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Climbing : Biking

Motivation in the Form of a Bike

As Dave Vanderveen recovered from a car accident that could have killed him, he decided to return to mountain biking. The only problem was that the bones in his foot were shattered, and at least one of those bones looked like a bag of marbles. He needed something special for motivation, and his wife put up with an unusual bedroom request to make sure he had a muse. That last sentence sounds dirty, but the video is nothing of the sort. It's clean, short, beautifully edited, and you should watch it to get an idea of what an injured athlete has to go through to get back to singletrack.

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Journalist to Write Book About Career Chasing Lance Armstrong

Screen Shot 2012-11-14 at 9.07.04 AMDavid Walsh/Twitter. Photo: Screenshot

When journalist David Walsh, the chief sports writer for the Sunday Times and the author of From Lance to Landis and LA Confidential, needed a title for his new book about the 13 years he’s spent trying to expose Lance Armstrong’s doping, he took to Twitter. “Thinking about title for this last book on LA, have not come up with anything. So okay it's over to you - 1 or 2-word title, 3 or 4 max,” he said.

Responses came streaming in. Some were good. Some made little sense at all. Walsh kept a running tab of his favorites and responded to them. Here’s a short list, including the tweet announcing the winner, Seven Deadly Sins.

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Lance Armstrong Resigns From Board of Livestrong

Photo: Lance Armstrong on Mobli

Lance Armstrong grabbed headlines for two reasons this past weekend. News broke that he resigned from the board of the Livestrong Foundation. Armstrong made the decision on November 4, “to spare the organization any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding his cycling career,” Jeff Garvey, the group’s new chairman, said in an email to Bloomberg. “We are deeply grateful to Lance for creating a cause that has served millions of cancer survivors and their families.”

Armstrong had already stepped down as the organization's chairman in mid-October. Livestrong Foundation spokesperson Katherine McLane wouldn't say what Armstrong's exact role would be going forward. “Lance remains the creator and inspiration of the Livestrong foundation and for its mission—providing free financial, practical, and emotional support services for cancer survivors and their families,” McLane said in an email to Bloomberg.

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Expedition Watch: Riding a Fat Bike to the South Pole

665895_10151112114871697_1689808600_oPracticing. Photo: Eric Larsen

In the spring of 2002, when Eric Larsen was living in Grand Marais, Minnesota, on the shore of Lake Superior and near the Boundary Waters Canoe area, he started watching the lake ice very carefully. He was waiting for some incredibly specific conditions. Just after the snow melted and seeped through the ice, he knew it would leave a soft, rough surface for a period of one to two days. When that happened, he and some friends grabbed their mountain bikes and headed out. "Being on a bike on the lake ice felt really weird, but it was also really fun, too," he says.

Six years later, he started seeing fat bikes. While skiing a hard and relatively flat route to the South Pole that winter, he had an idea. He should ride a fat bike to the South Pole.

"Of course, there is a bit more to the story," he says. "You see, I love bikes. I have all my life. Raced for a bit, worked in bike shops for forever. The whole eat, sleep, and breathe two wheels thing. But the catch was, I love wilderness and winter more, so there was always this choice—expeditions or bicycling. So perhaps maybe my brain had been trying to subconsciously connect the two for quite some time."

He plans to start pedaling toward the South Pole this December, on an expedition he's titled Cycle South. It will be the fourth Christmas in the past five years that he's spent in Antarctica. This time, he's given himself a pretty small window—about a month and a half—to get things done. "One of the reasons that I'm on a pretty tight timeline is that I've got a five-week-old baby boy that needs my love and attention," he says. "Being gone for six weeks is no cake walk on my partner Maria, either."

We called him up to find out a bit more.

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The Outdoor Philosopher: Kate Rawles on Riding 'The Carbon Cycle'

Kate_Rawles_bioKate Rawles on her Mexico-to-Canada tour. Photo: Chris Loynes

Kate Rawles is an outdoor philosopher. That is a title she coined herself, and it is accurate in more than one way. She spends her professional life thinking about, talking about, and being in the outdoors, activities that culminated in the publication of The Carbon Cycle, her account of the three-month, 4,553-mile bike ride she undertook to better understand concepts and perception about climate change in the American West.

The Banff Center named The Carbon Cycle a finalist in the 2012 Banff Mountain Book Competition. Philip Connors' Fire Season took the prize, but the nomination helped bring Rawles' book to an audience outside her base in the United Kingdom. Adventure Ethics talked to Rawles, a lecturer in Outdoor Studies at the University of Cumbria, about outdoor philosophy, her ride, and the resulting book.

What is outdoor philosophy?
I spend a lot of time talking about human-nature relationships, but I was doing this inside lecture halls, and there were no other species in the room. The whole thing felt very abstract, so over time I started to take those classes outside more and more.

Outdoor philosophy means getting outside the classroom. I often take my classes sea kayaking and they have a very powerful engagement with a very different landscape. There is a motivation aspect, too. It's not just exploring the topic academically but encouraging students to act on behalf of the environment.

The Carbon Cycle is based on the conversations about climate change that you had with hundreds of people during the course of your Mexico-to-Canada bike ride. How did the book come into being?
I always loved cycling and mountains and I've done a number of trips over the years, but wanted to do a bigger trip. I wanted to use it as a way of communicating about climate change. I wanted to raise awareness rather than money. And I wanted to connect what is known, academically, about climate change with what is happening on the ground.

I wanted it to be adventurous enough to get people's attention. I used the bike ride almost like a Trojan horse, to get to people who would not necessarily pick up a book about climate change, and get them to talk about it with me.

The trip was 4,553 miles and I tried to follow the spine of the Rockies as much as possible, I crossed the Continental Divide about 20 times.

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Apr 23, 2014

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