Follow Unlikely Hikers
It’s not news that the outdoors industry primarily targets/supports/features thin, able-bodied, cis white people. Jenny Bruso is breaking that mold with her project, Unlikely Hikers. Follow her blog and social to brown/queer/different bodies-up your social feed!
Men are Trash in Every Sport
For anyone who doesn’t really follow rock climbing (so like 99.999% of the world), pro rock climber, Joe Kinder, cyber bullied a handful of pro women climbers via making disgusting fat-shaming jokes, etc. In a rare man-experiences-consequences-for-his-actions event, his sponsors actually dropped him. Read an excellent overview/critique of the whole debacle here.
WTF Bike Explorers Scholarship
The relatively new group, WTF Bike Explorers, has just launched an incredible new scholarship program to help defray the costs of attending its bikepacking summit in Whitefish, Montana. Five lucky recipients will get a summit ticket, travel stipend, and gear! The deadline to apply is Thursday, May 24 so jump on it!
Midwest Dirt Legion is a Literal Dream
I’ll start out with the hilariously awkward story of how I almost died in a park bathroom on my way to Midwest Dirt Legion’s skills clinic at Elm Creek.
I had some time to kill before the clinic started so I drove around Elm Creek a bit (it’s a really big park). I had to use the bathroom so I stopped at one near the kid jungle gym area. They were the kind of cinder block bathrooms that are single occupancy so I left my phone in my car because gross. As I was leaving, I went to turn the lock and it turned freely without moving the deadbolt. It was stripped. My brow started to sweat and panic set in as I spent the next several minutes messing with the lock and trying to decide what to do. “Escaping from a locked bathroom,” isn’t a lesson I ever learned as a kid.
Finally, I realized that messing with the lock was useless and pitifully called out for help from my concrete coffin. A small child heard me and called for their mom (bless you). Then the mom called over a dad. Then all kinds of parents and kids gathered around my eternal crypt asking me if I was okay (I was — it was actually a pretty clean bathroom) and figuring out what to do. Park Dad tried calling the park department, but they didn’t answer so he called 911. The phone call went something like this:
911 Responder: Where’s the emergency?
Park Dad: *describes location in Elm Creek*
911: And what’s going on?
Park Dad: There’s a woman trapped in the bathroom.
Me: *dies of embarrassment*
Long story short, with the help of Park Dad, we were able to un-jam the lock and I was freed from my tomb of death before the cops showed up (we cancelled the cops, but I do wonder whether they were driving with their lights on or taking their sweet time…I was in there for a solid 20 minutes).
Life Lesson: It’s better to have someone walk in on you on the toilet than to die in there because the lock is broken. Also, never trust the bathrooms at Elm Creek.
After my brush with death, I headed over to the other side of the park for Midwest Dirt Legion’s second skills clinic. It was just what I needed after my harrowing escape from the cellar of doom: a bunch of incredible WTFs from different backgrounds and skill levels all trying out mountain biking and honing in their skills. I 100% recommend giving MDL a follow and signing up for their skills clinics if you get a chance. During the clinic, we focused on bike-body movement, then put those skills into practice during a short ride. There was definitely something for everyone to learn there, regardless of your skill level.