…and they don’t belong to me, either.

It was late June, and the word was out that most of the snow on the iconic Monarch Crest Trail had finally melted. While I was definitely planning to get out and do the full shuttle ride once the weekend arrived, I decided to drive up to the pass for a quick above-treeline out-and-back after work. Normally the Crest is devoid of human life after 4pm on weekdays, and this early in the season I didn’t expect to see a soul.
The weather was absolutely glorious–the temperature was perfect, the sun was shining, and spring flowers were blooming on the alpine tundra. A couple of tall snow drifts were still clinging to their usual spots. Riding the Crest is always fabulous, but the first Crest ride of the year? Simply euphoric.

Friends, today marks a new chapter in my career, as I depart Singletracks and begin a new position at a company called FATMAP. But first, I want to take a minute to reflect on the past 7+ years at Singletracks.

I first started using Singletracks.com as a regular website member during my first summer in Colorado, way back in 2008. Like most people, I was searching for trails to ride, and stumbled on the Singletracks database. I was hooked! 

In early 2011 I began freelancing for Singletracks, and later that year I started working part time—Singletracks’ first employee! The Monday after I finished my bachelor’s degree in May, 2013 I began my full-time position as the Editor in Chief for Singletracks The past 5 years have been an incredible ride: we grew Singletracks rapidly, reaching millions of people. This work has provided amazing opportunities I never even dreamt of, like being paid to travel abroad. I’ve absolutely loved my time at Singletracks!

None of this would have been possible without Jeff and Leah Barber taking a chance on an enthusiastic, wet-behind-the-ears 20-something. Very few English majors have the chance to work in a field that fully utilizes their degree, much less walk into a full-time career as a writer and editor the day after graduation. Without Jeff and Leah being willing to wait for me to finish school and then join the company, none of that would have been possible. Thank you guys!

I’ve also had the pleasure to work with dozens of amazing human beings over the past 7 years. Aaron Chamberlain added a fun and challenging dimension to the Singletracks team during his 3 years at the company, and I’m better for it. I’ve worked closely with a host of freelance writers and contributors—you know who you are. I’ve worked and ridden with people from mountain bike brands, guiding companies, advocacy organizations, tourism agencies, PR agencies, and more that have led to experiences and conversations both fun and challenging. While hopefully there are still opportunities to partner together—and get out and shred!--in the future, looking back I know that it’s the people that make the mountain bike industry so fun.


Leaving Singletracks is definitely bitter, but my next step is also sweet: I’m now the Chief Editor of Mountain Biking for FATMAP.com . FATMAP is endeavoring to create the world’s first global three-dimensional adventure map. They began with downhill skiing and have recently passed 300,000 registered users. They’re now expanding into other adventure sports, with mountain biking and hiking being the next two emphases. The future is big and beautiful and largely unknown, but I’m excited about the challenges and opportunities that await! 


As you have no doubt gathered if you've been attempting to follow my Outside 365 challenge, I'm off the band wagon of everyday activity, and have been for some time... but hopefully, this hiatus isn't forever.

I'm currently rehabbing from ACL surgery and while many of the so-called "activities" I had been doing as a part of my Outside 365 challenge don't count as activity by the scale of most training plans or athletic trainers--i.e. walking for one mile around my neighborhood--for a knee fresh from ACL surgery, apparently that activity can be too much when added to rehab, riding, and then compounded over 67 consecutive days.

Don't worry, nothing extremely bad happened, but I did devolve to the point where I dealt with several weeks of patellar tendonitis and other knee pain and swelling. So I had to take time off.

Right now, I'm getting out and active about 5-6 days per week, but I'm currently taking at least one day 100% off from all activity each week as a rest day. My hope is that when I can return to roughly full activity, about 4 months from now, that I can restart my Outside 365 challenge at that point in time.

I do want to emphasize that even if you choose to embark upon an Outside 365 challenge of your own that you must--MUST--build in rest days, or you risk overtraining syndrome. By most standards walking just one mile in a day is a rest day, but surgery rehab throws all the normal rules out the window.

I will return.

Day 2

One of the major issues with the sport of mountain biking today is that we have too many mountain bikes to choose from. That’s right, we have too many choices. One dogma that’s been ingrained into us in affluent Western cultures, seemingly from birth, is that more choices = more freedom, and more freedom = more happiness.

The problem is, this dogma is wrong.

Read more here.

As I’ve observed my mutt’s excitement every time we go outside, I’ve wondered to myself, “why don’t we humans get this excited when we go outside?” We really should. Getting to leave the world of the sofa and shutting off the screens, we can at our own whim head out into the great, wide, natural world with all of the excitement and adventure that it has in store. The best part is that we don’t have to wait for our owner to decide that it’s time for a walk. We can–whenever we choose–leave the confines of civilization and adventure out into the great unknown.

Read more here.

Over the past three years, I’ve been working to get more deeply involved in mountain bike advocacy on a local level. What I’ve found has surprised me. While it might seem mountain bike advocacy has to do with, you know, mountain biking trails, I’ve found that really, it boils down to attending a lot of meetings.

Read any number of business productivity books, from Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Work Week to Cal Newport’s Deep Work, and one common theme that begins to emerge is a distaste for meetings. “Distaste” is putting it too lightly. In many ways, these business productivity gurus lay many of the world’s ills of wasted time, energy, distraction, and motivation at the feet of constant interruptions and unproductive meetings.

And yet.

And yet, if you want to get legal mountain bike trails built, you better get used to attending a lot of meetings.

Read more here.

Mountain biking–and even cycling on the road, or doing other mountain sports–has always served as a vehicle for exploration, for seeing and experiencing new places, or old places in a different way. The thing that drives me to get out on my bike is to discover what’s around the next corner, around the next bend.

If you walk into my house in the evening unannounced, especially on a Friday night, don’t be surprised to find me in the living room, with maps spread across the floor. I might have my laptop open to a Singletracks.com trail map. I’ll be envisioning daring routes, connecting roads, trails, and possibly animal paths in such an unconventional way that maybe, nobody has traveled just such a route before.

I’m planning my next big adventure, or the adventure after that.

Read more here.
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