Howdy folks!

We're deep in the depths of winter here in Bend. A hearty dose of work lately, but still sneaking skiing, running, (indoor) climbing and GarageFit, plus planning for our upcoming bike tour in Spain. If you've pedaled or traveled there or Portugal, I'd love to hear your favorite routes or areas!

This week on Traipsing About:

A blog post about my favorite Lake Tahoe mountain bike trails, an insightful article about what's really going on with Millennials, a great new product for your Sprinter van, and a COOL new zero waste initiative.



A(nother) excellent section high on the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Mountain Biking in Lake Tahoe!

TAHOOOOOE! The word is fun to yell and the mountain biking there is even better.

When a blog reader asked for recommendations of California mtb trails, I pointed him at a couple past blog posts. However, I didn't have anything written from a Tahoe trip Chelsea and I did last summer. 

Now I do! If you're planning to visit Lake Tahoe this year, here's my favorite trails. For a bonus, I threw in a fabulous hike, some paved bike paths we enjoyed with Chelsea's parents, and a couple rides up near Downieville. 

Check out all the pictures and my favorite trails here!

Millennials, the Burnout Generation

I thought this article from Buzzfeed was excellent. For anyone who is a Millennial, knows one, or blames all their problems on them (teehee), read this!

Two of my favorite quotes from the piece:

"We’re not feckless teens anymore; we’re grown-ass adults, and the challenges we face aren’t fleeting, but systemic."


"Burnout and the behaviors and weight that accompany it aren’t, in fact, something we can cure by going on vacation. It’s not limited to workers in acutely high-stress environments. And it’s not a temporary affliction: It’s the millennial condition. It’s our base temperature. It’s our background music. It’s the way things are. It’s our lives."

Sound intriguing? Read the entire thing!

Don't overpay for a headliner shelf in your van!

All You Sprinter Owners: A Sweet New Product

Above the front seats in our van, I installed an after-market headliner shelf that, while awesome for creating extra storage, was SO expensive. My buddy Sean thought so too and created a product to address this. If you've ever looked at shelves for your van and thought, "Ohhh hell no, that is too spendy," this is for you.

His solution: create the brackets and sell them paired with a digital drawing for a local fabrication shop to make the shelf itself. This is a) way cheaper for you b) avoids prohibitive shipping costs and c) you can powdercoat your shelf any color you want. (Go with zebra stripes!) 

This is for the DIYer who is ok doing an hour of legwork to save hundreds of dollars. I would have bought this and I'm stoked to share Sean's work with you. Check it out!

Loop - Zero Waste Packaging Goes Mainstream

Chelsea and I strive to use as little single-use packaging as possible. For a year in Portland, we reduced waste by buying second-hand or in bulk and by taking reusable containers with us when we shopped or went to restaurants. Bike touring and van travel made this tougher, but we're mostly back on track these days in Bend.

Along those lines, there's a new company called Loop that launched an awesome zero-waste packaging initiative last week. Like the old-school milkman, companies ship products in reusable containers (at the same cost) and then you ship them back afterward.

Critics are quick to point out that Loop launched with some of the biggest brands out there (Nestle, Unilever, Coca Cola...). However, the CEO of Terracycle, Loop's parent company, chose potential partners from Greenpeace's top 10 plastic polluters list, creating a huge potential lever to reduce plastic waste.

What I see happening is the ecosystem developing around these big companies with trial rollouts, followed by smaller companies (that we actually buy from) getting on board because it's an efficient, reasonably-priced process. 

Whatever the case, it's a solid step in the right direction! The fact that large brands are on board means that they think its financially wise and that consumers of their products care about this, which sounds great to me. This CNN article laid out the story nicely.

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Rescuing a too-many-flat-tires bike tourist on the way to Lake Tahoe!
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