Above The Clouds Of Africa

More than a decade after Qloom Ambassador, Gerhard Czerner pedalled around Africa’s tallest mountain, he still felt a nagging pang that his journey to Mt. Kilimanjaro, the world’s highest freestanding mountain, wasn’t complete. Back then, he looked up at the mountain from far below. Next time, he wanted it to be the other way around – looking down from the summit.

The desire never waned, and years later, fate intervened by putting a copy of Bicycles Up Kilimanjaro in front of Gerhard. The book, written by Nicholas and Richard Crane, recounts their own journey of the first bicycle ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro in 1985. Gerhard’s motivation was instantly reignited, and he rallied his friends and fellow riders, Hans Rey and Danny MacAskill, to join him on an extraordinary expedition to Kilimanjaro National Park to summit the 5895m (19,341 ft.) peak.

An expedition of this magnitude requires substantially more planning than a weekend getaway. After receiving all necessary permits, the group decided to tackle the climb over the course of 5 days.

Over the course of a year, the crew prepared for the challenges of the high-altitude environment and accompanying hardships. Feeling fit and primed for adventure, the team made the surprisingly bold and cavalier decision to climb Mt. Kenya in addition to Kilimanjaro, just one week before departing for Africa. Mt. Kenya would serve as a warm-up for the main goal of the trip.

Hans and Gerhard successfully summited Mt. Kenya via Point Lenana - the so called Trekking Peak - at 4985 m (16,355 ft.). Unfortunately, Danny fell victim to altitude sickness and had to sit out of this bonus challenge.

From Kenya, the three intrepid travellers boarded a bus heading south to Tanzania to prepare for their main challenge. The crew chose to take the Manrangu Route for its rideability.

The first of five stages started at 1860m (6,102 ft.) and headed up a steep and partly unrideable emergency road. A two-night stay at the Horumbu Hut (3700m (12,139 ft.)) allowed the team to acclimate for an extra day while soaking in views and the excitement around camp. On the fourth day, the tired but eager crew ascended to Kibo Desert, a desert-like plateau, where the three highest points of Kilimanjaro emerge sharply into the sky.

Seeing the steep and rugged pitches for the first time quietly stirred some internal doubt in each adventurer, whether this whole trip was such a good idea, especially with bikes.

The endless marching on the desert’s soft soil finally delivered the exhausted trio to the Kibo Hut at 4700m (15,420 ft.) for a short rest before the final push to the summit in the wee hours of the morning.

Timing at this altitude is critical, and in order to have enough time to summit and descend back to Kibo Hut in the same day, Gerhard, Danny, and Hans left Kibo at 1am in frigid temperatures. By 4am, all three had to fight to pump air into their lungs. An overnight snow near the summit covered the mountain in a beautiful layer, but created an additional set of slippery challenges for the hardest section. For a split second, they considered postponing the final push, but they could taste the summit.

With the added weight of bikes on their backs, they had no relief and trudged slowly onward. Just as spirits were at their lowest and darkest, the sun rose and illuminated the mountain into something beyond comparison. That’s the battle cry they needed. Arriving at the crater rim, they saw the peak was within reach. They mustered the energy to mount their steeds and ride the final (relatively) gradual stretch. After 8 hours of gruelling climbing, they arrived at Africa’s highest point, breathless and elated. They fell into each others arms on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro at 5895m (19341 ft.).

At this point, traditional mountaineers would begin their arduous descent through the harsh and inhospitable environment. However, for Gerhard and his friends, it was time to reap the rewards for lugging their bikes 4000m (13,123 ft.) up hill! During the trek up, no one entertained the idea of attempting to ride up the volcano, but these immensely skilled riders had no trouble descending through the steep gravel slopes. Like skiers, they gracefully carved down the face of the mountain, truly experiencing the definition of “Big Mountain Riding”.  It was a dream come true!

After spending one more night at camp, the trio of riders prepared for their final descent back through Kibo Desert and into Horombu Hut. Breaths came easily again and the riders’ strength and renowned skill returned. As they rapidly lost altitude, the terrain and temperatures shifted to something more familiar, eventually giving way to Mt. Kilimanjaro’s lower jungle belt.

Seemingly out of thin air, a bar with a wooden terrace emerged from under some banana trees at the bottom of the mountain. It is here that the friends decided to celebrate this incomparable ride. The riders shared a toast with the local beer, aptly named Kilimanjaro. One of the crew, however, pointed out the beer’s motto didn’t quite fit for their particular expedition: “If you can’t climb it, drink it”. The three friends re-labeled it to “If you can bike it, drink it.”

Qloom Ambassador:
Gerhard Czerner

Friends:
Hans Rey
Danny MacAskill

Photographer:
Martin Bissig

Uncharted Terrain: Qloom On The Azores

The north coast of São Miguel is home to the only tea plantation in Europe. A beautiful setting to stop and sample some local teas.

The north coast of São Miguel is home to the only tea plantation in Europe. A beautiful setting to stop and sample some local teas.

Last month Qloom Europe team rider Gerhard Czerner and Jenny Kupferschmied headed off to the Azores, a beautiful island group in the Atlantic Ocean, 1000 miles west of Portugal. Already a favorite spot among Portuguese nature-lovers, it’s almost unknown to the rest of the MTB-World. Of the nine islands that form the Azores our team picked the largest one, São Miguel, and nearby Santa Maria. The allure of the unknown paired with words like “Islands” and “Atlantic” elicited enough excitement for everyone to grab their bikes and set sail for a new adventure.

