Says Ernest Hemingway, "it is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.”
We couldn't agree more. Nowhere looks more like itself than the way it looks on two wheels. And no matter your pursuit, there's a bike for it. Whether you're looking to spin for miles through country lanes on a road bike, run errands on a stout commuter bike built for comfort on city streets, or zip down tree-lined single track on a mountain bike, at the end of all the fun and adventure, you're going to have to get back to where you started. Safely, efficiently, and, hopefully, comfortably.
It's the time of year when grills grace backyards with fragrant charcoal smoke, chins drip with fresh watermelon juice, and the gentle drone of neighborhood lawnmowers beat back that evergrowing green tide. Every day pushes sunset a little later into the edge of night, and in the morning you can smell the dew steaming off from the tips of grass. Summer is here... and it's brought baseball along.
One of the things I look forward to in the middle of the year is setting aside the latter half of a day, soaking in the ambience of a ballpark while trying to avoid mustard stains on my pants, and adding a new scorecard to my collection. I first started keeping score on a whim several years ago at a Durham Bulls game on the 4th of July, the first baseball game I had been to in about a decade. I'm a pretty obsessive notetaker, so when I gave it a shot...
I was totally hooked. As my poor pregnant wife completely roasted in her outfield seat next to mine (and eventually took solace in the shade near the concessions... sorry Ashley!), I watched the game—no, took part in the game—with an awareness so keen it almost felt like I had picked up several new senses.
In my neighborhood, we have an excellent urban bike trail that runs along the a fairly large river that divides my city in half. Often, while cycling, I'll see folks, mostly elderly men, pop out onto the trail with their large canoes and kayaks.
"How fun," I always think, but there's no liveries or rentable canoe places until you drive an hour or so out of the city. Of course, I wouldn't need to rent one if I could get my hands on a piece of softwood plywood and a saw.
Which I can.
There's something about a winding road. It's still a bit wild and rebellious, like nature hasn't completely given in to the straight line of civilization just yet. That's the kind of highway that I think of when I want to take a road trip, and no road trip is complete without a day or two of car camping. For me, car camping is a great mix between roughing it and going posh in a rented bed. I just seem to find a lot more enjoyment when I can bring just a few more pieces of gear along, but still sleep outside. Here are a few of my favorite pieces I take with me on every car camping adventure these days.
Did you know there are more fish in the water than stars in the sky? S
eriously, the water you have within a few minutes of your house is almost guaranteed to be sheltering a school of those fin-tailed creatures just below the surface. All those mouths have to eat, and it's easier than you think to get started in the timeless art of fly fishing.
Most of the time, the whole point of going on a hike or camping trip is to get away from technology. We couldn't agree more. But the truth is, most of us still carry our smart phones for emergency calls, wayfinding, and camera possibilities, all in a single package. Our vote? Turn off the email and the Twitter alerts, and take advantage of the way your phone can enhance your trip. Just make sure your protect it from the weather.
Jesus taught in parables, and Polonius advised his king "by indirections to find directions out." One of the best things about revisiting classic sports movies as an adult is suddenly realizing all the incredible themes and lessons that were way over your head as a boy, but you likely absorbed through osmosis. Whether you’ve never seen these films or can practically do them as a one-man show, here are seven classic movies about sports that are really about something else…
I recently read an exceptional book by John Muir, father of our modern wanderlust and grand adventurer in a time where the great outdoors was truly an untamed place. His descriptions of a first look at the Sierras, of the sprawling views of Yosemite, and the way the woods filled his soul like nothing else could. While the wild is a bit more domesticated now with established trails, cell coverage, and guidebooks, it still holds in an important key to the overall sanity of humankind.
These days, the word "tailgate" conjures up images of cooler and pavement, jerseys and face paint, grills and foldable chairs. But, despite its current association with parking lots and sporting events, it's actually got quite a rich history. Like, older than you think. Like... 1861?
I wish I could say I loved winning as much as I hate losing (what's up, negativity bias) but unfortunately I can't. So generally speaking I avoid boardwalk-type games that are usually unevenly weighted against the participant, but the recent fervor of state fair mania in my hometown got me thinking about them, when I conveniently came across this...
As autumn cools the air here in the south you will quickly find all the campgrounds and nature centers booked up from September through November. It seems like everyone comes out of their humidity-soaked habitats and are starved to trek all the great mountains and valleys all across the southeast. Hiking season is upon us!
Cornhole is the perfect backyard game. It's got a leg up on other lawn games like croquette since it's you can play it one-handed with a drink in the other, without ever having to actually leave your conversation. On the other hand, it also lets you to get as competitive as you want with it (unless you're me and your brother-in-law has to limit how excitable you're allowed to get for the onlooker's sake)...
From Roy Hobbs' “Wonderboy” in The Natural to Tom Cruise’ thinking bat in A Few Good Men, baseball bats hold a special place in the American masculine consciousness. A versatile weapon on the field, the baseball bat embodies an element of the American dream wherever it goes. The lone batter, a man himself against an entire team, hoping to hit it big.
With the summer Olympics in full swing, it's time to start paying attention to one of the many sports that most of us barely remember until this time every four years: archery. (We love you too, steeplechase and race walking.) As an ancient sport dating back some 64,000 years, the bow and arrow's construction has understandably undergone some manufacturing changes. But not for John Neeman Tools...
Every great breakthrough has its "Eureka!" moment, whether we're talking the discovery of gravity or the founding of the world's largest shoe empire. In the latter's case, that happened while searching for a way to create cleats meant for a urethane track (meaning no more metal spikes on the bottom of running shoes), and it involved a household wafflemaker. The infamous wafflemaker was then lost for decades... and now found.
Matt Pierce came up with this tough and rugged design for a DIY archery quiver. Created from long lasting materials like leather, canvas, and cooper, this guy is all kinds of durable and all kinds of stylish.
If you search for a list of best books about bicycles, you'll find several... and among them, you'll notice a definite trend. They're all about "cycling" - the competitive racing of road bikes - rather than "bicycles" - the thing with two wheels and a chain and handlebars.
Not that we have anything against competitive cycling (we love it), but only true dedicated fans of the sport need a list of biographies and recaps of historic Tour de Frances, and the like.
So instead, we set out to create our own cycling library that encompasses all aspects of the simple, brilliant machinery that is the bicycle, and all the fun that comes with it.
For our money, there's no better way to spend an afternoon than spinning on two wheels. But if the weather's not cooperating or the sun gone down too soon, then there's no better way than spending an afternoon getting inspired to ride tomorrow by watching a great movie about bicycles. Here are seven you can stream right now with your Netflix and Amazon Prime accounts.
Let's say you've learned to make basic adjustments on your family's bikes, and then assembled a basic bike-specific tool kit to keep things running smoothly and avoid labor costs and long turnaround times at the bike shop. Let's say you actually enjoy it, and have learned to appreciate the zen and simplicity of keeping things running smoothly. Let's say you're actually good at it.
If that's the case, then it's time to really upgrade your collection of tools to tackle almost any problem your bike might have.