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Editor’s Note: Issue 111

Depression: What is it good for?

By Matt Niswonger

As I’ve shared in previous articles, I am no stranger to life’s ups and downs. I’ve experienced both success and failure and the depression that sometimes comes with it. In the past I was hesitant to talk about ever feeling depressed because it made me feel weak. Then I realized that owning my depression and speaking about it powerfully was something I could do to make myself and others feel better.

Many people (myself included) believe that adventure sports are an effective treatment for depression. That said, I have talked to people who were literally so depressed that they couldn’t get out of bed. For this level of crushing depression it seems the only answer is to get medical attention as quickly as possible. Still, I can’t remember anyone ever saying they liked the experience of being on doctor prescribed anti-depressants.…

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Biking the Tahoe Rim Trail

Three spectacular day trips in order of difficulty

By Matt Niswonger

After 17 years and over 200,000 volunteer hours, the 150-mile Tahoe Rim Trail loop was completed at the California/Nevada stateline on the north shore of Lake Tahoe in 2001. The complete trail became an instant classic for hikers, bikers and equestrians. With stunning views of the Lake Tahoe Basin and the Carson Valley, the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) is especially enticing to mountain bikers looking to push themselves on these world-class trails. Not every section of the TRT is legal for bikes; however the majority IS bike legal and most sections that are restricted have a logical detour for bikes. All bike restrictions and other pertinent information are listed on the official TRT website located at tahoerimtrail.org.

I’m writing this article while the experience of riding the TRT is still fresh in my mind, having just completed the …

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Bike Camping

An ode to the hike and bike campgrounds of California

By Leonie Sherman

Maybe the idea of lining up to pay the federal government to camp on land that we are supposed to own upsets you. Maybe you are searching for a vacation option that doesn’t contribute to climate change. Maybe making a reservation months in advance for a wilderness experience doesn’t land well. Whatever the case, if you love camping, and bikes, if you like your recreation carbon neutral and if spontaneity is how you roll, California has a network of hike and bike campsites begging for your attention.

You won’t find them in our National Parks, those theme parks of glorious natural beauty plagued by crowds and concessions. California’s hike and bike campsites are hidden in plain view, in state recreation areas, state parks and state beaches, from Del Norte County to the Mexican border. Choose your own …

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Earn Your Beer: Issue 111

Snorkel-Swim La Jolla

Words and photo by James Murren

sharks in the ocean

In 1970, the City of San Diego began the development of the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park, which contains two other parks within its boundary: the Ecological Reserve and the Marine Life Refuge. In total, it is comprised of some 6,000 acres of protected area. Today, the underwater park is a jewel in the coastal city with the Spanish name meaning “jewel” – La Jolla.

The earning

Snorkeling La Jolla

I wiggled my way into my wetsuit under a warm, sunny sky. Soon after, I walked to the water’s edge and slipped on my fins. Working my way past the little rolling waves of La Jolla Shores by the Marine Room, I sat back on my haunches while in the water and fit my snorkel and mask on my face.

Within a few minutes I saw bat rays and sting rays, …

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Sequoia National Park

Giant sequoias’ namesake park deserves a visit

Words and photos by Matt Johanson

Grand as they are, it’s easy to overlook giant sequoias, even for those who visit the Sierra Nevada range often. Tahoe skiers and Yosemite climbers don’t even pass close to the biggest clusters of the world’s largest trees in Sequoia National Park.

At least once in a while, they should. Giant sequoias rate among the world’s tallest, oldest and prettiest living things. A misty walk among the reddish-brown majesties refreshes the soul, and autumn visitors get to enjoy fall foliage while missing summer heat and crowds.

Sequoia National Park boasts the world’s greatest concentration of the namesake trees, which grow naturally only in 75 groves between 5,000 and 7,000 feet of elevation on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Accessible only by long and winding roads (Highway 180 from Fresno or Highway 198 from Visalia), …

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Oslo Pax

Addressing climate change is not possible without peace; peace is not possible until we address climate change

By Leonie Sherman

“We are the first generation to experience the impacts of climate change,” Raymond Johansen, Governing Mayor of Oslo told a packed room at Oslo Pax, the Nobel Peace Center’s first annual Peace and Climate Conference. “And we are the last generation that can actually do something about it.”

Over the course of the next two days, the 200 politicians, activists, writers, generals, and young people who gathered at Oslo Pax helped me understand how lucky I am to call California home. Our state has been actually doing something about climate change for years. In 2006, California set an absolute statewide limit on greenhouse gas emissions. Ten years later we extended and strengthened the limit. In 2018, California organized an international summit which gathered governments, the private sector and indigenous leaders …

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Three Deaths and a Press Trip to San Diego

The author travels to the beaches and breweries of southern California, where he faces both his work as a journalist and the loss of his friends

By Chris Van Leuven

April 18, 2019. Waking up covered in sweat, pain pulses in the back of my skull, reminding me of last night’s wine party. I try to sit up, a sharp aching courses through my ribs, the result of my friend’s daughter running me over with her bike. Slumping back in my bed I grab my phone. Trolling for stories is my job. I’m a journalist.