Viewpoint on the "Lagoa Azul", located at the bottom of the lake, in the middle of the crater and with the Atlantic behind.

Viewpoint on the "Lagoa Azul", located at the bottom of the lake, in the middle of the crater and with the Atlantic behind.

High season for hikers and other recreationists is from June to October, which meant that our traveling party didn’t see anybody for days, while enjoying perfect riding conditions. Due to the variety of possibilities, there is something for every type of rider. The islands offer diverse terrain with a mixture of hand-built trails and rugged, natural trails that wind through dreamworthy forest loam and chunky, raw rock gardens. Everyone will find ways to let loose and have a blast, whether you are an Enduro, a Downhill or a Cross Country rider.

Weather conditions change often on The Azores, meaning waterfalls pop up like daisy flowers.

Weather conditions change often on The Azores, meaning waterfalls pop up like daisy flowers.

The island’s citizens are extremely welcoming and cordial. The bike scene is small but very well organized. The diverse ecosystem inspires a childlike sense of exploration with incredible jungle-like forests, steep coastlines, sandy beaches, and views of the Atlantic from all corners.

portugal, azores, spring

Running to ride the best - Outerbike Spring recap

Without warning, gloriously warm sun and clear skies gave way to ominous clouds with driving wind and rain. Minutes later, blue skies returned and the trails were primed with hero dirt! 

 

Radical and short-lived changes in the weather means spring is here. And, better yet, a new riding season!

 

The first weekend of April found the Qloom US team among the iconic red rocks of Moab for the Spring Outerbike Event. In it's 3rd year, the Spring iteration of Outerbike, like its older Fall sibling, offers a unique consumer-focused event to test the latest bikes from 30+ brands on Moab's legendary trails.

 

Whether coming to determine what their next bike will be, or simply escaping the final clutches of winter's grip, attendees were guaranteed a special opportunity to shuttle Moab's best trails on the best bikes, eat fantastic food, meet new friends, and soak up some desert warmth and scenery.

 

With limited ticket sales, the event isn't too crowded and you'll wear yourself out before you ride all the bikes you came to try. Nevertheless, there's still the infamous, yet wildly entertaining, morning sprint to the most popular tents to demo the (potential) steed of your dreams.

 

While you're recovering between rides, there's no shortage of other activities, brands to visit, and entertainment to enjoy. At the Qloom tent, we were crafting hot lattés for all to enjoy and demoing shorts from the Summer 2017 line

 

If you're looking for a new bike, or just a great consumer-centric MTB event in legendary riding locations, make sure to check out Outerbike. We're headed to Outerbike - Crested Butte in August and Outerbike - Moab in October.

 

Hope to see you there!

 

event, demo

Allen Chaney takes on Old Man Winter by Rekindling his Biking Fire

“You been riding much?” I casually asked a pro-racer friend of mine. I knew the answer, yet I asked anyway. The question was more of a setup for me to tell him that I, after not riding from September until January, had rekindled my biking fire. Somehow that chance conversation turned into me agreeing to join him on a winter gravel grinder that was less than two weeks away - an early season event called “Old Man Winter.”

 

Naturally, I Googled it:

 

“OLD MAN WINTER RALLY – an epic day of winter adventure. Choose 50km or 100km of dirt, snow, sweat, and beer rolling through the world-famous cycling mecca of Boulder County, ColoRADo …”

 

I chose the 50km. Even choosing the short-course I was apprehensive. I’d done three bike races, all of them in the previous year, and all of them were enduros … you know, races where you get to relax on the climbs, get off your bike and eat food between stages, and generally shoot the breeze with your buddies while racing as fast as you can manage downhill. Now suddenly I was signed up for a race doomed to be full of lycra-clad pseudo-roadies who almost assuredly had been chugging EPO-laced beet juice all off-season.

Sorry Juno, you can’t come with me this time …

Sorry Juno, you can’t come with me this time …

Fortunately, the truth was much better. First of all, the day of the race was a beautiful 45 degrees, sunny and windless. Second, while there were podiums and prizes like any other race, Old Man Winter was more of a “still-winter-but-almost-spring” kickoff party to bike season in the Front Range. People were there on road bikes, cross bikes, mountain bikes, and even fat bikes. There were costumes, vendors, chili, coffee, and plenty of beer from title sponsor Oscar Blues. The vibe was great, people were friendly, and we all were happy to be on bikes in February.

 

Can you find me in my Qloom gear?

Can you find me in my Qloom gear?

Was I in shape to be competitive? Definitely not. Did I have fun? Absolutely. My Qloom gear kept me warm from the start and breathed amazingly well even when my heart rate was spiking on the short dirt road climbs. The roads were in amazing shape and the whole event was extremely well run. Hope to see you out there next year!

cross, mountain bike, winter

VitalMTB checked out our new Summer 17 Styles

The VitalMTB crew stopped by our booth at the Sedona MTB Festival to check out our new Summer 17 line.

 

“We were very impressed by the Point Peron jacket”…”which features a Primaloft front for insulation and lightweight sleeves and back for ventilation. It packs into its own pocket in a matter of seconds and is extremely soft to the touch.”

- Brandon Turman, VitalMTB

Qloom Point Peron Jacket

They perused our full line of women’s apparel... 

Qloom women's shirts shorts

VitalMTB also mentioned that festival goers had the chance to demo some of our new 2017 shorts… a program which we’ll be expanding outside of on-site events in the coming months. So, look for that as well as the whole Vital story here: Qloom Apparel Now in the USA

summer apparel, summer 17, mountain bike, mtb shirts, mtb shorts

Crested Butte Fat Bike World Championships: Frigid & Fun!

