Trail magic is a real thing among Appalachain Trail hikers. Say you're cruising (or hobbling) along the trail and find yourself staring at a stashed cooler with ice and cold drinks or fresh fruit inside, left by anonymous happy souls or, arguably, angels and free for the taking — just to recharge your battery and peg your happy meter. You're worn out and you happen upon some type of good vibration: that's trail magic. The concept stretches out in a beautiful way in all manner of outdoor adventure, and remains a totally serendipitous coalescence of supply and demand of extraordinary stoking measure.
How do you get more kids on bikes? Just give them an opportunity, it seems. In one of the most refreshing bits of cycling news in recent days, there are over 1000 high school students competing in mountain bike racing leagues in seven states, thanks to the amped efforts of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). And NICA's goal is to get leagues going coast-to-coast by 2020. It looks like they're going to get it done, too, because there's no shortage of enthusiasm as you'll see in this video.
NICA races are just for students in grades 9 through 12, co-ed, and have no tryouts. You want to ride, you get to ride. The organization's mission is to support and develop students with strong body, mind and character through all aspects of mountain bike racing, from bike maintenance to teamwork.
As if kids racing bikes in their own leagues isn't inspiring enough, they're learning about trail stewardship in the off season. NICA's education director Austin McInerny says, "Imagine telling the football team they have to seed the field, mow the field, put lines on the field. . . To mountain bike, you need to maintain your bike, your body, and your trails. We're teaching athletes that trail work is just something you do if you want to compete. It's not special. It's standard."
Watch the first four minutes in the video for interviews, race footage, and all around stoke.
Find out if there's a league in your state, or just get more info about NICA: www.nationalmtb.org
Hey, just because you don't believe in zombies doesn't mean they don't exist. Consider that for a sec: packs of undead cannibals looking to feast on your precious children. Shudder. And prepare. If anything, this hilarous infographic from the gents and ladies at REI pokes good fun at the heap of shiney critical gear you need to spend two days outdoors. Or it illustrates a mighty fine secondary use for a cast iron skillet. Read on. Don't say I didn't warn ya.
She's a week old, and she's awesome. Can't you tell?
The human body is wickedly amazing. My wife started to feel contractions on Thursday, August 30th. They fizzled off by Friday. Then they came back Saturday evening, so we asked my mom to take our daughter Chloe for the night—just in case. Brooke slept terribly with contractions never getting any more consistent than 30 or 40 minutes apart. Sunday morning, on the due date for this little girl, we walked a lap around the neighborhood together and decided to go to breakfast because labor moved along at a slow, slow pace. We went to the little café attached to the hangar at the local regional airport where they pour black coffee, cook with lard, and serve up a stunning Mexican omelette with fiery green chiles.
If you're a regular around here, first: thank you so very much. You're much appreciated. As time goes on with this little space on the web, I do what I can to point the spotlight on neat families, athletes, adventures, or products that'll connect with or inspire you — and I think you probably understand that. The photos, for the most part, come through my lens and you'll see an above average number of my own personal narratives, so it might seem odd when I tell you "adventure parents" is not intended to be a descriptor for me or my wife. This website is here to share things we think interest other like-minded parents: adventureparents.com is about hyping the scene of "adventurousish parents" at large and the things that excite them. I always hope that's clear.
I had to get that out first because, well . . .
. . . any moment now there's a baby girl that's going to join our household. I think I have my part rehearsed as the "birthing partner," getting the techniques down to help my wife relax, keep rhythmic breathing, and store up her energy for the delivery. I've looked at enough textbook art drawings of head-down babies in the womb, samples of what a 10 cm cervix looks like, and memorized a dozen coping positions to the point that the mystery and beauty that is the miracle of life is a little more scientific than it was when the stick turned pink. I must be ready. I'd like a stiff drink, please. No doubt we're going to be laying low for a bit, and as you may have noticed I've slowed down around here already. For happy reasons, you might not see a fresh new post for a bit; we'll be swaddling and shushing and handling all the round-the-clock demands that come with the territory of a new baby. Cut me a little slack.