For many of us, bikes are primarily fun. But for many others, bikes are major drivers of economic development, educational opportunity, health care, and equality. World Bicycle Relief was started by the founder of SRAM to provide bikes to developing countries, and we talk with WBR’s CEO, Dave Neiswander, about the origins of World Bicycle Relief; its trajectory and challenges; all the product design that goes into their bikes; and what each of us can do to support the WBR mission.
Today we’re launching our new Up & Coming series, where we’ll be highlighting some athletes who, if they aren’t already on your radar, they should be. And first up is Dylan Siggers, because few people out there are this good on skis and on a bike. Plus, Dylan is also involved in filmmaking and music, so we talk to him about skiing, biking, filming, music, and more.
You’re probably already convinced of the importance of physical exertion, going outside, and staying physically fit and healthy. But what about the fitness of your brain? We talk to the neuroscientist, Michael Merzenich, about the significant neurological benefits of going fast, going outside, and undertaking new activities; the more effective and less effective ways to exercise our brains; the changes to our brains caused by the time so many of us — and our kids — are spending in front of phone, computer, and TV screens; and more.
Last week, LJ Strenio, posted a photo of a letter from NASA congratulating him on being accepted as an intern to the Armstrong Flight Research Facility. But how does a park skier from Vermont, this star of the LINE Traveling Circus, this guy who once served as Vin Diesel’s stunt double, and this guy who has a 29-minute crash reel that is shot after shot of him destroying himself, get accepted to work for NASA? We talked to LJ to get the whole story — and it’s a great one.
Clare Gallagher just won the Western States 100, and she did so in spectacular fashion. But there is a whole lot more to this story. So we talk to Clare about the details of her epic win, why on earth she agreed to go on an expedition to Alaska with Tommy Caldwell right before her biggest race of the year, and more.
While more and more electric cars are hitting the streets, Taiga Motors is about to bring the world’s first commercial electric snowmobiles to the backcountry and ski areas. So we talked with Taiga Motors CEO & co-founder, Sam Bruneau, about taking the electric snowmobile from a college project to an actual business; and we get into the specifics of charging a Taiga, and how these electric sleds measure up against gas-powered ones in terms of power, torque, weight, range, and performance in harsh temperatures.
For a long time now, Mark Abma has stood right at the center of big-mountain skiing. So we talk to him about living with JP Auclair, Julien Regnier, and Anthony Boronowski; filming with Shane McConkey, Hugo Harrison, and Ingrid Backstrom; serving as a guide for a new generation of skiers; and the specific fitness, dietary, and health regimen that keeps Mark functioning at a high level on and off the mountain.
You may have seen last week some pretty mind-blowing (and terrifying) footage of a snowboarder negotiating the Ribbon on Devil’s Castle at Alta. So we talked to James Buehler about his apparent first descent with Alex Gavic of the Ribbon on a snowboard, and James walks us through the technical aspects of the route; his preparation for the line; the mental and physical demands it imposes; encountering multiple cruxes; the “Ronald McDonald Grin”; and what’s next on his list.
Travis Ganong might be the most well-rounded skier in the world (just listen to this conversation), and he is certainly one of the most passionate. He’s a Team U.S.A. downhiller and Super G racer, and he is also obsessed with backcountry touring and big-mtn skiing. So we talk about all of it: racing & training; catching the attention of Shane McConkey as a kid; backcountry skiing; and more.
In some circles, Dierdre Wolownick is best known as Alex Honnold’s mom. But she is also the oldest woman to climb El Cap, an author, teacher, linguist, musician, marathon runner, and someone who continues to push her comfort zone. We talk to Dierdre about her new book The Sharp End of Life: A Mother’s Story; what shaped her philosophy of parenting; how she’s become more courageous with age; and the importance of continuing to push past limits.
Ashley Korenblat is the former chair of IMBA, currently owns Western Spirit Cycling and Outerbike, is the founder and managing director of Public Land Solutions, is on the advisory board for the Outdoor Industry Association, and she is a member of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. We talked to Ashley about her trajectory, and about the critical issues surrounding public lands policies and debates that we all need to understand and participate in.
Angela Hawse is the president of the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), and is certified to the highest international mountain guide standards. We talk to her about how she got into guiding; the various roles she has taken on in her career; what advice she would offer to aspiring guides; her company Chicks Climbing and Skiing, her work with POW Climb, and more.
Our 3rd Blister Speaker Series at Western Colorado University was with Dan Abrams, president and co-founder of Flylow. Dan gets into the details of running an outerwear company, and in doing so, offers insight into maintaining perspective while under pressure, how he approaches risky decisions, making the most of bad situations, and more.
To be sure, a guy named Bird is going to see the world a bit differently. So we talked to Bird about growing up on a commune in Washington; falling in love with skiing; finding a home away from home in Chamonix; his passion for speed riding, better (and worse) ways of experiencing the mountains, and more.
Trash is a growing global crisis, and currently, the majority of “recycled” products are still ending up in landfills or being burned. So we discuss the crisis, the myths, and the solutions to these problems with the founders of Zoetica, who are working to help us rethink these issues and take concrete actions to address them.
Last week we held our 2nd Blister Speaker Series event at Western Colorado University with Eric Larsen, a North and South Pole adventurer, expedition guide, author, and climate educator. Here is that conversation, where we talk to Eric about the importance of doing difficult things, perseverance, leadership, and more.
Kristen Ulmer was once the best female big mountain skier in the world, and many regarded her as fearless. But she wasn’t fearless, and her ways of coping with fear took a heavy toll on her. Kristen has since become a specialist of this deeply misunderstood emotion, so we discuss how we can all develop a healthier relationship with fear in any and every area of our lives.
The winningest snowboarder in history, Kelly Clark, recently retired after an astonishing 20-year career of competition. So we talked to Kelly about that career; the new limited-edition “RISE” snowboard she designed with Burton; how snowboarding has evolved; her relationship with Chloe Kim; the mission of the Kelly Clark Foundation; her extremely important thoughts on “achievement” and “success”; and what’s next for her.
We talk to Cody Townsend about his massive new undertaking to ski 50 classic North American lines. We discuss his approach to the project; how it’s going so far; dealing with its incredibly tricky logistics; which lines are the most daunting; the line he’d just skied; what gear he is using; and more.