Adventure journalism is usually all about making things look as big and epic as possible. And it's true, there's a lot of inspiration to be had from the centerfold photos of people free-riding massive scree fields or racers kicking up dust clouds at one of the marquee gravel races.
There's also something almost discouraging about it at times, the way a million images of trips and places that are so much "more epic" and bigger than where we are can numb us to the small beauties wherever we are.
It's not always the perfect alpine banger that makes riding bikes great; it's usually the quick loop after work or the Saturday cappuccino ride in jorts and a tee shirt that reminds us we are free to move. Pedaling, walking, running, using our bodies to move through time and space at just the right pace. There are smells of leaves and winter fires, birds dancing through the barren trees, the feeling of crisp air on our faces.
A broken hand and a brutally busy season of life have reminded me that it's not the constant state of fatigue and goal-chasing that really excites me. It's the harebrained adventures that require more of a sense of humor than outright fitness, the silly days spent riding a bike in a way that reconnects us to a childlike flow state, the feeling of running through the woods and splashing every puddle along the way.
As I am packing these orders and trying like heck to be present where I am, in the woods of Arkansas and not in the dreamy mountains of Colorado, I am reminded that the whole point of this community is to celebrate the accessible flair that a fun pair of socks provides, to make every stroll or shred into something of a memorable work of art. Not because of how huge or epic it is, but because what we're doing right now matters.