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.
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.
For the past six months my primary modes of transportation have been skis and the ski lift. While the latter isn’t human powered, I like to think of it as a form of underutilized public transportation. Between this and my occasional forays into the nearby backcountry I’ve been keeping a pretty low profile, skiing a lot but not really talking about it much here, there’s something about the familiarity of your backyard that keeps me from bringing along a camera or posting videos from each of the thousands of runs I’ve skied. Alta’s a special place where there’s an endless amount of amazing skiing to be had and it can all be accessed by starting right out your front door. My friend Chris Bangs of the Human-Powered Mountaineers is a little different though. Coming from his home of Bozeman Montana he’s got a little bit of an approach to get the the mountain of his choice, an approach that sometimes covers well over 100 miles and he covers with the use of a bicycle and skis, keeping his trips 100% human powered. Take a look at some of the short videos he’s put together about his project he’s calling the 7 summits of Bozeman. An inspiring individual and a bit of an eye opener into what’s truly possible in winter human powered mountaineering. Continue reading
Borrowed from The Skier Boyz
You don’t always head out the door expecting greatness. Sometimes you’re not that inspired, your motivation level is low and you just can’t seem to get stoked. A long night of drinking, lots of crowds, gray-skull and no new snow, maybe you’re tired and just want to chill. But some one or some thing gets you out there, gets you going, and you find a spark. The rhythm of the skin track lets your mind wander, a hole in the clouds burns through and a sunlit ridgeline beckons. You make it to a summit, the snow is softer then you thought, you’re with a friend you love, and you can’t think of anything better in the world.
I haven’t been cycling in months. Although this might come as some sort of sad irony in light of this blog being born from bicycle-powered adventure, I’m not really that broken up about it. Sure, I miss the bike, and those long warm rides in the mountains, but I miss it like I miss asparagus or basil, those ephemeral staples of spring and summer that might be short lived, but they have a time, and will be back next season. For now I’m loving the winter, the numbing cold, the short days parenthesized by extended darkness, the styrofoam crunch of snow under my skis, and the unparalleled beauty of the play of light on mountains dressed in white. I’m embracing the winter for what it is: now. Continue reading