I think that we don’t always get to choose what we want in life. Instead, the desire is so deep-seated within us that we feel compelled, motivated, driven, and inspired to do and be a certain type of person. For Cam, that’s throwing 360s off of massive drops–so much so, that he retired from slopestyle mountain biking last year to focus solely on preparing for this one competition in the Utah desert.

Read more here.

Rider: Greg Heil. Location: top of Georgia Pass on the Colorado Trail. Photo: Mike Harris.

“What determines your success isn’t, ‘what do you want to enjoy?'” writes Mark Manson in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. “The relevant question is, ‘What pain do you want to sustain?’
This line struck a chord with me more than any other in his book, as it’s been proven true over and over again in my own life. Manson goes on to expound on this principle, by showing that there is pain associated with everything that we choose to do in our lives, the process of everything we strive for and seek after. The pain is just different from one thing to the next, and what indicates whether or not we will accomplish our respective goals is whether or not we’re willing to live with and embrace that pain.
Photo: Marcel Slootheer
By living either in the past or in the future, we miss the present–the one thing that we know for sure we possess, if momentarily. What a tragedy it would be if we missed all of our present moments, only to arrive at the end thinking, “I thought there would be more.”
Autumn’s ephemeral appearance on the mountains reminds us of this. Just a dozen days ago the trees were green, and now the leaves have already turned golden and are falling. The color is grand, but the grandeur is brief. As is life.
Live the present.

The internet accomplishes many tasks incredibly well, and it has co-opted many of the roles that Interbike used to serve. Websites like Singletracks now play a massive role in sharing new products with consumers just moments after they’re announced. You don’t have to worry that you’ll miss something, because your social media sites and inbox will be blasted with all the latest and greatest tech.
Doing business and placing orders online has revolutionized bike shop ordering. In fact, most shop buyers I talked to said that every single one of the brands they work with requires orders for product for the upcoming calendar year to be placed before Interbike even takes place.
So what does that leave us with?
Relationships.

Photo courtesy Interbike

During one of my many transits across the great state of Kansas, I pulled off the interstate to fill up my gas tank and patronize a fine dining establishment that we don’t have access to in my hometown: Wendy’s. But as I turned on my blinker toward the exit, I noticed that the name of the town was literally “Plainsville.”
“Is there a more boring, depressing name for a town?” I found myself wondering. As I looked up and down the busy strip next to the Interstate, the fast food chains and gas stations ended quickly, taken over by flat plains filled with grain, as far as the eye could see.
Plainsville, indeed.

Photo: Kent Kanouse, via Flickr Creative Commons

At the top of Georgia Pass on the Colorado Trail. Rider: Greg Heil. Photo: Mike Harris

Yin

Bikepacking is a complicated endeavor. Not only do you need a mountain bike and all of the accessories required to not have a horrible time riding, but you also need to own basically all of the gear that’s required for spending the night in the woods.
People complain all the time about how expensive mountain bikes are, but high end backpacking gear is pretty damn expensive too.
Basically, you need the amount of equipment required for two expensive sports. But then determining how to mesh that gear together, to use the one to carry the other, is a feat unto itself. That process requires its own set of equipment.
Once you have the equipment, figuring out how to optimize it for your own purposes is a never-ending process. After three short bikepacking trips, I’m still working to refine and perfect my setup.

Yang

On the other hand, the process of bikepacking is extremely simple. You wake up, tear down camp, feed yourself, put your gear on your bike, and ride. Then you push and pedal your bike down your chosen trail as fast or as slow as you’d like.
When you’re hungry, you eat. When you’re thirsty, you drink. When you need to answer the call of nature, you take care of business. When you reach a refreshing-looking stream, you decide if you should refill your water reservoir or not.
And when you’ve decided that you’ve had enough for the day, you look for a suitable spot to set up your tent and unroll your sleeping bag.
You feed yourself, drink a little whiskey, and the next day, you do it all over again.


Maybe it’s just me, but when it’s time to put tires to dirt, I have zero interest in these debates. Sure, I can debate with the best of them–I’ve spent more than a decade gathering enough experience to support well-informed opinions on all sorts of meaningless mountain biking minutia. Perhaps my distaste for these discussions is linked to having similar discussions in writing, on the internet, all day long (not to mention the podcast), and I’m just ready for a break from the endless analysis. All I want to hear is the simple whirring of chains through the gears and the crunching of tires on gravelly dirt.

More here.