Drawn Away (film) + The Headlands Route
This new film follows a group of riders along the four-day bikepacking route that inspired illustrations used within the new Headlands Collection of bags and gear. Watch the film, dig into the route map, see a gallery from the trip, and learn more about the art (plus find out how you can win the full collection)!
Photography by Gritchelle Fallesgon and Adam Concannon
Swift Industries and Coal Headwear teamed up with artist Chris McNally to create a new line of bike adventure gear featuring Chris’ uniquely witty illustration. To create the illustrations for the collection, Chris devised a four-day bikepacking loop that begins and ends at his studio space in the Mission Neighborhood of San Francisco and explores the Marin Headlands north of the city. The route took in sights, sounds, and natural and manmade landmarks that inspired the art which was ultimately patterned and printed on fabric created for The Headlands Collection.
To celebrate the unveiling of The Headlands Collection, Chris invited a cast of characters to join the Swift x Coal crew on the route. Along the way, they made this lovely little film that goes behind the scenes into Chris’ art, and reflects on how members of the group got into bike riding—from their first ride on a bicycle as a kid to reconnecting with their childhood as an adult. Watch the film, then scroll down to find more photos from the trip, a map of the route, and a behind-the-process description of the artwork from Chris. In addition, we’re giving away a full Headlands Collection set of gear; learn about the entire line of hats and bags below.
The themes Swift and Coal wanted to explore during this Bay Area trip—and within the Headlands Collection—revolved around authentic, close-to-home adventures; uncovering the hidden treasures and secret spots at the intersection of the built and natural environments, where urban bleeds into rural, and rural into wilderness; slowing the pace and making space for inspiration and creativity; and the importance of building community one pedal stroke—and one brush stroke—at a time.
The Headlands Route
Starting and ending in San Francisco’s Mission District, this four-day loop takes in several Marin County landscapes and many landmarks, some of which reflect on the history of mountain biking as we know it.
Behind the Creative
Chris McNally is a Boulder-bred, San Francisco–based design illustrator with deep roots in the cycling industry. As you may have read in our recent Rider’s Lens with Chris, cycling has not only crystalized his sense of purpose, it’s provided the community and creative vehicle to foster his unique design aesthetic into a career doing what he loves. Chris’s sense of details made telling the visual story of his own backyard shine through in the art used for the Headlands Collection.
Above is the artwork Chris created for the pattern used in the Headlands Collection. Top left, the original line art made from a combination of studies Chris made during his ride along the route. Once he dialed in the line art, Chris added the watercolor layer. “To create the watercolor, I jump back and forth between analog and digital processes—drawing, scanning, printing, and more drawing on top… I keep the art in layers so that I can easily alter or revise it,” Chris described. The middle image shows a watercolor layer with extra elements that were not used. Here’s Chris’ description of several of the elements found in the pattern:
Pink Flamingo: This is from the succulent garden outside my studio, locally known as “Little Mexico.” I use this garden and its plant life for so many illustrations. It pops up in backgrounds, fourgrounds, t-shirt graphics, logos… I’m always seeing new parts from which to draw inspiration.
Sutro Tower: After leaving my studio in the Mission, we rode up to Twin Peaks and the Sutro Tower. The Sutro tower is a focal point of the San Francisco landscape. Below the tower is a trail system, carved out of the eucalyptus grove that has engulfed the hill. In such a dense urban area, this trail system is a great resource.
Diaz Ridge: After riding through the Marin Headlands we crossed over Panoramic and on the Diaz Ridge trail. This trail is a few years old and is one of very few legal singletrack trails in the North Bay. The trail is in no way technical, but has amazing views of Muir Beach and the Pelican Inn. Originally, we had planned to take this scenic stroll down to the Pelican Inn, where we would enjoy a beer or two. But a storm came in right as we climbed onto the trail and dumped rain. No views, no cold beers, just a soggy slog to get to camp.
Klunker: Before drawing the drop bar Crust, I was going to use the klunker parked out front of Black Mountain Cycles as the bike icon in the art. I love the bike and I love that shop! But we changed the route and didn’t plan to pass through Point Reyes Station where Black Mountain Cycles is located. As luck would have it (and poor packing on my part) the rain and the muddy ride down Diaz disintegrated my brake pads. We had to make an emergency run to the shop. Hi Mike!
28 percent: “Your not biking unless your hiking” Jungle John~Bay Area Mountain Bike Legend and Pioneer.
Frosty Spot: This is the overlook at the Golden Gate Bridge. If we had not lingered for as long as we did we might have missed the rain.
GGB: The Golden Gate Bridge was always visible on our jaunt around the North Bay poking out from the fog.
Shotwell: This is a shout out to Martina from Swift. Shje grew up on this street in the Mission District a few blocks from my studio and where we started and ended our ride.
Collective Reward #035: The Headlands Collection
For our latest Collective Reward gear giveaway, Swift Industries and Coal Headwear teamed up to provid a full lineup of the new Headlands Collection. One lucky Bikepacking Collective member will win the entire collection, including three hats and three bags. Click here for details about the Collection, and how to get signed up to win…
Learn more about the artwork of Chris McNally in our Rider’s Lens article from last month. Also, be sure to check out the Headlands Collection and learn how you could win it here. And, click on each of these links to learn more about the Headlands Collection at Swiftindustries.com and coalheadwear.com.