Many think you need to go to some exotic location half-way around the world in order to have a proper off-road adventure, but there’s some incredible opportunities right here in the US – if you know where to look. That’s the goal of Touratech’s Back Country Discovery Routes. The series plans to crisscross the United States to promote community-based efforts to preserve off-highway routes for adventure motorcycling and reveal some America’s best kept secrets.
Following their successful Washington State ride, Touratech decided to set their sights on a pan-Utah journey. With it’s stunning Western vistas and rugged terrain, Utah provides an excellent opportunity to showcase America’s varied backcountry. Through rocks, sand, and mud, Joe Lloyd lead the group on a 871 mile long south-north route, which passed through Moab, Valley of the Gods, the Abajo and La Sal Mountain Ranges, Nine Mile Canyon, and the northern Wasatch Mountains.
From the looks of the short trailer above, the team had a blast. No word yet on which state they plan to tackle next, but we’re hoping it’s California so we can join them.
Touratech produced the trip in association with KLIM, Butler Maps, Nemo Tents, WARN Winches, Sidi Boots, Noren Films, and Curbsyde Productions.
Legendary street trials rider Danny MacAskill spends the day with Lezyne to reflect upon his humble beginnings and muse about what the future holds. The first stop is Danny’s old job at MacDonald’s Cycles in Edinburgh Scotland, the entrance of which was featured in one of his first videos. Danny talks about living in Edinburgh and the city’s riding scene, while testing out some new tricks. He then takes the crew out to the Trossachs Hills in Central Scotland for some trail riding on his mountain bike.
Unlike some X-Sport professionals who have a subtle smugness about them, Danny seems like a genuine person with a sincere enthusiasm for cycling. There’s no doubt he’d still be out riding everyday even if nobody was paying attention. However, from looks of some of his new moves there’s little chance that will happen any time soon.
In an attempt to conquer his fear of heights, photographer Dennis Maitland decided to take to the rooftops of Detroit for his new series “Life on the Edge”. The concept entails Dennis climbing up to the tallest point he can find (usually an abandoned building), swinging his feet over the edge, holding out his camera, and taking a picture. Having suffered from vertigo his entire life, Dennis wanted to document himself confronting his fear. He also found that these high vantage points gave him a unique perspective of the city.
Speaking about the project Dennis says: “When I started this series, in August, I was afraid to climb ladders past 10 feet. After a few times sitting or standing on ledges, I found myself getting more comfortable with it. I soon realized how to tune everything out and just focus on getting a steady handheld shot. Now, when I go into a building, I’m always looking up and for stuff to climb. The series has pushed me out of my comfort zones and helped expand my creative boundaries. I’ve been able to conquer my fear of heights and now I crave the adrenaline.”
Alas, an acrophobia is cured, but an adrenaline junkie is born.
Winters in the arctic can be relentlessly cold and intolerably bleak, which is why the sauna has become somewhat of a cultural institution in most Scandinavian countries. This particular sauna was built on an island in Åland, an archipelago between Sweden and Finland, and designed by London-based architect firm Denizen Works.
The client approached Denizen Works with the story of her grandfather, who had long ago built a sauna on a sled so it could be pulled out onto the ice during the winter. Then, as is custom in many Nordic nations, he would alternate between the sauna and swimming in the frigid ice waters. No surer evidence of winter’s ill-affects on a person’s mental health can be found than this type of masochistic ritual.
Nevertheless, Denizen Works drew up the plans for a new sled-drawn sauna, and construction was completed over the course of nine hard days toil during the summer of 2011. The building is constructed from locally sourced timber, recycled windows and lined with pine cladding.
Is it one of the guys from Daft Punk? Is it the Stig’s Scandinavian cousin? Actually it’s Artec pro snowboarder William Hughes wearing a suit covered with L.E.D.s.
For his new short film, London-based photographer Jacob Sutton‘s wanted to capture the image of a luminescent snowboarder carving his way down a dark desolate slope. “I was really drawn to the idea of a lone character made of light surfing through darkness,” says Sutton of his costume choice. “I’ve always been excited by unusual ways of lighting things, so it seemed like an exciting idea to make the subject of the film the only light source.”
