring- or Summertime exodus to one of the great cycling Meccas.

If you haven’t yet made your plans for pilgrimage, we’ve done a little bit of beta-gathering to help you make a good trip great. We interviewed a few of our favorite cyclists about their favorite destinations, and since the holidays are coming up, we also asked them about their product recommendations. You’re welcome!

 

radivist-996John Watson, The Radavist

Where did you have your best cycling roadtrip (or tour)?

The Great Dividing Range in Victoria, Australia.

What made that trip stand out?

It was completely different in terms of wildlife and locale. At the time, it was the hardest trip I’d ever done. Three, self-supported, 120 mile days with over 10,000′ of elevation.

 Anything you wished you’d brought along?

I wish I had brought another camera lens, but that was it. We packed very light and carried everything we’d need in backpacks.

What are the top products you’re excited about and why?

Giro Empire VR90 shoes.I don’t bring extra shoes anymore on tour because the VR90’s are comfy enough to walk and ride all day in.

Hunter Slinger slingshot. Who doesn’t want to up their slingshot game?

 

 

IMG_7270-533x400BWShane Bresnyan, The Bike Peddler

Where did you have your best cycling roadtrip (or tour)?

I have been fortunate enough to have taken so many amazing road trips that I have a vast library  to choose from. Crested Butte is at the top though. I’ve been twice. The first time I went with my wife, dog, and a few friends. Every day organically happened, and was the most epic up until the next day. Being in a place that is so remote and big really puts things in perspective. 

What made that trip stand out?

On the last morning we were there, we got coffee on our way out of town and my wife and I shared a cry because we both knew how special that trip was and it could never be replicated.The second time I went with a core group of friends and survived a horrible car accident on the way there. We flipped a truck and missed being crushed to death by a few feet. We rolled the truck over, re-packed all of our shit, and limped to town. The truck was totaled and my helmet was smashed. Other than that everything was fine and we found ourselves in the most epic spot in the world! We rode our bikes like there was no tomorrow, because we all realized how close, “no tomorrow” was.  Dropper seat posts and trail bikes were the big game changers for me on that trip. I was riding stuff that the locals couldn’t.

What are the top products you’re excited about and why?

SWAT bib shorts, storage in the downtube of my bike, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR. Things change so quickly in the world of cycling products, these suggestions should be taken with a grain of salt. These products have changed the way we dress, and carry all of our gear. The Stumpy is the perfect tool for the style of riding that I currently am doing, and allows me to be the minimalist that I so desire to be. All of the above items can be confidently purchased at The Bike Peddler.

 

SteamboatRalleye-6BWKyle Kelley, Golden Saddle Cyclery

Where did you have your best cycling roadtrip (or tour)?

Riding around the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest and then climbing to the summit of White Mountain (14,246 ft). 

What made that trip stand out?

Pedaling to the top of the highest mountain in North America that can be ridden on a road bike.

Anything you wished you’d brought along?

Riding a bike that wasn’t made of steel would have made the lightning way less scary.

What are the top products you’re excited about and why?

I’ve been digging the Danner Crater Rim hiking boots, finally a lightweight hiking option made in the USA. Last but not least, I’m excited about all the new bike-packing options and everyone doing it!  There really is nothing better than riding bikes and sleeping on the ground.

 

TFK_Chance_Nicol_GuyBWChuck Ibis, Ibis Cycles

Where did you have your best cycling roadtrip (or tour)?

That’s a nearly impossible question for me to answer. Some of the best moments in life have been on a bike. One tour lasted for a month on tandem through Switzerland, France and Italy. It was 1987.

What made that trip stand out?

The high point was the five days spent following the Tour de France through the Alps. Of those days, the trip up Alpe d’Huez and hour in front of the peloton in front of hundreds of thousands of fans was the most memorable. The thing I remember clearly when climbing were all the kids marveling at the tandem. We had 8 waterbottles on board, and I distinctly remember hearing kids count to 8 numerous times. I heard it in French, German, Italian and Dutch, but not English. The frenzy on that climb was amazing.

Was there anything you wished you’d brought along?

I should have towed around a La Marzocco and a generator on a trailer for the France portion of the trip. This was before Aeropress, mind you. The coffee in France did, and still does, suck. I don’t know how the French can get it so right with wine (and food!), and so wrong with coffee. And 10′ (OK, 3 meters) across the border with Italy, all of a sudden the coffee is magical. Every single cup is perfection.

What are the top products you’re excited about and why?

Big fat wide carbon rims and tubeless tires (that’s actually 4 products: two rims and two tires).

Gobs and gobs of traction, and fewer bummer moments fixing flat tires.

 

 

KitsbowFoundersBWCharlie Cronk, Kitsbow

Where did you have your best cycling roadtrip (or tour)?

Touring in Italy was pretty incredible, both for the beauty of the northern region and for its deep-seated appreciation for cycling. I remember very vividly pulling into a small village, coming into a big sweeping right turn where a family of 4 was eating lunch; they all put their knives and forks down to applaud us (loaded with our touring gear) and yell “Bravo.”

Of course, my favorite cycling adventure is my last one. In this timeframe, it was last weekend’s trip to the McKenzie River, west of Bend OR, and a day of riding Phil’s Trail Network just outside of Bend. Five guys, Sprinter van full of beer and snacks, tents and bikes. Awesome fall riding, the mossy lushness of OR, waterfalls and great riders/friends made it today’s “best.”  

Phil’s on Sunday epitomized the trip – perfect crisp, cool autumn day, trails perfect from a little rain the day before and rip-roaring fun riding with tires just stuck to the ground.

Was there any gear that truly made the trip memorable?

I always  travel  with extra wool socks, so that wasn’t an issue. Our single burner stove and pour-over set up for coffee was essential, and added the bit of comfort we all needed in the 30 degree mornings. My Kitsbow Alpha Snap Jacket was perfect for around the campfire, and hiking to the hot springs. The Kitsbow Mixed Shell kept me dry on our last McKenzie River descent in a good steady rain.

What are the top products you’re excited about and why?

SpurCycle bell, because it’s bitchin’ and the tone is so pure.

Fizik M5 shoes. Comfort in the foot is essential to a great ride/day.

Light and Motion Stella helmet mount light. Short days mean limited ride time. The light adds opportunity to ride.

—————

Thanks for joining us! We’ll see you on the trails.

The post Gifting To Cyclists: 5 Experts Weigh In appeared first on Kitsbow.




Zander Nosler
Zander Nosler

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