#offseason

It’s come. No, not the winter and its interminably dreary weather. The pre-winter season, in which shorter days and slightly cooler climes, begins to corrode any sense of discipline you might have developed over the year. In Chengdu it settles in, a flat damp shade of grey, and despite not being too awful of a …

Shop boss

I’ve mentioned my buddy, Jordan, before. He used to run a little Cannondale shop not too far off from where I’d had my own shop. Not long ago, due to a huge rent hike, he was also forced to close the shop space down, moving his tools home and running his operations remotely. It was …

Pt. 7 – Holy mountain

The town where we’d spent the night was remote. By vehicle is was only accessible from the steppe above. Otherwise you were looking at a long descent through an isolated valley, tracing a line along Gongga’s back, downward. In the village the trail was a double wide track, that cut a steep path along an …

Pt. 5 – Players club

The evening before the ride we shuttled into a valley sitting above Xinduqiao. It’s an area I’d never visited before. The homes featured the traditional Tibetan bearing, but had roofs with curved awnings. The undersides, an overlay of wooden slats, were dyed in shades of bright turquoise or green. The hilltops were forested, and slowly …

Pt. 4 – Contingency plan

Having skipped out on part one of two, of the round-Yala-MTB adventure, the second day of riding could be modified to cover a portion of the originally-planned route. We’d decided to stay in Kangding that night, in lieu of camping, which meant we could do the drive to the “finish” of the day’s intended route, …

Tear it down

I wrote a few weeks back about one of my favorite corners of the city for riding. The piece itself was a remark on mindfulness. Paying attention, as everything’s in transit. Life in a burgeoning Chinese city is in constant flux, so witnessing this by bike is a different experience, one I feel worth regularly …

Pt. 3 – Sluggish start

The day broke and everyone woke up, shattered from the previous days of wet riding. Sleeping at 3800m didn’t aid the situation any. Abu (the trip’s lead guide), having taken stock of the day’s route from the previous day’s viewpoint, decided it best to scrap an attempt to make the pass and camp beneath Yala …