……Where to start…. 29, Photographer, Cyclist, Adventurer, Musician… blah blah blah you know the drill. I guess this blog is some what of a journal or an additional outlet for me or maybe I just like to read my thought. Feel free to comment and give feedback. Ive never done this before and the first time is always awkward….
2014 was quite the whirlwind of ups and downs consisting of moves from Georgia to North Carolina twice, Relationship ending, jobs coming and going and last but not least broken bones. As much as it seems like they were all negatives I did have quite a few positive things happen and met some incredible people. Adventures were had in abundance and some of my best images were captured this year. I have had some incredible people come into my life and have had some poisonous ones leave. I have seen the highest of highs and definitely the lowest of lows but most importantly this year has shown me what is most important to me, TO BE HAPPY.
Life, to me, is not about money, careers, materialistic bullshit. Life is about adventure, sharing moments with your friends, helping people, learning(never stop learning), exploration and new experiences. I feel like a lot of people get lost in society’s rat race to achieve material success. You know the “I have to work 65/70/80hrs a week to afford a 5 bedroom house, that my wife works tirelessly to keep clean, just so I can come home, eat dinner, go to sleep and repeat all to wake up one day when I am 50 wondering where has my life gone?”. You always hear about people close to death saying they wished they worked less and lived more and Im determined to do the latter of the two options. Its not that I am lazy or that I don’t wanna work, I just don’t feel the need to spend a majority of my time chasing someone else’s dream. I have decided to live my life on my own terms and see where the adventure takes me.
So what better way to do that than combine my two passions in life, riding my bike and photography. I have been riding bikes since I was 2 and mountain biking since I was 9. To say I have an addiction is a massive understatement. Photography, on the other hand, is relatively new in my life as I started about 3 years ago now and have progressed rather quickly by devoting much of my free time to it. I feel like combining these two passions will take me places and lead me to experiences that I will never forget as well as allowing me to chase my dream at the same time. I know the road will not be easy but I like a good challenge and pushing myself is about the only way to keep the demons at bay.
I was talking with a friend, about doing some bike packing this summer, when the topic of the TDR(Tour Divide Race) came up. I had watched the movie, that was produced in 2010 on the race, and it had peaked my interest but at the time I was heavy into riding fast and hard with no desire to ride more then 50miles much less the 2745 miles and over 200,000 feet of climbing that is the TDR. Derek, hailing from the great state of Virginia, said he had always wanted to ride the Virginia Mountain Bike Trail, a route that consist’s of 480 miles, 65,000 feet of climbing and is 56% single track. I was instantly on board with this plan and I suggested we do it as a group. He lit up like a fat kid that had just found a piece of candy in his pocket. His enthusiasm was infectious and I was glad to have a like minded person to plan this adventure with.
So we started planning for the VMBR, as well as some massive nerding out on what bikes/gear we were going to build for this adventure, but In the back of my head I knew I wanted something bigger, something grander, something I could really get lost and immersed in. The Tour Divide Race. Just the thought of being out in the middle of nowhere immersed in beauty of the american west for a month straight gave me goose bumps. I love that feeling. Its like laying in bed at night, after a big ride in Pisgah, reliving that moment when you cleaned the right side of The Devil’s Staircase on the Bennett Gap trail or narrowly missed balling it up at mach chicken down Black Mountain. I live for those moments and cannot wait to live the moments I have dreamed about on the Tour Divide.That is all for now and hopefully ill be inspired to write again soon.
Catch Ya on the Flip Side,