Monday, September 22, 2014
As an advocate for the Outdoors, conservation and recreation, the most powerful influence you can have is your children.
You can see the future in those eyes, in how that little mind grinds to comprehend the wind and the trees and the rivers all the myriad of things that live in them.
The bigness of it, the scale, the ways things interconnect.
Tae has certainly had that influence on me as a father. Often as I sit in meetings or am thinking of a trail system, a place or an experience, my brain leapfrogs 40 years down the line and I think about what it would be like for Tae at that point in history and what I can do now, personally to make that experience be the best it can be, fully understanding all the external forces that are going to negatively influence the outdoors in the future.
Margaret was in Utah last week learning and seeing her sister in Salt Lake. I spent the time with Tae and we ended spending most of it outside.
Its a confusing time of year for the outdoors enthusiast. You have the best riding ever right now, the fishing is awesome, the hunting has started, paddling is still fun....holy smokes its hard to choose!
So as always, we decided to double and triple stack. We hit the water in the canoe and paddled to some fun fishing, then hauled out the shotgun and walked a nice walk for some grouse. Tae was asking questions like 10,000 miles an hour. We spent a lot of time catching frogs (which were everywhere), poking things with sticks and going over our rubber boots in the mud. We even hooked into some smalls and Tae got to see what a 12 gauge can do to an old beer can (as the grouse were not in cooperation yet).
Many times as a fun hog and adrenaline junky it is easy to get caught up in whats next on the agenda and not relish in what is either going on, or just went on.
This weekend I found myself completely happy to live in the moment, to enjoy the questions of a six year old and to watch his face when picked up a tiny turtle, or watched a flight of ducks or hooked into a nice fat smallmouth........we won't have that time again and because of that I will cherish it forever and forever fight to conserve places for recreation so Tae can bring his kid there when I am gone.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
|Adam's big laugh!|
There is blog life. There is real life. When the shit hits the fan on real life, blog life takes a solid back seat until the dust settles.
Suffice to say rolling over from my old gig at IMBA, to my new gig at the Minnesota Land Trust has been eventful.
Change is always rugged, but in this case change is more than just occupational, its cultural, its environmental and its personal.
That all said its going well. The learning curve is steep, the stakes are high and the possible return on investment higher.
Where else would you want to be in life?
I have to say I have been recreating more in Duluth than I have in the past six years. I have been spending a lot of time with Margaret and Tae, even got them out on Mission Creek last week for their first rides (they loved it).
My first real challenge in the new role was organizing and guiding BIKE Mag across Duluth for five days and that was really special. Good guys, they were stoked to see the progress and were obviously impressed with the project. Of course we drank beer, we talked shop, we talked turkey, we saw music and we enjoyed Duluth..........something that in my former, travel laden job was tough to do.
I am not going to disclose what we did and where we went as that is part of the story that they are going to tell. I can say that we put together a pretty sick adventure for them when they were here. It was replete with high drama, multi modal transportation, dirty needles, NIMBY's and Candylands. Even Loki himself showed his face in the dark.....
Life is changing, and as it has in many ways, this blog will reflect that. I am committed to it though so please be patient as all of this evolves and for sure get out and enjoy the fall because it feels like another big winter is coming close behind it.
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
|The peoples choice|
|End of the Harbor|
Man what a crazy assed August I just survived! Trek World in Madison, BWCA, Duluth Bike Fest, IMBA World Summit in Steamboat and finish it up with the best Copper Harbor Fat Tire Fest I can remember......non-stop insanity for a good solid month!
I stepped off the plane on Saturday, got in the IMBARoo for its last gig on Sunday and rocked CH until Labor Day.
|The mad craftsman himself|
|Wonder twin powers|
|And the winners are....|
I have always wanted to see how the wheels were made and this season I had a chance to shoot John Meilahn as he built the 2014 Grand prizes. John does this as a volunteer and it truly illustrates how passionate people make a place and an event like the one in Copper Harbor special. John has created 20 of these wheels in the last five years and puts 50 plus hours a season into creating them. Amazing work for sure!
|Tae picked the clothes.... to match his bike|
|Still life Belle Vista #8|
|Fall is here|
|Last Enduro Climb up to Overflow|
|Waiting my turn on Dowtown. Hardest line on the hill. Waiting in the rain, listening to the hundreds of people roaring for the crashes and close calls below was a bit nerve racking!|
I decided to race the Long Enduro as it was the final race in the Lake Superior Gravity Series. I was lucky enough to have raced the May CH race, the Duluth Bike Festival Race and wanted to finish out the season with the fall finale. However, unknown to me the final points race had to be the long race, not the short. That meant I had to hit Downtown, a trail I had never ridden.
