Tag Archives: Bike to Climb

Zion National Park – A Bike to Climb Photojournal

I’ve been racking my brain, typing till my fingers bleed, trying every different angle, but none of it feels right.  This fall we cycled over 1500 miles across 5 states to spend 2 weeks climbing in one of my favorite places on Earth: Zion Canyon.  A trip report won’t do, and I’m not convinced there are any words or ways to convey to you just how much this life means to me, how much it’s changed the way I climb, live, and see the world.  I’d love to tell you about each pitch, each mile, every day and every climb, but I know that’s not how it works.  I want to grab hold of your shoulders, to shake you and show you what’s real, what’s important and why this life is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, but you’ll just think I’m crazy.

Maybe it’s the easy way out, maybe I’m missing something or just loosing touch with how to tell a story.  Maybe, but something tells me this trip was too big, to deep, and too crazy to properly share, and that my attempt with words will only confuse the issue.  What happened out there?  Sometimes even I wonder, but I rest easy knowing I shared it with my two best friends on earth, knowing they had their minds blown as wide as mine.  This time, I’m gonna keep my mouth shut.  This time, I’m gonna let the pictures tell the story.

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Moving Pictures

If you read our last post, or are friends with us on the Facebook – Instagram, you already know I managed to put together a short video for submission into the Adventure CyclingAssociation’s Bicycle Touring Video contest.  If not, then, well, I did.  While I have a pretty extensive history with some aspects of photography and relatively none with videography, this was my first real attempt at putting together a project that, while I might not consider it professional, it was intended for public consumption, and while the equipment I used was largely amateur, it is hands down the most advanced and highest quality I’ve used to date, and I’d like to think the film’s content and quality reflects that, at least a little.  If you haven’t yet seen the video, or would like to hear a little more about my experience in putting it all together, then read on.

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Lessons Learned

We each want to progress, to learn and improve.  Each generation is not only lucky enough to build upon the efforts of those before us, but we too act, practice and refine our thoughts, our crafts, and our lives to be more in line with an evolving world view.  As climbers and adventurers we strike off, in an effort to learn more about life by experiencing it in extremes.  As we scratch the surface, the experiences call us back again and again, and soon we become more proficient and comfortable with the logistics, trouble, and physical hardship that often go along with these trips.  We learn from friends and relatives, books and movies, and of course our own personal adventures.  Certain disciplines call us, whether it be bouldering or alpine climbing, creek-boating or surfing, as the specialists we are we devour this lifestyle completely, striving to understand every angle and aspect of it’s execution.  Along the way we come to understand more about ourselves and the world, and subsequently the relationship between each.

This concept of bicycle-powered adventure is not new, and there are seemingly more and more resources appearing every day on it’s subject.  While I do not claim much experience from my limited adventures, from the meager amount I’ve learned along the way, I do wish to add my voice to the chorus of encouragement.  Truth is this is all still so new to me, and although we’ve been living the bicycle-life for about two and a half years, I constantly find myself exploring new aspects that keep it fresh, challenging, and exciting.  This was the first trip I’ve ever done that involved skis, only the second that involved snow, and the first that involved multiple stages of shipping gear.  In an effort to clear away some of the confusion, and help with the logistics of your own ride, I wanted to share as much of this knowledge as I can, in hopes that you’ll be able to take it one step farther, while doing it easier.  While in no way comprehensive, chronological, or even ordered, what’s below is one part trip report, one part advice, and three parts rambling rhetoric, enjoy.

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The Sawtooth Scenic Byway

I’ve been sitting here for too long already.  I want to tell you the story, but this one’s not easy, and more to the point, it’s not yet over.  The adventure continues to expand, and exceed all expectations. No words are doing justice to the feelings we’ve had, it seems I’ll have to let the photo’s do the talking this time.  What is the message?  It is not about the no-car, it is not about the bike.  It isn’t even about the mountains or the adventure, although that’s getting closer to the source.  You can live any way you choose: dream big, do good, be kind.  Do Epic Shit.  Live with passion and be the force for positive change.  Create the world, the reality you want to inhabit. Live your Dreams.

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Evolution Through Revolutions.

The Rising Tide.

In the last year, there’s been a growing trend in bike-to-climb and bike to (fill in the blank) adventures being pursued by professional climbers and athletes and making it into the media.  I don’t claim to have any influence over this occurance, it’s an awesome thing, a sign of the awareness our generation is bringing to the table.  Seeing this type of stuff in the media is truly inspiring, getting people stoked for bicycle powered adventures is only a good thing.  There are also trends going on in the bicycle world I have been trying to influence.  My generation is among those who helping to define a new era by choosing to not own a car or hold a drivers license.  We are in a unique and optimal position to be able to go car-free, use a bike for transportation, and take part in extended adventures.  Although I’m not often obnoxious about getting friends to change their habits or get rid of their car, when I see an opportunity, I capitalize.  Engine troubles, transmission problems, and maintenance issues are great times to encourage friends to drive their shitty rig’s off a cliff.  For the most part this is received with polite laughter, as in, I’ll laugh at your joke you crazy car-less psycho, but if done well and to the right kind of individual, even this technique can reap rewards.  Other angles and tactics can be effective as well, the most useful of which is truth.  Looking someone deep in the eyes and telling them the truth has proven to be very effective.  “Yo bro! You’re blowing it!”   This site is simply a mouthpiece for my musings, a journal in which I feel too critical to even write often, but one I try and keep up to date none the less.  But this is also another way that I’m trying to spread the word, to provide a positive and encouraging example of what a bicycle life could look like.  With that in mind here’s a look into the current adventure-bicycle scene, and the smaller world I’ve been able to affect.  Cheers! Continue reading

A Grand Failure

Each day I wake up, unable to sleep, yet hesitant to leave the warmth, I lay and recall my dreams until I cannot see any more.  Shuffling down the hallway, cracks of light escape from beneath a few doors, the rest lie dark and silent.  Outside, I step along the balcony to the small room with the large mirror.  On my mat I stand, and bend, and lie in awkward positions as my muscles slowly lengthen.  Beads of sweat break out on my forehead despite my lack of movement, my breath courses slow and deep through my nose.  I am alone, my mind is never silent unless I find it that way, when again it is surprised into thought.  Each day is lived as it comes, not necessarily in the moment but without thinking much of the before or after.  My forecast is a look out the window, feeling the air on my face.  My schedule is always the same; work, ski, at once.  When I come here, or to the pages in my journal, my mind wanders, looking at pictures of my own I am taken back, memories and emotions tingle at the base of my spine.  Talking with friends, scheming, planning, I look forward and see the future, not as it is or as it will be, but how it exists now in my mind.  Ideas are coming to life once more as the sun returns and the reality of melting snow, warm stone, and open roads grows closer.  The words are on the tip of my tongue, the spark of creativity once more slowly catching hold of the connections that have been made over the last few months.

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