Four days of fat bikes, festivities, fabulous food, frivolity, and fire jumping...

 

In brain-freezing conditions, the quaint Colorado ski town of Crested Butte hosted the 2nd annual Fat Bike World Championships last weekend. Fat Bike World Champs, you say? With the absence of a UCI-sanctioned Fat Bike World Champs, Crested Butte has embraced the fledgling sport and quirkiness of fat bikers to create an event with flair and folly. That's right, no weight restrictions (not that it's even a concern with these behemoths), no tire-width requirements, and certainly no matchy-matchy kit rules.

 

In fact, the only requirement for C.B. Fat Bike Worlds is a positive attitude and an adventurous spirit.

 

CB FBW packs 4 days of fatty fun into an unforgettable weekend. Situated at 9,000 ft (2.750m) with endless riding possibilities and nightly parties, you might want to pace yourself. Or not! 


Thinking about giving it a go next year? Here's a quick breakdown of this year's schedule:

• Wednesday: Kick-off party!

• Thursday: "Fun Race" followed by free lunch & beer. Fat bike demos. Evening party! 

• Friday: Demo Day! Ride your brains out on a large selection of some of the finest fat bikes from multiple brands. Pre-race mountainside party!

• Saturday: Fat Bike World Champs Race! Snowy crashes, on-course jumps, costumes! Food & beer for racers! Post-race party!

• Sunday: Lift-accessed Downhill Fat Biking (free lift ticket with weekend package). Take the lift up and rally back down! Over and over and over... 


Check out the quick recap of the weekend from the fatty-specialists over at Borealis!

Borealis Fat Bike Worlds in Crested Butte, CO Presented by UpSlope Brewing. Fun race on Thursday, Demo day on Friday and Worlds Race on Saturday. Special event on Sunday with downhill access.


For some more photos of the fun, check out Mountain Flyer's Coverage of Fat Bike Worlds!


Hope to see you there next year! Happy riding!

fat bike, mountain bike, event, crested butte, snow bike

Outside Magazine's Winter Buyer's Guide

We are proud to announce that Outside Magazine named our Men's Eagle Rock Jacket and Big Sky Pants among the Best Nordic Skiing Gear of 2017

 

 

Nordic skiers have been doing the all-black thing for too long. Enter Qloom, which offers an appealing California-surf-meets-Euro mash-up. The build (soft-shell panels with stretch fabric) keeps performance high, too. 

- Outside Magazine

 

 

 
 

Tech with style. The Eagle Rock was developed for XC skiers who demand the best in functionality with the added benefit of not making you look like a science fiction character.

A killer jacket for cold days on the trails and fireside après antics.

 

For the lady adventurers out there, fear not! We've got the same technology and performance available in women's cuts.

Check out the Women's Bella Coola Jacket/Bella Coola Limited Edition and Heavenly Pants


Enjoying a bit of winter fun in the Dolomites!

Enjoying a bit of winter fun in the Dolomites!

 

 

 

Qloom's Holiday Gift Guide

You know what is more fun than shopping at malls during the holidays? Nordic skiing, riding your bike, and burning your tongue on hot chocolate. Avoid circling endlessly in parking lots by following our gift guide to get the cyclist, skier, or general adventure goer in your life something they will be sure to love.

AM4P7119.jpg

You wouldn't sleep on a burlap pillow case, so quit riding with an uncomfortable pad in your bike shorts. Our Hey Dude! and Hey Girl! bike short liners don't kick ass, they caress it.

BikeRadar agrees that our short liners make the perfect gift that will keep on giving. 

Looking impressive while cross-country skiing is a combination of style and skill. Skill takes time and practice, fortunately style does not. Our Eagle Rock Jacket is a high performance piece designed with Instagram photo shoots and post-ride socializing in mind. Combine this with our Big Sky Pants and you have an outfit worthy of Outside Magazine's Winter Buyer's Guide!

Cold weather can be scary, hence why so many people choose to avoid it all together. If you are fortunate to be able to ride in shorts and a t-shirt in the winter, this one is for you: Qloom Summer 2016 items are 30% online. Go ahead and snag yourself a pair of our Jaws or Black Beach Shorts! Little fun fact, our Black Beach Shorts were even featured in Outside Magazine's Summers Buyer's Guide for best Women Biking Accessories!

Father's Day gift shopping and shopping for your Dad during the holidays is the same thing, just a different time of the year. Our Hookipa Shorts were featured in VeloNews Father's Day Gift Guide. They make a great gift for the holidays too, the only difference now is that now they are 30% off.

 

Here are some more great ideas from your favorite cycling publications:

 

• Avalon Shorts and Hey Dude Liners - BikeRadar, 4 Stars

• Rockingham Shorts, Fraser Premium Loose-Fit Bibs: Mountain Bike Review

• BikeRadar: Best Mountain Bike Shorts from New Brands

 

 

Happy holidays! Have fun out there!

Behind the scenes of Qloom's winter line

We caught up with Qloom's Product Line Manager to hear a little more about her winter sports background, what inspires her, and what you can expect from Qloom's 2016-2017 Winter line! 


Simone Braun - Product Manager for Qloom's Winter 16/17 Collection!

 

Can you tell us more about your role at Qloom?

 

Simone: I am the Product manager for the Winter line. Pretty much I was in charge of planning everything for the line such as: briefing all of our designers about every style in this collection, choosing fabrics, colors, graphics and trims, working very closely with our product developer/ technician, negotiating with our garment makers and fabric suppliers, and working with the marketing and sales team.

