My doctor is laying it out for me in simple terms “You need to start some physical activity.” After refusing the idea of running and the gym he replies to me “Just find something you would love.” And with that simple statement my memory was catapulted to 23 years earlier when I purchased a mountain bike when I first got to Tennessee. Unfortunately that bike never saw an off-road trail as my music career took off quickly and I was spending most of my time on a tour bus instead of a bike.
That Cannondale is long gone so the search was on for a replacement. Unfortunately with the pandemic lock-down caused by the Covid outbreak finding an inexpensive ride was rather difficult.
However, I ended up with a box store Schwinn and although I didn’t know much about the nuances of mountain bikes, I did know this cheap bike would at least get me on the trail and started with modern riding.
Since my job as a producer/director was on a hiatus (much of the film and video industry had shut down) I found myself needing a way to stay creative. So I grabbed a GoPro and started filming my rides.
Within several several weeks of riding I got my friend Jason on a bike and together we started learning and progressing. Before we knew it, just months later we found ourselves at the starting line of the Oak Mountain Enduro race near Birmingham Alabama.
At the same time we starting to travel to more places like Nashville, Indiana, riding the well known trails of Brown County. In the summer of 2021 a group of us made the pilgrimage to Bentonville, AR and see first hand why people call it the Mountain Biking capital of the world. We were having an amazing time building our skills, experiencing new places and meeting some awesome people in the MTB community.
In the fall of 2020 I had purchased a Fezzari Abajo Peak and surprisingly had received it fairly quickly. Jason followed suit and in 2021 we both became Fezzari Ambassadors along with our friend Steve.
I had no idea how this sport would change my life. I found myself meeting new people, thinking up new ideas, new ambitions, even got my son riding! The idea of creating an MTB adventure kept rolling around in my head. I started reading about bikepacking and researching all the aspects around that discipline. However, I knew my experience as a producer and all the projects I’ve done would cross-polinate with my new found sport.
Going to Bentonville was the trip that got the appetite wet! I’ve always loved traveling. Even for my work as a film and video producer I often travel to other parts of the country, even internationally so it was a natural progression to think up new ideas of where to go. It didn’t take long for the next idea to pop into my head!
I’ve helped produce and shoot two full feature documentaries down in Guatemala and have made several trips to the country so I’m well versed with the people, the culture and the physical beauty of the country. When i discovered there is actual mountain biking happening down there my min-train had left the station!
I arranged and planned group of us to head to Guatemala and experience what there was to offer and we were not disappointed! But that trip was just the beginning. I had more ideas in mind but for the rest of 2022 those plans would have to wait. I had to help produce a feature film that took about almost 4 months through the end of the year.
However, I was able to squeeze in a trip to Utah for the Fezzari Ambassador annual gathering. Finally getting out west to ride was so amazing! The people, the trails, the riding was just amazing! It was by far one of my favorite places to ride at this point in my journey!
As I sometimes say at the end of my videos, the story continues! We’re into 2023 and as life happens to do sometimes, there are curve balls that will affect your trajectory and that has certainly been the case for me. But, what my nearly a half century of life experience has always shown me is that most of the time, those little bumps in the road turn out to be positive happen-stance so I do my best to embrace it!
–> 03 ARE YOU IN?
I’m taking a small group of riders on a unique MTB adventure in Guatemala to experience the trails, the culture and the people that make up this beautiful country so few even know about. This is a one of a kind epic trip… are you in?