Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mixed Master (More Like Mixed Rookie)

As I try to lead an inspired life, I try to do new things or change my perception of old things. Yesterday I did both – I tried mixed climbing.

Cue up the Beastie Boys…

Mixed climbing is essentially the act (or art) of ascending a route where the climber encounters both rock and ice. Using the technique of drytooling, the climber works his/her way up a rock face with crampons and ice tools. In climbing seasons past I had never wanted to give it a try; it looked scary and I thought it was beyond my capabilities. I was always focused on the ice, my technique, and getting to the top of the climb. Yesterday I got about half-way up the route before I merged onto the pillar with a climber from another group. He was leading his route and I decided to give him the right-of-way on the narrow pillar. As I was lowered back down, I noticed marks on the rock face to the left of the ice. “Maybe I’ll try this mixed thing” I said to Chris. His eyes lit up and he started rapping, to no particular song, “Mixed master, mixed master….” After a few desperate attempts and some pumped forearms, I was back on the ground. I had managed to make some upward progress, but nothing to write home about. What I did gain was some unexpected confidence.
I have just finished a book entitled Forces of Nature: Mind, Body, Soul, and, of course, Surfing. It is a how-to book by Laird Hamilton on his approach to life and living. Towards the beginning of the text Laird talks about the “the joy of being a beginner”. “Trying something for the first time, you may think that you’ve just been fumbling around for a few hours. But in truth, you’ve worked your brain, your nervous system-your entire body-more than you know.”
I never did make it to the top of the route on any of my laps. And for once, it didn’t matter. I tried something new and opened my mind to the possibility that my climbing, as well as other things in my life, have a lot of potential.

Trying new things,
thanks to my good friend Chris for the picture of me mixing it up

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Sun, Sea, and a Few Bicycle Taxis

Cabo Style

We’ve just spent a week tanning our cans at the tip of Baja California. It’s been five years since my last visit. While a lot about Los Cabos has changed, many things remianed the same. The salsa is fresh, the smiles are big, and you’re always up for the sunrise.
Cabo is located on the tip of Baja California Sur. It falls below 28 degrees latitude and comprises over 28,000 square miles (accounting for 3.57% of Mexico’s land mass). The entire peninsula is over 800 miles long and is only 26 miles wide at its narrowest width. With a 2005 population of over 500,000, the state is known mainly for its fishing, agriculture, and tourism.
I made my first trip to Baja in 1993 when the area was on the fresh end of the tourist boom. I was a sophomore in college and nothing pleased me more than to bake in the sun and eat guacamole. Fifteen years and a lifetime of travel later I’ve returned to discover Cabo in a whole new light. I’m not sure if it’s the time that has passed or just a change in the way I travel. With a camera in hand, I traversed the city streets to try and capture the essence of everyday life. In the end, I found much of what I found on our global bicycle tour – people doing their thing, in their own unique environment.

Enjoy the photos,

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Adventure Blog

I found this post last week while checking some of our blog statistics. The Adventure Blog keeps a pulse on all sorts of adventures going on around the globe. We are flattered that they took the time to write about us.

Looks like we need more adventures on the horizon...


Cabo Wabo - A Little Respite from Winter

Just back from Cabo San Lucas. Working on pictures and a blog. Stay tuned for the surf, sand, and bicycle report.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Winter is one of four seasons that the world experiences during the 365 days that constitutes a year. Due to the tilt of the Earth (23.5 degrees) we, in the northern hemisphere, are further away from the sun. As a result, we experience colder temperatures, shorter days, and, in Colorado, snow.
Today we decided to skip a day of work (from our imaginary jobs) and get out on the snow bikes. A few days ago Littleton got a few inches of the fresh stuff and we wanted to get our “cost per tire” down a bit. Also, after pedaling so many miles outdoors on our big trip, we can’t get motivated to use the treadmill in the basement. Who really gets psyched to do that anyway?
We got started early since the temperature was supposed to rise above freezing today. Mud and studded tires don’t mix well – picture Fruita after it rains. Leading the way to our favorite trail destination, I rolled over a variety of frozen terrain. I encountered glare ice, frozen snow, and powder. The first two weren’t a problem but the last one was a pain in the you-know-what.
After riding a few times on our winter tires, we are very pleased with the performance. We’ve found them to be very suitable for almost all conditions. On pure ice they grip well and we can even accelerate. On the varied terrain like packed or frozen snow, the tires are still very grippy, but do slip laterally in some instances. Powder seems to be the downfall of the spiked-enhanced rubber; you spend the same amount of time going sideways as you do forward. What you lose in distance, you more than make up for in workout intensity.
Ultimately, we have really enjoyed the winter landscape. In the past we have spent our time hiking to hang on frozen waterfalls or driving to escape the snow. I kind of like this part of reinventing ourselves; it’s new, it’s challenging, and it keeps us outside on the bikes.
Life is good,

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Be the Change

“We must be the change we wish to see in the world”.
It’s one of my favorite quotes and one I try to live by. Basically, I think it just boils down to the notion of walking the walk instead of talking the talk. I read the following article online the other day. Here is a guy who is finding out how to “be the change”.