Simone is no stranger to getting out on two wheels in the warmer months

Simone is no stranger to getting out on two wheels in the warmer months

Favorite activities growing up:

 

Alpine skiing, swimming, tennis, sewing, painting, being outside, reading

 

When did you get involved with art and find interest in design?

 

As a child I would always be drawing or painting. Adding to that, my grandma was a tailor so I also developed a love for sewing as a child. However, I never thought about a design job when I was in school. It was right before I finished school when I was searching for the right course when I stumbled upon the Master of Engineering in Clothing. This course matched my idea for an interesting job, so I started in 1997 and finished in 2001.

 

How did you get into biathlon?

 

I was quite young when I got in biathlons, 14 years old. Before then I was only doing alpine skiing, thinking that it would be quite boring to skate in the forest :-).  However, once I tried it I immediately fell in love with it. I soon took up roller-skating on the summers and really found the sport that was ‘the one’ for me. A good friend of mine also did Biathlons, so the decision to start wasn’t much of a decision at all, especially since I was quite successful my first winter season. I stayed with it for 5 years and have loved every second of it!

 

How many years did you ski before picking up the rifle?

 

I started with alpine skiing for a couple of years before I switched over to x-country skiing at 14 :-). I was raised in a part of Germany that is known for having a lot of snow every winter so doing winter sports was always kind of a given. Alpine skiing was fast and we always used to do a lot of tricks and I really enjoyed all of it a lot.

 

What's was the hardest part of biathlon for you? Or skills you had to develop the most?

 

The hardest part is the combination of fast skating and being accurate and most importantly shooting as fast as possible. Skating alone was tough to learn, but combining shooting with it was really hard. So in general the combination keeps being the hardest part as a biathlete. It has been many intensive years with my training and competitions, but I had the best teammates and trainers around. It was a blast making these experiences and I will never forget them!

 

What is the highest level you competed at?

 

I was on the squad of the “Westdeutsche Skiverband" (West German Ski Association).

 

What activities do you do when not skiing, both summer and winter?

 

Summer, mainly biking (mountain biking and racing), swimming, hiking, being outside with my little boy; Winter, alpine skiing and of course x-country skiing (still need to teach my son and husband).

 

How often do you ski now?

 

For x-country skiing I try to do go about 3-4 times per week, same for alpine skiing, but I would love to do it even more. 

The Qloom crew spending a testing Nordic gear on skinny skis in Switzerland!

The Qloom crew spending a testing Nordic gear on skinny skis in Switzerland!

How many years have you been involved with Qloom?

 

I have been involved with Qloom for 3 years.

 

What inspires your designs?

 

When I do the collection planning, I think of features, fabrics, colors, etc. that I would like to wear myself. Moreover, I look around to see what the people in the big cities wear and look like and how I could use that as inspiration for a new xc or biking style. Even what type of architecture, art, cars are popular are all are great inspirations for me!

 

Can you tell us a little bit about the design inspiration for Winter 16?

 

We wanted to create styles that maintained and centered around the Qloom spirit: functional, yet colorful with attention to detail and exciting graphics. The inspiration came from the first Qloom collections for summer, featuring their amazingly cool and powerful graphics. Specially for the ladies we wanted to give the styles a feminine look while still being sporty and sophisticated. While for the guys, strong and athletic.

 

Can you tell us about any challenges you faced in design process, whether materials or cut?

 

Will the final prototypes match the sketches? Will they "work?" Is the fit what we expected? Will the fabric react as we thought? Does the system design, fabric, cut and workmanship, fulfill our requirements? How will the colors look like, not only on paper or lab-dips? These are the main challenges, besides the time pressure that we are always feeling.

 

Qloom was the first brand to offer a Nordic piece with Polartec Power Shield and now we have the Cayley and Steele outfits which blends Power Shield and 3-layer waterproof fabrics. Pretty impressive! What is the biggest thing customers should know about Qloom's design/development process for creating Winter products?

 

We want to create each winter season as something entirely new and different: special products, new style designs or a new fabric (like the Polartec Power Shield). We want our customers to constantly be surprised about our offerings and never know what to expect (styling, design, fabric, colors, function, etc.). We always first peak their interest with our color combinations and convince them with our fitting and functionality. We want them to enjoy every single moment of the winter!

In winter the biggest challenge for a clothing manufacturer is to transport the moisture away from the body, as fast as possible, so that you do not get cold while also ensuring that the individual doesn’t overheat. So we make pieces that can combine easily making any sport or activity during the winter not only manageable but enjoyable!

 

Do you have a favorite piece in the line?

 

It’s me! I can’t only choose one piece :-) I love the HEART jacket and pants, because I've never had an x-country outfit before that had such great fitting (and I've tried a lot). I also love to combine it with the KAWAIKIM midlayer (made of of finest merino fabric), it really is the best outfit for XC! For casual wear, I really enjoy wearing the SKIES jacket (two outfits in one)!

 

Any final comments?

 

We hope you enjoy your winter with us and let's Qloom the world!

Wondering and Wandering with Crankjoy

We checked in with our roving USA ambassadors, CrankJoy, to hear a little more about their decision to make the switch to #vanlife. Read more about the challenges and the fun from life on the road!


It all began years ago.  It was just an idea then, and we had no idea how it would ever work.  Get out of debt, simplify our lives, work for ourselves, travel the country connecting with awesome people and riding all over the world. That was the dream.  Pretty much world domination!  It all seems so distant now.

