Having It All: Am I a Mouseburger?

Last spring, I was perusing a selection of books at a thrift store when the word Mouseburger caught my eye on the back cover of Having It All – written Helen Gurley Brown and published in 1983. I wondered what the fuck a Mouseburger was – is it something that Tigers eat or is it a tiny burger that mice eat? Moreover, I was intrigued by what ‘having it all’ meant over thirty years ago and what women were willing to do to get it. The fact that someone had already expelled it from their personal library made me wonder if they had achieved the promise the title made or been horribly lead astray by it. So, I spent the $0.99 – a bargain from the original $4.99 cover price – and took it home.

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Wield Your Axe Carefully

I recently wrote about what I learned about my social media hiatus for Eskapee.com.

"So I took a month off social media and my world didn’t end. It didn’t even fall apart.

I have never bought into the idea that social media is inherently evil or the undoing of our society. Notwithstanding a basic knowledge of algorithms and user manipulation, I look at these platforms as tools – nothing more, nothing less. If you use an axe properly you’ll chop enough wood to keep you warm through the winter. But if you are careless, you might find yourself alone and bleeding out behind your hipster cabin. Facebook, used wisely, should be no different.

But was I using it wisely? It doesn’t control us, we control it. Right?"

Read more on Eskapee.com here.

Rostros de mi segundo hogar: The Completion

When I arrived in Mexico earlier this month I hung over one hundred photos at the local taquería for the people who live in the village of Barra de Potosi to have. I called the project 'Rostros de mi segundo hogar (Faces from my second home)'. While technology like cell phones is prevalent here as a means of doing business, printed images are still highly valued as a luxury. 

The images hung with this message:

If you see a photo of yourself, your family, or a friend, please take it home or give it as a gift. Thank you for sharing beautiful Barra de Potosi with my family! Merry Christmas.

Hola! Si encuentras una foto tuya, o de un amigo o familiar, por favor tómala o entrégala como regalo. Gracias por compartir Barra de Potosi con mi familia. ¡Feliz Navidad!

When I returned to the taquería after Christmas all but a few photos had been claimed and when I road my bike into the village today I was greeted by people who were thrilled with their photos - including my favourite fruit lady!

The project was so sucessful that I plan to do it again next year and have already started collecting images for it. 

2016 Disposable Rampage

This was my fourth year covering the behind the scenes of Red Bull Rampage for Pinkbike.com. Going into the event there is always a mix of excited about seeing history made as the boundaries of what's possible in mountain biking are broken, but also apprehension about safety and fair treatment of our friends. This year Red Bull came the closest ever to closing the gap when they worked with feedback from the athletes and participated in our industry rather than exploiting the talents in it. From that perspective it was an incredible year - despite injury and our absent McGazza. 

Below are the images from my disposable cameras behind the scenes.

Here are the links to the coverage I produced with our talented Pinkbike.com team:

New Digs

Canyon Cowboys

No One Gets Robbed

True Grit

The Magnificent 18

The Kelly McGarry Spirit Award

Pinkbike: Canada Cup - The Pano Experience

Panorama Resort hosted the Dunbar Summer Series Canada Cup this weekend - the track was fast, rowdy, and dusty as f*&k. 165 racers showed up to take a chance on the newly improved course including World Cup Racer Troy Brosnan - who *spoiler alert* had the fastest time of the day!

Pinkbike: The Rebirth of Racing

Cycling BC has released their 2015 Mountain Bike Calendar. Next to representing an important bridge between grassroots events and UCI Sanctioned races like the World Cup circuit, these events represent over 20 years of passion and commitment by race organizers and the mountain bike community. 

Between the XC and DH Races scheduled for this year there are six hardworking and committed race organizers. While their events, focuses, tracks, and locations are widely varied, the one thing they agree on is the importance of BC Cup level of racing. It is a stepping-stone for BC athletes, for some it is their first taste of formal competition and it sets them up for success at the national and international level. This series offers racers the tools, experience, and support to make it to that next level and exposes them to the opportunities available to them. 

Read more on Pinkbike.com

Pinkbike: Miranda Miller Just Don't Care

Miller. M’er. Mir. CHAMP. Mirtank. Large Marge. No matter what name you know her by, if you have had the opportunity to meet Miranda in person, you love her. She doesn’t like bacon, she eats Dope-Oats* for breakfast, and she wants to be reincarnated as a majestic bird. “If I could choose what to come back as, it would be some sort of bird, maybe an eagle, so I can fly and be majestic and no one could hunt me. Not that people hunt a lot of birds.”

