Archive for December, 2009

ten in 2010!

Nothing ends another year like a top ten list!

50+ free 4th of July fireworks displays from abandoned AT fire towers (after bumming free beer from foreign camp counselors)

ten-strong critical mass taking the lanes of htown…and the graveyards

-illegal punk shows on main st with more bikes than hipsters

waitress having a yuengling waiting for you after 4 hours of loaded bike touring

-biking 80 miles to the warped tour followed by 3 hours in the pit

all those windmills creating more wind in the world

vegan sushi bars

29ers and singlespeeds ruling the woods

24 hrs of mud, hills are tough but rain really sucks

cross races are more fun in ny

We move onward to a year full of even more uncharted adventure, wilderness exploration, fun, danger, and everything in between. Some traditions will return, others inevitably end, and more are waiting to be created…a homebrewing kit ready to give life to undiscovered beer, new singletrack lying dormant under ice and snow, stories of an epic journey to be made that some only dream about (if we make it back alive –or if we make it back at all!)

2010…the end of a very strange and new decade. We make no resolutions but to live as freely as possible, keep ourselves in the moment, and challenge the limits of common sense and our own bodies. Instead of signifying the dawn of the future, to us 2010 is yet another cycle of spring to winter. Another chance to do it all again. And a really good bad religion song




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Why Ride?

I am asked on almost regular basis why do I ride my bicycle so much? (Among many other questions about things I do that I guess are strange?)

I have a tendency to just answer “cause its what I do” or “why not”. I am the guy that can skate any question and never commits to anything. But I have been thinking about why I ride and especially with the cold weather, snow, and ice in full swing. So if I had to sum it up in one word it would have to be freedom.

When I get on a bike nothing maters my mind is free, I can do what I want. I can ride far, or short, fast or slow, by myself or with people, to work or the store or absolutely no where. Who is going to stop me?

Its not just the freedom its fun its being a kid again with not a care in the world. So when the weather gets bad, the roads get slippery, the road bike goes away and out come the fat tires and comfortable ride of the cross bike.

So why do other people ride? I ask cause those road bikes in tight packs flying across the gravel from the last ice storm, are they ever smiling? Are they having fun? Why do they ride?  I know they are not smiling when they are sliding out of control and the picking gravel out of themselves for the next week. And bike trainers are cruel and unusual punishment, riding inside and not going anywhere completely goes against my freedom thing.

So when the sun comes out and there is a break in the snow I’ll be the guy smiling and riding in style on a bike that can handle some gravel, snow, and ice,  and if there is anyone with me you can place money we will be side by side enjoying the views and the freedom.


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Festive and ingenious

Quick fix for a broken ski pole in the woods. “Be one with nature, and it will be one with you” ~k

This is what you get with left over bike parts and some evergreens.


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in defense of Winter

As the idea of a continental adventure becomes realized on maps and routes and plane tickets and gear decisions, the first winter storm stalls current riding plans. Highs are coming in right around the freezing mark and slicks of ice gleam on rocks and roadsides. A “good ride” today is one from point A to point B, no detours needed on potentially frozen terrain. As usual I don’t see any other cyclists out there, but the bleak skies and sting of frost can make the road a very lonely place. Three months of winter stagnation left. It’s enough to discourage the most adventurous of us; to be content inside scheming for the summer ahead…

But there’s something about the silence and stillness of winter that reminds us why we like being alone in the wilderness. Wasn’t it the danger, the unpredictability of nature that brought us out here in the first place? Some people are content riding the same 35 mile training loop, or mt biking on the 10 person-group ride, or running on the rail trail. These are the people who winter forces inside on trainers and treadmills and yoga mats. And that’s fine by us. We head out into the icy landscape with only our own tracks behind us. Isolation becomes solace. We keep moving, and frozen breath becomes hot from exertion. Hours pass and the weak sun is already sinking by late afternoon. We push on and as our water bottles begin to freeze remember that to get lost out here could be the end of our adventures.

But Ruralhipster isn’t one to stop moving. For too long.


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