 

Let’s rewind about 2 years when my husband and partner in crankjoy.com , Chad, was on the internet, looking at Sprinter Vans.  “This one is perfect.” But, that perfect shell of a van was across the country in North Carolina.  A few days later we had decided that we were ready for a change.  Change is something we have always been good at.  It’s pretty much all we know!

 

For the last 19 years that we have been married and even a little before that, we have been restless.  Never staying in one place too long, we have moved more times than I can count (I stopped at 17.)  We would stay in one place long enough to learn the trails, make some friends and then the feeling of  “I wonder……” would creep in.  “I wonder what its like in Santa Fe, NM?  What about Montana, Washington, Colorado, Utah or Arizona?  What about Canada (I am Canadian) I think we should move to British Columbia!”  Needless to say, we get around!

 

But, I digress.  So back to the van.  Next thing I know Chad is on a plane to North Carolina to pick up the van, with a short stop home to visit family in Virgina, he’s driving back across country and we have a brand new van.  The next day we had a brand new van with two giant holes in it!!   I’ll never forget coming home from one of my last days working as a physical therapist in Sedona, AZ and seeing Chad on top of the van cutting holes for the two fans he was installing in the roof.  “Shouldn’t we get someone who knows how to do that over here?” I said, he countered with “I measured about 100 times, don’t worry!”

Downsizing with an awesome garage sale before leaving Sedona, AZ on our first summer of full-time vanlife.

Downsizing with an awesome garage sale before leaving Sedona, AZ on our first summer of full-time vanlife.

And from there in the next few days we had a bed, garage, swivel seats and a lot of storage bins.  Then we had to decide what to pack in the van, what to sell at the garage sale, and what to put in the storage unit.  We were hitting the road!  #Vanlife was happening!

 

What an amazing summer we would have, filled with adventure, tons of single track and many new friends all over the country!  We couldn’t leave soon enough, even though we lived in Sedona and had so many amazing friends and riding buddies there and all over Arizona.  That feeling you get when you are going somewhere you haven’t gone before was exciting and fueled us for the whole summer.

 

I was allowed one bike, and two large plastic storage bins; but what should I bring?  It’s harder than it sounds to get ready for a trip with so many questions.  After packing and unpacking 100 times, I did it!  I figured a couple of pairs of pants, four shorts and at least 7 riding kit would do nicely.  A couple of hats, hair ties and some baby wipes and I was beyond ready.  We sold a bunch of stuff for gas money, mostly the heavy items we didn’t want to move to storage.  Then, we took the rest to storage and closed the door!  “What is all of this STUFF?  I’m really not going to miss any of this shit!”  It was exhilarating! I had started a coaching company (Potential Energy Training and Nutrition LLC) with a couple of partners earlier in the summer and was officially mobile!  With my mobile office and my mac - I was ready.

 

Now we were free to live the crankjoy.com dream!  Travel to mountain bike events, ride new trails, test out new products, scope out new towns, connect with people and write about it. Making some great connections and partnership was the best part of our first summer on the road (2015.) At the end of the summer we were lucky enough to attend the Vail Outlier Festival and run right into Qloom!  A beautiful partnership was born that day!  Today, we are privliged to be Qloom ambassadors, letting everyone know about the Qloom vibe and superior style this company has. It seems to me they mesh nicely with Crankjoy:  Adventure, connection, style and function.  Qloom is literally cut from the same cloth!

Stay tuned for more van ventures, visit the website often and learn about how the crankjoy.com rig was built out and how we spent this summer touring the Pacific Northwest and Canada.  We took a few (thousand) pictures to share with you as well.

 

Check it out, CrankJoy created some Qloom Custom kits to fly the colors as they travel across the continent. Check out the CrankJoy Store to see if they have any sweet kits left!

About the Author, Tricia Davis:

I lead a dual life - as a Canadian Physiotherapist and hyperkinetic outdoors woman. I have pedaled with ambition since 1989. Adventures with my husband Chad, have taken me around the world in the pursuit of photographs, perfect single track and podiums. I am not a superhero but I do aspire to take over the world with my mission: inspire, connect and encourage people to experience this short life to the fullest- with a dirty little grin. I am also a physical therapist, co-owner and coach with potentialenergytraining.com, keeping the world an injury free and healthier place.

Through the Eyes of the Groms

A shoutout to the next generation of rippers! School is back in session, but fond memories from summer shredding are still vivid, and serve as the foundation and inspiration for future adventures. Two young riders share their stories from summer with us below!


Ryder

Age: 10

Location: Colorado

Favorite part about riding: Exploring new places with my mom and learning how to go faster!

Last weekend, I went to Winter Park to ride at Trestle Downhill Park. I got a new chest protector, elbow pads, knee pads and some Qloom shorts and a jersey. One thing I love about the shorts is the ventilation zippers. The removable padded shorts were really soft and squishy, and felt way better than my other ones that feel like a rock. 

 

My mom rented me a cool full suspension bike to ride. The first run, I was just getting warmed up and getting used to the bike for the second run. On the second run we stayed on a blue trail and then cut off on to a black run called the Rainmaker.  There were a lot of jumps and this was a lot of fun. I almost crashed because I tired to jump and landed with one pedal up and one down. Then later on I hit a rock and almost fell over but saved it at the last minute.

 

On the second black run we did, there was this cool wooden berm that was steep and really fun. Then my mom put the GoPro on my head and at the last downhill section I rode behind my mom and filmed her. By the end of the day my calves were hurting from holding myself up on the pedals. The Trestle Park was super flowy and was a blast.