I bolt upright, ignoring the pain. An early report that three professional climbers – men I’d interviewed over the years – had been swept away in an avalanche and were presumed dead. Hansjörg Auer, Jess Roskelley and David Lama gone.

My phone’s pinging with birthday wishes and condolences. Today is my 42nd birthday but that’s …

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E-Bike Summer Camp

SBTS brings National Forest and MTB industry staff together to learn and play in Downieville 

By Kurt Gensheimer

Cyclists enjoy riding electric mountain bikes in Downieville.

Even though he’s not a writer, mountain bike racing legend Mark Weir has a way with words. He’s able to summarize life experiences succinctly while being entertaining, making you simultaneously think while laughing. Take for instance his description about e-bikes and why he loves them so much.

“Back in my racing days, I did rides that ninety-nine percent of people couldn’t physically do,” said Mark. “Climbing for hours while staring at my fork tubes wasn’t fun. It sucked. It was painful. I was cry-breathing a lot. After the pain and suffering subsided, the ride seemed fun. But on an e-bike, that same climb is now suddenly fun in the moment, not afterward looking back. That’s what I love most about e-bikes; you can have fun while doing it.”

In addition to …

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Gear We Love: Issue 111

Goodies for your active lifestyle

 

Kula Cloth

Kula Cloth, where have you been all our lives? This simple yet sublimely designed piece of cloth is not only a women’s backpacking essential, but also a proven convenience for road trips and other adventurous endeavors. It’s even useful at home in support of green living!

This “pee cloth extraordinaire” far surpasses the usual bandana or swatch of flannel. It’s made from advanced silver-infused textiles purposely intended to be in contact with the human body. Amazingly, its one layer of silver absorbent fabric is equal to three layers of microfiber terry and six of french terry. Of course, the cloth boasts antimicrobial properties, and its high-tech textiles resist odor. Retro-reflective thread makes it easy to find in the middle of the night, and its nifty double snap feature makes it a breeze to fold up discreetly when not in use.

So, bid …

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Event Profiles: Issue 111

Featured upcoming events

Biketoberfest Marin

October 12, Fairfax

Savor delicious brews, see amazing bikes, hear incredible live music featuring San Geronimo and Panoramic Highway, enjoy family activities, demo an e-bike, jump on a group ride, and connect with over 50 bike exhibitors all while taking in gorgeous October weather. There is something for everyone at Biketoberfest Marin!

New for this year is the E-Bike Revolution. There’s no better way to see what these game-changing bicycles are capable of than to try one for yourself. Several local shops and vendors will be on hand to provide e-bike demos and group rides for all types of riders (cargo, family, road, commute, and MTB).

Admission is free. Brewfest tasting is $35 advance or $50 day-of, and includes unlimited tastings plus a keepsake souvenir glass.

All proceeds benefit the Marin County Bicycle Coalition and Access4Bikes and their efforts to expand Marin County’s network of …

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Climbing to an Intentional Life

Whatever you long for or dream about is within your reach – if you can extend your mental or emotional grasp to include it

by Dierdre Wolownick

The first time I found myself hanging forty feet above the floor in a climbing gym, I never imagined that such an unlikely position would become a regular part of my life. Or that it would lead to a personal transformation. 

I was 58, and life had battered me to the point where I was more than ready for a big change. The kid at the other end of the rope, my son Alex Honnold, would soon go on to become a household name. That day, he handed me a lifeline. 

As Alex lowered me I had a sudden realization: I had loved to climb when I was a kid, but I was a girl. I was supposed to wear dresses and behave

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California Coast Classic 2019

September 21-28 • San Francisco to Los Angeles
arthritis.org/californiacoastclassic

The California Coast Classic (CCC) is an eight-day, 525-mile, self-paced pedaling adventure from San Francisco to Los Angeles that is open to cyclists of all levels. It follows a coastal route along, and parallel to, California’s iconic Highway 1, and is capped at 250 riders.

2019 marks the 19th year of this boutique, bucket list ride, which is named by Outside magazine as one of “The 30 Best Road Biking Trips.” While it attracts many repeat riders, it also maintains a friendly and welcoming vibe and is open to riders from novice to experienced.

Participants ride along coastal roads among waves, woods, and wineries, and camp or hotel in areas not open to larger groups. The ride covers over 500 miles during the best time of year in California, late September. 

Arthritis is America’s number one cause of disability. Join the …

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