Monday, March 30, 2015


My wife and I are entering Trek's Driven By Adventure contest and this is as good a place as any to collect the entry materials. The contest requires 5 photos, 2 essays and 1 video.

The Photos: We tried to pull some photos that show our adventurous side.  Most of them seem to end up at the top of mountains.  I guess we climbed them because they were there.
Burnt Meadow Mountain, one of our favorites!
Mountain Climbing In Reverse

Pre-dawn Ride to the Top Of Cadillac Mt

Overall Winners of The Great Adventure Challenge

Mount Washington Summit, Awesome!
The Writing:  The two stories required are the most memorable adventure and why should we be chosen.

Most Memorable Adventure
Of our adventures, a few come to mind as memorable.  Buying plane tickets and donning backpacks for a 2 week adventure across 10 countries in Europe with no itinerary for our honeymoon comes to mind.  But that memory is fading so it doesn’t count as most memorable.  Loading the bikes and heading to Acadia National Park for an extended weekend of riding ALL the carriage trails was just last fall.  Those memories are vivid because it was our most recent adventure, but in time I don’t think they will be the most memorable.  For me, the most memorable adventure we have taken together was a hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  We were both in adequate shape with adequate experience but we weren’t in great shape with great experience.  This is how memories are made.
We started our journey with 3 days of gambling, drinking and eating in Vegas.  I must admit, that portion of my memory is a little fuzzy… but that could be accurate.  We made our way to the Hoover Dam and took the tour, which was pretty unforgettable.  That thing is BIG.  From there we drove to the south rim of the canyon.  We’d been planning this trip, brought gear from Maine to Arizona, packed food and tents and all.  What we hadn’t done was make reservations to actually hike down into the canyon, who knew?  Not us!  We’re from a place where if you want to hike a mountain you park your car and point your feet up the trail.  Some places, like Mt Washington, they like you to sign in to make sure that you sign out.  But limiting the number of people on the trail was foreign.  Ultimately, we got on a waiting list and got our permits to hike down.
To our surprise, it was snowing on the rim on the morning of the descent.  Given the time of year and the hot desert we just drove through to get to the canyon we were caught a little off guard.  No matter.  We collected our gear and headed down.  We were prepared, maybe a little over prepared.  We were only staying one night but I think we could have made it for three.  The trip down was pleasant and quicker than I expected.  It should go without saying that the views were amazing!  We got to our campsite and set up our tent.  The weather was a stark contrast to that on the rim, hot and windy!  Sand was everywhere.
The next day’s assent started easy enough.  I got to experience my first and only rattlesnake in the wild.  My wife does NOT like snakes. Poisonous snakes on a 2 foot wide path with a cliff on either side even less.  As we neared the rim, our lack of training and abundance of packing was showing.  My pack gained half or her pack’s gear. But, we made it out with some sore muscles and great memories!

Why We Should Be Chosen For The Driven By Adventure Contest
Well, who wouldn’t want to be chosen for an all-expense paid bike tour with nice bikes that you get to keep?  Maybe a little more detail is in order.  I love to bike, my wife loves to bike!  Need more?
I started biking in my late teens and it transformed me from a fat kid to an athletic adult.  Biking has transformed my life.  I own 8 bikes (10 if you count antiques) and ride them all.  I commute an average of 24 miles/day to work over roads, trails, snow and ice.  I’ve tried my hand at road racing, mountain bike racing, fatbike racing, cyclocross racing, triathlons(on and off road) and all things biking.  I’m not that good but I’m not that bad.  Coming in at the middle of the pack is good enough for me in a field of clearly skilled riders. Oh, and I keep a bike blog:
My wife has a similar story.  She started as a fat adult (sorry honey) and chose running as her means to an end.  From her peak weight she’s dropped 90 pounds and kept it off for well over a decade.  She’s run several marathons and will be participating in The Boston Marathon next month.  My biking influence as rubbed off on her and last year she finished her first half iron man.  Add to that countless 5Ks and smaller races.  My passion for riding to work seems to be addictive too because between the two of us the car usually only makes one trip per week with supplies.  She’s worked her way up to 4 bikes of her own but has her eye on her fifth.  Oh, and I write about her in my blog:
Together we have ridden in about 10 centuries in the past 5 years and organized group road and mountain bike rides in our area.  We love to bike!  But even as much as we love biking, we have never had the opportunity to do a bike adventure.  The logistics of flying bikes back and forth has kept it on the bucket list but never in the bucket.  Also, with all the bikes we own, neither of us owns a touring bike.  N+1 baby, N+1! 
So, it is obvious that we should be chosen for this adventure.  We represent a healthy active couple who love to bike and love to write about biking.  When you choose us for the adventure please give us the full 14 days to respond because we will be in the Dominican Republic.  Guess what we did the last time we were there.  I’ll give you one guess:

The Video: This sounds fun but it can be kind of stressful trying to put together a decent video.  One big challenge was that it couldn't infringe on any intellectual property, i.e. no background music.  Most of the other entries we saw broke this rule so maybe they will be disqualified.

There you have it, wish us luck!


  1. Good luck, I hope you get it. It sounds like a pretty good deal, do you get to pick which location out of the three? I'm not entering myself, I get too wrapped up in these things and can't handle the disappointment when I find out I wasn't chosen... I still think I should have been a Dahon Explorer...

  2. Hey Jack, no they pick it for you. But they all sound good. California, Oregon or Virginia. This one is kind of interesting because it isn't the luck of the draw. They actually judge the entries.

  3. Well, they didn't pick us. I won't say "we lost" because now I don't have to ask for a week off when I am busy at work.