 

At the bottom when we were done, I tried to go on the alpine slide, but they said it was going to rain so I went on the bungie trampoline. It never actually rained though. We finished the day at Doc’s restaurant and I got the Rueben sandwich, it was awesome.

 

I’m super happy to be a Qloom ambassador like my mom. I can’t wait to ride in Qloom clothes next week at SMBA Mountain Bike camp. 

Check out my video below. My mom and I edited it together!


Maddie

Age: 14

Location: Colorado

Favorite part about riding: Being outside on amazing trails and learning new skills on my bike every day, like descending in crazy rock gardens, or climbing up steep technical trails. 

Maddie and her friends are all smiles before they begin ascending Mt. Huron (Maddie is on the far left).

Maddie and her friends are all smiles before they begin ascending Mt. Huron (Maddie is on the far left).

Last week I climbed Mt Huron, a Colorado 14er (A mountain with peak elevation over 14,000 feet. There are 53 14ers in Colorado.) on my bike with my SMBA (Single track Mountain Bike Adventures) girls team. SMBA has been a great mountain bike program that has taught me so much throughout the years, I've learned new bike handling skills, techniques, and lots of new trails. But riding all summer with SMBA, I've not only learned how to become a better mountain biker, but a better teammate. I've ridden with some of the best people in SMBA, who always encourage me and push me to be my best.

 

And this 14er with SMBA was such an awesome adventure, with great people. We woke up at 3:45 that morning, ate breakfast, put on all our gear, and lights in our bikes, and headed out. I was wearing my Qloom Silberhorn shorts, and a lightweight Qloom sweatshirt at the start, which were both super comfy and awesome to ride in! I especially love those shorts because they are super lightweight and have great ventilation, they also have a great little pocket on the side, perfect for putting snacks in!

 

The beginning of the ride was pretty steep and technical so we ended up pushing our bikes up most of it. When we got about halfway, just above tree line there was a huge basin where we could see the top of Huron and the sun was just rising, we all rode through the basin and it was beautiful!

 

After we hit the basin it got really hard to ride our bikes again so we carried them for a while, but we did see some marmots and baby birds that were so cute! Then about half a mile to the top the trail turned into a huge scree field that was super steep, we all had to carry our bikes on our backs. This was probably the hardest part of the ride, the trail was so steep I kept slipping but we took it one step at a time to make to the top. 

 

Finally after 5 hours of hiking up we reached the top, it was so awesome and the view was incredible! We were all so happy to have made it 14,000 feet with our bikes! We took lots of pictures at the top and then headed down, going down was pretty scary and we had to walk a lot of it too. Right after we summited we were hiking down and we lost the trail. We were walking down huge loose rocks. That was certainly a challenge but we saw some people walking down and we traversed the huge rocks to find the trail again where we had seen the people. We got back to the basin and we could all ride down that. The downhill we did was some of the coolest and best downhilling  I've ever done! Lots of people we saw thought we were absolutely crazy for taking our bikes to the top of a 14'er, but it was one of the coolest rides/hikes that I've ever done!

Chasing Epic Rides in angel fire, new mexico

The word "epic" gets thrown around a lot in mountain biking. Epic descent, epic scenery, epic crash, epic crew... 

 

Qloom USA recently partnered with the folks at Chasing Epic, specialists in mountain bike trips...epic mountain bike trips!

 

Founded in 2015, Chasing Epic was created to provide its customers the type of mountain bike adventures we all dream of.  Flowing singletrack, incredible views, killer terrain, and great friends: to us, these are the ingredients that make for a perfect mountain bike vacation. Chasing Epic carefully plans their multi-day trips to take you on the best trails with the best local guides for unforgettable days on the bike. Après ride isn't too shabby either: head back to refined accommodations for banter, beers and local fare. Ride, refuel, rest, repeat. Not bad!

 

Steve Mokan, founder of Chasing Epic, shared a report from a recent scouting trip to Angel Fire, New Mexico. 


Scouting new locations on the resort's dime? Doesn't sound like a bad deal to us, especially with views like that!

Scouting new locations on the resort's dime? Doesn't sound like a bad deal to us, especially with views like that!

Angel Fire, New Mexico... not exactly a name that pops up when mountain bikers talk about the top riding destinations in the southwest. Only a few hours from major metro areas Denver and Albuquerque, Angel Fire is probably not even somewhere that most people have heard of. Hogan Koesis, the director of Angel Fire's bike park, is about to change that. Full disclosure- I recently spent a few days in Angel Fire on the resort's dime (trust me, it wasn't a hookers and blow-type trip, not in Angel Fire) as a scouting trip for my personal business, Chasing Epic. That being said, I'm not one to pander to sponsored trips, and wanted to give my full, unbiased opinion. 

 

Most mountain bikers know Angel Fire for their killer bike park. Trust me, it's amazing. By no means am I a hardcore downhiller (I can handle my own on trail rides), but I had more fun on the 60+ miles of trail at Angel Fire than I've had at Keystone or Winter Park. The craftsmanship that Hogan and his crew produce is quite impressive. Bermed corners, banked turns, huge table-tops... and even the "singletrack" trails were super fun with much of the same, but on a more manageable scale. It's obvious a lot of thought went into their layout. I rode my 160mm travel Ibis HD3: I had a blast and could handle all the trails from green up to double-black. For full shit-eating-grin factor, however, I'd recommend bringing or renting a full downhill bike.

