Field Tests

August 15

The Caucasus

It's Not

field test
Yonder Journal &
Mission Workshop

We Know
Where Georgia
Is, Right?

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This is probably the very first
bike descent off this pass.

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Guli Pass, Svaneti

The Crew →

Brian Larson
Kyle Von Hoetzendorff
Tamaz "Tazer" Tamak Tikanadze
Daniel Pasley

When we were first approached by Daniel and Kyle (two of the bright minds behind Yonder Journal) about plans for a trip to Georgia, we thought to ourselves, “That could be cool. There’s got to be some good riding in the Appalachians.” We were in. After a couple of conversations, it became clear that it was not that Georgia. The plan was to head to the actual Georgia - The Republic of Georgia. Originally, our preparation for the trip had consisted of brushing up on Outkast lyrics; however, quickly (and anxiously) the priorities shifted to triple checking gear lists in anticipation of the unknown. The only thing on lock was our apparel and bag choices – Transit Duffle, Hauser, Sector Crew, Loch Short, Division Chino, etc. If you make the best gear, use the best gear

We know where Georgia is, right? Well, at least we have a general idea of the location on a continent? It’s in the part next to Russia, right? But not on the China side; in Europe but also kind of in the Middle East – Eurasia? It’s hard to describe – best to look at a map. It certainly isn’t directly north of Florida. “Why there?” might be the next thought. Well, it comes down to one thing, the mountains – more specifically, the Caucasus Range.

"The Caucasus Mountains are gnarly.

They are big, rugged, and steep."

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The Caucasus Mountains are gnarly. They are big, rugged, and steep. Like a crack in a basketball court, caused by an aging oak tree planted too close in the community park, the mountains rise suddenly and unexpectedly out of an unassuming landscape. They are the type of mountains that are just there in front of you, and all you can do is stop and be taken aback, struck with views that continually force, in a trice, recognition of inimitable geometries that are incongruent with the backyard landscapes of our California home.

The trip started in the capital of Tbilisi. Tbilisi is a world-class city, and, in its own right, worth a week (or more) of exploration and self-taught cultural anthropological lessons found in museums or street side cafes. However, the goal of the trip was to escape the city and head to the Svaneti region for a six-day overland bike excursion – over mountain passes and connecting medieval towns.

It was truly a trip filled
with instances
suited for publication and preservation.

The crew consisted of the Kyle Von Hoetzendorff and Daniel Pasley of aforementioned brightness, a local friend Tazo Tamak Tikanadze, and Mission Workshop’s Brian Larson. The route was close to perfect, the food was great, and the locals gracious and friendly. We spent a lot of time pushing bikes, more time riding them. We took a moment to ride horses in the town of Ushguli and camped on a desolate ridge surrounded by peaks. It was truly a trip filled with instances suited for publication and preservation. Luckily, the whole story, in extraordinary prose (unmatchable by us), can be accessed over at Yonder Journal.

Shut Up,

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Special Thanks

Brian Larson, @BCLARSON
Kyle Von Hoetzendorff, @NEWANTARCTICA
Tamaz "Tazer" Tamak Tikanadze

Specialized Bicycles, HTTPS://WWW.SPECIALIZED.COM/US/EN/