ClubRide Production -Complete.
Fun series of production days for the clothing company out of Idaho. Great to reconnect with friends i see far too seldom. Moab was warm, busy, but fantastic to get that last bit of desert-riding in before the summer sets in and the high-country opens here for business.
Big thank you to those involved with the effort. I wanted to share a slice of what happened in Moab.
Our round in Fruita was literally limited to 3hrs of mid-day blasting. Not ideal, but that’s the hand we were dealt. I think we made the most of it.
Good times as always, some overland travel (but FAR from enough), #WishWeWereConti and always hoping for bigger and better things.
Winter’s got its grip on things over here. Dreary and snowless for the most-part, with a few dumps here and there to keep us honest. Nothing more than 6-8” at a time, and thus keeping me off the hill so far this year.
Creativity was stalled-out, with a focus on sales/marketing taking priority, which doesn’t always sit well with creatives (i’ve been told). Personal activity’s been reduced to hiking/running on snow-coevred trails, which is fantastic, if you’re a runner… and all in all, i’ve been doing some searching for meaning in all this. 2012 being the all-time worst year on record for the business, and with little creative content having-been produced, i sort of have been feeling like something needs to give.
A few weeks ago, 2 enqueries landed in my lap, both from Scandinavian countries. A magazine from the Netherlands (http://shutrfotomagazine.nl/) and a stock-enquery from an agency in Denmark. How the hell are these people finding me? The magazine conducted a pretty thorough interview, as a featured artist for the month, which was interesting. I never feel like i’m doing anything worth talking too much about. We shoot cars, bikes, sports-stuff, some lifestyle, blah blah blah. Mostly advertising-related. The fun-stuff is almost always editorial… at least the stuff that i hold close. It’s travel with friends, doing the sports we love… minimal advertising, just jerking around and living our lives, so-to-speak. I’m certainly curious to see how the interview turns out. I perhaps should work on my Danish?
This past week saw the opportunity to work on a bit of a personal project to support the Moth Poetic Circus out of Boulder. With a performance down in Denver at Casselman’s, and an opportunity to spend some time with the performers during rehearsal etc, some interesting content was built and added to my ‘personal project’ portfolio. I don’t really have many opportunities to work with with stage-lighting and hazers (which i adore), so i tried to make the most of things. It was a great creative-spark to get things moving in a more personal-direction i think. Interesting that just yesterday, there was mention of embracing personal projects on CJ’s blog, that resonated with some thoughts of-late.
I sort of wonder about the level of freelance-stress that’s been taking a toll on my psyche over the past year, and have been debating seeking an in-house position recently. Certainly embracing some personal work lends itself to easing the mind; giving the impression of moving in a direction, and satisfying the need to create.
Perhaps it’s time to sit and listen to what the Universe is telling me? A year seems to be a while to be doing not much more than sitting and listening, but in the scheme of things, a year is nothing but a grain of sand on the proverbial ocean floor, in reality.
So i sit… i wait. And i’ll create. Stay tuned…
Intro to Overlanding- by: L.W.
There’s a point in every person’s life where they are exposed to something that they know is going to improve the way they experience their life and, in this case their sport of choice, in a profound way. My introduction to the lifestyle of Overlanding was just this sort of thing and every epic ride I’ve taken since has been influenced by it. So, I know you’re dying to ask, “Just what the heck is Overlanding anyway? And what does it have to do with mountain biking?” I suppose to explain, I should probably start at the beginning.
A few years ago after a week of riding every grin-inducing, insanely exposed trail available in Moab, UT, I pulled in the City Market to pick up some lunch and supplies before heading back to my home base in Aspen, CO. As I’m pulling in to the parking space, a girl is pulling in to the space nose-to-nose with me. We are both driving late-model Toyota Tacoma pick-up trucks of the same vintage except her truck is tricked out with a bit of a lift and some tires and bumper and some giant thing on the roof of her canopy. This tiny little blonde hops out of the cab at the same time as I do and, she looks at me and she looks at her truck and then she looks at my truck and while she hasn’t busted out into a full smile, the side of her mouth turns up and a dimple emerges in her left cheek and I get the distinct impression that she finds me and my lowly stock-outfitted truck amusing.
Something about that look sparked something deep within my male pride so, now I had to go over and ask her some stuff about her truck. I mean what the heck was all that stuff anyway and why did she need it?
I wander around the back of her truck and she has the gate open and canopy hatch up and inside is a gorgeously organized set of modular drawers with all of her stuff put away just so, and then there was this other cooler looking thing, in which she appeared to be rearranging… ice cream bars or popsicles? Now, I’m really intrigued. What the heck is all this stuff and where did she get it? What’s she doing and where is she going?
So, I start asking questions and she turns and gives me a look that she’s completely comfortable and used to being accosted by unknowledgeable men in grocery store parking lots. It turns out that the thing on the roof is a rooftop tent. A self-righting, gigantic house that has all of her bedding in it and she had it up and camp set in the parking lot in 3.5 minutes. I must admit, I was rather impressed. The OCD, military background in me was seriously coveting her drawer system. And what was the deal with this ice-cream box? Turns out it was a 12 volt fridge-freezer. Not a cooler, no ice required just a hot lead in the back of the truck and she had a full on kitchen as soon as she cracked the tail-gate. This was amazing. A fully self-contained and readily set up camp in minutes!
We then had a conversation about all of the other aftermarket parts on her truck and their purpose and I did what most men would do when a little blonde who smells like coconut and sugar cookies is giving you a suspiciously knowledgeable lesson on the suspension options for your truck – I tried not to say anything stupid that would make her give me that look like I was amusing her again.
At the end of it, I learned that Overlanding is a means of self-contained travel by vehicle where no pavement is required and you can get to every killer mountain bike, surf or remote sport location with the most amazing amenities and the ability to set up camp immediately and wherever, whenever. “Glamping,” she quipped. Glamourous camping. The kind a woman would WANT to participate in and find pleasant. This is NOT a girl who will be stuck with the rest of us up on Sand Flats road getting our asses sand-blasted and blown away while we’re stacked on top of each other, listening to each other snore. She’d travel a ways off and set up her glorious truck-toting condo and enjoy the evening.
As a rabid mountain biker and commercial Outdoor Industry photographer by profession, who basically lives out of his truck, I suddenly needed all of this equipment.
I asked her if she had a card so I could get in touch with her about where to get these products but she claimed to be all out. A likely story.
Now I was in pursuit of all things Overlanding. Not sure where to start my research, I bought out EVERY four-wheel drive, truck and travel magazine that I could find on the newsstands. My research turned up nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nada.
Only after extended web research did I learn that the Land Rover dealership in my valley carried all of this stuff and I promptly went about outfitting my truck and joined the ranks as an Overlander. Ironically, I was already living the lifestyle as an adventure traveler, I just didn’t know that there were actually products that supported this lifestyle and could improve both my career and sporting habits.
And this is how I ended up traveling across country with team Geronimo to find all the hottest mountain biking trails between Aspen, CO and Port Angeles, WA on the way to the downhill race.
Mountain Flyer Content Trip- April 2012 Update 6
Mountain Flyer Content Trip Update 6
The prospect of riding fresh, highly-thought of singletrack seemingly propelled everyone out of their sleeping bags simultaneously in the morning as the sun broke-free of the clouds at the Phil’s Trailhead in Bend, OR. The now-familiar routine of packing tents, stowing sleeping bags, preparing breakfast etc, was run through with a new aire of excitement. A chilly start to the morning, gave-way to sparse high-clouds, temps nearing 50degs, and barely a breeze to keep things moving. We’d finally broken free of the murky damp conditions that’d shadowed us through our departure from Bend last time, and off into Washington.
We were excited to have dry weather and moderate temps for what we’d decided was going to be a ‘down’ day… less-work, more play. No riding with insanely heavy camera-packs. No humping lighting gear in its own gigantic pack uphill on foot… just good old fashioned fun for everyone (photographer included).