Shot over a period of 4 nights in the Rhône-Alpes region of south-eastern France, the film crew had to battle -25 C degree weather as well as a temperamental light suit. Despite the grueling conditions, or perhaps because of them, the images have a striking other-worldly quality to them. “Filming in the suit was the most surreal thing I’ve done in 20 years of snowboarding,” says Hughes.
Greetings from San Francisco! After the long winter months on the East Coast we’re excited to finally be getting back to some Californian weather – albeit the notoriously unpredictable Bay Area. Our new home for the next eight weeks will be in Hayes Valley at The Proxy and to kick things off we’ll be throwing a little shindig on Wednesday Feb. 22nd at 4:30 PM. Come join us for free hors d’oeuvre and drinks.
RSVP: laren @paulandwilliams.com
If you can’t make the party, don’t worry. We’ll be around for a little bit, but make sure to stop by later to check out our new Spring 2012 Collection.
LOCATION – MAP Proxy in Hayes Valley
432 Octavia Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
After three decades of success it’s easy for a person to lose their sense of perspective, which is why Shawn Stussy has decided to take things back to the workshop. As he describes in this short film, the origins of Stussy began with board shaping – the clothing aspect was just a peripheral side project at the time. Over the years the roles the were slowly reversed and boards became less of fundamental element and more of a contextual aesthetic for the brand. But with the launch of a new shop in Tokyo dedicated to exclusively selling boards, Stussy wants to revisit the company’s initial impetus. There is nothing more mentally invigorating then being able to rediscover why you got into something in the first place. And from the looks of this video, standing over a board and covered in sawdust is exactly where Shawn wants to be.
With Honda’s redux of the gas-powered Motor Compo and the upcoming electric MotoCompo, it looks like the compact micro scooter industry is back in full swing! And jumping into the mix is Portland-based BOXX with their new suitcase-sized electric scooter. About 1 meter in length, the Boxx scooter looks like a giant Lytro camera on wheels. Designed for urban dwellers, the Boxx is small and stylish enough to be stored in a living room or office.
In terms of performance, the company says the Boxx can get up to 80 miles on a single charge and has a top speed around 35 mph with a power to weight ratio of 2 : 1. Using a proprietary hub motor, the Boxx can handle 40 degree inclines and carry up to 300 lbs in weight. Its price tag is a hefty $4000, which is way above any GoPed or even a mid-level Vespa. Although those two don’t offer 2-wheel drive, ABS brakes, traction control, and an optional heated seat like the Boxx does.
As for the somewhat dorky design, the company founder, Eric Vaughn, said it was done so intentionally to make the Boxx “non-intimidating” to novice riders. The company wishes to expand their appeal to women and seniors, but it remains to be seen whether city-goers will find the idea of riding on piece of retro-looking luggage to be cute and endearing or just irritatingly eccentric. Either way look out for these little box-mobiles to hit the streets soon.
Paragliding is not something you normally associate with the urban environment, but French paraglider Jean Baptiste Chandelier is looking to change that with his new film Urban Side. Incorporating elements of parkour and freestyle skating Jean takes to the skies (and streets) of Lima, Peru, Iquique, Chile, and Mont Dauphin, France. Sliding across roof tops and grinding down railings is impressive enough, but being able to pull up and soar off into the sky makes it all the more spectacular. Certainly some of the stunts he’s pulling in this video are illegal, but good luck trying to catch him.
Without a doubt, the most popular form of transportation in Ho Chi Minh City is the motorbike. The streets are literally thronged with them. From dads driving their children to school to farmers bringing their goods to market, the entire city seems to run on two wheels. And when a person’s only mode of transportation is a 125 cc Belarusian-built Minsk, creative “off-label” uses become inevitable. Many of them would put even the most loaded-down GS Adventure to shame.
A couple of years ago when Dutch photographer Hans Kemp was traveling through South East Asia, he was struck by the versatility of these little two-stroke work horses and documented the more imaginative uses he saw in his series Bikes of Burden. He later turned these images into a fantastic 160 page book that can be purchased from the publisher at Visionary World.