 

Even after hours, the bike park is a great place to explore. I'd consider their green and blue runs to be pretty spectacular downhill trails, most of them of the singletrack variety. We earned our turns after the lifts stopped spinning by climbing Enlightenment, hanging out for a bit, and then heading down with no one else in sight.

 

But seriously, enough about the bike park... we all know it's awesome, and Angel Fire gets enough publicity (although they deserve more) for the build out. I personally made the trip to check out the XC and Trail riding in the area, to see if it's a viable destination for our private 4-day trips. Spoiler alert- I came away impressed.  We were lucky enough to be shown around by Hogan, and he definitely delivered the goods. 

 

The big ticket item is the South Boundary Trail, a 20+ mile epic from Angel Fire down to Taos; one you can do with a partial shuttle that leaves you with about 2,000 feet of climbing and almost 5,000 vertical of sweet descending. I'll put it right up there with anything I've ridden in Colorado.  After a stiff 30-40 minute climb, you're rewarded with huge downhills through aspens, open meadows, pine forests, and eventually down some technical rocky terrain into Taos. It's an absolute must-ride.

Steve surfing some of the 5,000 feet of downhill that Angel Fire has to offer.

Steve surfing some of the 5,000 feet of downhill that Angel Fire has to offer.

After riding the South Boundary Trail (SBT), we were wondering what else is out there. Looking on Trail Forks and MTB Project, there aren't a lot of documented trails... but apparently no one has really gotten around to mapping them, because there are certainly options. From the Lost Lake Loop (near Red River) to some of the Angel Fire Valley trails, to the sweet singletrack off the Elliott Barker Trail recently used for the Scott Enduro race), there are tons of 15-20 mile rides within shouting distance of the resort.

 

Hogan on their future plans: "The resort plans on increasing the flow of its existing XC network as well as adding 3-5 miles of trail connecting an interior loop from the south end of town to the north end of town. We are also working with the National Forest to increase the user experience on an already amazing epic ride from the town center. We are excited in breathing fresh life into old and forgotten back-country trails that will undoubtedly have the potential to entertain mountain bikers for several days!"

 

On the last day, we rode right from town and did a 15 mile loop connecting some of the "Valley Trails" with the Elliott Barker network. The terrain ranged from barely-there singletrack through grassy meadows to rowdy Enduro-worthy downhill stretches, to ripping through huge aspen forests. Not a bad way to cap off a long weekend in town.

 

So, my personal take on the area? It's a lot of fun. Like, a LOT of fun. Between spending a day riding the lifts with 2-3 days of XC/Trail riding, it's definitely somewhere I'll recommend to my clients looking to book an off-the-radar trip with their crew. There isn't a whole lot of nightlife in Angel Fire, so it's more the type of trip you spend riding, eating, drinking, and then repeating. It's certainly not like Park City or Telluride with regards to nightlife and a party scene. Everything is so accessible right from town that you can honestly leave your car parked all weekend and just take your bike everywhere. 

 

I think it's right up there with places like Durango, Fruita, and Sedona in terms of quality riding. It might not have the quantity yet, but according to Hogan and the folks at Angel Fire, they're working on it. 

Chasing the most epic rides in the Southwest certainty has it's rewards!

Chasing the most epic rides in the Southwest certainty has it's rewards!

Hey Dude! These are Sweet trail shorts!

BikeRadar gets down and dirty with

Qloom's Avalon Shorts & Hey Dude Liner Shorts!

 
 

We sent the shredders over at BikeRadar a pair of our hard-hitting, crush-it-all Avalon Shorts and Hey Dude Liner Shorts to put through some punishing fast and loose testing.

 

• The Avalon Enduro Shorts and Women's Umina Shorts use rugged abrasion-resistant fabrics for maximum durability when you're pinning it on the trail. And, the Qloom engineered fit never sacrifices on comfort and performance.

 

• Our Hey Dude Liner Shorts and Women's Hey Girl feature 4-panel construction, a premium endurance chamois pad, a wide waist band, and silicone leg grippers to keep everything in place.


"High-quality mountain bike shorts with a fantastic fit and the attitude that looking good before, during, and after the ride will put you in a new state of mind"


"The fit is spot on, with a performance cut that strikes a very nice middle ground between tight and loose. The rise through the crotch features a stretchy, slicker material that doesn't snag on the seat when wiggling your way off the back on steep, fully committed descents." 

- Russell Eich, BikeRadar


"The Hey Dudes are refreshingly different [than other liner shorts] - this is how an inner short should be. The simple four-panel construction fits me perfectly, and the Qloom endurance chamois buffers me from the saddle quite nicely on extended climbs."

- Russell Eich, BikeRadar

Fueling Up For Your Best Mountain Bike Ride

How do you keep your energy levels up during a big day on the bike? Luck? Pride? Last night's leftover burrito? Mooching off whatever your riding buddy brought along? Let's fix that now.

 

To be fair, it takes a little bit of trial and error to figure out what nutrition combination works best for you. Luckily, Qloom ambassador and MTB kung fu master, Lee of Lee Likes Bikes, gave us some insight into how he crushes it on the bike all day while providing some of the best MTB instruction around. 

 

Plus, we've partnered with the nutrition experts over at The Feed: Food For Athletes for a contest where you can win 1 of 5 $200 gift cards when you buy The MTB Feed Box that we put together with Lee.* The Feed will also send you promo card for 25% off your next gear purchase when you buy the MTB Feed Box.