I did stuff a body and 2 lenses into my hydration pack, as opportunities seem ceaselessly to arise whenever packs are jettisoned. We wheeled across the parking area and oriented ourselves with the substantial trail-map positioned at the trailhead to Phil’s and Marvin’s on the West side of the parking area. We’d heard great things about ‘Whoops’ and Heli-Pad trails, but wanted to see for ourselves. The area is known in various circles for an assortment of things. Glancing at the competitive posted-frenzy that Strava seems to fuel, in hind-sight, you could easily find yourself caught up in competitive climbing-sessions, descending madness etc, but we knew nothing of this setting out. In fact, we forgot to even start the app until about a mile in, when Brian called out from the front, a quick reminder to ‘fire up Strava’.
'Whaaaaaa?' 'oh… yeah, Strava'.
Off into the woods we went. Mile after easy-mile unfolded before us; a beautifully serpentine flowy singletrack through what appeared to be a relatively young conifer-forest… a pine-needle carpet blanketed the ground, muffling our joyous passage as we climbed gently up Phil’s trail towards the far-side of the trail network we’d so eagerly poured over on the map in days-past. Thoughts strayed to the notion of riding the trail back down the hill we were ever-so-subtlety climbing, and eyes were diverted towards the ever so slightly bermed-out corners we found ourselves pedaling up… occasionally between a rock here, or a tree there. Never anything technical, never anything too tight. It was jussssssst right.
Well marked intersections appeared along our way up, demarcating both our passage up Phils and the progress of other assorted trails in the network. Not many landmarks existed, for those of us used to seeing giant rocky-peaks jutting skyward to serve as reference, for our ponderous progress up climbs locally. We ambled through the sunlight-spashed forest, enjoying shadow play among the trees, an easy gait, and some idle conversation about the loveliness of the dirt, the pristine condition of the corners, the friendliness of the locals, blah blah blah.
I’d pretty much given up any notion of an actual ‘climb’ in reference to the suffer-fests that abound locally in Colorado where we hail from, when the trail suddenly veered sharply skywards. We’d connected through several intersections at this point, and we’d decided that we needed to maintain our trajectory outwards to the outer-most portions of the network. We’d heard that Heli Pad and Whoops were under snow, but we wanted to investigate for ourselves (being a stubborn-lot and having also seen no snow anywhere of-yet).
Heli-Pad arrived reasonably quickly after a short series of moderate climbs warmed us up from the amble through the trees. The location signified by an ‘H’ arranged with stones in a perfectly round clearing of trees at the top of a ridge. ‘I guess this is the heli-pad’? We wondered aloud? Onward? What do we connect with? Michael pulled out the photo of the map he’d shot with his iPhone and we consulted with the group. Onward we’d push to another intersection where another decision would be necessitated. This was FUN! Nothing insanely technical. Nothing ridiculously steep. Just pure clean fun mountain biking distilled to its very essence. Twisty fun singletrack, moderate climbs, and then what was to come…
A bit more climbing, then a meandering downhill brought us to another decision-making point. We consulted the trail-head map that was posted at the intersection of the double track we’d descended on, and looked at the marker that directed us either up or down on singletrack that was calling itself ‘Whoops’. Was it for this my life I sought? We decided to climb, guessing that this was the intersection of Upper and Lower Whoops. We wanted to sample Upper Whoops, but after a quick probing-climb, we hastily ran into the snow-line and determined that we’d be better off heading down instead of post-holing upwards.
Upon crossing the intersection, the fruits were reaped for our efforts. What could arguably be THE most fun trail-jump-line ever unfolded before us. Smooth doubles, bermy grippy corners, occasionally linking s-turns snaking through trees, littered with a triple-option here and there to keep you honest. The shenanigans went on for miles. We were stupefied. ‘Should we climb back up and ride it again?’. In the interest of time, we continued down and connected another several trails to swing us back to the parking area. Wow… What’s arguably the most complete network of trails in a single-area that’s SUPER easily accessible and shredable in a reasonable morning of riding, that won’t beat you up horribly. What’s not to like?
Bend gets our double-thumbs-up, and we realize we haven’t even scratched the surface here yet! Amazing!
Lunch was a quick Thai meal locally, and then we hit the road. We had the longer-stretch of our way home ahead of us, and we wanted to make it to Boise at least by this evening to break up the drive. 7+ hours of highway ahead, no riding that we were opting-into, and we were still looking at yet another late-night arrival into another unknown campsite. That’s why we’re out here, no? Y e s… that’s why we’re here. It is our purpose.