Bro... Davis Debard came through Flagstaff touring on ... duh duh duh duh... a fixed gear. This guy is GLTA-ing, for sure. Wow.
Davis rode from LA, through Vegas, around to the Grand Canyon and Tuba City, and was planning on heading down to Phoenix next. Along the way, he stopped in all cities that have Bike Polo leagues and played with the bros there - it sounded super cool. The Bike Polo community sounds awesome, I would love to learn more about it.
Until next time, y'all, be well and GLTA.
Well, I have officially inspired my first reader - my mother! Next up, the world! Mom decided to try to take a photo a day project based on one of my posts.
Extensive Guest post by Lucy Moore:
A Photo A Day... Or Every Other Day...
Spring came to Washington DC...for one day, and now it is summer. But at least the trees and flowers are beautiful, and the snow stayed in the Midwest!
Write in to me with your revelations, thoughts, photos, or idle musings. Become a part of the community, and GLTA, y'all.
Remember the Beaster Egg Hunt from last year? Richardo put the grand race/event on again this year for the fourth consecutive year, so a whole host of bikers ranging from 'old church ladies' to '80's afro men' to 'The Krampus' showed up to chug... along... on bikes...
Per usual, after a casual 2,000 foot climb we held the shotgun-Lamont start and flew down the rocky, loose, switchbacking, thorny, gloriously ugly Heart trail. Scott blew away the competition once again, we drank more Beaster Eggs, and then tore down some beautiful singletrack on another 3 hour ride back. What a beautiful bit of life.
Have you ever gone for a run and felt like you were unstoppable – like after any given feather-like step you may just continue to rise up above the ground and fly away – but then been all of a sudden jerked back into reality?
The thin but rounded rim of an ancient volcano in El Valle, Panama made me feel that way. My sandals did the work for me and glided over the rocks interspersed between the mountaintop grasslands as my mind drifted off in a trance induced by the freedom, sweat, and cool mountain air.
Finally I slid off the edge of the volcano and descended back down the trail we came on, stopping at a waterfall for a cool-off dip.
"So what are you thinking you want to do while you are here?" I asked Mikey as she wolfed down some pizza like she had just run an ultramarathon. To be fair, she probably had, since I think any run she goes on turns into an ultra.
"I don't really care, just something fun" she said meekly.
"No no no" Jason corrected, "she means she doesn't care as long as it is something unbelievably epic."
That made more sense.
My escape from the world of Norse gods began with a haircut. It landed me in a fictional landscape of comic book heroes.
“OH MY GOD!” a sixteen-year-old high school student yelled when she saw me on Monday morning. “You aren’t Thor anymore! You look like the hulk!” she screamed so loud I was sure the entire school could hear. “Or a huge version of Mr. Calhoun,” she said nonchalantly, and then moved on.
My recent haircut, although it was quite a change, got me thinking of (and was actually inspired by) the question: why is it that we tie up so much of our identity in how we look?
I decided to grow my hair out immediately after finishing my football career. The main reason? So that I wouldn’t look like a football player anymore. I was tired of having the identity of a football player, and I wanted a fresh start. The easiest way for me to get away from the prejudice (yes, it is found on the Brown University campus somewhere) I found against football players was to change my look. Unfortunately, my giant frame and turkey-burger calves weren’t going to change. So my hair was an easy option. The other reason was simply because I was afraid I was soon to go bald, so I thought “I might as well enjoy hair while I have it!”
Well, nearly five years later, my hair was still long, and that had become part of my identity. It identified me as a hippy, an environmentalist, an adventurer, a caveman, a mad scientist, and a myriad of other personas. I realized that I had become attached to my hair because it was tied to that personality – it had become a part of me.
One of my big soapboxes in life is about exhibiting your own personality and being authentic (being your highest self) no matter what the occasion, and looking for that in others as well. I say this because I don’t want to work with someone who wears a suit to work and is mean and dumb (sorry if that came off as harsh). Instead, I want to work with someone who is passionate about what they do, smart, and exudes energy and inspiration upon others. I don’t care what they look like! I want this to be a more prominent value in our culture, so it is a battle I choose to fight.
Well, I realized that I wanted to work on that very thing – just being me. Yes, I feel that having long hair helped me fight that battle in a way. But at the same time, I felt like it had become too much of a part of my identity and in some ways, my statement. So, I decided that I needed to work on being me no matter what I look like, so I first shaved my beard and kept a mustache. Then, I just cut the whole damn beard and all the hair, too. Damn it feels good.
What about your looks has become part of your personality? Do you think it affects you in a negative way at times? How can we, as a society, find a healthy balance for self-image? Let me know your story.
Just for amusement sake, here are a few funny images I found of myself. Enjoy :)
Ever been to Joshua Tree? I hadn't. That was dumb.
I spent this past weekend in this paradise-like, outdoor climbing gym. Because all of the main campsites were full, our crew did some backcountry camping which opened up the whole sky for photos - no complaints here!
The landscape is totally different from that in Flagstaff - random mounds of rocks rise from the desert landscape instead of canyons that drop into it. The result was that the entire landscape was visible from the tops of climbs, which was an amazing feeling. It was like being in an airplane.
At the bottoms of the climbs, an elaborate system of water-carved tunnels and gullies made for a playground that I would have fallen in love with as a little kid. Well, I guess I still kind of am a little kid, as I still fell in love with running around the systems.
Pretty awesome, huh? You should go. Invite me when you do :)
As I mentioned last time, Joaquin, Gavin, and I climbed Queen Victoria last weekend, which was a blast. The Queen is a 3-pitch 5.7 in the Moose's Butte area of Sedona (coincidence?) that presents a totally relaxing climbing experience. The approach was actually scarier than the climb because we had to scramble up some tough fourth-class rock that was covered in snow and ice, like shown below:
Being on top of a spire in Sedona is an experience that is distinct from any other experience I have ever had. I won't say that it transcends all other experiences (no pun intended), but there is definitely something special about it. The combination of being several hundred feet above the surrounding landscape with only a few square feet to move about turns the experience into something that combines the adrenaline rush of a hardcore adventure with a spiritual experience. Everyone should do this once!
It's that time of year, if you know what I mean. The days are short, the nights are cold, and I crave chocolate even more than normal. I often find myself singing along to "Spring is almost here and the summer's coming; the days are getting long. I waited all night for the time to be right just to bring you along... du du du"
Luckily in Flagstaff, spring is usually close by in the form of Sedona. The riding is SO GOOD, and even the nights are temperate and pleasant.
In the above picture, do you see the tower with the rounded top right above the word "tower?" OK, now look just to the left of it at the pointed spire. That spire is called "Queen Victoria," and Joaquin, Gavin, and I climbed it last weekend. Not to leave you with a cliff hanger (pun intended), but that update is for the next post. Here is a preview, though!
marshall moose moore is a meandering biogeochemist (a type of environmental scientist who studies elemental cycles) who is always on the lookout for good stories. The blog is a place to tell some of those fun stories. Check out The Course or The Brave Monkeys Speak Podcast for lessons and actionable goals to apply to YOUR life.
The Life-Adventurer's Manifesto: