The Cleanest Line

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    Witness

    By Diane French

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    Fifteen minutes before my wedding, I’m standing in front of my sister in my dress. “Can you see it?” She scans me, tilting her head to each side. “No. Can’t see it. But here, take this anyway.”

    Two hours from now, when the hailstorm rolls in and turns my lips purple for all my wedding pictures, I’ll be wearing the brown wool wrap she’s handing me. But for now it’s draped over my arms to hide the road rash acquired just this morning on our pre-wedding mountain bike ride with the wedding party, when I clipped a handlebar in tight trees and ate it in the rock-choked dirt.

    Above: Between a rock and a hard pace, Diane French digs in for the stair section of the Backbone Trail. Salida, Colorado. Photo: Sacha Halenda

    Continue reading "Witness" »

    Lines in the Sand

    By Tim Rogers

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    It’s right in front of me now, directly in my face. For weeks it had been little more than a vague concept we kept alive solely by reassurance and persistence, every day moving forward, every day pedaling closer to our fate, waiting to discover if it looked anything like we told ourselves it would. Now we’re here, at the end of the line.

    Amos, Liz and I hopped on our bikes in Washington State with our sights set on Zion National Park, and eventually Salt Lake City. Until now, the line had been a shimmering ribbon of road that stretched to the horizon—a line we couldn’t see the end of as it climbed through mountains, followed the winding path of an oxbowed river, and cut like a laser through the desert. We followed it diligently. Every day was a pilgrimage, every mile earned and etched into our bodies. The land we traveled though burned into our minds.

    Above: Awe and reverence. Arriving after the thousand-mile approach. Zion Canyon, Utah. All photos: Tim Rogers

    Continue reading "Lines in the Sand" »

    Patagonia Bike to Work Week 2015 – #ridehard4adam

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    Reno D.C. Recap

    By Gavin Back

    As with most years, Patagonia celebrated a belated Bike to Work Week (B2WW) due to business conflicts. And yet again we had fantastic participation. Here in Reno, we collectively rode 4,586 miles but the crown deservedly goes to our North American retail stores who together rode 5,833 miles—with extra kudos for our Freeport store colleagues who rode a huge 1,176 miles! For every mile ridden, Patagonia donated $1 to a local cycling orientated non-profit. This year, the Reno D.C. mileage money went to the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway, a non-profit that is spearheading construction of a bike path along the river Truckee, starting at Lake Tahoe and finishing at Pyramid Lake.

    Upon arriving at work on the Monday of B2WW, we received the worst possible news. One of our colleagues, Adam Excell in Toronto, had been struck and killed by a driver while cycling over the weekend.

    Above: Reno coffee riders honor Adam Excell. See more photos from Patagonia employees around the world at #ridehard4adam. Photo: ©Tyler Keck

    Continue reading "Patagonia Bike to Work Week 2015 – #ridehard4adam " »

    Green: The Old Red

    Words and photos by Michael Kew

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    “EXPECT ANOTHER ROUND OF STORM-FORCE WINDS, WITH HURRICANE-FORCE GUSTS POSSIBLE, ESPECIALLY IN THE VICINITY OF CAPE BLANCO. THIS WILL BE A VERY STRONG STORM. MARITIME AND COASTAL INTERESTS SHOULD TAKE ALL PRECAUTIONS NECESSARY TO PRESERVE LIFE AND PROPERTY.”

    By dawn, the damage was done—downed trees, flooding, thousands without power. The swell was huge and ripped apart by 70 mph gusts.

    A surf day? No.

    None of those for a while.

    Late that afternoon I sat on the couch and read “The Super Trees,” a feature in the October 2009 issue of National Geographic. It detailed Mike Fay’s and Lindsey Holm’s Redwood Transect, a yearlong, 1,800-mile, south-to-north hike through California’s coast redwood forests. Flanking their route, they’d found the world’s southernmost grove at Villa Creek in Big Sur; near the article’s end, one line struck me: “On the last day of their transect, as they hunted for the northernmost redwood near Oregon’s Chetco River….”

    Wait—I lived on the banks of the Chetco. And coast redwood is Oregon’s rarest type of forest.

    Continue reading "Green: The Old Red" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: Adventure 1000

    By Fitz & Becca Cahall

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    It’s time for our annual Year of Big Ideas episode. This year, we talked to Alastair Humphreys, a 2012 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. Among other things, Alastair has walked across India, and 1,000 miles through the largest sand desert in the world, cycled 46,000 miles around the world in four years and rowed across the Atlantic.

    People often come up to him after his talks and tell him they wish they could go on the kinds of adventures that he does. Alastair believes that they can. Today, he explains what he’s learned about what it takes to make an adventure happen. Here’s to another year of big ideas, and to committing to them. Happy 2015.

     


    Listen to "Adventure 1000" by The Dirtbag Diaries on Soundcloud.

     

    Visit dirtbagdiaries.com for links to past episodes, music credits and to pledge your support. You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher and DoggCatcher, or connect with the Dirtbag Diaries community on Facebook and Twitter. The Dirtbag Diaries is a Duct Tape Then Beer production. Graphic by Walker Cahall.

     

    Dirtbag Diaires: What You're Handed

    By Fitz & Becca Cahall

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    Regardless of how you choose to play outside, if someone gets hurt in the mountains, the first step on the checklist remains the same: “scene safety”—you make sure the thing that hurt your buddy isn't going to hurt you too. But there's no checklist for emotional safety when things go wrong. Today we bring you the story of a family, an accident and the repercussions they navigated for years afterwards.

     


    Listen to "What You're Handed" by The Dirtbag Diaries on Soundcloud.

     

    Visit dirtbagdiaries.com for links to past episodes, featured music and to pledge your support. You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, RSS, SoundCloud and Stitcher, or connect with the Dirtbag Diaries community on Facebook and Twitter. The Dirtbag Diaries is a Duct Tape Then Beer production. Graphic by Walker Cahall.

    Red Shins

    By Craig Holloway

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    Back in February, I started volunteering for the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy (OVLC), a nonprofit that protects open space through land acquisitions and conservation easements. They have a number of preserves scattered across the valley and the Valley View Preserve was their newest one. OVLC volunteers had already built two trails on Valley View and were now building Luci's Trail. While I was out on a hike I met Bill Brothers, a volunteer who said they could use my help building Luci's. I asked when could I start.

    On my first day, Rick Bisaccia, the preserve manager, had six of us clear a thick stand of poison oak. One volunteer cut the branches back with a chainsaw while I used a pitchfork to toss aside the leafy debris, wearing only a T-shirt and shorts. Two days later a bumpy red rash appeared on my arms and shins then spread to my back and face. The skin-crawling dermatitis stayed with me for a month.

    Above: I love Luci's. Ojai Valley, California. Photo: Craig Holloway

    Continue reading "Red Shins" »

    2014 Bike to Work Week Recap

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    Reno Recap

    By Gavin Back

    The numbers are in from Patagonia’s Bike to Work Week and this was the Reno DC’s best year yet!

    We had a total of 118 people riding for a total of 4,550 miles ridden. This means a total of $4,550 donated to an awesome local non-profit, the Kiwanis Club. Kiwanis seeks to promote cycling and bike safety, and distributes bikes to children in the Reno area. We would like to thank the members of Kiwanis who took time to visit the Reno DC prior to Bike to Work Week and helped Casey and Eric tune our bikes. All four of you did a great job keeping us safe on the road—thank you.

    Despite bragging being somewhat gauche: Ventura, you guys need to step it up!

    Continue reading "2014 Bike to Work Week Recap " »

    Why Bike to Work?

    By Gavin Back, video by Tyler Keck

    Every year, Patagonia employees actively celebrate our own version of Bike to Work Week a few weeks after the national event. The Reno distribution center has a dedicated core of riders who regularly choose to cycle to work instead of burning gas. To kick off the 2014 Bike to Work Week festivities, we have a prepared a short video to acknowledge some of those regular riders, learn a little about why we prefer to cycle and inspire more people to get out of their cars and onto their bikes. Join us.

    For more inspiration, check out our recap from last year's Bike to Work Week and our previous cycling posts.

    Dirtbag Diaries Podcast: The World By Bike

    By Fitz & Becca Cahall

    Committed. It’s a word we use to describe people we know, our friends, even ourselves. Committed to a sport. A ski line. An ethic. A lifestyle. It can be relatively easy to commit to those daily or short-term goals. But carving out time to achieve a bigger dream, something that may take weeks or months, even years, it can feel really hard to take that first step – to even know what that first step is. And sometimes, the very goal we set for ourselves can define the duration of our commitment. Twelve years ago, Pablo Garcia left Argentina to pedal around the world. And he’s still pedaling.

    Listen to "The World By Bike" by The Dirtbag Diaries on Soundcloud.

    Visit dirtbagdiaries.com for links to past episodes, featured music and to pledge your support. You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, RSS, SoundCloud and Stitcher, or connect with the Dirtbag Diaries community on Facebook and Twitter. The Dirtbag Diaries is a Duct Tape Then Beer production.

    [Graphic by Walker Cahall]

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    © 2014 Patagonia, Inc.