Miranda is quirky, funny, a snappy dresser, and just really, really chill. When her name – or one of her nicknames – comes up in conversation it is usually around the topic of her ability to make people laugh and to be completely herself – suspenders and all. After spending a weekend riding on the sunshine coast with her and listening to her whale calls – “here whale, where are you whale? Damn it what whale where the hell are you?” – on the ferry, I get it, Miranda Miller is the person everyone should want to room with on the World Cup Circuit. And she does the dishes when you aren't looking.

Read more on pinkbike.com. 

The B-Side: It's About the Riding, Not the Soft Tissue

I have never really considered that being a girl has anything to do with writing. I think that growing up without running water and electricity, being chased by whales, and that one time I hit my head really, really hard, has had more of an impact on what I have to say, than the fact that I sometimes get free drinks in bars. 

In the past year there has been a shift, and a bigger focus is being placed on women in mountain biking. Awesome, right? The problem was that a bunch of people, really-great-not-sexist-at-all people, had a vague notion that women needed to be represented better or more or just. . . something in our media. They identified a void, but the solution wasn’t quite there yet. Being that I have the prerequisite ‘soft tissue’ the request was put to me a few times to provide ‘women specific content’. 

Read more on Pinkbike.com. 

Pinkbike: The Dunbar Summer Series - Field of Dreams

The Dunbar Summer Series has taken a page from Hollywood and Kevin Costner in their approach to downhill race culture, ‘if you build it, they will come.’

Three years ago Stephen Exley, BC Cup Race Organizer, approached Rob Venables, Dunbar Cycles Owner, about partnering to produce a race series. At the time Stephen was already running the Western Open and Rob and his team were involved with downhill races at Hemlock Mountain and on Mount Seymour - the infamous Ned’s race. “Stephen was already doing a great job with the Western Open,” Rob explains, “he was doing a much better job than we could do on our own. We had limitations on our time, and it was obvious how much satisfaction Stephen gets from putting on the races. I couldn’t do a better job so I decided that I should support him to do the best job he can do.” The result of this joined force is the Dunbar Summer Series. In it’s third season, the series has expanded to include four BC Cups; Silver StarKicking HorseFernie, and Panorama

More words and photos here. 

Pinkbike: The Mongolia Bike Challenge

When I first set foot in the Chinggis Khaan International Airport in Ulaanbaatar the idea of travelling to Mongolia had only been a reality for roughly fourteen days. I had agreed to photograph the Mongolia Bike Challenge at the encouragement of my travel partner and Videographer, Darcy Turenne, after exchanging only a handful of Facebook messages with the Race Director, Willy Mulonia. I had no idea what to expect, but knowing that I didn't need any vaccinations to enter the country somehow made me feel surprisingly confident about the trip. I had also received advice from those who had gone before us; photographers and videographers who have all documented the race previously were sure to tell us about everything they experienced from the flash floods to the lack of toilet paper, and especially to beware of the fermented horse milk – it is for sipping, not chugging. The most valuable piece of advice, however, came from Aaron Larocque who said, "if you want the experience of a lifetime, you should go." 

More words and photos here. 

Pinkbike: Exploring the Kootenays

Take six people, some of whom have never met, and put them on the road for a week of big 'Kootenay' rides, close living quarters, and beer sampling at every stop, what happens? They form a travelling family that is full of laughs even when the going gets tough, the sun gets hot, and the tires go flat (over and over). Our trip took us, along with the Mountain Biking BC contest winner, Jason Wright, to Rossland, Kimberly, Fernie, Nelson and Retallack. We played with foxes in the woods, drove through thunder storms, drank margaritas, and stayed off the grid. We braved the rapids of the Slocan Valley and got some of the earliest tracks on the Peak to Creek trail, not to mention that we almost won at 80's music trivia in Nelson. There is a good chance we also bought too much homemade candy in Kimberly, but that was really an unavoidable inevitability. 

The photos below capture just some of the highlights from an area that is rich in history, mountain bike culture, and community. As a group we feel lucky to have experienced the balance of the warm welcoming people and rugged, natural trails. And of course we can't wait to go back!

Check out the photos here.