I sessioned Downtown on Friday after hanging with the family all day, and in the dry conditions I was able to ride about 90% percent of it. Enough to warrant signing up for the race.
Race day however proved to be extremely wet and because of that my time and the times of all the racers were much, much slower. My ultimate goal was to finish in one piece, especially on Downtown. I ended up racing much slower than expected but cleaned Downtown and in those conditions that is saying a lot!
|A sucker is born every day|
My annual b-day party followed the dock jump and I have to say thanks to all the folks that came and especially for the many presents I received, pretty stoked to have such amazing friends around myself and my family.
Unfortunately the Kids race was scheduled at the same time as the DH race so I was not able to shoot much of the drama. That being the bummer of Phil Ott taking a crash on his second run on Overflow. Phil crashing and losing is a rarity but I was not privy to it as I was watching a bunch of 3-6 six year olds teetering across an open field. You cant have it all, but I do hope next year there is some separation on these two key events!
|Ross, back in the UP|
|Fire Dancers day job|
|Burhito showing the love|
|Bluegrass and bandages|
|For sale: Did not win race.....|
|2am light show|
|The peoples choice logged out for the eve|
As is expected, the awards ended and the evening erupted into drinking and song. There was a killer blue grass band, tons of friends lot of stories of wonder and woo and plenty of bandages to go around. Thunderstorms were on the horizon most of the night but held off, being just a wonderful light show.
Eventually it all devolved around a campfire and we all stumbled off to bed.
I awoke groggy the next morning, loaded of the Roo and headed for home thus closing a chapter of my life that I will always cherish.....
|Until we meet again|
Sunday, August 24, 2014
|Ryan D practicing for the Enduro X|
There is a lot that was accomplished and a lot to do. Advocacy is a family and you never really leave it and that sense was palpable.
It was also amazing to see how far we have come, how big IMBA has grown and it feels like as I leave, things will only continue to get better for the organization, longevity and momentum were thoughts I had frequently.
|Mark Eller happy and stoked after finishing the new IMBA Bike Park Book, Hans Rey reviewing.|
Off to Copper Harbor for my last IMBA gig and a final farewell to a phase and a period of time in my life that can only be called amazing......
|Monsoon season in Steamboat|
|Awesome folks, awesome time Randy Spangler and Anna L.|
|Vote with your dollars|
Monday, August 18, 2014
|Future bike terror|
|This did not end well|
|Boys at the end of the Enduro|
|Joe V pleased with his day|
|The bell says it all|
|Take some time and look at every face in this photo. Different strokes for different folks!|
|Kids Race Mission Creek|
|Mission Creek XC Race|
|Turn and Burn!|
Thrills and spills, laughter and tears.......What an amazing experience. So many cool riders from all over the region. I was so busy racing the Enduro and participating that I did not have a lot of time to shoot much.
I have been to a ton of MTB fests in the last six years but I have to say this was a special one for a lot of obvious reasons. Perhaps the biggest thing for me was the inclusion of Gravity riding in the festival. Having Enduro and DH takes the MTB fest experience to a whole new level in my opinion. The crowds were thick and the drama was intense.
The XC race on Sunday was amazing in its own right. The Mission Creek Trails were nearly perfect. Tacky and fast! It was so fun to see the racers just grinning ear to ear and by all accounts people absolutely loved the trails. My hope is that each and every one of those folks goes home and talks about how nice the trails were and how fun the festival in itself was.
Many thanks to COGGS and all the volunteers that made this festival happen. Also even more thanks to Kraus Anderson for their volunteers and the marketing and the partnership. Even in its first year it was so successful and of course with some tweaking it will be even better.
Of course thanks to all the folks that came and raced from all over the Midwest!
I cant wait for next year! But until then, get geared up for the Gitchee Gummee Galivant! It will be the best ride of the year in my humble opinion..........