Lee McCormack is a world renowned mountain bike technique author and instructor based in Boulder, CO. Check out his books, in-person clinics and free articles at www.leelikesbikes.com

Burning like a Saturn rocket. Beets seem to help me recover from ridiculous efforts like this. 

Burning like a Saturn rocket. Beets seem to help me recover from ridiculous efforts like this. 

As a mountain bike skills author and instructor, I get to ride in some very cool places with very cool people. Not only do I get to ride all of the trails the clients ride, but I have to ride them perfectly, and sometimes I have to ride them again even faster — for the sake of learning, of course. Meanwhile, I have to maintain high mental focus to keep everyone safe and learning. This all adds up to mega calories delivered throughout a long day. Here’s how I fuel for a big day of riding and coaching.

 

Before: Water and Beets

If you believe the claims about the nitric oxide in beets, a well-timed beet dose can improve your endurance and recovery. When I use beet products, I feel like I can maintain a higher workload for longer, and it seems like I recover more quickly between efforts. That’s all good stuff, so why not? While I work through my 20- to 40-minute off-bike warmup, I drink a large bottle of water mixed with beet powder. When the ride (or class) starts, I’m deeply warm, fully hydrated and ready to beet the world.

Before we take off, I make sure my hydration pack is filled with plenty of fluid, enough food to keep me and my clients happy and clothes for any conditions. After plenty of mishaps, I like to pack some light kneeguards; my foldable Qloom Buffalo rain jacket and an extra pair of ultra-light Qloom Sorento gloves. Dry hands are happy hands.

 

During: Bars, Water and Electrolytes

I love eating. I love riding. Eating while riding? Even better!

Once we start moving, I trickle a steady stream of small bars — about one every two hours, eaten in small bites. I love the easy-carry of bars, but I want them to feel like real food. Can I see nuts? Are there obvious signs of plant life? Cool. Throw some chocolate on top and I’m even happier.

My hydration pack contains straight, old-school tap water. No distilled water for this guy; gotta get your selenium somewhere. Meanwhile, my water bottle contains new-school electrolyte powder or tabs. Since I’m alternating between the hydration pack and this bottle, and the bottle has to last all day, I usually mix the electrolytes 2x or 3x stronger than stock. One sip is a blast of sodium. Wash it down with water and you stay in balance.

One hour down with hours yet to go. That pack contains enough food to go for days. 

One hour down with hours yet to go. That pack contains enough food to go for days. 

Lunch: Fruit, Meal Bar and A Treat

Ah, the vista. The camaraderie. And the food! The only thing better than lunch … is lunch on a ride.

At mid day we stop for a proper sit-down meal and some talk-about time. I’ve carried big sandwiches into the field and loved them! But it’s hard to resume shredding with a cannonball in your tummy. Here’s my current favorite on-trail lunch:

  • • Fruit. Dried is easy to carry and can live in your pack for a while.

  • • A big, badass meal bar. A Probar Meal Bar is made of real food, it withstands intra-pack punishment and it has almost 400 calories of slow-release shred fuel.

  • • For dessert I savor a packet of honey peanut butter. Sugar, fat, salt and some protein. Four great tastes that taste great together.

Turbo boost: Sugar and caffeine!

If my kung fu wanes or we’re about to attack a technical descent, I like a little something to perk me up, to sharpen my sword. Caffeinated gels or blocks hit me like a drug — boom! — and I’m ready to finish the day strong. Riding is awesome. Eating is awesome. Riding and eating is even more awesome. Have fun out there!

Moments like this are best with high-octane fuel, aka sugar and caffeine. 

Moments like this are best with high-octane fuel, aka sugar and caffeine. 

  *Offer only available in the USA

OUTSIDE MAGAZINE'S GEAR OF THE YEAR: Black Beach Shorts

Here at Qloom, we're big fans of Outside Magazine. Their features are replete with valuable information to make an adventure-filled life a little easier and a lot more fun. Useful information like how to throw a tomahawk and how to make the perfect margarita. Oh, and the gear...they definitely do their homework on the outdoor gear that helps you perform at your best.

 

We are delighted to announce that Qloom's Black Beach Shorts were proclaimed Outside Magazine's Best Women's Mountain Bike Shorts for 2016

 

Baggies, meet boardshorts. We love the surf-inspired print, but what really won us over was the airy stretch fabric and trim cut. We wore these bottoms on rides, runs, swims, and hikes. 

— Axie Navas, Outside Magazine Senior Gear Editor

 

                                                                                 Women's Black Beach Shorts

                                                                                 Women's Black Beach Shorts

                                                                   2016 Outside Magazine Summer Buyer's Guide

                                                                   2016 Outside Magazine Summer Buyer's Guide

We sat down with Didi, Qloom's founder, to discuss the inspiration for creating the ultimate Surf meets Bike baggy shorts:

 

 

We've developed fresh and innovative mountain bike apparel in Switzerland for 10 years, but we wanted to do something special for our launch in the USA. So, we went back to our roots, the original inspiration for Qloom: perfectly-fitting and performing mountain bike shorts with splashes of surf style. We found an ultralight stretch fabric with amazing comfort and mobility, then we perfected the cut to create a serious mountain bike short with a boardshort style and feel. This short can go from the bike to the beach to hiking high mountain peaks.                                                                             

— Didi Rüegg

 

Here's a little more about the Black Beach and Jaws: 

• Ultralight 4-way stretch fabric

 • 3D Baggy Fit for optimal performance on the mountain bike

 • Quick Dry for impromptu dips in mountain lakes 

 • Sweet removable linershorts with premium chamois for insane comfort on the bike