I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Allott and Courtney Fair, owners of Solace Cycles, last fall in upstate New York. Although they are a small company, Solace has positioned themselves at the forefront of adventure riding and bikepacking in the area, and they play an important role in the local cycling community. Their focus is on titanium adventure bikes, and at the time of my visit they had two production bikes released, as well as a prototype gravel bike called the OM-3. The Solace Cycles OM-3 is officially released and we worked with them to provide this overview of what it’s all about.
What started as a typical pop-in visit quickly evolved into an evening at a local music festival, conversations with the owners (and ambassadors) of Solace Cycles, and a greater appreciation for the people that keep small towns afloat. Solace Cycles isn’t in the business of making money. Jeff Allott was quick to admit that. The bikes are a reflection of the Adirondacks, and his way to promote both the sport and the zone that he loves
This story starts in the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York at Solace Cycles HQ. Actually, it goes back further than that. It goes all the way back to 2012, when, after having raced the Tour Divide, I returned home with the dream of creating a bikepacking route through the Adirondacks.
On one of our final days on the ground, we meet a group of 25-plus riders who’ve gathered from all over the region for Sunday’s “Dirt Church” ride at Otis. The cohesion and commitment of the community in the Eastern High Peaks is evinced by the many riders who—despite heat and humidity—have made it to all of the week’s outings.
It’s a hot, muggy August day. I woke up this morning and could see the heat hanging over the mountain tops, smell it on the grass as I sipped my morning coffee from the stoop of a friend’s house. It’s a day that will probably end in a thunderstorm.