Creativity = The Newly Designed Blackborow

This past year I was invited to attend Salsa’s RideCamp and give the Saturday evening presentation. I also had the opportunity to ride with the amazing guests who chose to attend this great weekend of “Adventure by Bike” culture. During the camp, I witnessed the revealing of the newly redesigned Salsa Blackborow fat bike. Wow!

RideCamp: What an amazing week!

So psyched to be the Saturday evening presenter…

There, sitting front and center of the 2018 Salsa line was Marketing Manager Mike Riemer’s Blackborow - fully outfitted with a full complement of beautiful Cedaero Bags. Mike obviously had the machine to make all of his self-supported fly fishing dreams come true. Sitting impressively next to Mike’s machine was engineer, Pete Koski’s kite boarding specific Blackborow. My brain started ruminating. Before long Pete and I were engaged in a discussion on how to make this new expedition machine backcountry ski compatible.

Fast forward a couple of months and a wonderful surprise arrives in my email inbox with the following closing sentence:

…Also, I want to include a new Blackborow because I believe you are the guy on our squad that will figure out something super bitching to do with one.

Peace out.

Miker

The game was on. For several years now I had been using the original Blackborow for all things out of the ordinary, including as the machine of choice for accessing bottomless powder in the backcountry of Southwest Colorado. Strapping skis parallel to the toptube with ski boots draped over our backs or stuffed into rear panniers, my fat biking ski posse and I have been leaving the ski tourers behind and riding up snow machined groomed trails to get first tracks. Our system of carrying our equipment was never perfect—so much so, that Salsa engineer Sean Mailen and I started scheming about better ways to carry skis and associated equipment. There had to be a better way where bindings, boots, etc. did not impede our progress up the snow-packed tracks.

Toptube issues…

When the new Blackborow arrived, I eagerly busted into the box. With my eyes on its extended lines and multi-faceted rack, the visions began to flood my consciousness. I had plans for this machine…extended desert tours involving sandy washes and canyoneering equipment, remote backcountry tours in the mountains with high alpine rock objectives, load carrying errands around town…but first, I had backcountry ski dreams.

With a visit to the talented bikepacking bag innovators and designers at Bedrock Bags, the creative juices started flowing. As in the case of Miker’s crew at Cedaero, Andrew Wracher, Joey Ernst, and the rest of the Bedrock Bags rock stars were up for the challenge at hand. After an initial meeting where we admired the blank canvas of the Blackborow and discussed my aspirations for the bike, the boys got to work. As stated a sentence or two ago, Joey and Andrew are innovators. They revel in solving the unusual. Whether it be solving the issues of seatpost bag sway with their RailWing system or providing effective use of seatpost bags with a dropper post (the Black Dragon), these guys like challenges that require thinking outside of the box.

The focal point of the bag design was how to effectively carry backcountry skis and poles. Strapping them along the toptube had proved awkward and cumbersome. With bindings compromising the pedal stroke and an increased toptube height, this set up was not ideal for long ski approaches. I had plans for this bike involving skis and extended time in the saddle. After another brainstorming session and some idea tests, I left the fellas to do their work. A week later, my phone lit up with an Instagram notification…they had the solution and a finished set of bags.

It all starts with pencil and paper…

The master, Andrew Wracher, making magic…

The genius is in the details…

I know I have written about this before, but I am always amazed how Salsa continually comes up with bikes designed to unleash the creativity of its riders. The newly designed Blackborow exemplifies this spirit but takes it to an entirely new level. Not only is the creative side of my mind as a Salsa rider stimulated, but the entire concept of the Blackborow causes the creativity to flow forth from all who engage with the bike. At first sight, the inventive minds of Joey and Andrew were engaged and the game was on for them as bag makers. What resulted was a master piece of backcountry ski specific bags just as Cedaero, with help from artist Mimi Matsuda, created the beautiful fly fishing bags for Miker. Without a doubt for those who make a place for this bike in their adventure ambitions, not only will there be some ingenious trips completed, but also some artistic and imaginative bags will be designed.

Fabric artistry…

The perfect pocket for skins…

Room to carry all things backcountry…

Even room for some post ride beverages…

With creative process complete by Bedrock, it is now my turn to figure out something super bitching to do. I’ve got some ideas. Bring on winter. The game is on!

A perfect rendition…

The end product…

To be continued…

This post filed under topics: Blackborow Brett Davis Explore Fatbike Mountain Biking Snow Biking Sponsored Riders

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brett Davis

Brett Davis

I grew up in a military family where we moved 13 times before I left for college. Consequently, I have the continual urge to explore and travel having climbed, kayaked, and biked all over our amazing planet. My passion for the outdoors drives me to seek out adventures which often times combine multiple modes of travel or activities (i.e. biking to a wilderness area and then backpacking in to climb a high peak). "Keeping life simple" is a guiding motto of my life and for me, bike travel epitomizes simplicity.

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